A Closer Look at the Three Worlds in One Planet
What do you think about another country compared to your country? Are they doing better with their development or just the same with your country or perhaps even worse? Countries in the world have been classified into some categories based on their stage of developments. Many organizations in the world, such as United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have their own category to classify countries. Here, I will divide countries in the world based on their human development using the data on Human Development Index (HDI) from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). There are three indicators which include health, education, and economy dimension. The number of index is shown into a standardized figure between 0 and 1 which means that the closer a country is to number 1 then the better it is. Based on those indicators the countries can be divided into three big circles: underdeveloped, developing, and developed countries.
The name of underdeveloped gives an impression that the country is far below to be called as a great or rich country. Ali (1955) believes that underdeveloped country is a country which is common with poverty, illiteracy, low per capita income, disease and low life expectancy. In short, it can be said that they are still struggling in maintaining their life whether their health, education, and economy. According to the data on HDI, most underdeveloped countries are those whose index is around 0-0.555.
First indicator which is health, underdeveloped country is still facing many problems to give health care for their citizens and the governments rarely focus on monitoring its strategies also implementations. People need to walk even for days to get a decent clinic or hospital because there are only few hospitals that can provide medical treatment. Moreover, some of those hospitals are still lack of infrastructures and services. Sometimes the needles are reused, the electricity is lost because of power shortages, the ambulance cannot be used because there is no money for gas, and the paucity of medicines supply.
Second indicator, the attention that is given for education in underdeveloped countries are still low while in fact education can be an ammunition to boost the human development. The students are still lack of basic skills and have failed to complete primary school. Based on the data of 2017 Global Education Monitoring Report, about 61 million children of primary school in sub-Saharan Africa do not have the chance to go to school. This concludes that the expecting years of school in underdeveloped countries are low around 8-10 years (Human Development Index, 2018). In addition, the number of illiterate citizens are quite high. Related to the report of World Bank “Poverty in a Rising Africa” in 2016, around 42% of Africa adults, about two in five, or a whopping 215 million people are illiterate.
In economy, I would like to say that their income are not moving forward or even getting worse. Their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains less static and far below the developed or developing country. Many economists agreed that underdeveloped countries are those who have GDP per capita less than $2.000. Most of these problems are caused by the lack quality of human resources. The majority of people are working on agricultural things which it can only give them a low income. Going through that condition, economic aid still become the thing that these countries is dependent on it.
A suitable example of underdeveloped countries is Chad which is a part of North-Central Africa. Contrasting the fact as the fifth largest country on the continent with 1.284.000 km2, Chad considered as the seventh poorest country in the world based on UNDP HDI ranks with its index is 0.404. In Chad, life expectancy at birth is only 53 years. In education, only 68% of boys attend the primary school with expected years is only until 8 years and more than half of the population is illiterate. Moreover, Chad’s GDP per capita remains at $1.768 which considered as very low.
Then, we are going to developing countries that seems to be still ongoing in term of development. Hanania (2015) believes that developing countries are basically those that are seen less advanced in term of technologies and their developments. In simple words, developing countries are moderately rich and moderately poor because they cannot be considered as rich country yet. They are still developing their country in many aspects and their position is right between underdeveloped and developed countries. It also can be said that developing countries have developing human, education, and economy. According to the data on HDI, most developing countries are country whose index is around 0,556-0,799.
In the first indicator, which is health dimension, government in these countries still provides a lower health care for their citizens but it is already better rather than underdeveloped countries. The infrastructures, such as hospital is already available in most place in the countries. However, the quality of services which is given still remains low. For example, in Philippines the expenditure that is given for health care is relatively low which is only 4.4% of its GDP. It also can be a reason that causes a lower life expectancy in developing countries.
In education, developing countries has already given a better attention for its educational standard although some of them are still facing some problems whether the systematic to make a better system or the cost. Based on the survey by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2016, the developing countries are at the average level of literacy. Moreover, the expected years for education is quite low which is around 10-13 years.
As the developing country, its economy condition is still in progress of improvement and it seems like a tide which there will be a significant falling and rising in certain time. In this kind of countries, they are categorised as a newly industrialized area and many other factors can influence their economy conditions, which includes the relation with another countries and organizations. Also, the GDP per capita in developing countries is around $2000-$25000. Quite similar with underdeveloped countries, the main sectors of GDP for these countries are mostly from agricultural business such as tea, tin, coconut, and rubber.
An excellent example of developing countries is Indonesia which is well-known with its varieties. Despite the fact as the fourth biggest population in the world, Indonesia still ranked in medium place (116th) in the UNDP HDI with the number of index is 0.694 along with life expectancy of birth is 69 years. However, Indonesia is having a serious problem in term of literacy. The evidence is showed by the report from The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015 that proved more than 86% of Indonesian 15-year-old are unable to understand the relationship between several pieces of information in a text. In addition, Indonesia’s GDP per capita is $11.189 which considered as average.
The last world is developed countries that is famous with the life of prosperity. Developed countries are exactly those who are more advanced in many aspects of their country-life, such as health care, technology, education, and economy. According to Afework (2018) in an article published by the encyclopedia of University of Calgary about developed countries, these countries have many amenities and resources to create a high quality of life that will affect their birth rates, longevity, and income. An easier way to differentiate these countries with the previous two is that underdeveloped and developing countries are still trying to achieve something that the developed countries have achieved it long back. Based on HDI, most developed countries have index figures between 0,8 and 1.
In health services, developed countries has already provided good services for their citizens. Any medical treatments and insurance can be easily get in these countries. The advanced technologies and infrastructures also provide the citizens to get the medical treatment as best and fast as possible. Moreover, the expenditure that is provided for health is quite high around 10% of its GDP. The effectiveness of health care system will deliver to the potential years of longevity.
In the next indicator, the government in developed countries boast their educational sector by providing the high rate of literacy. Most people in these countries have at least 15 years of schooling which means that over a half of their citizens are literate. These countries try to cope with the fast-changing world and advanced technologies with the high quality of human. Besides, developed countries provide a good portion of their GDP for the education since they put much hope in this field to bring a good performance of the nation.
Considered as developed, these kind of countries have a high level of economic growth and the citizens have a high standard of living. It can be said that their economy is going stable even rapidly increasing. The most common thing in developed countries is that they are highly industrialized area. Moreover, developed countries have a high GDP per capita which is above >$25.000 and these countries can reach that numbers easily even far above.
A perfect example of developed countries is Norway which maintained first place in the UNDP HDI since 2009 and in this year Norway got 0.953 as its index number. Remaining as the first place, Norway has a very high rate of literacy which is stable at around 99%. In addition, Norway gives a good expenditure in education sector which is 7.7% of its GDP per capita. This condition leads to the expected years of school in Norway that is almost 18 years. Besides, Norway also has a high level of longevity which is around 82.3 years and the government spends 10% from its GDP per capita in health. Talking about GDP per capita, Norway got $64.800 which considered as very high.
All in all, each classification of the countries have their own characteristics. Based on the human development, countries can be put in three categories: underdeveloped, developing, and developed country. However, beside the three indicators that are used as the measurements above (health, education, and economy), there are many different indicators for another country classification. One country might be put in a different categories in any classifications depending on what indicators that are used because only one indicator cannot determine the status of country’s development yet. (1719 words)