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.

Selim Jahan, Director of the Human Development Report Office

'It is an intellectual enterprise' as Mahbub ul Haq, a fan of the Star Trek, would fondly refer to the Human Development Report – his brainchild, and sure, he was the captain of the enterprise. Needless to say, Amartya Sen in many ways was the navigator of it.

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.

Paul Streeten, Economics Professor

In 1990 the time had come for a broad approach to improving human well-being that would cover all aspects of human life, for all people, in both high-income and developing countries, both now and in the future. It went far beyond narrowly defined economic development to cover the full flourishing of all human choices.

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 2010 Report was the first to rigorously review longer-term human development trends—looking back at Human Development Index (HDI) indicators for most countries from 1970. By doing so the Report revealed new insights about the countries that performed best, and the varying patterns of progress.