Edited by Khadija Haq and Richard Ponzio
Mahbub ul Haq, the father of human development, shaped development philosophy and practice in over four decades. A biography has now been published as a tribute to his pioneering work of putting people back in the front of development.
The book; Pioneering the Human Development Revolution: An intellectual Biography of Mahbub ul Haq, edited by Khadija Haq and Richard Ponzio, was launched last week at UNDP in New York by Professor Amartya Sen, long time friend and colleague of the late Mahbb ul Haq. Sen talked about ul Haq’s intellectual capacity, personal commitment and good communication skills. “Mahbub understood long before me that if we should succeed in communicating our message, we would need numbers and new statistics as a way of getting the media’s and people’s attention”, Sen said.
Another of his friends and colleagues, Sir Richard Jolly, remembered Mahbub ul Haq for the opinion that “what we need today is not so much intellectual brilliance, but intellectual bravery”.
Together with amongst others Amartya Sen and Richard Jolly, Mahbub ul Haq, founded the UNDP Human Development Report. Director of the Human Development Report Office, Jeni Klugman facilitated the launch, which was opened by Khadija Haq, President of Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre in Pakistan.
“Mahbub ul Haq initiated a global movement for people-centric development where education, health, and political and economic empowerment together became the yardstick for measuring a country’s performance” Khadija Haq said. She also talked about the effect Mahbub al Haq had on people. “In 1968 October, Mahbub became critically ill and the medical system in Pakistan at that time could not cope with his illness. President Ayub Khan, whose government Mahbub criticized earlier for crony capitalism, took the extraordinary steps to send Mahbub to London for treatment saying, we must save this national treasure”.
After a career in shaping economic policies for his homeland, Pakistan as Finance Minister, influencing policies at the World Bank and other international development fora, Mahbub came to work for UNDP in the 1990s. “All the seeds of human development that had been growing in Mahbub’s mind over the previous 30 years blossomed. Working with the Human Development Report gave Mahbub the world stage to propagate his ideas for human development, human security and women’s empowerment. Finally, Mahbub had a home run!” Khadija Haq said.
Comprising essays of Haq’s intellectual partners and colleagues, Pioneering the Human Development Revolution: An intellectual Biography of Mahbub ul Haq traces the evolution of his ideas, especially the links he established between economic growth, people’s well being and poverty alleviation. Each essay situates and discusses his contribution to the larger development debate and assesses the impact of his ideas on the contemporary to the larger development debate and assesses the impact of his ideas on the contemporary global development agenda.
The biography is published by Oxford University Press and can be ordered here.
From left: Richard Ponzio, Sir Richard Jolly, Khadija Haq, Amartya Sen, Jeni Klugman, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, and Gustav Ranis
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