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.

Stephen Hawking, Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, University of Cambridge

As a theoretical physicist I understand very well the concept of vulnerability: there is little in the cosmos that is not susceptible to harm. Even the very universe itself may someday come to an end.

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.

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, the 2009 Human Development Report revealed that most migrants do not cross national borders, but instead move within their own country. 740 million people were internal migrants, almost 4 times the number of international migrants according to 2007 data.