Rearticulating Human Development: HDRO and International Science Council launch global call for expert inputs

30 April 2020
By HDRO

Today, the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has partnered with the International Science Council (ISC) to launch a global call for expert contributions on the theme, “Rearticulating Human Development.”

The call is part of a joint HDRO-ISC project that seeks to integrate emerging dimensions of human development into a new paradigm.

Since its initial release in 1990, the Human Development Report (HDR) has been influential in broadening the scope of the concept of human development by informing decision makers of its multi-dimensional nature.

Fundamental shifts are now taking place in how we understand ourselves and our connections to local and global societies in the light of new technologies, socio-political realities and deep environmental changes. Meanwhile, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflects the recognition of the increased complexity and interconnections of sociotechnical and socio-environmental issues, but they do not specify pathways or approaches to meet the goals.

This juncture provides an opportunity for critical review and rearticulation of the human development paradigm to reflect the evolving landscape and to provide a conceptual framework to guide analysis, measurement and decision making to support the achievement of the SDGs.

The HDRO- ISC Committee members, led by Peter Gluckman, President-elect ISC and Chair of the ISC Committee for Science Planning and HDRO Director, Pedro Conceiçao, mapped six emerging dimensions of human development that respond to the global challenges that humanity faces today:
• Environmental Changes and Sustainability
• Collective and Relational Dimensions
• Human Well-being and Personal Development
• The Digital Transformation
• Local Specificities
• Global Interdependencies

With these dimensions as a guiding framework, UNDP and ISC have launched the call for expert contributions, seeking to gather voices from around the world to discuss some of the key topics in the human development debate.

Interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to respond to some or all of the following questions or submit an essay or think piece (maximum of 2000 words) :
1. How could we rethink our conceptual understanding of human development?
2. What are the major emerging challenges to human centred development in the world today?
3. How can the human development approach inform public debates and decision makers about current and future challenges?
4. What would be a meaningful and useful definition of human development – for our changing world – according to you?

The responses will feed into the project report to be jointly published by HDRO and the ISC towards the end of 2020.

The deadline for submitting contributions is 31 May 2020.

Visit the project website for the full details: https://council.science/human-development/