UNDP releases Human Development Report 2016 (March, 2017)
22.03.2017 14:15:17 - UNDP releases Human Development Report 2016 (March, 2017)
The Human Development Report 2016 ‘Human Development for Everyone’ released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) looks into these two questions: Who has been left behind and why?The world’s top three countries in HDI are Norway (0.949), Australia (0.939) and Switzerland (0.939).
In past decades, there has been significant gains in human
The report also looks to what societies should do to advance human development for everyone. It sets forward policy recommendations at the national level and also looks at ways in which the global development landscape could be made more effective in the fight to leave no one behind and achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The report finds that although average human development improved significantly across all regions from 1990 to 2015, one in three people worldwide continue to live in low levels of human development.
It is time to face up to deep-rooted barriers to development
The report argues that obstacles to human progress can compound over generations and make it harder to catch up. Further, the report points out that even as many basic deprivations are being addressed in the region, new challenges can emerge.
The report calls for far greater attention to empowering the most marginalized in society, and recognizes the importance of giving them greater voice in decision-making processes.The report also calls for a more refined analysis to inform actions, including making a shift toward assessing progress in such areas as participation and autonomy. Key data, disaggregated for characteristics such as place, gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity, is vital to know who is being left behind.
The report includes recommendations to reorient policies to ensure progress reaches those furthest behind, and urges reforms of global markets and global institutions to make them more equitable and representative.
Moreover, the report warns, key development metrics can overstate progress when they focus on the quantity, rather than the quality, of development.
Policies that prioritize inclusiveness are key to closing gaps
The report recommends a four-pronged national policy approach to ensure that human development reaches everyone.
First, it advocates reorienting universal human development policies to reach to those left out. Universal access to quality healthcare, education and other services are critical for extending human development to everyone. Ghana has made such efforts, including in early childhood education.
Next, it calls for removing barriers to particular groups with special needs, who may be disadvantaged by discriminatory laws and social norms. For example, gender gaps can be closed with policies that balance care work between women and men in the home and that use quotas to expand political representation among women, following the example of Rwanda.
Third, strategies can be put in place to make human development more resilient, such as for marginalized groups who are most at risk to public health crises like Ebola and climate-related natural disasters.
Finally, the rights of minorities can be guaranteed with anti-discrimination legislation, a fair judicial system and improved access to legal assistance through, for example, legal aid services. With the inter-governmental commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, global attention has focused on leaving no one behind. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa can leverage this to build cooperation in the region and beyond to tackle persistent deprivations and inequalities. Regional and global cooperation will be especially important for reducing the vulnerabilities of marginalized groups to climate change, conflict and economic volatility.
India’s Performance in HDI
India slipped down one place from 130 to 131 among the 188 countries ranked in terms of human development as per the 2016 Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
India’s human development index (HDI) value of 0.624 puts it in the “medium human development” category, alongside countries such as Congo, Namibia and Pakistan. It is ranked third among the SAARC countries, behind Sri Lanka (73) and the Maldives (105), both of which figure in the “high human development” category.
The report says 1.5 million people worldwide still live in multidimensional poverty, 54% of them concentrated in South Asia. While poverty fell significantly from 1990 to 2015, inequalities sharpened in the region.
Noting that women, on an average, have lower HDI than men across the world, the report pointed out that the largest gender disparity in development was in South Asia, where the female HDI value is 20% lower than the male value.
While India’s HDI value increased from 0.428 in 1990 to 0.624 in 2015, it still had the lowest rank among BRIC nations. However, its average annual growth in HDI (1990-2015) was higher than that of other medium HDI countries.
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Dr. S P Sharma
Chief Economist & Director-Research