UNDP’s Human Development Reports

The human development approach places people, instead of the economy, at the center of development. Human development is about helping people expand the richness of their lives by providing them with more freedom, opportunities, and choices. Fundamentally, it is about advancing human well-being by creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential, choose their exercise their own choice, and lead productive, creative, and happy lives.

The human development approach was spearheaded by Pakistani economist Dr Mahbub Ul Haq, inspired by Amartya Sen’s work on human capabilities. Sen’s work concerns people’s ability to ‘be’ and ‘do’ the things that they desire.

Human Development Reports

In 1990, Dr Mahbub Ul Haq produced the first Human Development Report. The Report featured a Human Development Index (HDI), created to assess people’s capabilities. The HDI measures achievements in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable, and having a decent standard of living.

For more details on the HDI see:

People are the real wealth of a nation

Dr. Mahbub ul Haq

Pakistani Economist , HDI

National Human Development Reports

In addition to the Global Human Development Report, over 700 regional, National Human Development Reports have been produced in more than 135 countries.  These feature a national HDI which are subsequently used to introduce the notion of human development to national policy dialogue.

Pakistan has not undertaken a National Human Development Report for over a decade. Its 2003 National Human Development Report on Poverty focused on growth and governance, with Dr Akmal Hussain as its Lead Author. The Mahbub Ul Haq Human Development Center, however, has been producing annual South Asia Human Development Reports since 1997.