A country's level of development is influenced by a number of interrelated factors. While it is difficult to separate these factors, they can be broken down into five major categories: historical, political, economic, social and environmental. Most developing nations of the world face development challenges as a result of a combination of these factors.
Some environmental factors which contribute to a country's level of development, such as natural disasters, are beyond human control.The very high rate and level of development experienced by most rich countries of the world is another factor which perpetuates many challenges faced by people in developing countries.
Looking into the past gives humans an enormous insight into the present. Using historical analysis in development geography helps to explain why many countries face development challenges, because a country's history is a huge contributing factor to its level of development.Often, analysing a country's history will provide explanations for many of the political, economic, social and environmental factors that also contribute to its level of development.
The political environment of a country, which is often closely linked to its history, also has a significant impact on its level of development. In general, governments have the power to take actions which direct a country's social and economic development. In many developing countries with unstable political histories, however, government corruption and greed have caused problems which have hindered such progress.
Diplomacy fail caused by political tensions - within and between countries - also hinder governments' abilities to find solutions to development challenges. This is because government instability are very costly and can cause widespread death and destruction. It also cause disunity amongst the population, which can lead to a breakdown in social cohesion.
Developing countries that lack a stable system of government often become burdened with political crises which impede their development. These political problems can sometimes become firmly established and some countries can find it difficult to recover from them.
Many developing countries of the world like Nepal are heavily indebted (owing money) to international financial institutions and foreign banks based in developed countries. The debt Nepal is facing today is a result of large loans that were issued. While these loans initially came attached with low interest rates, over time the banks which lent out the money have increased the interest rates on repayments. In most cases, interest rates have been increased to levels which are near impossible for developing countries to meet. In this way, debts continue to accumulate, and the money which could be spent by governments on such things as infrastructure and healthcare is spent on repaying debts.
Another factor which has exacerbated both the debt crisis and economic challenges in general in Nepal is government corruption. They borrowed money from foreign creditors or international banks, for example, have since undergone periods of autocratic rule. During these periods, some leaders have laundered public money instead of repaying the country's debt.
The process of globalisation has significantly changed the nature of how countries of the world trade their goods with one another. The free market system of international trade, while benefiting the economies of most developed countries of the world, has adversely affected the economies of many developing countries.
One way in which the global free trade market has done this is through the introduction of reduced protective tariffs and increased exclusionary trading blocs. Tariffs are a form of tax placed on foreign goods that arrive in a country. When a tariff is placed on an imported product, the price of that product in the receiving country will be higher and consumers will therefore be less likely to purchase it. Which China does with American products. Sometimes countries place tariffs on goods which they produce domestically for protective reasons.
Even though tariffs are often designed to protect local producers, they contradict the principles of the free market economy. Proponents (advocates) of free trade believe tariffs are harmful and free trade bodies, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), endeavour to eliminate tariffs entirely. The introduction of free trade principles and the reduction of tariffs in developing countries have, however, already adversely affected millions of poor people around the world. Globalisation has led to a rise in powerful transnational corporations, which often outsource their labour to countries where workers are exploited.
Nepal lack basic infrastructure, such as roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, schools and welfare services for the disadvantaged. This is because there is not enough public money (money raised by the government through taxes and national industries) to invest in the infrastructure which ensures that people's basic needs are met.
A lack of government spending on promoting contraception (prevention of pregnancy) in Nepal has also seen birth rates rise considerably. High birth rates exacerbate problems related to poverty, as often we do not have the social or economic stability to support such a large population. It should be noted, however, that people's decisions not to use birth control are often also cultural and/or religious. Poor health standards and low levels of education can also lead to the spread of sexually-transmitted infections, and diseases passed from person to person through contact with contaminated blood and water.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic currently crippling many developing countries of the world is an example of the devastating impacts that health-related problems can have on a country's level and rate of development. In the past two decades, HIV/AIDS has claimed the lives of around 20 million people and infected close to double this number of people, mostly in developing countries.
One significant environmental factor that can contribute to a country's level of development is the availability of natural resources. Nepal is naturally rich in flowing water, medicinal plants , etc for example, do not need to spend money on importing these resources, one of which is use to produce renewable energy. When exported, natural resources also generate wealth for countries, which means that money can then be spent on other, new industries. Countries with well-developed industries are able to provide jobs, infrastructure and services for their populations, which increase the overall quality of life of their citizens.
Other natural factors that create and exacerbate global inequalities are natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, etc .The 2015 earthquake which caused over 9000 deaths and devastated many regions , was an example of a natural disaster which severely hindered the development.