UNDP Holds Consultation on Human Development Report 2014

Nov 9, 2013

Addis Ababa played host to a regional consultation on the forthcoming 2014 Human Development Report (HDR), which is scheduled to come out under the title ‘Sustaining Human Progress: Addressing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience’.

The report is expected to  raise particularly universal issues affecting global youth development. The report embraces a theme that ‘puts people first’, according to Amy Gaye from the Human Development Report Office (HDRO). HDR 2014 is expected to broaden understanding of issues in order to help countries build robust policies and structures for reducing risks to populations and hence progressively raise their standards of life. 

HDR 2014 also marks a shift or change from previous HDRs in that, rather than, "having a moving goal post’ where country progress is measured against trends that vary through time, it has adopted a ‘fixed goal post [approach] with different dimensions over a period of five years", highlighted Eva Jespersen from the HDR Office.  In so being, country progress will therefore be measured upon several fixed trends over a period of five years.

Commending the rich narrative that the HDR brings to development discourse every year, Honorable Trevor Manuel, Minister in the Presidency in charge of National Planning Commission in South Africa, repeatedly cautioned that data in the report should match this ‘good narrative’.  He noted the need to ensure the good narrative and data produced mismatch is eliminated will influence/ result in evidence-based policy making, which is much required in Africa’s development endeavours as the lives of many depend on information thus generated. ‘Discourse on the Human Development Report is fundamental, it has profound impact on decisions we make’, he added, also saying that metrical data is more reliable, but this can be challenging given Africa still lacks capacity to produces statistics that inform the findings of reports such as the HDR.

African Union Commissioner for Economic Affairs Dr. Anthony Maruping stressed the need for ensuring that recommendations are put into practice across Africa. He noted that ‘Africa still needs to strengthen the private sector’ through ‘including vulnerable people into the value chain even as suppliers’.

Dr. Fannie Leautier, Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) noted that the role of countries in engaging at policy level makes country by country consultations very crucial in bringing out greater values towards transformation. The ‘2014 report will do a lot of good for Africa; [it]creates balance and caution for countries to check on what is envisioned as progress for Africa’ she also noted.

The 2014 HDR presents findings from analysis of 132 countries which had the most data for the period between 1990 and 2012.

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