25 Years of Human Development Thinking

HDialogue: 25th Anniversary Special Articles

How has Human Development contributed and influenced the international debate? What are the challenges ahead? Development leaders reflect on these issues in a special series of the HDialogue blog.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia

We note with passion that as the 2015 deadline approaches, Africa’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals remains uneven.Remarkable advances have been made in areas of human development, such as net primary school enrollment, gender parity in primary education, the representation of women in decision-making, some reduction in poverty, immunization coverage, and stemming the spread of HIV

Leading Commentators on Human Development

Over the last 25 years, Heads of States and Government, Nobel Laureates and others have contributed to the Human Development Reports. Here you have some of their insights and ideas.

Ole Henrik Magga, Former Chairman of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

"Development divorced from its human or cultural context is growth without a soul. Economic development in its full flowering is part of a people’s culture."
—World Commission on Culture and Development 1995

Visualizing 25 Years of Human Development

Human Development Reports have been pioneers in measuring and visualizing human progress. This section displays some influential graphs and visualization that have contributed to advance new ideas.

The 2011 Report publication forecasted that unchecked environmental deterioration - from drought in sub-Saharan Africa to rising sea levels that could swamp low-lying countries like Bangladesh - could cause food prices to soar by up to 50 percent and reverse efforts to expand water, sanitation and energy access to billions of people, notably in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.