Core issues cover:
- What is development?
- Capability approach
- Measuring development and well-being
- Human development: concepts and measurement
- Education and Development
- Poverty: concepts and measurement (income poverty, basic needs, subjective poverty, deprivation of capabilities)
- Inequality: concepts and measurement (income inequality, capability inequality)
- Participation and Human Development
- The role of Agency and Freedom for Human Development
- Natural Resources and Human Development
- Participatory methods
- Co-operatives and Human Development
- Impact Evaluation
The Human Development (HD) teaching module refers to the approach elaborated by the United Nations Development Programme (http://hdr.undp.org/).
The module has a twofold objective.
The first is to provide students with the theoretical foundations of HD that derive from the works of Amartya Sen: concepts like standard of living and well-being, capabilities and functioning’s, agency and participation, entitlements. «Development can be seen … as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy. Focusing on human freedoms [or capabilities] contrasts with the narrower views of development, such as identifying development with the growth of gross national product, or with the rise in personal incomes, or with industrialization, or with technological advance, or with social modernization» (Amartya Sen). Then, the UNDP HD approach will be introduced, with its indices. The Human Development and Capability approach is considered indispensable for the analysis, policies and actions in the field of food security and rural development, that are subjects of other teaching modules.
The second objective of the HD module is to provide students with the tools that are necessary to analyse and assess poverty and inequality and to design and implement strategies, policies and projects to fight them, both in low and high HD countries. Traditional and capability approaches to poverty and inequality will be compared. Some thematic deepening and case studies will be presented, such as: access to education services, the agency of women and participation, development issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, the role of decentralised international cooperation.
For a deeper understanding of the notion and meanings of Human Development please refer to The Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA). The HDCA promote high quality research in the interconnected areas of human development and capability. In particular the Association holds annual conferences, supports training activities, and provide a forum in which collaborative research can emerge.