Human Development’s Role in Achieving Economic Sustainability


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Economic sustainability in a country is gauged through human development, as it entails improving the populace’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies. Countries can harness the full potential of their citizens by providing them with basic amenities of life such as extensive education opportunities, a proper healthcare system, and technical education for skills development. Through the provision of basic amenities, human resource is developed, and it acts as a driving force that propels countries towards sustainable economic growth, transforming them into vibrant and resilient economies. This question explores how human resource development leads a country towards economic sustainability.

Understanding the relation between human resource development and economic sustainability

Jumping towards the maxim how human resource development leads a country towards economic sustainability, it is of great importance to understand the relationship between human resource development and economic sustainability. Indeed, the correlation between human resource development and economic sustainability is direct and positive. The effective evolution of the former is directly related to the latter’s growth. For instance, many developed and some developing countries, like BRICS, have proven the integrity of this statement by focusing and investing in their human resource. Evidently, their developed human resource ultimately resulted in resilient economies.

How human resource development leads a country towards economic sustainability?

    Human resource development directly leads countries towards economic sustainability in the following ways.

  • High literacy rate steering towards human development                      

High literacy rate is one of the pivotal factors promising human development in a country that is integral for economic sustainability. Providing extensive education opportunities to adults across the nation without discrimination inevitably reflects a bright future for the government on the economic horizon. In this context, countries across the globe have prioritized the skills and qualifications of individuals required to contribute to the country’s economic growth. For instance, China has introduced reforms and has invested heavily in its education system. As a result, “Chinese students have ranked first in mathematics, reading, and science among participating countries,” according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018. Thus, education is indeed indispensable for a proficient populace and fundamental to the country’s economic sustainability. 

  • Research and development leading towards innovation, certifying human development

Further, research and development driving towards innovation are also of great imminence in human resource development, ultimately steering a country toward economic sustainability. Focusing and investing in research and development fosters an environment capable of driving innovations in various industries. Many countries, namely South Korea and Brazil, have focused and invested in research and development in multiple fields. For instance, South Korea ranked first in 2021 in the Bloomberg Innovation Index, reflecting its strong commitment to research and development and the quality of its human resources. Thus, investments in research and development drive innovation and developed human resources, propelling the country toward economic sustainability.

  • High employment rate ensuring human development

Adding more to it, a high employment rate in a country is one of the prerequisites for human resource development that is indispensable for economic sustainability. When the government focuses on providing unemployed graduates with natural work environments according to the need of industries, unemployment reduces significantly. In this context, Malaysia has introduced Malaysia Training Scheme to achieve high employment rates. According to this scheme, more than 340,000 graduates have been trained, increasing their employability, and contributing to human capital development. Therefore, it is evident that human resource development is achieved through employment opportunities, plunging the country towards unsurpassable economic sustainability.

  • Technical education steering in the direction of human development

Next, technical education, undoubtedly, constitutes the bedrock over which the whole building of human resource development stands still, which, in turn, steers a country on the road to economic sustainability. It aims to provide opportunities for adults to gain hands-on experience and build a skilled labour force to meet the demands of the ever-growing global economic landscape. For instance, to develop modern technical skills, the United Kingdom has taken the initiative to provide individuals with specialized education and lifelong learning opportunities to keep citizens relevant in the evolving job market. In the context of this initiative, the National Skills Fund, the UK government, has announced an initial investment of £2.5 billion in 2021. So, the industry contributes to the country’s economic sustainability via investment in technical education. 

  • Gender equality assuring human resource development

Moreover, gender equality is also indispensable for human resource development in a country, ensuring all individuals have equal access to quality education, healthcare, skill development programs, and employment opportunities irrespective of their caste, creed, and gender. It leads towards an inclusive, educated, skilled workforce with diverse talents and capabilities. Such an inclusive workforce propels the country towards innovation, productivity, and economic sustainability. Sweden presents a glaring example in this context, as its proactive policies for an inclusive, adaptable, and diverse workforce have resulted in financial sustainability. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, in terms of gender equality, “Sweden has ranked fourth out of 156 countries. The report indicates that it has almost achieved gender equality and human resource development.” Hence, there is no denying that human resource development leads towards economic sustainability.

  • Healthy individuals playing a crucial role in human development

Lastly, individuals’ health is also concurrent with ensuring effective human resource development in a country. Health is not only crucial for individuals but also equally important for the states to attain economic sustainability, as it enhances productivity, skill development, and adaptability of citizens. Moreover, a country with healthy citizenry experiences lower absenteeism rates in the workplace owing to illnesses. According to a report published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, “The cost of absenteeism due to poor health accounts for up to 6-10 per cent of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP).” Thus, healthy employees are more likely to be present at the workplace and contribute to the country’s economic sustainability. 

Case Studies

  • India

    A lot of developing countries have in fact developed human resource that has led them towards economic sustainability. First, India has a substantial proficient populace, especially in Information Technology (IT) industry, which has driven the country towards economic sustainability. The country’s focus on producing IT professionals and investing in technology education has been instrumental in this success. It has been projected by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) that the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry of India is projected to reach USD 350 billion in revenue by 2025, employing over 4.5 million professionals. This is how investments in human development lead towards the destination of economic sustainability.

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Next, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) human capital investment is also worth mentioning. The UAE has significantly invested in human resource development to attain sustainable economic growth. The country’s investment in education and training has resulted in an adaptable, skilled, and competitive workforce required for the rapidly changing world economic landscape. In the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, “The UAE was ranked first for government investment in education worldwide.” Hence, the vitality of human development cannot be negated in economic sustainability in the country.

Critical Analysis

Critically, human resource development is indispensable for the sustainable economic growth of a country. When a nation focuses and invests in its human resource through the provision of extensive education and health facilities and develops a skillful and inclusive workforce, it marks a turning point from where the journey of economic sustainability begins. After its successful beginning, it ends in the virtuous cycle of financial sustainability.


In a nutshell, human resource development is simultaneous with the economic sustainability of a country. The prerequisites of human resource development include proper health care, extensive education, and job opportunities. Therefore, by providing educated, inclusive, adaptable, and proficient workforce economic sustainability of the country becomes inevitable. In this context, many countries, namely Singapore, Norway, Germany, and others, have achieved sustainable economic growth via human resource development.

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