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.

Helen Clark, Administrator United Nations Development Programme

It has been 25 years since the first Human Development Report (HDR) introduced a new concept for advancing human wellbeing which challenged the notion that the level of economic growth and of GDP per capita were the leading indicators of a country’s progress.

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.

Robert M. Solow, Nobel Laureate, Economics, 1989

Everyone now seems to agree on the desirability of sustainable development. Even pure technological optimists accept the importance of sustainability-they just believe that human ingenuity will naturally find a way to achieve it (a risky position, but not nonsensical).

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.

The 2013 Human Development Report revealed the rise of the South was radically reshaping the world of the 21st century, with developing nations driving economic growth and societal change. Among other issues, the Report projected that the trade between countries in the South will overtake that between developed nations.