This regional Human Development Report makes the case for the integration of risks and for strategies to reduce disaster risks by incorporating the role that people play, both as victims/survivors of disasters and as agents
of change, within development interventions. This proactive approach can be summarized as reducing risks for people and by people. The implications of such a paradigm shift are paramount for the countries of the Western
Balkans, prone as they are to natural and human-made hazards and given their willingness to build on the human potential within their societies. It would help countries safeguard existing and future investment, protect
lives and livelihoods and empower people so that they are able to contribute to risk reduction.
The 2015 National Human Development Report “Growth that works for all” examines how a policy framework based on inclusive growth can offer a pathway to advance human development in Viet Nam - as it enters a new and challenging stage of its development. Using the lens of human development, this report takes a people-centered approach, examining Vietnamese people’s inclusion in the country’s development process since the late 1980s. The report finds that in the early and mid Doi Moi years Viet Nam performed well on both human development and economic growth. Economic expansion was inclusive, with benefits widely distributed and opportunities shared. Yet in recent years, the report finds that Viet Nam’s strong performance has waned, and especially after the 2008 global financial crisis. Growth has fallen and disparities between regions, provinces and population groups have not been closed. While the past growth has brought significant social transformation, evident in the shrinking population shares of the poor and near poor, and the rapid expansion of the lower middle class, those in the middle are far from secure, and those still in poverty are harder to reach, particularly within remote ethnic minority communities.
This edition of the National Report on Human Development is published at a time when the world is about to enter a new era of multilateral cooperation, crucial for the future of the planet for the next fifteen years. In September 2015, on the occasion of the 70th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, UN member states adopted in New York a new international agenda for sustainable development, including 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs ) ambitious and integrated, aimed in particular the eradication of poverty and hunger worldwide by 2030. Called to take over the Millennium development Goals (MDGs) from 1 January 2016, ODD carry with them unprecedented innovations. Universal, these objectives apply to all. Cross, they integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. They reflect a transformative vision of the economy to sustainable patterns of production and consumption.
With the recent economic downturn-and its impact in the region- as well as partially improved social protection systems in the region, UNDP estimates that about 1.5 million more men and women will back-slide into poverty by the end of this year. They will join the 1.7 million people in the region who already fell back into poverty in 2014 —for the the first time in a decade— according to UNDP estimates.
This new upcoming report shows that what determines people to move out of poverty (good quality education and employment) is different from what “slides them back into poverty” (existence of social safety nets and household assets).
UNDP is focusing on how to build “resilience”, or the ability to absorb external shocks—financial crisis or natural disasters—without major social and economic setbacks. This is particularly important for the region’s 200 million vulnerable people: those who are neither “poor”, living below a US$4/day poverty line, and have been unable to move to middle class status (over US$10 /day). Initial estimations put 30 million people in risk of sliding into poverty or vulnerability
In this context the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNDP is preparing its 2016 Regional Human Development Report, which will also include policy recommendations that reflect the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the new global development agenda, with the Sustainable Development Goals, which was approved in September 2015 during the UN General Assembly session in New York.
This virtual space has the aspiration to become a discussion platform where written and audiovisual materials prepared by UNDP and citizensand citizens from the region can be shared, commented, discussed and serve as elements for learning and exchange.
This third Human Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean is an editorially independent publication commissioned by UNDP. This report is being prepared with financial support from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID, in Spanish). Over 20 regional authorities take part in the report’s Advisory Board including Ministers, Senators, academics and the current leaders of the region’s major multilateral organizations.