3.5 Implementing Long-Term Follow-up

Follow-up represents a continuation of the advocacy effort, impact monitoring and influence assessment over the long term (table 5). The goal is to maintain the focus on development and to provide a solid foundation for relevant policies and practical programmes and projects in the months and years ahead.

Elements in long-term follow-up
Shape and implement a follow-up strategy by enlisting institutions involved in the HDR Maintain the communities of practice and knowledge networks on the dedicated website Institutionalize the collection of data on the issues raised in the HDR Be alert to join with the government and stakeholders in initiatives addressing the issues Produce new reports at regular intervals; include updates on past HDRs Regularly report on impact monitoring and follow-up to UNDP to nourish the feedback loop
  1. In shaping and implementing a follow-up strategy, enlist the institutions that have contributed to the content of the HDR.
  2. Maintain the communities of practice and the knowledge networks on the dedicated website so as to stay up to date on the theme and issues, including technical issues, and to manage new knowledge.
  3. Collaborate with statistical users and producers to identify methods and approaches to institutionalize the collection of data on the sorts of indicators and levels of disaggregation that will be needed to monitor progress in the country in the various areas of human development, including development disparities across population groups.
    By monitoring and regularly publishing data on indicators to gauge the impact of policies and track progress in socio-economic development, the HDRs help focus attention on the achievement of national and international development targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
    The UNDP Country Office, Regional Bureau, or Regional Centre and other stakeholders should therefore systematically review the impact of all a country’s or region’s reports, as well as the global HDRs, on policy and the national or regional development agenda and the contributions of these reports to progress towards global development targets, including the Sustainable Development Goals. Convene 6- and 12-month meetings of the steering committee and other stakeholders to review impacts and progress in addressing the report themes and related issues.
  4. Remain alert to join with the government, non-governmental actors and other stakeholders whenever opportunities arise to implement the report recommendations or to affect other initiatives related to the report themes and issues.
  5. Placing human development at the centre of national policy debates requires a high-quality product produced at regular intervals.
    A cycle of one or two years should become the norm for the production of HDRs. Include updates on progress in realizing the recommendations of past HDRs. The success of the HDRs in informing government policy in Chile is partly because of the regularity of the reports. Guatemala represents an example of the cumulative impact of the regular publication of reports. India has been prolific in producing subnational HDRs.
  6. Regularly report all results of impact monitoring, influence assessment and long-term follow-up to UNDP. Regular reporting to UNDP thereby helps nourish the HDR-UNDP feedback loop (box 1)

The national and regional HDRs are central elements in global UNDP policy dialogue and advocacy. Thus, especially through the Human Development Report Office, UNDP analyses national and regional HDRs for innovations, good practices and initiatives that might be replicated and then feeds the results of these analyses back into various UNDP policy and advocacy initiatives, including subsequent HDR processes.

UNDP Country Offices, Regional Bureaux and Regional Centres should therefore share their experiences in the HDR process through regional discussions, UNDP and partner conferences, the global UNDP network, staff secondment or any other useful means. In this way, the initiatives of other UNDP Country Offices, Regional Bureaux, Regional Centres and national, regional and international partners may benefit from the accumulation of examples of good practice and lessons learned.

The HDRs are likewise core components of the profiles of UNDP Country Offices, Regional Bureaux and Regional Centres. Indeed, they are used as evidence in the Assessments of Development Results, which are independent country-level evaluations produced by the UNDP Evaluation Office to assess the relevance and strategic positioning of UNDP’s support to a country’s development. The purpose of these evaluations is to advance organizational accountability and learning and strengthen the effectiveness of UNDP plans and programmes.

They also frequently figure prominently in initiatives on impact monitoring, UNDP programme and financing plans, the results-based management framework, resource mobilization campaigns and so on.

At all stages of HDR preparation, beginning with the identification of the theme, UNDP actively consults with the United Nations system on the specific contributions the reports can make to the common purposes.

Although the national and regional HDRs are not specifically designed to guide United Nations cooperation programmes, they are instruments in the establishment of strategic partnerships. In particular, there are two key mutually reinforcing links among these HDRs, the Common Country Assessments and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, as follows:

  • The national and regional HDR analyses and the indicators used in the reports provide critical inputs for the preparation of the Common Country Assessments and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.
  • The priorities set out in the Common Country Assessments and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework provide national and regional HDRs with a solid foundation for impact monitoring across options, strategies and interventions.

UNDP also uses the national, regional and global HDRs as tools in its relations with non-governmental organizations and civil society, particularly in its role in building analytical and advocacy capacity and as a partner in strategic analysis that responds to the development needs of countries.

For these reasons, the participatory nature of the HDR process represents a major opportunity for HDR contributors to influence planning and project implementation across the United Nations system. The analysis and policy recommendations provided in the national and regional HDRs can contribute to the analytical underpinnings of the operational programmes of UNDP and other development partners.

Country Offices should therefore draw fully on national HDR data and analysis in preparing their results-oriented annual reports and in contributing to Common Country Assessments and the country-specific United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

Clearly, the UNDP feedback loop initiated by the publication of a national or regional HDR leads back, ultimately, also to the UNDP input for the preparation of new HDRs.