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Towards 2023 HDR

The 2021/22 HDR revealed a startling reality: for the first time ever, the global HDI declined two years in a row, driven by a new “uncertainty complex,” of which the Covid-19 pandemic is emblematic. Apart from widely differing rates of access to vaccines, trust and social polarization influenced its course. Covid-19 is but one example of the failure of collective action, including to provide a global public good - pandemic preparedness and control - layered on top of troublingly low levels of trust within polarizing societies. The challenge going forward is that as societies become more linked in multiple ways, addressing shared challenges and the provision of global public goods will become ever more important. Collective action on challenges ranging from climate change mitigation to peace and security, is frustratingly slow. Lack of trust and polarization, both associated with perceptions of insecurity, exacerbates the gridlock. 

The 2023 HDR aims at understanding this gridlock and explore how to enhance collective action. It opens a trilogy of reports framed by the three layers of the uncertainty complex identified in the 2021/22 HDR: widespread, intensifying societal polarization, delaying collective action (2023 HDR); rapid technological change, particularly digital technologies, impacting on prospects for human development (2024 HDR); the intertwined planetary pressures and inequalities of the Anthropocene shaping opportunities for human development well into the future (2025 HDR).

Timeline of global consultations

The 2023 HDR Advisory Board

The 2023 HDR Advisory Board is co-chaired by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore; and Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University (see the complete list of members below)

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    Tharman Shanmugaratnam

    President of Singapore (Co-chair)
    Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam is the President of Singapore, following several years of serving as Senior Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and as Minister of Finance. He is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies and advises the Prime Minister on economic policies. He is concurrently the Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator. Tharman co-chairs the Global Commission on the Economics of Water. He also chairs the board of trustees of the Group of Thirty, an independent council of economic and financial leaders from the public and private sectors and academia. He recently served on the High-Level Advisory Board established by the UN Secretary-General that made recommendations for the 2024 Summit of the Future. Tharman had earlier co-chaired the G20 High Level Independent Panel on financing the global commons for future pandemic security in 2021. He also led the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance, which in Oct 2018 proposed reforms for a more effective system of global finance for growth, sustainability and financial stability. He was also Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) from 2011-2014, the first Asian to hold the chair. Tharman has co-chaired the Advisory Board to the Human Development Report since 2019, as well as the Global Education Forum. He is also on the External Advisory Group to the IMF Managing Director, and the World Economic Forum’s Board of Trustees. Tharman has spent his working life in public service. In addition to his responsibilities in the Government, he is currently Deputy Chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and chairs its Investment Strategies Committee.
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    Joseph E. Stiglitz

    University Professor, Columbia University (Co-chair)
    Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. Stiglitz was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and the John Bates Clark Medal in 1979. He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. In 2011 he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz's research focuses on income distribution, climate change, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books including, most recently, People, Power, and Profits, Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy, and Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited.
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    Olu Ajakaiye

    Executive Chairman, African Centre for Shared Development Capacity Building, Nigeria
    Prof. Olu Ajakaiye is a Fellow and past President of Nigerian Economic Society. He is currently Chairman, African Centre for Shared Development Capacity Building (ACSDCB), Ibadan Earlier positions he had held include: Director, Economic Development Department, NISER, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan (1999- 2004) and Director of Research, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) Nairobi; Kenya, 2004-2011). Prof. Ajakaiye was President, Nigerian Economic Society (2013-2015), Member, National Conference, 2014; Member, National Economic Management Team, 2013-2015, Vice President for Africa, Intergovernmental Council of Management of Social Transformations (MOST) of UNESCO (2000–2004); editor, Journal of Economic Management (1995–2002); Business Manager, African Journal of Economic Policy (1994–2004) and Editor, AERC Supplement of the Journal of African Economies (JAE) (2004-2011). Chairman, National Core Team for the preparation of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP) (2002) and Chairman, Economic Policy Working Group of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, Federal Ministry of Agriculture (2014). He served on National Working Committee for the Preparation of Nigeria’s Vision 2010 and 2020 as well as the Economic Recovery of Growth Plan, 2017-2020, Advisory Panel of the UN African Human Development Report, 2011, Advisory Committee of the Centre for Globalization and Development, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Technical Advisory Group of the Natural Resource Charter, University of Oxford, Advisory Board, 2016 Human Development Report, New York; Advisory Board, 2019 Human Development Report, UN, New York, among others. Prof. Ajakaiye consults for several international organizations including The World Bank, UNECA, UNDP, ECOWAS, IDRC, ACBF, JICA (UK), EU, DFID, British Council, BMGF, and numerous Nigerian government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
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    Scott Barrett

    Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University
    Scott Barrett is the Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Centennial (Visiting) Professor at the London School of Economics. He taught previously at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC and, before that, at the London Business School. He has been a visiting scholar at École Polytechnique, the Institute for Advanced Study (Berlin), Princeton, Sciences Po’s Paris School of International Affairs, Yale, and Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is a Fellow and former chairman of the advisory board of the Beijer Institute in Stockholm. His books include, Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making and Why Cooperate? The Incentive to Supply Global Public Goods, both published by Oxford University Press. He received the Publication of Enduring Quality Award by the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) and the Erik Kempe Prize by the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He was made an AERE Fellow and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Bath. He has played a variety of roles in the policy arena, including as a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, lead advisor to the International Task Force on Global Public Goods, and member of the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group on malaria eradication. He received his PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.
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    Kaushik Basu

    Professor of International Studies, Cornell University
    Kaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and the Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, and a three- year term as President of the International Economic Association. He was Chief Economist of the World Bank from 2012 to 2016, and prior to that Professor Basu served as the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, 2009 to 2012. Earlier, he had been Director of the Center for Analytic Economics, 2006-09, and Chairman of the Department of Economics at Cornell, 2008-9. During his early career in Delhi, he founded the Centre for Development Economics, and served as the first Executive Director of the Center. Basu has published extensively in the areas of development economics, welfare economics, industrial organization, and game theory. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Republic of Beliefs: A New Approach to Law and Economics, Princeton University Press, 2018. In 2008 Kaushik Basu was conferred one of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, by the President of India.
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    Laura Chinchilla

    Former President of Costa Rica
    Laura Chinchilla served as president of Costa Rica (2010-2014) after having served as minister of public security, congressperson, and vice president. During her years in public service, Mrs. Chinchilla prompted police and justice reform measures to tackle crime and violence, digital and open government, the promotion of women's rights, and early childhood protection. She also promoted environmental sustainability policies, especially on preserving marine biodiversity, for which she was distinguished with international awards. Ms. Chinchilla is Vice President of the World Leadership Alliance Club de Madrid, Vice-President of the Advisory Board of IDEA International, Chair of the Inter- American Dialogue, and Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the Concordia Summit. She is also member of the International Olympic Committee, the Euro-America Foundation, and the Adrianne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council, among other organizations. She was Chair of the Kofi Annan Global Commission on Elections and Democracy on the Digital Age, and Chief of the Organization of the American States Electoral Observation Missions in México (2015), United States of America (2016), Paraguay (2018), and Brazil (2018). Ms. Chinchilla consults for several international organizations including the Inter-American Development Bank and the UNDP and has been visiting professor and fellow at the Institute of Politics and Public Policy of Georgetown University (USA), the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (México), and the Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil).
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    Diane Coyle

    Bennett Professor of Public Policy, Co-Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge
    Professor Dame Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Prof Coyle co-directs the Bennett Institute where she heads research under the themes of progress and productivity and has advised the government on economic policy. Professor Coyle is also a Director of the Productivity Institute, a Fellow of the Office for National Statistics, an expert adviser to the National Infrastructure Commission. She has served in several public service roles including as Vice Chair of the BBC Trust, member of the Competition Commission, of the Migration Advisory Committee and of the Natural Capital Committee. Diane was Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester until March 2018 and was awarded a DBE for her contribution to economic policy in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours. Her research interests include economic statistics and the digital economy, competition policy and digital markets, the economics of new technologies, natural capital, and infrastructure. She is the author of numerous books including Cogs and Monsters, Markets, State and People: Economics for Public Policy, and GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, all published by Princeton University Press, and she has published extensively in journals such as Nature, Economica, Regional Studies, Journal of Economic Methodology, and Review of Income and Wealth.
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    Oeindrila Dube

    Philip K. Pearson Professor at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy
    Oeindrila Dube is the Philip K. Pearson Professor at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on the political economy of development. I study topics like the link between poverty and conflict, and the role of trust and institutions in the spread of epidemics. In recent work, she has examined how community involvement affected responses to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. In other current projects, Oeindrila uses big data to understand radicalization in the Middle East, and experimentally examine strategies for improving community-police relations in the United States. Her research affiliations include the NBER, CEPR, BREAD, and J-PAL, where she serves on the Board as co-chair the Crime and Violence Sector. She is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Center for Global Development, and a co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics. She completed her PhD at Harvard University, her MPhil in Economics at Oxford University and her undergraduate degree at Stanford University. She was also the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship in 2002.
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    Cai Fang

    Chief Expert of National Think Tank, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
    Cai Fang is s an academician of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and serves as the chief expert of the National Think Tank at CASS. He also holds a position as a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People's Bank of China. Professor Cai has previously served as the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Director of the China-Africa Institute at CASS. He was also a member of the standing committee of the 11th, 12th, and 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) of China, and the Vice Chairman of the Rural Affairs Committee of the 13th NPC. His research focuses on various aspects of China's economy, including economic reform and development, population and labor economics, economic growth, income distribution, and poverty reduction. He has published extensively on these topics. Among his recent publications are "The Era of Population Decline" (CITIC Press, 2023), "China's Economic Development: Implications for the World" (Taylor & Francis, 2023), and "China’s Economic Growth Prospects - From Demographic Dividend to Reform Dividend" (Edward Elgar, 2016).
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    Marc Fleurbaey

    Marc Fleurbaey, Research Director, CNRS and Professor, Paris School of Economics; Associate Professor, Ecole normale supérieure, Paris
    Marc Fleurbaey is a Professor at the Paris School of Economics, Associate Professor at Ecole normale supérieure, Paris, and Research Director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris since July 2020. Prior to that, he was the Robert E Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies, and Professor of Public Affairs and the Center for Human Values at Princeton University, an economist at INSEE (Paris),and a professor of economics at the Universities of Cergy-Pontoise and Pau (France). He has also been a Lachmann Fellow and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, a research associate at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics and the Institute for Public Economics (IDEP, Marseilles), and a visiting researcher at Oxford. He is a former editor of the journals Economics and Philosophy and Social Choice and Welfare. He is a co-editor of Rethinking Society for the 21st Century, Report of the International Panel on Social Progress (2018), and the Oxford Handbook of Well-being and Public policy (2016), the author of Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare (2008), a co-author of A Manifesto for Social Progress. Ideas for a Better Society (with O. Bouin, M.L Salles-Djelic, R. Kanbur, H Nowotny, and E. Reis, 2018) Beyond GDP (with Didier Blanchet, 2013), A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare (with François Maniquet, 2011), and the coeditor of several books, including Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls (with Maurice Salles and John Weymark, 2008). His research on normative and public economics and theories of distributive justice has focused on the analysis of equality of opportunity and responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism and on seeking solutions to famous impossibilities of social choice theory. Marc Fleurbaey has a PhD in Economics from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris.
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    Ravi Kanbur

    Professor, Cornell University
    Ravi Kanbur is T. H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. Prof. Kanbur has served on the senior staff of the World Bank, including as Resident Representative in Ghana, Chief Economist of the African Region, and Principal Adviser to the Chief Economist of the World Bank. He has also served as Director of the World Bank's World Development Report. Prof. Kanbur is President of the Human Development and Capabilities Association, Past-President of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, Chair of the Board of UNU-WIDER, Co-Chair of the Scientific Council of the International Panel on Social Progress, past-member of the High Level Advisory Council of the Climate Justice Dialogue, member of the OECD High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance, and past-member of the Core Group of the Commission on Global Poverty. His recent books include a book on inequalities in Asia (co-authored with Changyong Rhee and Juzhong Zhuang from Asia development Bank).
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    Judith Kelley

    Dean, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University
    Judith Kelley is dean of the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and the Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy. A political scientist and expert in international relations, she examines how states, international organizations, and NGOs can promote political reforms within problem states, and how international norms, laws, and other governance tools influence state behavior. Her newest book, Scorecard Diplomacy: Grading States to Influence their Reputation and Behavior, focuses on the global fight against human trafficking. Kelley is a dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, and was the first in her family to attend college. Among her awards are the Sanford School’s Susan E. Tifft Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award and the Brownell-Whetten Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
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    Melissa Leach

    Director, Institute of Development Studies
    Melissa Leach is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). She co-founded and co-directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre from 2006 to 2014, with its pioneering pathways approach to innovation, sustainability and development issues. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded a CBE in 2017 for services to social science. A social anthropologist and geographer, her interdisciplinary, policy-engaged research in Africa and beyond links environment, agriculture, health, technology and gender, with particular interests in knowledge, power and the politics of science and policy processes. External advisory roles include: Strategic Coherence of ODA Research (SCOR) Board, Independent Member, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-food), Medical Research Council Global Health Group, ESRC International Development Advisory Group, Stockholm Environment Institute Science Council, Future Earth Science Committee, Vice Chair, 2012 – 2017, Lead social scientist, UK and WHO Ebola scientific advisory committees, 2014-15, Lead author, UN Women World Survey on the Role of Women in Economic Development, 2014.
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    Harini Nagendra

    Director Research Centre, Professor and Lead, Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability, Professor of Sustainability, Azim Premji University
    Harini Nagendra is an ecologist and Professor of Sustainability. Over the past 30 years, she has been at the leading edge of research examining conservation in forests and cities of South Asia from the perspective of both landscape ecology and social justice. For her interdisciplinary research and practice, she has received a number of awards including the 2009 Cozzarelli Prize from the US National Academy of Sciences, the 2013 Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar award, and the 2017 Clarivate Web of Science award. Her publications include the books "Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future", "Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities" and "Shades of Blue: Connecting the Drops in India's Cities (with Seema Mundoli) as well as recent papers in Nature, Nature Sustainability, and Science. Harini Nagendra writes a monthly column 'The Green Goblin' in the Deccan Herald newspaper and is a well-known public speaker and writer on issues of urban sustainability in India. She is also the author of The Bangalore Detectives Club, a historical mystery fiction series set in 1920s colonial Bangalore. Professor Nagendra has been a Lead Author on the IPCC AR5 reports, and a past Science Committee member of DIVERSITAS and the Global Land Programme. She engages with international science and policy through her involvement as a Steering Committee member of the Future Earth Programme for Ecosystem Change and Society, and an Advisory Board Member of the Future Earth Urban Knowledge Advisory Network.
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    Abebe Shimeles

    Honorary Professor at University of Cape Town, Outgoing Executive Director, African Economic Research Consortium
    Abebe Shimeles is currently Honorary Professor at University of Cape Town, Department of Economics. Previously he has worked for The African Economic Research Consortium, The African Development Bank, The World Bank, UNECA, ACTIONAID, Addis Ababa University, and Institute for the Study of Ethiopian Nationalities in different capacities. His recent research interest lies in the broad areas of development economics with a focus on Africa.
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    Belinda Reyers

    Professor of Sustainability Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa and Affiliated Researcher at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences
    Prof Belinda Reyers’ work bridges sustainability science and development practice. Together with regional and international collaborators from research, policy and practice, she focuses on co-producing and mobilizing research and knowledge to help build the understanding and capacity of early career researchers and practitioners to navigate the complex social-ecological development challenges facing Africa. These experiences also directly shape and inform the research programs she leads. A current focus of her collaborative transdisciplinary research is to understand the dynamic linkages between sustainability and equity, especially in the context of more complex, connected and uncertain futures. Prof Reyers received her PhD from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2001. She subsequently established and led the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where she worked as a Chief Scientist until 2015. From 2015 – 2018, Prof Reyers was the Director of the GRAID Resilience and Development program at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden. She returned to South Africa in 2018 to take up a Research Chair in Sustainability Science at Future Africa at the University of Pretoria.
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    Ilona Szabó de Carvalho

    Co-founder and President, Igarapé Institute, Brazil
    Ilona Szabó de Carvalho is a civic entrepreneur and a globally recognized thought leader. She is the co-founder and president of the Igarapé Institute – a global think-and-do tank committed to human, digital and climate security. Ilona serves on several boards, including the UNSG High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism, the Brazilian Center of International Relations (CEBRI) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso Foundation (FFHC). She is also the co-chair of the Global Future Council on the Future of Nature and Security and a former Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum. She was nominated in 2020 as one of the world's top 50 thinkers for the Covid-19 age by Prospect Magazine. She earned a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Uppsala in Sweden, is an affiliate scholar at the Princeton University Brazil Lab, and was a public policy fellow at Columbia University in NY. Ilona is a columnist at Folha de São Paulo, a podcaster and TV commentator, a TED speaker and an author of 3 books. Previously, Ilona was the Executive-Secretary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, coordinated a national gun control campaign in Brazil, and worked for 5 years in investment banks in Rio de Janeiro.
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    Krushil Watene (Ngāti Manu, Te Hikutu, Ngāti Whātua o Orākei, Tonga)

    Peter Kraus Associate Professor in Philosophy, University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau, New Zealand
    Prof Watene’s research addresses fundamental questions in ethics, politics, and Indigenous philosophy. In particular, it engages at the intersections of diverse philosophical traditions, transdisciplinarity, and the role of local communities for global change. Her primary areas of expertise include mainstream theories of well-being, development, and justice, Much of her work is written from the perspective of the 'capability approach' - improving people's lives by expanding their real opportunities to live the kinds of lives they value and have reason to value - and centers Māori and other Indigenous Philosophies. Prof. Watene's work is applied and engaged - encompassing a range of justice and ethical issues, in such areas as health policy, environmental sustainability, and a variety of development considerations, as they feature within communities. Prof Watene holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St. Andrews. She was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship in 2018 for research on intergenerational justice. She serves on the research committee of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga – New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, has served on the Strategic Leadership Group of Te Punaha Matatini, and is a member of the Independent Resource Group for Global Health Justice Prof Watene has been a member of the HDR Advisory Board since 2020.
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