In general, socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society. Although this has been contested, it is usually measured with indicators, such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment. Changes in less-tangible factors such as personal dignity, freedom of association, personal safety and freedom from fear of physical harm, and the extent of participation in civil society are also sometimes considered. Causes of socio-economic impacts are, for example, new technologies, changes in laws, changes in the physical environment and ecological changes.
Many people who work in the public sector – international development, public policy or even politics general lay at least some claim to a commitment to socio-economic development.