Hans Rosling gave a talk over at TED about "the myth of developing countries". It's worth watching the presentation just to see how creatively data can be presented. For example, the United States' wealth per capita increased much faster than its health per capita did. Meanwhile, India (among other countries) has shown the opposite trend: it became healthier faster than it became wealthier. He also points out that the goals of development are not necessarily the same as the means of development. For example, development relies to a large degree on a stable government, but government is certainly not the goal of development. And while human rights is an extremely important goal of development, Rosling points out that it's not really crucial to modernization.
Anyway, it's a delightful talk - interesting and funny - and well worth the fifteen minutes. And I almost forgot - he does a magic trick at the end, to prove that "the seemingly impossible is possible."