S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): This is the value of all goods and services produced within a country. It is usually measured in US$ and calculated per capita. This makes comparisons between different countries easier.

Main advantage: universally understood.

Main disadvantage: hides inequalities within a country.

Infant mortality: this is the number of infants that die prematurely.

Main advantage: Indicates quality of health care, water quality, food supply and clearly identifies a problem in need of addressing.

Main disadvantage: Hard to get an accurate figure as many births in the less developed countries would be un-registered.

Remember: every indicator has weaknesses. It may be worth using a number of indicators like:

Human development index: gives countries a score between 0 and 1 for wealth, health and education. By looking at previous placing and position on GDP tables, countries can evaluate their performances.

A divided world: in our world there are huge discrepancies in wealth, resources, standards of living. These can be explained by:

  • Historical factors - coal, colonialism, slavery.

  • Economic factors - Debt, trade, corruption, the multiplier.

  • Environmental factors - natural disasters, resources.

Differences within the developing world: Do not group the developing world as one. There are differences within it:

  • Oil rich countries - use wealth from oil to invest in other industries, health, sanitation and education.

  • Newly industrialised countries - are increasing manufacturing and exports. Firstly they produced more of their own goods so imported less then they targeted areas in the world export market like computers and televisions.

Debt: the possibility that developing world countries will have a lot of their debt written off is excellent but there has been criticism of the lack of actual actions since.

Aid: it is not possible to simply give aid to a country as easy as it may sound. You must consider the consequences of that action. Not all aid is given as a freebee - there are often strings attached.

Bi-lateral aid: is when one country gives directly to another.

Advantage - The recipient country can get a substantial sum of money to invest in their country in what ever they choose.

Disadvantage - Can be used to set up exploitative trade deals. For example the UK insists that several of the countries we give aid to purchase our arms.

Multi-lateral aid: is that which is given to several countries from an. international organisation like the World Bank.

Advantage - Can lead to the establishment of stable industry. For example India's dairy industry that supplies most of the country was set up using powdered milk donations from the European Union.

Disadvantage - Debt repayments can massively outweigh any aid received.

There are non-governmental organisations that we refer to as charities. These try to direct the money generated by charity at the needs of the poor, local communities or environment.

Advantage - More responsive to the immediate needs of the population. Work at a smaller scale using technology more appropriate to the skills and needs of the locals.

Disadvantage - Unless they can have a greater influence on the policy makers then they will only ever provide 'stop-gap' measures.

Appropriate technology: This is where the local industry is geared to the needs and skills of the local people and environment. It provides cheap and useful products. Is seen as a way of increasing standard of living, employment, industry, allowing local people to make the decisions and being relatively kind to the environment. E.g. separate projects in Kenya make roofing tiles and cooking stoves.