When used in business ‘development’ describes good change, for example if you develop an area of land by adding a new block of apartments that will bring more people into your area and help grow your market then that is development. Developers work with many different counterparts along each stage of the process including architects, city planners, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, contractors, lawyers and leasing agents to get the job done.
A country’s level of development can be measured by the gross national income (GNI) per capita. This measure looks at all the goods and services a country produces, dividing it by the number of citizens, which allows a comparison between nations. The higher the GNI, the more developed a country is. Other signs of development include industrialization and the use of advanced technology, as well as higher literacy rates and longer life expectancies.
Many theories of development have been proposed, from a maturational assumption that people are fixed in their responses to life’s challenges (like a car staying the same even after being hit by a large rock) to mechanistic meta-theories that treat humans as machines that can only react to external forces (like gasoline for a car). Other approaches are more holistic and include lifespan or ecological systems theories.
Development is a difficult term to define. There are also concerns that some of the Western-centric models of development may be harmful to traditonal cultures and ways of life, as well as to the environment.