Development and challenges to development
According to the United Nations, development is a process of expanding people's choices, the most critical of which afford them greater opportunities for living long healthy lives, becoming educated, and gaining access to the resources necessary to realize quality lives. Development efforts at a minimum should create an environment conducive for people to develop their full individual and group potentials and to have reasonable chances of leading productive, creative lives in accordance with their needs, interests, and abilities in free and secure societies (Adapted from Human Development Report, UNDP 1990).
During the period since World War II, a number of organizations including the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, regional development banks (such as the Inter-American Development Bank), regional governance groups (such as the Organization for American States), trade organizations, and the United States Agency for International Development have been responsible for shaping development policies.
Although tremendous economic growth has occurred during the post-WWII period, many analysts complain that development efforts based on GDP growth have failed to meet the basic needs of too many individuals, communities, and nations.