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.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

I am honoured to join in marking the 25th anniversary of the Human Development Report. For too long before the advent of this landmark series, a nation’s prosperity was viewed solely through the lens of economic growth. This approach obscured a central truth: people are the real wealth of a nation.

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.

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.