The impact of social development cannot be overemphasized. This is because Social development is about improving the well-being of every individual in society and the success of every society is linked to the well-being of each and every citizen.
Social development requires investing in people. It entails taking away the limitations so that all citizens can work towards their dreams and goals. It is about refusing to accept that the less privileged should always be treated as such, it is refusing to be silent when a young girl or boy is abused and forced into manual labour, it is about putting structures and systems that would enable small businesses thrive to secure a fast growing economy, it involves implementation of the necessary policy recommendations that would benefit all and bring about sustainable livelihoods. It is refusing to accept that people who live in poverty will always be poor.
Does social development in any way affect economic growth and development? Most definitely!
In a study by A. Devidas Sharma on “Understanding The Social Sector, Economic Growth, Social Development and Economic Development: Interrelationship and Linkages” He highlighted that: “Social Development refers to the overall progression of the society. However, such modifications in the social order are not possible unless the needs of the people are satisfied. Whereas Economic Development refers to increase in per capita income, per capita value added etc; social development connotes the development of people, quality of life, social welfare etc. The two may be interrelated; and the disparities in one may cause disparities in the other. the nature of relationship between economic and social development, is however, an empirical phenomenon and its explanation lies in the criteria of resource allocation for resource generation and criteria of redistribution of the increased resources for various dimensions of economic and social development. This means that social development and the inequalities in it are at least partly determined by the criteria of resource allocation for the development of human and physical
resources and for requisite infrastructure at various levels. These are crucial interdependent factors of economic and social development, but the extent
of simultaneity and proportion of development of these factors certainly affect social development and the disparities therein. Thus, we presume that the criteria of resource allocation can explain social development and the forms of disparities in it. In this context, it is quite relevant to look into linkages that exist between economic development and social development, economic growth and human development and education and human development. Economists have long viewed social development as a by-product of economic development. Rather social development is often seen as competing with economic development for resource allocation. This is manifested in debates on priority to industrialization or education, or for that matter to a factory or a school. Economists have recently shown a greater awareness of social parameters but their analysis of social development remains loaded input-output considerations. Many scholars stress the essential unity of the development process and reject any distinction between its economic and social dimensions. They opine that the two are so much blended with each other that it would be unrealistic to treat them separately. Such a position, however, does not leave any scope for structural analysis for development process. In any empirical context, the economic and social aspects of any human situation are generally distinguished from each other. This is reflected in debates on fixing the priority amongst economic or social goals of any development strategy. A distinction between two is justified. As such, social development is essentially one of the vital dimensions of the overall development process. It denotes the quality of social system in terms of social justice it delivers, social cohesion it maintains, and quality of life it provides for as integral components of regional system. It promises a higher order of living in a dynamic sense. In absence of direct data on various aspects of social development, it is often inferred from a variety of surrogate indicators. These include education, health, nutrition, transport and population indicators.”
The truth is if an individual has health conditions he/she would be limited to contribute positively to the society. Their specific role towards increasing the GDP would be left unattended to, causing a decline. Let’s talk about Power; this is one major factor limiting the steady flow of SMEs emergence in developing countries. Young people with promising ideas are limited to what they can produce, and when they get access to Power supply it’s either at a high rate or constrained period.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE THIS?
- Invest in Social Policies– Government, NGOs, CSOs, should work towards investing in policies that would improve the social development of their country.
- Invest in Research & Data Collation – Sometimes the indices get vague due to lack of accurate data and research practices. It’s time we go out there and get real time data to work with, instead of playing around with false figures.
- Invest in People – Manpower is the most vital and valuable resource any country can have, and when they are not adequately developed to reach their full potentials the economy is prone to suffer.
With the rising increase in environmental hazards and climate change conditions, abuse and other ill vices in the society it is only paramount that we get involved in curbing these situations in other to create a conducive environment for ourselves. It is best that everyone understands the situation on ground and gets involved no matter how small. We all need to go beyond looking at government to find ways to develop ourselves. We need to share responsibility with community organizations, businesses, universities and municipalities in the task of improving the well-being of everyone, preventing diseases and reducing poverty.
With this, I will be dedicating a session every week to publishing SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT related articles. This will feature stories and situations policy recommendations and preferred solutions as well as efforts made to impact the society.
This is in line with fulfilling the SDGoal 8 – Decent Work & Economic Growth
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Remember: Preserve the environment for sustainable living! Don’t be among the destroyers.