The third South Asia Human Development Report 1999 was produced by the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Center with the assistance of UNDP. According to the report, South Asia is facing a crisis of governance which, if left unchecked, could undermine the region’s democratic progress, and the economic and social well-being of its people. Home to nearly one-fourth of the world’s population, the region is characterised by governments that represent the poor but aid the rich; taxation that is insufficient and regressive; and expenditures that are misdirected and ineffective. In addition, millions of dollars are transferred out of the region every year through corruption. South Asia today features societies that assert the rights of some but perpetuate the exclusion of others. The report analyses issues of governance from political, economic, social and civic perspectives. It provides an in-depth analysis of the phenomenon of corruption and advocates a concrete and realistic reform agenda for promoting ‘humane governance’ in the region. In this regard, the report introduces a new index that ranks countries according to their performance in the spheres of economic, political and civic governance.