Session 2: Understanding the development issues facing Odisha

Geography (Ages 11-14)
Session 2: Understanding the development issues facing Odisha
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground
  • Understanding the development issues that Odisha faces
Key Messages

Different Backgrounds, Common Ground: We all want the same things! (To feel safe, live comfortably, to support ourselves and our families and protect our loved ones.) Where we live and our access to resources ultimately affect how we achieve these.

  • Understand ways in which a country’s development can be measured
  • Appreciate that with development comes change
  • Compare countries
  • Identify key development factors for Odisha
Links to National Curriculum

Analyse and interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.



  • Introduce the concept of measuring the development of countries as a form of statistical comparison.
  • “Development” is a measure of how economically, socially, culturally or technologically advanced a region (eg a country) is. The two main ways of measuring development are economic development and human development.
  • Economic development includes a country's wealth and how it is generated. Human development incorporates wealth, jobs, education, nutrition, health, leisure and safety as well as political and cultural freedom.
  • Two other terms commonly used to compare countries are standard of living (material elements, such as wealth and nutrition) and quality of life (health and leisure).
  • There is no one way to calculate the level of development because countries' economies, cultures and people are so different, so geographers use a series of criteria known as development indicators, for example:
    • Health: Does the population have access to medical care? What level of healthcare is available - basic or advanced? Is it free?
    • Industry: What type of industry dominates? LEDCs (Less Economically Developed Countries) focus on primary industries, such as farming, fishing and mining. MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries) focus on secondary industries, such as manufacturing. The most advanced countries tend to focus more on tertiary or service industries, such as banking and information technology.
    • Education: Does the population have access to education? Is it free? What level of education is available (i.e. primary, secondary or further/higher education)?

Activity 1

  • Explain that the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) is a mix of indices that show life expectancy, knowledge (adult literacy and education) and standard of living (GDP per capita), that gives each country an HDI value ranging from 0 to 1.
  • Before showing the following United Nations Development Plan HDI to students, ask them which three countries they’d expect to be at the top of the list. Now show the link: Were they right? Are there any surprises? What do they make of the UK’s ranking (Page 2 of 19)? What about India's ranking? (Page 14 of 19)
  • In mixed ability groups, using MV Geography Resource 2.2.1 Orissa Development Indicators, MV Geography Resource 2.2.2 GDP Odisha Sudan and MV Geography Resource 2.2.3 Literacy rates Orissa students compare the information provided for Odisha and India, considering:
    • How representative is Odisha’s HDI of India as a nation?
    • How reliable is this data?
  • Discuss student findings.  Explain that the problem with these statistics is that they can be misleading, because the indices used are often a collective generalisation of many different indicators, which may differ from country to country, are not always easy to collect or keep up to date. They also tend to represent the average for the whole country, so do not reflect the extremes and or variations in particular regions

Activity 2

  • The same mixed ability groups.
  • Hand out printed copies of MV Geography Resource 2.3 Sectors of industry information card (1 per group)
  • Project MV Geography Resource 2.4 Odisha's industries slide
  • Students sort industries into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary as defined by their information cards.
  • Discuss how the balance between industry sectors changes as a country develops using students’ understanding of the UK as a comparison


  • Recap on key learnings from session
  • Consider other ways in which regions and countries can be categorised and compared (e.g. their size, population)
  • Introduce the homework.


  • Hand out worksheets MV Geography Resource 2.5.1 HDI worksheet . Plot a development graph showing the comparative development trends of the following four countries:
  • UK (Very high human development)
  • China (High human development)
  • India (Medium human development)
  • Central African Republic (Low human development
  • Write two sentences (or longer for more able students) to explain the information shown by your graph.
  • MV Geography Resource 2.5.2 HDI Graph answer slide can be used at the start of the next session.