Though social development may be characterized in many ways giving room for the argument that it does not have a definite definition, the truth remains that social development can be summarized as the process that borders on how people form and develop their personality in their lifetime with more emphasis on their childhood and adolescence. Social development in children is all about how a child develops, and how the society impacts on it. Therefore, the process by which a child learns to communicate with the people around him and how the community contributes to the development of a child personality can be referred as social development as well. Nonetheless, we are going to be looking at social development from the prism of its theory which encompasses the growth and development of a society and its mechanism and not just about child development.
Social development is very important given that in the world today, societies are in a race to become the leader of the world. Though it may not appear so, but if you look around you and pay attention, you’ll see as each society strives to improve and become better than their counterparts. This is evident in almost everything; technology, health, Agriculture, energy, education, trade, manufacturing, and many more. The society that we live in are very competitive and the competitiveness increases on daily basis. For this reason, the need for social development of a people cannot be over emphasized. Societies must strive to develop themselves in all strata to better and self-sufficient, and not be dependent on another society.
For social development to become a reality, the society must have a framework of objectives, aims, and efficient strategies to realize their objectives. The society must invest in creativity, and harness its natural resources and human resources to champion growth. The society must be weeded of corruption, and create an enabling environment for their children to grow and maximize their potentials for the betterment of the society. Quality institutions of learning must be built to provide quality education. Social change must be paid attention to for social development to be achieved. No society can grow without social progress; the embrace and adoption of advancements in technology and science to accomplish an improved life in a society. Sociocultural evolution must not be overlooked as societies should always seek to improve on their culture to adapt to the dynamics of the world. Every society must adopt the idea that no society can move forward by becoming static; social development is evolutionary and not static. For instance, in the medieval age, societies thrived through Feudalism but that is not the case today. It has progressed from Feudalism to capitalism and still evolving.
Without a good leadership, social development will suffer. Every society that must be ahead in social development must have energetic, healthy, and visionary leaders. Individuals, who are endowed with ingenious idea, understand the wave of change and how to flow with it. Individuals, who are selfless and incorruptible, with the well being of their people at heart.
TWO MAJOR FACTORS OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- Natural /Unique Factors: This includes weather, climate, and specific group people. The presence adverse weather or climatic conditions can affect social development in a negative way, the same way a good climate or weather can impact on the growth of a society. For example, extreme weather; such as drought, flood, hail, or frost can cause instant plant stress, thus leading to failed production and increased cost. Also natural disaster will affect the growth society in a very bad way. Secondly, the presence of some social groups or movements in a society that promotes education, empowerment, champion social right etc. and hold the government accountable will also contribute to social development.
- Systematic Factors: These are factors that borders on a stable and efficient government, availability of resources, and a diverse social movements in the society. The bulk of this factor is particularly the government as the rest is mostly a constituent of it.
THE DRIVERS OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- Education: Education is the number driver of social development. Education does not just mean the acquisition of degrees as many think but the acquisition of skill set that one can use to drive change in his life and that of the society. Education also incorporates the improvement of ones mindset to provide solutions to the problems that bothers the society. Any society that must be inundated with development must erect its foundations on quality education. A practical and problem solving educational system must be developed to groom children and adolescence to be equipped with the tools and skill set that will translate to social development. Any society that has a rotten or dead educational system should not expect developments as they will be continually led by charlatans who are devoid of knowledge and ability to run their affairs, but swim in corruption. Such societies will only live in circus; willingly slaving for other developed societies with joy.
- Capital: Social development does not come cheap and for that reason capital remains an important requirement. To implement the aims and objectives of a society to achieve growth and development does not only require plans and strategies but money. Without adequate capital, it will be very hard for plans and strategies to be implemented accordingly. Societies must look inwards to discover how to generate capital to accomplish their agenda. They must learn how to harness their natural resources to grow capital to sponsor their affairs. They must also seek the best financial instruments that soothe them, and ways to raise it for developmental cause.
- Technology: Technology is at the heart of everything that we do today in the world, and for that reason, no society can witness massive growth in the absence of technology. Every society must adopt technology in health, agriculture, finance, government, and all sectors to provide improved life and well being for their people. The medieval approach of doing things must be discarded. Unfortunately most societies are still operating and doing things in the 19th century way. The only way that guarantees the forwardness of a society is by embracing the technology that the 21st century provides, and even more, discovering their own technology and using it to effect change in their communities; creating opportunities for increased growth of the economy.
- Infrastructures: Visible and speedy social development is mostly activated by infrastructural development. With adequate infrastructure, a society will attract businesses locally and internationally. Infrastructure motivates and triggers small and medium enterprises upon which most economies are sustained. Dubai is a good case study of how a cutting edge infrastructural development can drive massive social development in a short period of time. Infrastructural facilities include buildings, roads, and power supplies. In this 21st century, any society that does not have steady power supplies and good roads will remain under developed.
- Policies: Good policies contribute a lot to the development of a society. Any society that does not practice freedom of speech, promote citizens right, and other basic policies that gives the citizens power to question the government and lodge their concerns will lag behind in the social development journey. Also, a policy that creates an enabling business environment is also very essential. No society should joke with fiscal policies. The leadership of a society must constantly promote policies that will attract businesses and drive development. Little or no change will occur in an environment where the government lords itself over her citizens or in a society where its policies does not encourage and promote businesses.
To wrap it up, the society must constantly be aware of what is happening around the world as it will to remain relevant and explore opportunities as it avails itself. Societies should invest more on child social development; they are the people who eventually take over the reins. A society should create a master plan that will enable it develop in stages and stay focused. Building of strong institutions should be nonnegotiable for societies that desires and strives for development.