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.

Winnie Byanyima, International Executive Director, Oxfam

It is an opportune moment to reflect on the importance of the first Human Development Report, twenty-five years ago. Human Development appeared as a concept in the midst of intense debates that were challenging both GDP growth as a measure of national progress and the Washington consensus.

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 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.