The Essential Features of a Human Development Strategy

  • Keith Griffin
  • Terry McKinley


Human development is the ultimate objective of economic development. It is also a means — we shall argue, the best means available — for promoting development. Viewed as an end in itself rather than a means, human development is about enriching human lives. Material enrichment — producing a larger volume of goods and services — may contribute to this but it is not the same thing. Indeed it is by now widely understood that there is no one-to-one correspondence between material enrichment (measured, say, by gross national product per head) and the enrichment of human lives (measured, say, by the human development index). The human development approach thus implies the dethronement of national product as the primary indicator of the level of development.


Human Capital Human Development Human Development Index Physical Capital Natural Capital 
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  1. 1.
    See Amartya Sen, ‘Development as Capability Expansion’, in Keith Griffin and John Knight (eds), Human Development and the International Development Strategy for the 1990s (London: Macmillan, 1990).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a demonstration of how this approach can be used to analyse human development in a specific country, see UNDP, Balanced Development: An Approach to Social Action in Pakistan (Islamabad, Pakistan, 1992).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See Keith Griffin, Alternative Strategies for Economic Development (London: Macmillan, 1989).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Keith Griffin and Terry McKinley 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Griffin
    • 1
  • Terry McKinley
    • 2
  1. 1.The Department of EconomicsUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA
  2. 2.International Development Program of the School of International ServiceAmerican UniversityUSA

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