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.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia

We note with passion that as the 2015 deadline approaches, Africa’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals remains uneven.Remarkable advances have been made in areas of human development, such as net primary school enrollment, gender parity in primary education, the representation of women in decision-making, some reduction in poverty, immunization coverage, and stemming the spread of HIV

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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.

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics

The UN has long emphasized human security, in all of its dimensions.1 When I was chief economist of the World Bank, we surveyed thousands of poor people throughout the world to ascertain what was of most concern to them, and at the top of the list (along with the obvious concerns about a lack of income and insufficient voice in the matters that affected their lives) was insecurity—vulnerability.2

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 2014 Report advocates for the universal provision of basic social services to enhance resilience, refuting the notion that only wealthy countries can afford to do this. This graph presents a comparative analysis of countries of differing income levels and systems of government that have either started to implement or have fully implemented such policies.