25 Years of Human Development Thinking

HDialogue: 25th Anniversary Special Articles

How has Human Development contributed and influenced the international debate? What are the challenges ahead? Development leaders reflect on these issues in a special series of the HDialogue blog.

HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

In 2003 I was invited to become a Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP. I was delighted to accept because I have long been a firm believer in UNDP’s mission and in human development. People are born equal; everyone should have the same right to realize his or her potential as a human being. But although this should be the case it is often not so.

Leading Commentators on Human Development

Over the last 25 years, Heads of States and Government, Nobel Laureates and others have contributed to the Human Development Reports. Here you have some of their insights and ideas.

Paul Streeten, Economics Professor

In 1990 the time had come for a broad approach to improving human well-being that would cover all aspects of human life, for all people, in both high-income and developing countries, both now and in the future. It went far beyond narrowly defined economic development to cover the full flourishing of all human choices.

Visualizing 25 Years of Human Development

Human Development Reports have been pioneers in measuring and visualizing human progress. This section displays some influential graphs and visualization that have contributed to advance new ideas.

For the first time, the 2010 Report examined Human Development Index (HDI) data through the lens of inequality, adjusting HDI achievements to reflect disparities in income, health and education. The HDI alone, as a composite of national averages, was hiding disparities within countries, so these adjustments for inequality provided a fuller picture of people’s well-being.