The biggest strength of this report is that it clearly provides a comprehensive profile of the state of human development in the country. Such a profile simply must be of great use for the Lao government and its development partners as a source of information and inspiration for policy dialogue and planning. The report also focuses on the importance of translating economic growth into human development, a vital challenge for Lao PDR. Moreover, it provides a very interesting disaggregated Human Development Index by region, showing a significant difference in the level of human development in the north, south and centre of the country. Finally, the presentation of the social development indicators is very interesting; it was the result of an important collaborative effort with various line ministries.
The report focuses on livelihood security and empowerment. It attempts to set out at some length the distance travelled since the last report. This report aims at increasing transparency and depth in the presentation of district-level information and strengthening the available information on human development.
The Cambodian report is mainly descriptive one focusing on the subject of gender disparities in economic and social opportunities. It looks at the cultural and legal context such as the importance of old Khmer kinship structures for women’s position in Cambodia.
The sixth Human Development Report for Bangladesh explores the concept of Sustainable Livelihoods. An attempt is made to define this – still relatively new concept – and to use it for analyzing the state of Human Development in Bangladesh.