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.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

I am honoured to join in marking the 25th anniversary of the Human Development Report. For too long before the advent of this landmark series, a nation’s prosperity was viewed solely through the lens of economic growth. This approach obscured a central truth: people are the real wealth of a nation.

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.

Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town

In a world that is so divided by inequalities in wealth and opportunity, it is easy to forget that we are part of one human community. As we see the early impacts of climate change registering across the world, each of us has to reflect on what it means to be part of that family.

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.