Human Development Awards

The Human Development Awards Programme offers highly visible incentives to reward and catalyze the production of higher quality and more influential regional, national and sub-national Human Development Reports (HDRs).

Organized every two years by the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) since 2000, the Awards Programme recognizes high-impact HDRs and the teams responsible for them through a widely publicized judging process and final Awards Ceremony.

The Human Development Awards are designed to:

  • advocate the human development approach and core principles of national ownership, independence and objectiveness, and participatory process;
  • encourage further innovation with respect to HD concepts, measurement, capacity building, analysis, and advocacy for people-centered development policies;
  • demonstrate the effective use of the HDRs as an advocacy tool in support of the MDGs, human rights and other national priorities;
  • share national, sub-national and regional HDR good practices, while encouraging partnerships at the country and regional level;
  • strengthen and promote the effectiveness of HDRs in drawing on and feeding into the strategic work of UN Country Teams;
  • honor governments that put human development at the heart of the political agenda and national strategies; and
  • engage the media on substantive issues though extensive outreach.

The Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development

In addition to the various Awards presented to regional, national, and sub-national HDR teams, each Human Development Awards Programme also includes the Mahbub ul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development.

This Award was created to honour Mahbub ul Haq (1934-1998), the leading development thinker who pioneered the human development approach and founded the global Human Development Report. It is presented to a leading national, regional or world figure who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to furthering HD understanding and progress.

The Mahbub ul Haq Award alternates between recognizing political leaders and civil society leaders. Recipients of this Award include:

  • 2009 - Frances Stewart, author, researcher and advocate of human development
  • 2007 - Sheila Watt-Cloutier, arctic community activist
  • 2004 - Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC)
  • 2002 - Fernando Cardoso, President of Brazil, 1995-2002