What are disparities?

Disparities are differences that exist. In the world there are many types of disparities, and they occur at different scales (i.e. globally, regionally, nationally, within districts, and within local areas). This unit examines disparities between countries. It seeks to;

  • uncover patterns of disparities that exist between countries.
  • discover connections between variables that relate to disparities.
  • explain why disparities between countries exist.
  • consider how key disparities between countries may be reduced.

Activity 1 – Immersion via the Trading Game

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 17.00.13The Trading Game is an activity that helps to show how disparities are created and maintained. It is produced by the charity Christian Aid.



Reflection Questions:

Think about these questions but go further:

What was your country? How well did it perform in the game?

Why did your country perform so well/poorly?

What happened in the game that mirrors what takes place in the real world?

What might be done to make the game fairer in future?

To what extent did trade help to reduce disparities in game?

Activity 2 – Patterns of disparities

a) Within countries – Article from the Guardian, April 2017

b) Between countries

  1. Download the G10 Disparities Data sheet 2019 containing selected countries of the world. Complete it by adding one set of appropriate quality of life data obtained from The World Bankgapminder.org  or the CIA World Factbook (possible examples might include; income per person, life expectancy etc). The World Bank also has this new site with world development data

2. Produce a choropleth (density shading)  map to display your data. You will need printed A3 copies of the NASA World Map map outline.

  • Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.41.37Choose a range for the group values you will use. 4 groups is probably best.
  • Give your map an accurate title
  • Give your map a key and indicate scale
  • Use clear labelling
  • Colour code (if it is helpful)

3. Describe any patterns that you can observe from the maps you create. The description should include; the overall pattern, specific details using data from the map and the identification of any anomalies.

4. Now compare your map with three other maps produced by your classmates. Are the patterns similar? Why ?

Activity 3 – Developing a quality of life index

  1. Using 3 data sets that reflect quality of life, construct an index that will order the countries identified in Activity 2 according to their level of development.
  2. Produce a quality of life Index – http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi
  3. Rank the countries based on this data – Add the 3 columns/divide by 3 – use these numbers to rank the countries – What patterns do you observe about these countries?
  4. Now compare your results with the latest UNDP HDI:2018 UN HDI Report