A Conceptual Exploration of the Human Development Paradigm

Patrick A. Edewor


In spite of the fact that the idea of development has been a central feature of human thought for millennia, the concept of development is still being improved upon owing to its complexity. Prior to the 1990s, the concept was poorly conceived and narrowly defined in terms of economic growth or increasing income using GNP as the yardstick for measuring the progress of nations. This approach was not a very good way of thinking about development because it was not concerned with advancing human well-being and human freedom. Human development came as an alternative development paradigm. This paper explores the emergence, meaning and aspects of human development as a development paradigm as well as its measurement with reference to the Human Development Index and its various modifications. The concepts of capabilities and freedom are discussed and the paper concludes that education or being knowledgeable and skill acquisition constitute the foundations for building all other capabilities by which human choices are enlarged and human well-being, enhanced.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n6p381

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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