Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Human Development - The Measurement of Human Endeavors

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The Human Development concept

Human Development is a development paradigm that is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more than economic growth, which is only a means —if a very important one —of enlarging people’s choices.

Human Development Reports

One instrument for the measurement of such efforts are the United Nations Development Program's Human Development Reports. The reports provide not only a measurement of success, they also provide the motive for such efforts.

Eradicating poverty everywhere is more than a moral imperative - it is a practical possibility. That is the most important message of the Human Development Report 1997. The world has the resources and the know-how to create a poverty-free world in less than a generation.

Human Development Index and Human Poverty Index

There is a choice about the type of metric that could be used Human Development Index or HDI, "an index combining normalized measures of life expectancy,literacy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita for countries worldwide." versus Human Poverty Index , "a measure of the extent to which people in a country are not benefitting from development". Although both are important and should be used, this post will focus on the Human Development Index.

"(T)he HDI is a pathway for researchers into the wide variety of more detailed measures contained in the Human Development Reports."
Wikipedia provides a List of countries by Human Development Index, the table below provides a historical perspective from 1975 to 2005 of a selected set of countries.

Rank (2005)Country1975198019851990199520002005
12United States 0.870 0.890 0.904 0.919 0.931 0.942 0.951
63 Malaysia 0.619 0.662 0.696 0.725 0.763 0.790 0.811
70 Brazil 0.649 0.685 0.700 0.723 0.753 0.789 0.800
81 China 0.530 0.559 0.595 0.634 0.691 0.732 0.777
128 India 0.419 0.450 0.4870.521 0.551 0.578 0.619

The new Statistical Update was released on December 18, 2008, and compiled on the basis of data from 2006. According to the new data, the United States, China and India have gone down in HDI and ranking, Malaysia and Brazil went up in HDI but stayed the same ranking.

15 (3) United States 0.950
63 (0) Malaysia 0.823
70 (0) Brazil 0.807
94 (13) China 0.762
132 (4) India 0.609

We should not see measurement as a limitation. It is what we are measuring that needs to be examined. Below is a 2007 video from TED featuring Hans Rosling of GapMinder, who amazes his audience with his statistical presentations. One conclusion of his measurements is that countries that look first to the welfare of their people will have a better and more sustainable economic ascendancy. The current economic global crisis created by the pursuit of wealth, for wealth, by the wealthy has reversed and further threatened any previous gains. The response should not be to stop but to apply the paradigm put forward by Hans Rosling to the global community.

Related posts: The Ledger of Human Development - Accounting For Change

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms