The Human Development Report (HDR) was first launched in 1990 with the single goal of putting people back at the center of the development process in terms of economic debate, policy and advocacy. The goal was both massive and simple, with far-ranging implications — going beyond income to assess the level of people’s long-term well-being. Bringing about development of the people, by the people, and for the people, and emphasizing that the goals of development are choices and freedoms.
The Report addresses, as its main issue, the question of how economic growth translates - or fails to translate - into human development. The focus is on people and on how development enlarges their choices. The Report discusses the meaning and measurement of human development, proposing a new composite index. But its overall orientation is practical and pragmatic.
It summarizes the record of human development over the past three decades, and it analyses the experience of 14 countries in managing economic growth in the interest of the broadest possible number of people.
With this as its foundation, the Report then sets forth strategies for human development in the 1990s, emphasizing the importance of restructuring budgetary expenditures, including military expenditures, and creating an international economic and financial environment conducive to human development.