The publication of a national or regional HDR is the centrepiece of a process involving participatory preparation, analytical research, extensive dissemination, regular impact monitoring and sustained advocacy and follow-up. (See the HDR quality standards module for details on the six core principles that any HDR should embody.) This HDR process is complicated. Many of the steps will probably have to be undertaken in parallel, and much careful planning and detailed organizing are necessarily involved. Nonetheless, if viewed broadly, the process is amenable to structuring according to a rough sequence of major process events (table 1).
Table1: The Timeline of Major HDR Process Events
Getting Started: Key steps during the start-up stage include the first efforts at establishing participation, undertaking consultations and tying building partnerships. These efforts should involve advocacy for the human development approach and steps to nourish the emergence of a human development community (see below). During this stage, the theme of the HDR is selected, potential donors for the HDR process are contacted, the report team is named, team members receive training and orientation, and the outlines of a communications strategy are identified. These steps may be expected to require up to six months.
Preparing the Report: Key steps during the production stage are centred on all elements highlighted in the production schedule, which is based on consultations among key actors in the HDR process. These steps include the research necessary to analyse the report’s theme and related issues and elaborate the recommendations to be presented in the report, the drafting of the report, the associated critical reviews, and the printing of the report. The analysis, drafting and reviews may be expected to require six to nine months; the printing and associated steps, such as copyediting, artwork, design and layout, and translation, may take six to ten weeks. The launch is the most significant transition point in the HDR process. At this point, the focus of all efforts shifts from preparation of the report to follow-up. The launch itself involves not only the mechanics of presenting the report and distributing it to stakeholders and the public, but also the public effort involved in implementing the media and communications strategy. The launch and associated initiatives, including the related workshops and press events, may be expected to require several weeks.
Making an Impact: Once the report has been printed and distributed, advocacy based on the findings and recommendations of the report begins in earnest among the target audience, other stakeholders, policy makers and the public. Follow-up also includes the monitoring of the impact of the report and the advocacy effort. The results of this monitoring are central to global UNDP policy dialogue, advocacy, resource mobilization campaigns and so on and are therefore communicated to UNDP. In total, the follow-up may be expected to last from the launch to the appearance of the next HDR and beyond: a period counted in months, but, more probably, a year or moreat least a year or even a couple of years.
Participation, consultation, partnerships and advocacy: These rely heavily on the human development community and regional human development networks (box 1). They have a pervasive role within the HDR process. Indeed, they are important across the entire timeline (table 1). The related contacts and initiatives, if they are to bear fruit, demand considerable inputs of time and energy from start-up.