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.

Helen Clark, Administrator United Nations Development Programme

It has been 25 years since the first Human Development Report (HDR) introduced a new concept for advancing human wellbeing which challenged the notion that the level of economic growth and of GDP per capita were the leading indicators of a country’s progress.

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.

Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation and Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Simply stated, universality of human rights means that human rights must be the same everywhere and for everyone. By virtue of being human, every individual is entitled to inalienable rights and freedoms. These rights ensure the dignity and worth of the human person and guarantee human well-being.

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 2013 Human Development Report foresaw an increase of the Human Development Index (HDI) in all regions, especially Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia by 2050 as seen on the graph.