Through national and regional offices, regional programmes, the Bureau for Development Policy, the Human Development Report Office and other channels, the United Nations Development Programme offers tools, mechanisms and strategy insights to support the preparation of Human Development Reports and the related analysis and provides additional assistance to HDR teams.
All stakeholders, networks of coordinators and principal authors associated with HDRs at all levels past and present and other experts can take part in animate global Teamworks and UNDP knowledge virtual networks and communities of practice, where they may peer-review reports, provide advise and share experiences on critical process issues and advocacy for human development, the use of indicators and statistical data and the application of HDR principles, especially to ensure quality reports in countries with modest capacities on all aspects of Human Development reporting. Regional and national networks (See Box. 1), linked to the global hub, may facilitate exchanges in cooperation with Country Offices, the Sub-regional Resource Facility system within the Bureau for Development Policy, and others in UNDP Regional Bureaux and Regional Centres. Smaller groups also exist that focus on emerging human development challenges, such as conflicts, complex emergencies, political and economic transition, high debt burdens, the theoretical and practical links between human rights and human development, or special geographical situations.
The human development community is the foundation of the participation, consultation and partnerships, as well as advocacy, that are so crucial within the HDR process.
A national or regional HDR is locally based, which means that it draws on national and regional development actors and capabilities at all stages. Wide local participation is important for information sharing, responsiveness to local needs and expectations, the full consideration of policy alternatives and the acquisition of allies in the implementation of recommendations.
Every effort should therefore be made to represent the diverse national interests and viewpoints of stakeholders of all stripes, including local communities, local government officials, academic leaders, civil society organizations, associations of marginalized population groups, social workers, representatives of rural groups, labour, policy makers and parliamentarians, local media, the private sector and so on. There should also be a focus on gender balance and balance across population groups and geographical areas within the national or regional community.
Whether one is constituting a group of technical advisors, reviewers, or readers, engaging expert analysts to probe the theme of the report, inviting written contributions, seeking financing, or surveying the opinions of focus groups or the public at large, inclusiveness extends to the HDR consultations. This means that contacts should be substantive within a broad spectrum of local, regional and international practitioners, researchers, policy theorists, statistics experts, academics and other experts. The aim should not be to achieve consensus, but to gain insight.
It is crucial to knot ties with key sectoral and institutional partners, including academic groups, professional associations, donors, international financial institutions, UNDP and other United Nations organizations, and other non-governmental, bilateral and international organizations. Such partners will be able to support the collection of data, foster exchanges of information on institutional experiences and good practices across countries and regions, deepen the analysis of the theme and the issues to be addressed in the HDR and contribute to the dialogue over alternative policy approaches.
Early engagement with the government, particularly relevant line ministries and the national statistics office, is important. Especially as major architects of public policy, the government and government-sponsored institutions should be encouraged to become open and willing partners, ready to support the HDR process, to implement the recommendations of the report and to be receptive to advocacy in areas related to the theme of the report.
The human development community thus created can serve as a mechanism for the distribution of the report, impact monitoring and sustained advocacy and follow-up for HDR policy recommendations and human development initiatives more generally.
The media should not be ignored. During start-up, begin assembling broad media lists and initiate and nurture contacts with key media figures interested in the themes and issues of the HDR, including newspaper editors, reporters for specialized publications on economic, social and development topics, columnists, radio and television personalities and so on. Consider involving select media representatives as substantive partners in the HDR process by acting, for example, as moderators or panelists in workshops, discussion groups, or media events. A media focal point might be designated early on to act as a reliable source for journalists on development issues year-round.Such initiatives would support the effective implementation of the media and communications strategy that should be carried out during the HDR process. Indeed, participation and advocacy go hand in hand and appear as elements from the beginning to the end of the process.
Bureau for Development Policy
The Bureau for Development Policy advises on process management, provides operational assistance and facilitates regional support groups. BDP can offer policy expertise, particularly through field-based policy specialists.
The BDP Sub-regional Resource Facility and the Human Development Resource Centres established in several regions provide substantive support to national and regional HDRs. The capacity to apply human development concepts and methodologies is viewed as a core competency of staff. All members of the network’s decentralized thematic teams must be able to accomplish the following:
Policy advisers associated with the Bureau for Development Policy and the Sub-regional Resource Facility network represent a rich resource for supporting the Country Offices, Regional Bureaux and Regional Centres and the national and regional HDR teams in translating the findings of the HDRs into tangible recommendations for UNDP and other organizations within the United Nations system. (See the launch and follow-up modules).The resident representatives in each subregion must ensure that HDR processes receive appropriate priority in BDP work plans. Knowledge networks and communities of practice are able to supply additional support through an extended website, databases and substantive discussions.
In close collaboration with partners in national government, academia and non-governmental organizations, the UNDP Country Offices are responsible for UNDP’s contribution to national HDR financing, production, dissemination and follow-up. Based on regular consultations with national and international partners, Country Offices also identify issues relevant to the local situation and determine the content and frequency of the publication of HDRs. They select the mode of production, advise on appropriate measures to ensure editorial independence, and initiate policy debates and dialogue. Country Offices monitor the impact of the HDRs on policy, advocacy, development planning, partnerships between civil society organizations and government, public debate and media coverage. The national HDR focal point is usually located within the Country Office.
Human Development Report Office
Located at UNDP headquarters in New York, the Human Development Report Office explores and advances the human development approach and the measurement of human development through the global HDRs. It nourishes a human development community consisting of people and institutions within and outside UNDP throughout the world. Within this community, HDRO sustains a global network of people working on HDRs. Expert knowledge on the creation of the reports resides in this network, which helps HDRO review the analysis and measurement of human development in national and regional HDRs and assess the adaptation of global themes at the local level.
HDRO has evolved a systematic framework to maintain the highest standards of quality and policy relevance in national and regional HDRs. It thus produces support material for HDR teams, including a comprehensive toolkit , human development measurement guidelines, regularly updated development measurement tools, and a synthesis of good practice that is embodied in the UNDP quality standards on HDRs. These tools and many other tools, as well as all national, regional and global HDRs, are available on UNDP HDRO website. HDRO also publishes an HDR brochure and prepares, updates and distributes checklists, statistical templates and other supplementary materials.
In cooperation with Regional Bureaux and Regional Centres, HDRO provides guidance with a view to fostering the sharing of experiences and knowledge on the HDRs across regions and with partners in academic institutions and international development organizations, including other United Nations agencies. Thus, for example, it seeks to nourish the flow of information between the global HDR and regional and national HDRs by promoting the sharing of research, new methodologies and expertise in both directions. It facilitates staff exchanges to promote capacity development. Similarly, it conducts local, regional and global training workshops.
HDRO supports a peer review process among members of national HDR teams and UNDP Country Offices within and across regions. This offers a unique opportunity for people with an understanding of the human development approach in one country to contribute to HDR processes in other countries. HDRO facilitates independent reviews through an international resource and referral group, including leading development experts, to ensure that quality national and regional analysis benefits fully from an international perspective and relevant experience elsewhere.<<hyperlink 10, to Drafts and publication module) Through this pathway, HDRO supplies independent advice to national and regional teams on specific subjects.
HDRO is always available to provide targeted online support and advice on demand. It maintains a roster of experts and supplies assistance in the consultations that are so important throughout the HDR process. It can recommend writers, editors, designers, translators, and printers or publishing houses. HDRO can help launch the HDR, and it can assist in publishing the HDR online.
Finally, in 2000, HDRO introduced the biennial HDR excellence awards to identify and acknowledge excellence in HDRs and to act as incentive for the outstanding achievements of national HDR teams and Country Offices in all aspects of the HDR process, including monitoring and policy impact.
Regional Bureaux and Regional Centres
Like BDP, the Regional Bureaux and Regional Centres advise on process management, provide operational support and facilitate regional support groups. They can also help with tasks such as mobilizing resources, providing assistance with regional programmes and ensuring the independence of national HDRs. The coordination they supply can strengthen the alignment of analysis, policy and advocacy.
Teamworks is a globally available, secure Web 2.0 social networking platform that enables United Nations organizations and their external partners to leverage the collective knowledge of communities, individuals, programmes and projects.
Teamworks is a by-invitation-only interactive platform. It was launched in November 2010 as a arich, full-featured platform to incorporate the feedback received from users during the earlier test prototype phase. The current version represents an important milestone in the development of the platform.
By using Teamworks, HDR teams are joining thousands of colleagues across the United Nations family and across the globe to share knowledge and expertise and collaborate in ways not previously possible. The participation related to UNDP includes UNDP staff. It also includes hundreds of individuals who have been involved in HDR processes or who have an interest in the human development approach. Many of these individuals are active in academic and policy institutes, governmental agencies, or non-governmental or international organizations.
Training in Human Development
The Training in Development website helps strengthen the conceptual and practical understanding of human development and participatory HDR processes by offering numerous links to various training opportunities, some of which are free and online. The categories of events and courses include recurrent training and regional training initiatives to support capacity-building, as well as the following: