How to Use This Book
Because all development issues are intricately interrelated, there is no single, best sequence in
which to study them. Thus the structure of this book allows the readers to start with almost any chapter
that they might find the most intriguing. The author, however, would advise not skipping Chapters
1 and 2 since they serve as a general introduction to the book and
present some important basic concepts on which the following chapters build. Note also that Chapters
15, 16, and 17 can be read as a continuation
of the conceptual discussion started in the first two chapters. The other chapters, devoted to particular
development issues, will then allow you to continue considering the same general issues in a more concrete
As you read this book, you should keep in mind the multiplicity of interconnections among all aspects
of sustainable development. . In some cases, these interconnections will be explicitly pointed out
in the text (see cross references to other chapters), while in others readers may need to identify
them on their own. Questions in the margins are intended to help readers see the larger and more complex
picture behind the specific data.
Suppose you are most interested in environmental issues. Chapters 10 and 14 are
devoted to two different environmental challenges: local particulate air pollution in large cities
and global air pollution from carbon dioxide emissions. But to gain a better understanding of these
issues you will also need to read about population growth and economic growth (Chapters
3 and 4), industrialization and postindustrialization (Chapter
9), income inequality and poverty (Chapters 5 and 6),
and health and longevity (Chapter 8). These are the most obvious links,
and they are relatively easy to identify while reading the environmental chapters. You could also,
however, look into links with all the other chapters in the book. For example, how does globalization
(Chapters 12 and 13) affect air pollution
in large cities in developed and developing countries? Or how does globalization help international
efforts to minimize the risk of global climate change? You could then explore the links between privatization
and energy efficiency (Chapter 11) or between education (Chapter
7) and environmental protection. Eventually, it becomes clear that development is so comprehensive
that understanding any one issue inevitably requires studying all the rest.
Although teachers of various school subjects can use this book to help their students understand specific
development issues, students should always be made aware that no single issue exists in isolation from
the others. Ideally, teachers would use most or all of the book's content to build one or more learning
modules centered around given curricular topics. For example, an Air Pollution module might look like
- Introduction: Concepts of "development" and "sustainable development"--Chapters
1, 2, and 16
- Local and global air pollution--Chapters 10 and 14
- What are the major causes of the increasing air pollution?
- Population growth—Chapter 3
- Economic growth—Chapter 4
- Industrialization—Chapter 9
- Urbanization—Chapter 10
- Income inequality—Chapter 5
- Poverty—Chapter 6
- Aggravating factors or new opportunities?
- International trade—Chapter 12
- Foreign investment—Chapter 13
- Foreign aid—Chapter 13
- Privatization—Chapter 11
- Air pollution as a threat to development sustainability:
- Healthy environment as one of the goals of development—Chapters 1 and 17
- Natural capital as a component of national wealth—Chapter 16
- The role of government policies—Chapter 17.
You will notice that most of a module's components can be formulated as questions for discussion.
It is up to the reader to conclude whether, for example, the effects of economic growth are more detrimental
to the environment than are the effects of poverty or whether foreign investment in developing countries
contributes to pollution rather than helps reduce it. The book provides helpful (although not exhaustive)
data and concepts but does not provide any easy answers.
When discussing questions arising from this book, it is important to make full use of the statistics
contained in the data tables (at the end of this book). Comparing data on different
countries and looking for correlation among various indicators can often provide more insights and
food for thought than simply reading a text.
The author hopes that the discussions generated by this book will help readers understand how global
and national development relate to issues in their own lives, and that this understanding will lead
to practical action at the local level. Teachers, youth leaders, and other educators can use this book
to inform discussion about local development challenges not only among their students but also among
parents and other community members. Students can use the knowledge gained to make better-informed
life choices and to become more active, involved citizens of their country as well as global citizens.
The World Bank Institute’s Development Education Program encourages young people and educators
around the world to visit its web site and send us their feedback including queries, opinions, and
For more information and learning materials on issues of sustainable development, visit our web sites
at www.worldbank.org/depweb and www.worldbank.org/wbi/developmenteducation.
Please send comments to email@example.com.