well-being

DATA2GO.NYC

Explore this online mapping on a broad range of issues essential for the well-being of New Yorkers created by Measure of America: https://data2go.nyc/map/?id=107*36047015900*ahdi_puma!undefined!ns*!other_pop_cd_506~ahdi_puma_1~sch_enrol_cd_112~age_pyramid_male_85_plus_cd_20~median_household_income_puma_397~median_personal_earnings_puma_400~dis_y_perc_puma_102~poverty_ceo_cd_417~unemployment_cd_408~pre_k_cd_107!*air_qual_cd~ahdi_puma*family_homeless_cd_245#10/40.8273/-73.9586 Photo: DATA2GO.NYC

The Pursuit of Happiness: paying greater attention to Mental Health

Sunday marks the United Nations’ 5th International Day of Happiness. Few people are against the pursuit of happiness, but many argue that governments – and international organisations for that matter – have no business in setting happiness as a public policy goal. And yet leaders around the world, from France to Japan, Italy to Qatar, are increasingly paying attention to it. Bhutan has long advocated for the use of a Gross National Happiness Index to provide a fuller assessment of national development progress than what is captured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the US Surgeon General sees happiness as a part of the country’s public health agenda.   Economists and statisticians recognise that measuring happiness – or subjective wellbeing as it’s more accurately called – ...

Mental health: A fundamental component of human development

  Mental health issues are a serious concern, and an area that is enormously underrecognized. Globally at least 800,000 people commit suicide each year: one suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds, and for every suicide there are many more attempts each year. But suicide is only one extreme manifestation of mental health issues. Mental and substance use disorders go much wider: they have consistently been shown as the leading causes of years of life lived with disability worldwide. Many mental health issues are not even counted in these statistics, most often because they are not diagnosed. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mental health as, “a state of well-being in which an individual can realize his or her own potential, cop...

Working with African judges to protect rights of people living with HIV

  The third Judges’ Forum was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in June. Photo: UNDP Africa More than 30 judges from 14 African countries convened in Johannesburg, South Africa 15­–17 June this year for the third annual Regional Judges’ Forum to discuss HIV and tuberculosis (TB)-related jurisprudence as part of an ongoing initiative to sensitise senior judges and uphold the rights of people living with HIV in Africa. “The judiciary must be available for the minority, and in adjudicating cases on minority issues, we must be guided by information, by science, by law, by consideration of justice. If we do so, then we shall have served our purpose”, said Botswana High Court’s Justice Key Dingake, one of the participants at the UN Development Programme (UNDP)-supported meeting. Duri...

Expanding Women’s Leadership in Mongolian Politics and Business

For centuries, Mongolian women have played a central role in their society, holding positions of power ever since the Mongol Empire – hundreds of years before their counterparts in Europe, or elsewhere in Asia. Challenges Changes to the election law this year reduced the quota for female candidates to be nominated by political parties from 30% to 20%. Within the civil service sector, only 26.6% of State Secretaries are women. Only 56.6% of women active in Mongolia’s workforce, versus 69.3% of men Today, women remain integral to Mongolia’s economy, society and politics. In the home, they are often breadwinners, as well as caretakers. At work, they are increasingly influential, partly because they are often better educated, with more Mongolian girls completing school than boys. But partly al...

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...

Rapid urbanisation: opportunities and challenges to improve the well-being of societies

Throughout history, cities have been the main centres of learning, culture and innovation. It is not surprising that the world’s most urban countries tend to be the richest and have the highest human development. Ongoing rapid urbanisation has the potential to improve the well-being of societies. Although only around half the world’s people live in cities, they generate more than 80 percent of Global Domestic Product (GDP). Cities are also younger: home to relatively more young and working-age adults than rural areas, making them pivotal places to capture demographic dividends. And around the world cities are introducing initiatives aimed at addressing poverty, improving infrastructure and tackling pollution. For example, in a special contribution to the 2013 Human Development Report...

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