What Is Human Development?
Human development refers to the process of enriching the lives of people, as opposed to the economy in which these people live. (United Nations, 1990) Human development is measured using the Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI is based on three elements, namely the health, education, and income of people. The HDI is used to determine whether or not a country is developing or developed, based on these 3 aspects. (STUDY GUIDE – REFERENCIING????)
In order to fully illustrate the HDI, this essay will look at the HDI ranking for South Africa in 2011 and again in 2015, and thus compare the scores, and discuss the changes based on the elements that the HDI is measured by.
Scores and Comparison
The HDI ranking for South Africa was 123 (with a score of 0.619) in 2011, and 155 (with a score of 0.666) in 2015.
In 2011 the United Nations Human Development Report stated that the average life expectancy for South Africans was 52.8 years. In comparison to highly developed countries, the life expectancy of South Africans in 2011 was relatively low. Uruguay (High Human Development Country) had a life expectancy of 77 years, and Norway (Very High Human Development country) had a life expectancy of 81 years. (Human Development Report, 2011:127). The biggest reason for the lowered life expectancy of South Africans is due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa. (Johnson, 2013) Many people do not have access to quality healthcare, due to a number of reasons (the biggest being financial) (Wogugu, 2013:34).
There are many areas where people do not have access to quality healthcare. Some 40 million people (82% of South Africa’s population) are entirely reliant on the national public health sector for treatment. Only 30% of the doctors in the country work in the national public health sector of South Africa (Mayosi, 2014:1345). The ratio of qualified medical experts to the population is failing to keep up with population growth (Mayosi, 2014:1348). “South Africa requires at least three times its current health workforce to provide adequate care to HIV/AIDS patients.” (Mayosi, 2014:1349) It is estimated that around 30% of South Africans have access to quality healthcare (this 30% is made up of privileged people). Until such time as all people in South Africa have equal access to quality healthcare, the HIV/AIDS pandemic will continue to grow and spread.
While South Africa has a relatively normal expectation of the number of years of schooling a child will go through (13.1 years in 2011 and 13.6 in 2015) the average child in 2011 only received 8.5 year of schooling in 2011, and 9.9 years of schooling in 2015 (United Nations Human Development Report, 2011:129, United Nations Human Development Report, 2015:209). This means that many children in South Africa do not complete high school. This lack of basic education limits their abilities to gain and enhance skills required to join a niche workforce. (Chisholm, 2004: 4). L...