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Starting the report

This module provides guidelines on the characteristics of the initial steps in a successful Human Development Reporting process.

The initial steps are the selection of the theme of the report, the mobilization of resources, the building of the national or regional report team and related structures, and the launching of outreach. The sequence in the implementation of these steps will depend greatly on the local context and the dynamics of the situation. In fact, it is likely that all the steps will be undertaken concurrently. We therefore do not propose a timeline for the initial steps, but, instead, highlight the intersection of the steps (see below). The the boundaries in the timeline for the initial steps melt into each other, as well as into elements of the HDR process that are realized fully only much later and are presented in other modules.

This is clearest in the case of the roles and responsibilities of the major actors who support the HDR process. Thus, some members of the national or regional HDR team will necessarily have to be identified and engaged to help select the theme of the report, while the appropriateness of the participation of others — specialists in the theme, for example — will only emerge after the theme has been determined.

Likewise, exploring the feasibility of selecting one or another theme may demand preliminary contacts with sources of financing to ensure that the theme has the potential to attract adequate funding. To locate and survey potential partners during the initial mobilization of resources, the basic features of an outreach strategy will probably have to be established.

Financial sponsors, including the United Nations Development Programme will likely want to obtain a preliminary understanding of budgetary issues as well as, the long-term national or regional HDR management structure and the report methodology. The effort to mobilize resources will also therefore likely require some early decision-making on these matters, such as the creation of a work plan and a structure for advocacy initiatives.