This is commonly understood to be the process of improving the quality of life of all people. Although the concept of development receives widespread support, the policies required to achieve it are contentious: how should development take place, at what cost and in what form? What are the implications for the economy, the environment, and the poorest people? All these questions are subject to tough debate.
Development is sometimes described as having three aspects:
- Raising peoples living standards - their incomes and consumption levels of food, medical services, education, etc. through economic growth.
- Creating conditions conducive to the growth of people's self-esteem by establishing social, political and economic systems and institutions that promote human dignity and respect.
- Increasing people's freedom by enlarging their range of choices and by increasing the varieties of consumer goods and services accessible to them.
Development is not the same as sustainable development. Development can be achieved at the expense of future generations' survival, whereas sustainable development specifically seeks to achieve development in a long-term environmental framework that provides for the survival of future generations.