development

A Hindu-Muslim Friendship That Helped Shape How the World Measured Poverty

One half of a friendship: Amartya Sen, the renowned Indian economist and a Nobel Prize winner, at a meeting in Brazil, 2012.  They were two young men studying at Cambridge University when they met in the wake of the bloody Partition of British India. One was a Kashmiri-born Muslim and the other a Hindu-born Bengali. But the two, Mahbub ul Haq of Pakistan and Amartya Sen from India, soon formed an intellectual bond and deep friendship. “It was an autumn morning in early October 1953 and Mahbub — elegantly attired (indeed I would say, nattily dressed) — was walking rapidly down King’s Parade on his way to the first lecture of the term by the redoubtable economist Joan Robinson,” Sen recalled in 1998, speaking at a memorial service for Haq, who had died that year at 64. “I was also going ther...

Counting what counts in development

To most people, “development” is best measured by the quantity of change – like gains in average income, life expectancy, or years spent in school. The Human Development Index (HDI), a composite measure of national progress that my office at the United Nations Development Programme oversees, combines all three statistics to rank countries relative to one another. What many do not realize, however, is that such metrics, while useful, do not tell the entire story of development. In fact, to understand how developed a country is, we must also grasp how people’s lives are affected by progress. And to understand that, we must consider the quality of the change that is being reported. When statisticians compare countries, they require commensurate data. To compare school attendance, for example,...

Human Development Index (HDI)

  Read this article published by HDRO and learn more about the history, dimensions and indicators of the Human Development Index: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi

Human security and natural disasters

The last few months have seen many natural disasters across the world, raising global attention on disaster risk reduction. In August, unusually heavy rainfalls flooded South Asia, killing over 1,200 people and displacing at least 2.5 million in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. On 7 September, the strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century killed 98 people, affecting 1.5 million in the state of Chiapas. Twelve days later, another major earthquake rattled Mexico City, killing over 300 people and injuring over 4,600. Three devastating hurricanes battered the Caribbean and the United States in August and September 2017, killing hundreds of people, displacing over 2 million and costing hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses. Two of these were Category 5 hurricanes, an exceptional ...

Evidence-based Human Development: Measuring the opportunity cost of teenage pregnancy in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a fast-growing economy with an average growth rate of around 5%, above the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) average of 2% over the last 10 years. In 2014 it moved up in human development category, from medium to high human development. Despite these changes, the DR has shown little progress in some key indicators of well-being. One of them is adolescent pregnancy – with 22% of women between the ages of 15-19 who have already become mothers. Importantly, this percentage has remained relatively unchanged over the last 30 years and is still 34% above the LAC average. Adolescent pregnancy is concentrated among the poor, affecting not only the opportunities for young mothers to escape from poverty and improve their human development levels, but also those of th...

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