2015 marks 25 years since the first Human Development Report introduced a new approach for advancing human flourishing. And while the expression “human development” is widely used, it is understood in different ways around the world.
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.
When I think about human development, I often recall the speech that Nelson Mandela gave in 2005 at a rally to make poverty history. He said: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.
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.
A concept is always broader than any of its proposed measures. Any suggested measure for any concept cannot fully capture the richness, the breadth and the depth of the concept itself. This is true of the notion of human development as well.
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.
'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.
From a human development perspective, work, rather than jobs or employment is the relevant concept.
We note with passion that as the 2015 deadline approaches, Africa’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals remains uneven.Remarkable advances have been made in areas of human development, such as net primary school enrollment, gender parity in primary education, the representation of women
In 2003 I was invited to become a Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP. I was delighted to accept because I have long been a firm believer in UNDP’s mission and in human development. People are born equal; everyone should have the same right to realize his or her potential as a human being.