26 April, 2016 - Demographic change in Asia and the Pacific is happening at a rate the world has never seen. An explosion in the working age population and a fall in birth rates that took a century in Europe are happening here in just 30 years.
If countries do not start planning for this demographic change, they will miss out on a unique opportunity to boost growth and investments for the future, says the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its latest Regional Human Development Report. They also risk a surge in youth frustration, exacerbating instability and conflict.
The report, entitled “Shaping the Future: How Changing Demographics Can Power Human Development”, notes that Asia-Pacific countries now have more working-aged people and fewer dependents than at any point in history, providing a springboard for growth. Region-wide, 68 percent of people are of working age and only 32 percent are dependents.
“When countries have a greater share of people who can work, save and pay taxes, they have the potential to transform their economies and power investments in healthcare, education and other building blocks of future prosperity,” said Thangavel Palanivel, lead author of the report.
The report calls for immediate responses and outlines “9 Actions for Sustainable Development”. These are concrete policies tailored to the demographic profile of individual countries.
For states with a large working-aged population, UNDP is calling for the creation of decent jobs to match the growing workforce, equal employment for women, and ways to turn savings into investments inside the region.“Growth, employment and migration in the west are inextricably linked to what happens in the east,” said Haoliang Xu. “The sun rises here, but its effects are soon felt on the other side of the world.”
There is no one solution for every country, but the region’s diversity provides room for south-south cooperation. Governments need to share experiences on long-term fiscal planning, including the sustainable use of tax revenue. Cooperation can also encourage safe migration from younger to older countries within the region and reduce the desperate flight of migrants to Europe.
“With 50 years of expertise and offices in 24 countries in Asia-Pacific, UNDP is ideally placed to help implement the ‘9 Actions for Sustainable Development’,” said Haoliang Xu. “We can facilitate partnerships combining domestic, international, public and private funding and expertise on youth, ageing, migration, social protection, climate change and disaster risk management, governance, urbanization and technology transfer. Please Click here to read the Japanese version
National Human Development Report 2016 tackles the topic of informal work - a pressing topic that affects not only economy but all segments of society. Every third person in Montenegro is fully or partly informally hired which puts them at risk of poor social and health protection. The report is offering focused perspectives and analysis of national circumstances and strategies for reducing the scale of informal economy and advancing human development. The aim of the report is to bring together the human development facts, influence national policy and mobilize various sectors of economy and segments of society. It introduces the human development concept into national policy dialogue on informal employment—not only through relevant indicators and policy recommendations, but also through the country-led and country-owned process of consultation, research and report writing.
NHDR on informal economy results in a set of policy options on how to reduce the volume of informal economy in Montenegro with the specific focus on informal employment. In other words, the report’s aim is to support the transition to formal economy. A set of adequate policies and ways to overcome the barriers to formalization were identified, while at the same time taking into account the most common limitations for the transition to formal economy.
This National Human Development Report (NHDR) of Mongolia -the sixth in the se-ries – focuses on youth. Through the me-dium of the human development approach, it analyses the opportunities, choices and challenges facing young people in Mongo-lia today. This approach places people at the centre of development. It concentrates on enlarging people’s opportunities and choic-es to live long, healthy and productive lives.
A key overriding message of this report is the contribution of youth to building a better tomorrow in Mongolia. This contri-bution depends largely on the capabilities and opportunities open to youth in making choices. Young people are the shapers and leaders of our global future.1 Like young people elsewhere, Mongolia’s youth pos-sess the potential to become the drivers of change and play a significant role in the na-tion’s future. They are the first generation in the country to have spent most of their lives under a democratic form of government. This has been crucial to their outlook and their experience.
At more than one million, youth aged 15–34 years represent the largest demographic group in Mongolia, accounting for 34.9 percent of the resident population in 2015 and a significant share of the people of work-ing age. Even by 2040, when the country’s population is expected to reach 4 million, an estimated 29 percent will be in the 15–34 age-group.
The annual growth in gross domestic prod-uct (GDP) of Mongolia increased to 6.7 percent in 2005–2010 and then accelerat-ed to 12.2 percent in 2010–2014. However, according to the World Bank, the growth in GDP is projected to have slowed to 2.3 percent in 2015 and to 0.8 percent in 2016 because of a sharp contraction in mining production and despite a gradual recovery in non-mining sectors.2 Nearly one person in five is living below the poverty line, and the regional disparities within the country are visible. Nonetheless, Mongolia has made substantial progress in the human develop-ment index (HDI) at the national level and is placed in the high human development category. Over the past two decades, Mon-golia has evolved into “a vibrant multiparty democracy with a booming economy”, and it is now “at the threshold of a major trans-formation driven by the exploitation of its vast mineral resources”.
To what extent are youth in Mongolia ben-efiting from the economic growth, the pro-gress in social development and the other opportunities? What challenges are they facing in making the choice to “achieve outcomes that they value and have rea-son to value”? What policies are in place to address these challenges? What can be done by stakeholders to include youth in the country’s growth and development? These are some of the questions motivat-ing this NHDR, which analyses the issues around four pillars of human development important to youth: developing capabilities, expanding employment opportunities, empowering youth, and enhancing human security.
Issued in 2008, the second National Human Development Report (NHDR) succeeded in realizing one of the most important goals of Human Development Reports: raising a debate on development policies among government officials, academics, intellectuals, media professionals, and civil society organizations. Today, with the increasing need to promote the government’s role as a caretaker of human development, this report focuses on
In a country where young people constitute a high percentage of the population, their success or failure will have a clear impact on society en masse. The number of Iraq’s children and youth increasing at an unprecedented rate. In
2010, Iraq had 5.1 million children and 6 million young people. These numbers are expected to run as high as 6.7 million and 9.6 million respectively in 2025, and 8.9 million and 14.9 million respectively in 2050.
This report is important given the data of the demographic window – that period of time in a nation’s demographic transition when the proportion of the working age population is particularly prominent for a decade or more – which has become of interest to states. It is an opportunity to realize development in Iraq, though this is conditioned on the positive response of the country’s socio-economic policies. Advancement is not guaranteed, as the
demographic window can be transformed into an element of social relapse, short-lived economic growth, increased unemployment, and a disintegrated labor market, which can trigger a raft of problems if proper development policies and strategies are not in place.
National awareness of youth issues is on the rise at various policy- and decision- making levels. There is also general awareness of the important role of this social group. Despite the growing interest in youth issues after 2003, however, the projects designed to empower and integrate the youth and engage them in development priorities, plans, and strategies have been impeded by violence and instability.
Through factual analysis and the integration of the vision and priorities of Iraqi youth, this report develops an integrated structure that combines youth issues with various dimensions of the development process. This will help to develop policies that address the role of the youth in the current and future human development process. And what makes the recommendations of this report even more important is that many of them reflect a reality that our youth teams and field work groups have explored through interviewing young Iraqis of different genders, ethnicities, education levels, and social and geographical backgrounds.