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Human Development

Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone Empowered lives.
Resilient nations.
The 2016 Human Development Report is the latest in the series of global Human Development Reports published
by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 1990 as independent, analytically and empirically
grounded discussions of major development issues, trends and policies.
Additional resources related to the 2016 Human Development Report can be found online at http://hdr.undp.org,
including digital versions of the Report and translations of the overview in more than 20 languages, an interactive
web version of the Report, a set of background papers and think pieces commissioned for the Report, interactive
maps and databases of human development indicators, full explanations of the sources and methodologies used in
the Reports composite indices, country profiles and other background materials as well as previous global, regional
and national Human Development Reports. The 2016 Report and the best of Human Development Report Office
content, including publications, data, HDI rankings and related information can also be accessed on Apple iOS and
Human Development
Report smartphones
2016 via a new and easy to use mobile app.
Human Development for Everyone

The cover reflects the basic message that human development is for
everyonein the human development journey no one can be left out.
Using an abstract approach, the cover conveys three fundamental
points. First, the upward moving waves in blue and whites represent
the road ahead that humanity has to cover to ensure universal human
development. The different curvature of the waves alerts us that some
paths will be more difficult and sailing along those paths will not be easy,
but multiple options are open. Second, in this journey some people will
be ahead, but some will be lagging behind. Those lagging behind will
need helping hands from those who are ahead. The gestures of the two
hands reflect that spirit of human solidarity. Third, the two colours
green and blueand the hands at the topconvey that universal human
development requires a balance among planet, peace and people.

Copyright @ 2016
By the United Nations Development Programme
1 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017 USA

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission.

Sales no.: E.16.III.B.1

ISBN: 978-92-1-126413-5
eISBN: 978-92-1-060036-1
ISSN: 0969-4501

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library and Library of Congress

Printed in Canada, by the Lowe-Martin Group, on Forest Stewardship Council certified and elemental chlorine-free papers. Printed using vegetable-based

Editing and production: Communications Development Incorporated, Washington DC, USA

Information design and data visualization: Gerry Quinn and Human Development Report Office
Cover design: Phoenix Design Aid

For a list of any errors and omissions found subsequent to printing, please visit our website at http://hdr.undp.org
Human Development Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

Published for the

United Nations
Empowered lives.
Resilient nations.
Human Development Report 2016 Team

Director and lead author

Selim Jahan

Deputy director
Eva Jespersen

Research and statistics

Shantanu Mukherjee (Team Leader). Milorad Kovacevic (Chief Statistician), Botagoz Abdreyeva, Astra Bonini, Cecilia
Calderon, Christelle Cazabat, Yu-Chieh Hsu, Christina Lengfelder, Patrizia Luongo, Tanni Mukhopadhyay, Shivani Nayyar
and Heriberto Tapia

Production and web

Admir Jahic and Dharshani Seneviratne

Outreach and communications

Jon Hall, Sasa Lucic, Jennifer ONeil Oldfield and Anna Ortubia

Operations and administration

Sarantuya Mend (Operations Manager), Fe Juarez Shanahan and May Wint Than


Human Development
Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

Human development is all about human free- migrantsare being left furthest behind. The
doms: freedom to realize the full potential of barriers to universalism include, among others,
every human life, not just of a few, nor of most, deprivations and inequalities, discrimination
but of all lives in every corner of the worldnow and exclusion, social norms and values, and
and in the future. Such universalism gives the prejudice and intolerance. The Report also
human development approach its uniqueness. clearly identifies the mutually reinforcing
However, the principle of universalism is gender barriers that deny many women the
one thing; translating it into practice is an- opportunities and empowerment necessary to
other. Over the past quarter-century there has realize the full potential of their lives.
been impressive progress on many fronts in hu- To ensure human development for everyone,
man development, with people living longer, the Report asserts that merely identifying the
more people rising out of extreme poverty and nature of and the reasons for the deprivation
fewer people being malnourished. Human of those left out is not enough. Some aspects
development has enriched human livesbut of the human development analytical frame-
unfortunately not all to the same extent, and work and assessment perspectives must be
even worse, not every life. brought to the fore to address issues that
It is thus not by chance but by choice that prevent universal human development. For
world leaders in 2015 committed to a develop- example, human rights and human security,
ment journey that leaves no one outa central voice and autonomy, collective capabilities
premise of the 2030 Agenda. Mirroring that and the interdependence of choices are key for
universal aspiration, it is timely that the 2016 the human development of those currently left
Human Development Report is devoted to the out. Similarly, quality of human development
theme of human development for everyone. outcomes and not only quantity, going be-
The Report begins by using a broad brush yond the averages and disaggregating statistics
to paint a picture of the challenges the world (particularly gender-disaggregation)must
faces and the hopes humanity has for a better be considered to assess and ensure that human
future. Some challenges are lingering (depri- development benefits reach everyone.
vations), some are deepening (inequalities) The Report forcefully argues that caring for
and some are emerging (violent extremism), those left out requires a four-pronged policy
but most are mutually reinforcing. Whatever strategy at the national level: reaching those
their nature or reach, these challenges have an left out using universal policies (for example,
impact on peoples well-being in both present inclusive growth, not mere growth), pursuing
and future generations. measures for groups with special needs (for
At the same time, however, the Report re- example, persons with disabilities), making
minds us what humanity has achieved over the human development resilient and empowering
past 25 years and gives us hope that further ad- those left out.
vances are possible. We can build on what we The Report rightly recognizes that national
have achieved, we can explore new possibilities policies need to be complemented by actions
to overcome challenges and we can attain what at the global level. It addresses issues related to
once seemed unattainable. Hopes are within the mandate, governance structures and work
our reach to realize. of global institutions. It draws our attention
Given that broader context, the Report to the fact that even though we have grown
then raises two fundamental questions: who accustomed to heated debates winding up in
has been left out in progress in human devel- gridlock at the national, regional and global
opment and how and why did that happen. levels, underneath the rumble of all that,
It emphasizes that poor, marginalized and consensus has been emerging around many
vulnerable groupsincluding ethnic mi- global challenges to ensure a sustainable world
norities, indigenous peoples, refugees and for future generations. The landmark Paris

Foreword | iii
Agreement on climate change, which recently What seem to be challenges today can be
came into force, bears testimony to this. What overcome tomorrow. The world has fewer than
was once deemed unthinkable must now prove 15 years to achieve its bold agenda of leaving
to be unstoppable. no one out. Closing the human development
The Report complements the 2030 Agenda gap is critical, as is ensuring the same, or even
by sharing the principle of universalism and by better, opportunities for future generations.
concentrating on such fundamental areas as Human development has to be sustained and
eliminating extreme poverty, ending hunger sustainable and has to enrich every human life
and highlighting the core issue of sustainabil- so that we have a world where all people can
ity. The human development approach and enjoy peace and prosperity.
the 2030 Agenda can be mutually reinforcing
by contributing to the narrative of each other,
by exploring how human development and
Sustainable Development Goal indicators can
complement each other and by being a forceful
advocacy platform for each other. Helen Clark
We have every reason to hope that trans- Administrator
formation in human development is possible. United Nations Development Programme


Human Development
Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

The 2016 Human Development Report is the Diego Sanchez-Ancochea, Anuradha Seth,
product of the Human Development Report Frances Stewart and Florencia Torche.
Office (HDRO) at the United Nations We are thankful for think pieces contributed
Development Programme (UNDP). by Oscar A. Gomez, Sachiko G. Kamidohzono
The findings, analysis and policy rec- and Ako Muto of the Japan International
ommendations of the Report are those of Cooperation Agency Research Institute; Mara
HDRO alone and cannot be attributed to Simane of the Cross Sectoral Coordination
UNDP or to its Executive Board. The UN Centre of the Latvia Cabinet of Ministers; and
General Assembly has officially recognized HOPE XXL, a civil society organization. Two
the Human Development Report as an UNDP Global Policy Centresone in Seoul
independent intellectual exercise that has on global development partnerships and one
become an important tool for raising aware- in Nairobi on resilient ecosystems and deser-
ness about human development around the tificationcontributed think pieces to the
world. Report, and our thanks go to Balazs Hovarth
We owe a lot to Nobel Laureate Professor and Anne-Gertraude Juepner.
Amartya Sen for his continued inspirational Invaluable insights and guidance were re-
intellectual advice, guidance and thoughts. ceived from a distinguished Advisory Panel:
HDRO is also privileged to receive a series Olu Ajakaiye, Magdalena Seplveda Carmona,
of contributions by eminent people and Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Diane Elson, Heba
organizations. Particular appreciation is due Handoussa, Richard Jolly, Ravi Kanbur,
for the signed contributions from Professor Yasushi Katsuma, Ella Libanova, Justin Yifu
Dan Ariely ( James B. Duke Professor of Lin, Leticia Merino, Solita Monsod, Onalenna
Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Doo Selolwane and Frances Stewart.
Duke University), Carol Bellamy (chair of the For providing expert advice on methodolo-
Governing Board of the Global Community gies and data choices related to the calculation
Engagement and Resilience Fund and former of the Reports human development indices,
executive director of the United Nations we would also like to thank the Reports
Childrens Fund), Mirna Cunningham Kain Statistical Advisory Panel members: Lisa Grace
(Nicaraguan Miskitu, indigenous peoples S. Bersales, Albina Chuwa, Koen Decancq,
rights activist and former chairperson of Enrico Giovannini, Pascual Gerstenfeld, Janet
the United Nations Permanent Forum on Gornick, Gerald Haberkorn, Haishan Fu,
Indigenous Issues), Olafur Eliasson (artist and Robert Kirkpatrick, Jaya Krishnakumar and
founder of Little Sun), Melinda Gates (co- Michaela Saisana.
chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), The Reports composite indices and other
Dr. Angela Merkel (chancellor of the Federal statistical resources rely on the expertise of the
Republic of Germany) and Juan Manuel leading international data providers in their
Santos (president of Colombia and 2016 specialized fields, and we express our gratitude
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate). We are especially for their continued collegial collaboration with
thankful to Martin Santiago and the UNDP the HDRO. To ensure accuracy and clarity,
Country Office in Colombia for facilitating the statistical analysis has benefited from dis-
President Santoss contribution. cussions of statistical issues with Gisela Robles
Appreciation is also extended for contribu- Aguilar, Sabina Alkire, Kenneth Hartggen and
tions from the following authors: Paul Anand, Nicolas Fasel and his team from the Office of
Ayesha Banu, Flavio Comim, Giovanni the United Nations High Commissioner for
Andrea Cornia, Juliana Martinez Franzoni, Human Rights.
Stephany Griffith-Jones, Irene Khan, Peter The consultations held during the prepa-
Lunenborg , Manuel Montes, Siddiqur ration of the Report relied on the generous
Osmani, Enrique Peruzzotti, Robert Pollin, support of many institutions and individuals

Acknowledgements | v
who are too numerous to mention here (par- a day with us and share their insights, views
ticipants and partners are listed at http:// and experiences, which are invaluable.
hdr.undp.org/2016-report/consultations). We further benefited on Report-related
Formal multistakeholder consultations were topics from discussions with and inputs
held between April and September 2016 in from Saamah Abdallah, Helmut K. Anheier,
Geneva, Paris, Istanbul, Nairobi, Singapore Michelle Breslauer, Cosmas Gitta, Ronald
and Panama. We are grateful to the UNDP Mendoza, Eugenia Piza-Lopez, Julia Raavad,
Office in Geneva, the Organisation for Diane Sawyer and Oliver Schwank. We would
Economic Co-operation and Development like to thank members of the public who par-
and UNDP regional service centres and global ticipated in online surveys for Report-related
policy centres for organizing these consulta- topics on our website.
tions and in particular to Rebeca Arias, Max Several talented young people contrib-
Everest-Phillips, Anne-Gertraude Juepner, uted to the Report as interns: Ellen Hsu,
Alexis Laffittan, Marcos Neto and Maria Mohammad Taimur Mustafa, Abedin Rafique,
Luisa Silva. Informal consultations were also Jeremas Rojas, Prerna Sharma, Weijie Tan and
held on the side of the launch of the 2015 Danielle Ho Tan Yau. They deserve recogni-
Human Development Report in Beijing, tion for their dedication and contributions.
Bonn, Colombo, Dhaka, Helsinki, London, We are grateful for the highly professional
Manila, Reykjavik and Vienna. Contributions, editing and production by Communications
support and assistance from partnering insti- Development Incorporatedled by Bruce
tutions, including UNDP regional bureaus Ross-Larson, with Joe Caponio, Mike Crumplar,
and country offices, are acknowledged with Christopher Trott and Elaine Wilsonand de-
much gratitude. signers Gerry Quinn and Phoenix Design Aid.
Special thanks are extended to UNDP col- Most of all, on a personal note, I am,
leagues who constituted the Readers Group as always, profoundly grateful to UNDP
for the Report: Mandeep Dhaliwal, Priya Administrator Helen Clark for her leadership
Gajraj, George Ronald Gray, Anne-Gertraude and vision as well as her commitment to the
Juepner, Sheila Marnie, Ayodele Odusola, cause of human development and her solid
Thangavel Palanivel, Sarah Poole, Mounir support to our work. My thanks also go to the
Tabet, Claire Van der Vaeren and Claudia entire HDRO team for their dedication in
Vinay. The political read of the Report was producing a report that strives to further the
done by Patrick Keuleers, Luciana Mermet advancement of human development.
and Nicholas Rosellini, and their advice is
thankfully acknowledged.
Former HDRO colleagues and friends of
the Report, including Moez Doraid, Sakiko
Fukuda-Parr, Terry McKinley, Saraswathi Selim Jahan
Menon, Siddiqur Osmani, Stefano Pettinato Director
and David Stewart, were kind enough to spend Human Development Report Office


Foreword iii CHAPTER 5
Acknowledgements v Transforming global institutions 137
Structural challenges in global institutions 138
Overview 1
Options for institutional reform 147
Conclusion 160
Human developmentachievements, challenges and hopes 25
The achievements we have made 26
Human development for everyonel ookingforward 163
The challenges we face 29
Human development for everyonea n action agenda 163
The hopes we have 39
Human development for everyonef uture substantive work 168
The human development approach and the 2030 Agenda 45
Conclusion 169

Notes 171
Universalismfrom principles to practice 51 References 175
Momentum towards universalism 52
Beyond averagesusing the family of human development indices 52 STATISTICAL ANNEX
A look at disadvantaged groups 56 Readers guide 193
Deprivations in human development as a dynamic process 67 Statistical tables
Barriers to universalism 76 1. Human Development Index and its components 198
Breaking down barriers 81 2. Human Development Index trends, 19902015 202
3. Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index 206

CHAPTER 3 4. Gender Development Index 210

5. Gender Inequality Index 214
Reaching everyoneanalytical and assessment issues 85 6. Multidimensional Poverty Index: developing countries 218
What aspects need to be analysed 85 7. Population trends 222
Checking whether progress in human development reaches everyone 8. Health outcomes 226
assessment requirements 94 9. Education achievements 230
10. National income and composition of resources 234
CHAPTER 4 11. Work and employment 238

Caring for those left outnational policy options 105 12. Human security 242
13. International integration 246
Reaching those left out using universal policies 105
14. Supplementary indicators: perceptions of well-being 250
Pursuing measures for groups with special needs 118
15. Status of fundamental human rights treaties 254
Making human development resilient 122
Human development dashboards
Empowering those left out 128 1. Life-course gender gap 259
Conclusion 133 2. Sustainable development 264
Regions 269
Statistical references 270

Contents | vii
SPECIAL CONTRIBUTIONS 4.10 Maori representation in New Zealands parliament 120
Peace in Colombia is also peace for the worldJuan Manuel Santos 20 4.11 Enlarging employment choices among persons with disabilities in Serbia 122
The power of culture to prompt actionOlafur Eliasson 44 4.12 Providing work to Syrian refugees in Jordan 123
Getting a clearer picture of povertyMelinda Gates 57 4.13 The Swedish economy is being boosted by immigration 123
Predictably irrationalhelping advance human development in a less than 4.14 Reaching those left out in the fight against HIV and AIDS 124
rational worldDan Ariely 90 4.15 Success in reducing maternal and child mortality in Afghanistan 126
The world has much to learn from indigenous peoplesMirna Cunningham Kain 121 4.16 Two paths in carbon pricing 127
Preventing violent extremism and promoting human development for all: 4.17 Mainstreaming the povertyenvironment nexus 129
A critical issue on the global development agendaCarol Bellamy 158 4.18 Resilient human developmentlessons from Latvia 129
The Sustainable Development Goalsshared vision, collective responsibilities 4.19 Equality under the lawGeorgias Legal Aid Service 132
Dr. Angela Merkel 167 4.20 Right to informationactions in developing countries 133
5.1 Transnational corporations and human developmentno automatic link 140
BOXES 5.2 Loopholes of globalizationtax avoidance and illegal financial flows 141
1 Human developmenta comprehensive approach 2 5.3 The World Trade Organization and Indias national development policies 142
2 Measuring human development 3 5.4 Bilateral investment treaties and national policies in Ecuador 144
1.1 Human developmenta people-centred approach 25 5.5 Civil society and environment sustainability 147
1.2 Human development in the Republic of Koreaa longer term perspective 29 5.6 Reassessing treatiessome examples 149
1.3 Insights based on horizontal inequalities 33 5.7 International Organization for Migrationa new member of the UN family 150
1.4 Millennials versus the silent generation 34 5.8 Global institutional developments promoting womens inclusion 153
1.5 Five common myths about refugees 36 5.9 The new regional development bankfor infrastructure in Asia 154
1.6 Human security, as people see it 37 5.10 Civil society and womens participation 159
1.7 Cyberactivisma new form of participation 40 6.1 Administrative registries in Latin America and the Caribbean 165
1.8 Five misconceptions about womens economic empowerment 42 6.2 The Paris Agreement on climate change 166
1.9 The growing recognition of the importance of environmental sustainability 43 6.3 The New York Declaration 168
1.10 Sustainable Development Goals 46
2.1 Poverty is also a developed country problem 55 FIGURES
2.2 Gender-based inequalities in South Asian households 58 1 Human developmentthe analytical approach 2
2.3 Human development among African Americans in the United States 61 2 Analytical links between the human development approach
2.4 Limitations in opportunities among young people in small island and the 2030 Agenda 4
developing 3 Women are discriminated against with respect to opportunities 6
states 62
4 Barriers to universalism 7
2.5 Disadvantages facing migrants 64
5 National policies to care for those left outa four-pronged strategy 10
2.6 The challenge of a two-tier public and private system for universal access
6 21st century skills 13
to quality services 69
1.1 Regional trends in Human Development Index values 27
2.7 Human security from a womans point of view 71
1.2 Human deprivation lingers in some indicators of well-being 30
2.8 Antenatal stress and intergenerational deprivation 72
1.3 Relative global inequality has declined steadily over the past few decades,
2.9 From the champagne glass to the elephant curve 77
but absolute inequality has increased dramatically 31
3.1 Voice and participationintrinsic, instrumental and constructive 87
1.4 Some 46 percent of the total increase in income between 1988 and 2011
3.2 Facilitating participation through new technologies 88 went to the wealthiest 10 percent 32
3.3 Strategies for changing social norms 92 1.5 Global wealth has become far more concentrated 32
3.4 Test score methods for assessing the quality of education 97 1.6 The planets surging population is projected to grow to 9.7 billion in 2050 33
3.5 Voice and accountability indicatorthe World Banks approach 98 1.7 People self-defined as part of the lower middle class and working class feel
3.6 A long-term vision of the futurethe Leimers List 100 less engaged by the concept of global citizenship 35
4.1 The Global Deala triple-win strategy 107 1.8 At the end of 2015 there were more than 65 million people worldwide
4.2 Providing finance to rural farmers in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia who had been forcibly displaced 36
107 1.9 2014 saw the highest number of battle-related deaths since 1989:
4.3 E-governance 110 more than 50,000 36
4.4 Fiscal decentralization in Indonesiaimproving service delivery 111 1.10 Analytical links between the human development approach and the 2030
4.5 How local government makes a difference in Moldova 112 Agenda 47
4.6 Arab Statesopening opportunities for women 113 2.1 A third of the worlds population lives in low human development 53
4.7 Social businesses attract young people 115 2.2 Women are the most disadvantaged in low human development countries 54
4.8 Affirmative action has helped increase womens representation in parliament 119 2.3 People in rural areas are far more likely than people in urban areas to be
multidimensionally poor 55
4.9 Overcoming discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
and intersex individuals 120 2.4 Variations in Human Development Index values are wide across population
groups in Nepal 60


2.5 In the United States the Human Development Index value is below the 4.1 Investments in priority human development to ensure human development
country average for some ethnic groups but above it for others 60 for everyone 108
2.6 Since the 1990s attitudes towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender 4.2 Factors that enable or constrain womens empowermentsix direct and
and intersex community have become more tolerant, and the number of four underlying factors 112
antidiscrimination laws has increased 66 4.3 21st century skills 115
2.7 Basic mobile or fixed broadband plans cost much more in developing 4.4 Navigating the fourth industrial revolution 116
countries than in developed countries and cost the most in the least 4.5 Many countries have not ratified or signed various international
developed countries 70 human rights instruments 131
2.8 Deprivations among women can accumulate throughout life 72 5.1 The number of countries subscribing to multilateral instruments varies 139
2.9 Interventions for women early in life can prevent deprivations later 5.2 Net payments of royalties and licences from developing to developed
in the lifecycle 73 countries have grown immensely since 1990 143
2.10 There are differences in the aggregate priorities of individuals in countries 5.3 The share of core resources in UN operational activities is low and declining 144
at different levels of human development 75
5.4 Of the more than 4,500 nongovernmental organizations granted consultative
2.11 The priorities of Chileans vary by income 75 status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, 72 percent were
2.12 In South Asia many girls marry before age 18some before age 15 79 admitted after 2000 146
2.13 Over the past three decades there has been a decline in rights of 5.5 Good telecommunication infrastructure means more online participation 147
free association and collective bargaining 81 5.6 Developing countries would add $191 billion to official development
3.1 Choices rest on four foundations 86 assistance by meeting their contribution target of 0.7 percent of
3.2 Peoples perceptions of threats to security were much more intense gross national income 154
in Nigerias Federal Capital Territory than in the South-South region 95 6.1 Reaching everyonetime is of the essence in Sub-Saharan Africa 164
3.3 It is possible for a country to have a high Human Development Index value
and a low score on the voice and accountability index 98
3.4 The trend in nonincome Human Development Index values and in womens
and mens shares of seats in parliament is moving in the desired direction 2.1 Years of schooling, indigenous and nonindigenous children, selected countries 65
in every region 99 2.2 The difference between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy
3.5 Human development indicators and Sustainable Development Goal in selected countries 68
indicators may support each otheran example in health 101 5.1 Examples of the social benefits and costs of globalizing market institutions 138
3.6 New data sources for Sustainable Development Goals 101 5.2 SouthSouth cooperation advantages in Asia and Latin America 155

Contents | ix

Human development
for everyone
Infographic 1 Human development for everyone

ays and future generatio

Tod ns

Access to
Self- knowledge

Capabilities Human
and opportunities
Dignity for all individuals

discrimination Decent
of living
Human Development
Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

Human development for everyone
Over the past quarter-century the world has changedand with it the development landscape. New countries have
emerged, and our planet is now home to more than 7billion people, one in four of them young.1 The geopolitical scenario
has also changed, with developing countries emerging as a major economic force and political power. Globalization has
integrated people, markets and work, and the digital revolution has changed human lives.

Progress in human development has been im- basic human development and to sustain and
pressive over the past 25 years. People now live protect the gains. And addressing the struc-
longer, more children are in school and more tural challenges of the current global system, it
people have access to basic social services.2 The presents options for institutional reforms.
Millennium Declaration and the Millennium
Development Goalsg lobal commitments
at the turn of the century to end basic human Key messages
deprivations within 15 yearsadded to the
momentum. This Report conveys five basic messages:
Yet human development has been uneven, Universalism is key to human development,
and human deprivations persist. Progress has and human development for everyone is
bypassed groups, communities, societiesand attainable.
people have been left out. Some have achieved Various groups of people still suffer from ba-
only the basics of human development, and sic deprivations and face substantial barriers
some not even that. And new development chal- to overcoming them.
lenges have emerged, ranging from inequalities Human development for everyone calls for
to climate change, from epidemics to desperate refocusing some analytical issues and assess-
migration, from conflicts to violent extremism. ment perspectives.
The 2016 Human Development Report Policy options exist and, if implemented,
focuses on how human development can be en- would contribute to achieving human devel-
sured for everyonenow and in the future (see opment for everyone.
infographic 1 on the facing page). It starts with A reformed global governance, with fairer Universalism is key to
an account of the achievements, challenges and multilateralism, would help attain human human development,
hopes for human progress, envisioning where development for everyone. and human
humanity wants to go. Its vision draws from
and builds on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
development for
Development that the 193 member states of the Human development is all everyone is attainable
United Nations endorsed last year and the 17 about enlarging freedoms
Sustainable Development Goals that the world for every human being
has committed to achieve.3
The Report explores who has been left out in Human development is about enlarging free-
the progress in human development and why. doms so that all human beings can pursue
It argues that to ensure human development choices that they value. Such freedoms have
for everyone, a mere mapping of the nature two fundamental aspectsfreedom of well-be-
and location of deprivations is not enough. ing, represented by functionings and capabil-
Some aspects of the human development ities, and freedom of agency, represented by
approach and assessment perspectives have to voice and autonomy (figure 1).
be brought to the fore. The Report also iden- Functionings are the various things a person
tifies the national policies and key strategies may value being and doingsuch as being
that will enable every human being to achieve happy, adequately nourished and in good

Overview | 1

Human developmentthe analytical approach

s Ca
ing pa


Things a person


values being or doing


Set of
of functionings that
can be achieved


Agency to do or
achieve what
is valued

and auto n o m y

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Human development health, as well as having self-respect and tak- a p eople-centred approach to development
focuses on the ing part in the life of the community. (box 1).4 The human development approach
richness of human Capabilities are the various sets of functionings shifted the development discourse from
(beings and doings) that a person can achieve. pursuing material opulence to enhancing
lives rather than on the Agency is related to what a person is free to human well-being, from maximizing income
richness of economies do and achieve in pursuit of whatever goals to expanding capabilities, from optimizing
or values he or she regards as important. growth to enlarging freedoms. It focused on
Both types of freedoms are absolutely neces- the richness of human lives rather than on
sary for human development. simply the richness of economies, and doing
The first Human Development Report, so changed the lens for viewing development
in 1990, presented human development as results (box 2).


Human developmenta comprehensive approach

Human development is a process of enlarging peoples Human development is the development of the peo-
choices. But human development is also the objective, ple through building human capabilities, by the people
so it is both a process and an outcome. Human develop- through active participation in the processes that shape
ment implies that people must influence the processes their lives and for the people by improving their lives. It
that shape their lives. In all this, economic growth is is broader than other approaches, such as the human
an important means to human development, but not the resource approach, the basic needs approach and the
end. human welfare approach.

Source: Human Development Report Office.



Measuring human development

The composite Human Development Index (HDI) in- To measure human development more comprehen-
tegrates three basic dimensions of human develop- sively, the Human Development Report also presents four
ment. Life expectancy at birth reflects the ability to other composite indices. The Inequality-adjusted HDI dis-
lead a long and healthy life. Mean years of schooling counts the HDI according to the extent of inequality. The
and expected years of schooling reflect the ability to Gender Development Index compares female and male
acquire knowledge. And gross national income per HDI values. The Gender Inequality Index highlights wom-
capita reflects the ability to achieve a decent stan- ens empowerment. And the Multidimensional Poverty
dard of living. Index measures nonincome dimensions of poverty.

Source: Human Development Report Office.

The human development approach also pro- Yet, even with all this commendable progress,
vided the analytical bedrock of the Millennium the world still faces many complex develop- What humanity has
Declaration and the Millennium Development ment challenges. Some challenges are lingering
Goalsthe timebound development objectives (deprivations), some deepening (inequalities) achieved over 25
and targets agreed on in 2000 by 189 heads of and some emerging (violent extremism). Some years gives hope that
states and governments to reduce basic human are global (gender inequality), some regional fundamental changes
poverty by 2015. And it informed and influ- (water stress) and some local (natural disasters).
enced the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Most are mutually reinforcingclimate change are possible. Some
Development Goals. reduces food security; rapid urbanization mar- of the impressive
ginalizes the urban poor. Whatever their reach, achievements have
these challenges have a negative impact on
Human development for peoples well-being.
been in regions or
everyone is attainable Despite all these challenges, what human- areas that once
ity has achieved over 25 years gives hope that were lagging
As universalism is the centrepiece of human fundamental changes are possible. In fact, some
development, human development must be of the impressive achievements have been in
and can be attained for everyone. The positive regions or areas that once were lagging. All over
evidence is encouraging. the world people are increasingly engaged in
By 2015 the world had achieved some of influencing the processes that shape their lives.
what seemed to be daunting challenges 25 years Human ingenuity and creativity have initiated
ago. Even though the global population in- technological revolutions and translated them
creased by 2billionfrom 5.3billion in 1990 into the way we work, think and behave.
to 7.3 billion in 2015more than 1 billion Gender equality and womens empowerment
people escaped extreme poverty, 2.1 billion are now mainstream dimensions of any devel-
gained access to improved sanitation and more opment discourse. And there is no denying that
than 2.6billion gained access to an improved with an intention to overcome them construc-
source of drinking water.5 tively, space for discussions and dialogues on
The global under-five mortality rate was more issues once taboo is slowly openingas with
than halved between 1990 and 2015from sexual orientation; discriminations faced by les-
91 per 1,000 live births to 43. The incidence bian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex peo-
of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis declined be- ple; and female genital mutilation and cutting.
tween 2000 and 2015. The proportion of seats Awareness of sustainability has been growing.
held by women in parliaments worldwide rose The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on
to 23percent in 2016up 6percentage points climate change are prime examples. They also
over the preceding decade. The global net loss show that under the rumble of debate and grid-
of forested areas fell from 7.3 million hec- lock, a nascent global consensus is emerging
tares a year in the 1990s to 3.3million during around many global challenges and ensuring a
20102015.6 sustainable world for future generations.

Overview | 3
Closing the human All these promising developments give the Both have sustainability as the core principle.
development gaps world the hope that things can be changed and The links among the human development ap-
that transformations are possible. The world proach, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable
is critical, but so is has less than 15 years to achieve its inspiration- Development Goals are mutually reinforcing in
ensuring that future al agenda to leave no one behind. Closing the three ways. First, the 2030 Agenda can see what
generations have human development gaps is critical, but so is analytical parts of the human development ap-
ensuring that future generations have the same, proach strengthen its conceptual foundation.
the same, or even or even better, opportunities. Similarly, the human development approach
better, opportunities And fulfilling the 2030 Agenda is a critical can review the narrative of the 2030 Agenda
step towards enabling all people to reach their and examine parts that can enrich it.
full potential. In fact, the human development Second, the Sustainable Development Goal
approach and the 2030 Agenda have three indicators can use the human development
common analytical links (figure 2): indicators in assessing progress towards the
Both are anchored in universalismthe hu- Sustainable Development Goals. Similarly, the
man development approach by emphasizing human development approach can supplement
the enhancement of freedoms for every hu- the Sustainable Development Goal indicators
man being and the 2030 Agenda by concen- with additional indicators.
trating on leaving no one behind. Third, the Human Development Reports
Both share the same fundamental areas of can be an extremely powerful advocacy instru-
focuseradicating extreme poverty, ending ment for the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable
hunger, reducing inequality, ensuring gender Development Goals. And the Sustainable
equality and so on. Development Goals can be a good platform


Analytical links between the human development approach and the 2030 Agenda

da and exami
030 Agen ne pa
of the 2 rts
tive tha
rra t ca
na ne
the nri


Eradica Fu
e tion ndam
nc y of
ilit tr
na i

en e pov
Sus re p




a of

The 2030

The human Agenda and

ending hunger

development Common anchors the Sustainable

approach Development

in d

in c

ms is m

of u niversal eb


fo r on
a ti

eve o
ry h gn

uman b Leav
fo u




a ly
tic ce
ele con
men its
ts of
hum an tr e ngth
d e v elo p m en t t o s

Source: Human Development Report Office.


for the greater visibility of the human develop- multidimensional poverty, compared with only
ment approach and the Human Development 17percent of Kinh or Hoa people, the ethnic
Report for the coming years. majority.14
More than 370million self-identified indige-
nous peoples in 70 countries also face discrimi-
Yet basic deprivations abound nation and exclusion in the legal framework, in
among various groups of people access to education in their own language and
in access to land, water, forests and intellectual
One person in nine in the world is hungry, and property rights.15
one in three is malnourished.7 About 15mil- More than a billion people are estimated to
lion girls a year marry before age 18, one every live with some form of disability and are among
two seconds.8 Worldwide 18,000 people a day the most marginalized in most societies. They
die because of air pollution,9 and HIV infects face stigma, discrimination and inaccessible
2 million people a year.10 Every minute an physical and virtual environments.16
average of 24 people are displaced from their Today 244million people live outside their
home.11 home countries.17 Many are economic refugees
Such basic deprivations are common among hoping to enhance their livelihoods and send
various groups. Women and girls, ethnic mi- money back home. But many migrants, espe-
norities, indigenous peoples, persons with dis- cially the worlds 65million forcibly displaced
abilities, migrantsall are deprived in the basic people, face extreme conditionslacking jobs,
dimensions of human development. income and access to health care and social
In all regions women have a longer life expec- services beyond emergency humanitarian as-
Human deprivations
tancy than do men, and in most regions girls ex- sistance. They often face harassment, animosity
pected years of schooling are similar to those of and violence in host countries. are dynamic. Moving
boys. Yet in all regions women consistently have, Human deprivations are also dynamic. above the low human
on average, a lower Human Development Index Moving above the low human development development threshold
(HDI) value than do men. The largest difference threshold does not necessarily ensure that peo-
is in South Asia, where the female HDI value is ple will be protected from emerging and future does not necessarily
20percent lower than the male HDI value. threats. Even where people have more choices ensure that people
There are group-based disadvantages, as than before, there may be threats to the security will be protected
shown in Nepal. Brahmans and Chhetris have of these choices.
the highest HDI value (0.538), followed by Epidemics, violence, climate change and from emerging and
Janajatis (0.482), Dalits (0.434) and Muslims natural disasters can quickly undermine the future threats
(0.422). The greatest inequalities are in educa- progress of those who have moved out of
tion, with pronounced long-lasting effects on poverty. They can also generate new depriva-
capabilities.12 tions. Millions of people around the world are
Shortfalls in basic human development exposed to climate-related natural disasters,
among various groups often persist because droughts and associated food insecurities, sub-
of discrimination. Women are particularly sisting on degraded land.
discriminated against with respect to opportu- The deprivations of the current generation
nities and end up with disadvantaged outcomes can carry over to the next generation. Parents
(figure 3). In many societies women are dis- education, health and income can greatly affect
criminated against with respect to productive the opportunities available to their children.
assets, such as the right to land and property.
As a result only 1020percent of landholders
in developing countries are women.13 Substantial barriers persist for
Ethnic minorities and other groups are often universal human development
excluded from education, employment and ad-
ministrative and political positions, resulting in Groups of people who remain deprived may
poverty and higher vulnerability to crime, in- be the most difficult to reachgeographically,
cluding human trafficking. In 2012, 51percent politically, socially and economically.
of ethnic minorities in Viet Nam were living in Surmounting the barriers may require greater

Overview | 5

Women are discriminated against with respect to opportunities


18 countries

100 countries
Free from legal Prevented from
impediments 100
pursuing some
careers only
because of
their gender

More than 150 countries

Legally discriminated
Women are
discriminated against
with respect
to opportunities
32 countries
Procedures to
obtain a passport
differ from those for men

18 countries
Required to
have husbands
to get a job

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Realizing universal fiscal resources and development assistance, of the drivers and dynamics of how groups are
human development continuing gains in technology and better data marginalized, which inevitably varies across
for monitoring and evaluation. countries and regions. Realizing universal hu-
in practice is possible, But some barriers are deeply embedded in man development in practice is possible, but
but the key barriers social and political identities and relationships the key barriers and forms of exclusion must
and forms of exclusion such as blatant violence, discriminatory laws, first be overcome (figure 4).
exclusionary social norms, imbalances in polit- Whether intentional or unintentional,
must first be overcome
ical participation and unequal distribution of exclusion can have the same resultssome
opportunities. Overcoming them will require people will be more deprived than others, and
putting empathy, tolerance and moral com- not all people will have equal opportunities to
mitments to global justice and sustainability at realize their full potential. Group inequalities
the centre of individual and collective choices. reflect divisions that are socially constructed
People should consider themselves part of a and sustained because they establish a basis for
cohesive global whole rather than a fragment- unequal access to valued outcomes and scarce
ed terrain of rival groups and interests. resources. The dimensions and mechanisms of
Moving towards universal human develop- exclusion are also dynamic, as are the character-
ment requires an awareness and understanding istics groups use as a basis for exclusion.



Barriers to universalism

and exclusion
Discriminatory laws
Social norms

Narrow Weak
self-identities bargaining power
Barriers to
Nationalism universalism Inequality
Identity politics Lack of voice

Elite capture
of institutions
Rise of 1 percent
Lack of pluralism

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Legal and political institutions can be used consolidating political power, safeguarding the
and abused to perpetuate group divisions. An well-being of elites, controlling the distribution
extreme case relates to the rights of the lesbian, of resources, seizing territory and resources and
gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex com- favouring ideologies based on the supremacy of
munity in the 73 countries and five territories one identity and set of values.
where same-sex sexual acts are illegal.18 Laws The top 1 percent of the global wealth distri-
Inequalities in income
are discriminatory in other cases because they bution holds 46percent of the worlds wealth.21 influence inequalities
prevent certain groups from access to services Inequalities in income influence inequalities in in other dimensions
or opportunities. other dimensions of well-being, and vice versa.
of well-being,
Some social norms can be helpful for harmo- Given todays inequality, excluded groups are in
nious coexistence within societies, but others a weak position to initiate the transformation and vice versa
can be discriminatory, prejudicial and exclu- of institutions. They lack agency and voice and
sive. Social norms in many countries reduce so have little political leverage to influence pol-
the choices and opportunities for women and icy and legislation through traditional means.
girls, who are typically responsible for more At a time when global action and collabora-
than three-quarters of unpaid family work.19 tion are imperative, self-identities are narrow-
The presence of women as customers in cafs ing. Social and political movements linked to
or restaurants may also be discouraged, and in identity, whether nationalist or ethnopolitical,
some cases it is taboo for women to travel in seem to be getting stronger. Brexit is one of the
public without being accompanied by a man.20 most recent examples of a retreat to national-
Perhaps the most direct mechanism of ism when individuals feel alienated in a chang-
exclusion is violence. Motivations include ing world.

Overview | 7
Intolerance of others in all its formslegal, approach has largely been on the freedom of
social or coerciveis antithetical to human well-being. But as well-being was realized, em-
development and to principles of universalism. phasizing freedom of agency has become more
Human development is a matter of pro-
Human development for moting not only the freedoms of individuals,
everyone calls for refocusing but also the freedoms of groups or collectives.
some analytical issues For the most marginalized and most deprived
people collective agency can be much more
Human development involves expanding powerful than individual agency. An individual
choices, which determine who we are and what is unlikely to achieve much alone, and power
we do. Several factors underlie these choic- may be realized only through collective action.
es: the wide range of options that we have to Identity influences agency and autonomy.
choose fromour capabilities; the social and People have the liberty of choosing their iden-
cognitive constraints and social norms and in- tities, an important liberty to recognize, value
fluences that shape our values and choices; our and defend. Individuals deserve options in
own empowerment and the agency we exercise choosing among different identities that they
individually and as part of groups in shaping value. Recognizing and respecting such options
our options and opportunities; and the mech- are preconditions for peaceful coexistence in
anisms that exist to resolve competing claims multiethnic and multicultural societies.
in ways that are fair and conducive to realizing Three identity issues have implications for
human potential. universal human development. First, the space
The human development approach provides for multiple identities is more limited among
a systematic way to articulate these ideas. It people who are marginalized, and those people
can be especially powerful in illuminating the may lack the freedom to choose the identity
interplay among factors that can operate to they value. Second, the insistence on a single
the disadvantage of individuals and groups in irrefutable identity and the denial of reasoning
different contexts. and choice in selecting identities may lead to
Human rights are the bedrock of human extremism and violence and thus pose a threat
development. Human rights offer a useful to human development. Third, identity groups
perspective for analysing human development. compete for limited economic and political
Duty holders support and enhance human resources and power, and deprived and margin-
development and are accountable for a social alized people lose out. In most cases societys
systems failures to deliver human development. values and norms go against the most disadvan-
These perspectives not only go beyond the taged, with preferences often formed by social
minimal claims of human development, but traditions of privilege and subordination. But
can also serve as a powerful tool in seeking changing values and norms can transform this
remedies. bias against disadvantaged people.
The notion of human security should Freedoms are interdependent, and such inter-
emphasize a deep understanding of threats, dependence may be reinforcing. For example,
risks and crises for joint action in the human a worker exercising the freedom to green the
development and human security approaches. workspace may contribute to the freedom of
Voice and autonomy, The challenges are to balance the shock-driven co-workers to have clean air. But the freedom of
as parts of freedom of response to global threats and the promotion of one may also impinge on the freedom of others.
agency and freedom of a culture of prevention. A wealthy person has the freedom to construct
Voice and autonomy, as parts of freedom of a multistory house, but that may deprive a poor
well-being, are integral agency and freedom of well-being, are integral neighbour of sunlight and an airy environment.
to human development to human development. The ability to deliber- Limiting the freedom of others may not be
ate, participate in public debates and be agents the intended consequence of exercising ones
in shaping ones life and environment is funda- freedom, but some actions that curb others
mental to human development for everyone. freedom may be deliberate. Rich and powerful
The primary focus of the human development groups may try to curtail the freedom of others.


This is reflected in the affluence bias of the pol- Even though freedom of agency is an integral
icy options in many economies, in the way the part of human development, the human de-
legal system is built and in the way institutions velopment approach has traditionally focused
work. All societies have to make tradeoffs and, more on well-being than on agency. Just look
following reasoned debate, determine the prin- at the HDI. But agency is inherently more dif- development is an
ciples for settling issues, dynamically, as they ficult to measure than well-being. issue of social justice
develop and realize a more just society. The relationship between freedom of
Sustainable development is an issue of social well-being and freedom of agency is generally
justice. It relates to intergenerational equity positive. This supports the notion that the two
the freedoms of future generations and those aspects of human development, if not perfectly
of today. The human development approach correlated, are complementary. In other words,
thus considers sustainability to be a matter of societies might have achieved high average
distributional equity, both within and across capabilities or well-being without achieving
generations. agency (in voice and autonomy).
Other measures of human well-being, such as
the Social Progress Index,22 the World Happiness
Specific assessment Index23 and the Better Life Index,24 can usefully
perspectives can ensure assess whether well-being is reaching everyone.
that everyone is reached Some countries also support subjective measures
of well-being or happiness, as with Bhutans
Development practitioners agree in princi- Gross National Happiness Index.25
ple that enabling all people to benefit from Human development for everyone also
progress in human development demands implies compiling and presenting data from
disaggregated data on such characteristics innovative perspectives, such as real-time data
as region, gender, ruralurban location, and dashboards. A dashboard approach, in
socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity. colour-coded tables, can show the levels and
But they are less clear about ensuring the progress on various development indicators.
availability of such data. Determining which It can thus be effective in assessing human
lines of disaggregation are needed to reveal well-being. It also implies an inclusive process
inequalities along particular dimensions can bringing in more people to generate and dis-
be difficult without already having some un- seminate information using new technologies.
derstanding of societys processes of exclusion In 2013 the UN Secretary-Generals High-
and marginalization. And political, social and Level Panel on Sustainable Development
cultural sensitivities can promote exclusions called for a Data Revolution for sustainable
and deprivations. development, with a new international initi-
Disaggregating data by gender is crucial for ative to improve the quality of information
gender equality and womens empowerment. and statistics available to citizens.26 Big Data
This is precisely why the 2030 Agenda, par- describes the large volume of datab oth
ticularly Sustainable Development Goal 5 on structured and unstructuredthat various
achieving gender equality and empowering all organizations collect using new technologies
women and girls, focuses on targets that facili- and can bring new perspectives to traditional
tate gender-disaggregated data. data and statistics.

Overview | 9

National policies to care for those left out

a four-pronged strategy

grouprsuing m
s wi
es th s easu
polici pec res
ial fo
al ne r
ivers Pursuing Using ed
un inclusive affirmative
ing growth action Promoting
Enhancing human


development for

for women marginalized


g th

Addressing Upholding

lifecycle human
capabilities rights

resources Ensuring
Caring for those access

ering those left out

for human
development to justice
priorities left outnational
policy options
Promoting Promoting
social inclusion

shocks and
Combating Addressing
M violence and climate
ak Maintaining
ing ensuring peoples change
human well-being
hu security
ma in postconflict
n dev situations
t resil
Key policy options Third, human development achieved does
not mean human development sustained.
A four-pronged national policy approach Progress in human development may be slowed
can ensure that human development reaches or even reversed because of shocks and vulner-
everyone (figure 5). First, universal policies abilities, with implications for people who have
are needed to reach those left out, but prac- only achieved the basics in human develop-
tical universalism in policy is challenging. ment and for people who have yet to achieve
For example, a country may be committed to the basics. Thus human development will have
universal health care, but difficult geography to be resilient.
may prevent it from establishing health care Fourth, people who have been left out will
centres that are accessible to all localities. So have to be empowered, so that if policies and
universal human development policies need the relevant actors fail to deliver, these people
to be reoriented to reach those left out. can raise their voice, demand their rights and
Second, even with the new focus on universal seek to redress the situation.
policies, some groups of people have special In a globalized world national policies
needs that would not be met. Their situations for universal human development must be
require specific measures and attention. For complemented and supplemented by a global
example, persons with disabilities require meas- system that is fair and that enriches human
ures to ensure their mobility, participation and development.
work opportunities.

Reaching those left outusing universal policies

Appropriate reorientation of universal policies Several measures can enhance the financial
can narrow the deficits in human development inclusion of poor people, such as expanding
among those left out. Essential to this are pursu- banking services to disadvantaged and mar- For human
ing inclusive growth, enhancing opportunities ginalized groups, relying on simple proce- development to reach
for women, addressing lifecycle capabilies and dures and harnessing modern technology to everyone, growth
mobilizing resources for human development promote financial inclusion. In Sub-Saharan
priorities. Africa 12percent of adults have mobile bank has to be inclusive
accounts, compared with 2percent globally.27
Pursuing inclusive growth Investments focused on human development
priorities can provide low-cost but high-quality
For human development to reach everyone, services and infrastructure to disadvantaged
growth has to be inclusive, with four mu- and marginalized groups.
tually supporting pillars formulating an Effective access to services by poor people
employment-led growth strategy, enhancing requires affordability in cost and adaptability
financial inclusion, investing in human devel- in cultural practices. In Nicaragua low-cost
opment priorities and undertaking high-impact ultrasonogram machines, which can be car-
multidimensional interventions (win-win ried on bicycles, are monitoring the health of
strategies). pregnant women.28 The presence of only male
An employment-led growth strategy would doctors in rural mother and child care centres
focus on such measures as removing barriers to would be a disincentive for women and girls to
employment-centred development, designing use the centres.
and implementing a conducive regulatory frame- Some priority human development in-
work to tackle informal work, strengthening the vestments have strong and multiple impacts.
links between large and small and medium-size Take school meal programmes, which pro-
enterprises, focusing on sectors where poor vide multiple benefits: social protection by
people live and work, especially rural areas, and helping families educate their children and
adjusting the distribution of capital and labour in protect their childrens food security in times
public spending to create jobs. of crisis; nutrition, because in poor countries

Overview | 11
school meals are often the only regular and Women also have to juggle paid employment
nutritious meal; and strong incentive to outside the home and unpaid care work inside
send children to school and keep children the home as well as balance their productive
in schools. Evidence from Botswana, Cabo and reproductive roles. Flexible working ar-
Verde, Cte dIvoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, rangements and enlarged care options, includ-
Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa bears ing daycare centres, afterschool programmes,
testimony to these benefits.29 senior citizen homes and long-term care facili-
Rural infrastructure, especially roads and ties, can help women broaden their choices.
electricity, is another area. Building rural roads Measures to encourage womens entrepre-
reduces transport costs, connects rural farmers neurship include establishing a legal framework
to markets, allows workers to move more freely that removes barriers to women owning land, a
and promotes access to schools and health care critical asset, especially in agriculture. So land
clinics. Electrification in rural communities policies, legislation and administration need to
in Guatemala and South Africa has helped be changed to accommodate womenand the
increase employment among marginalized new rules must be enforced.
groups.30 The glass ceiling, though cracked in many
Redistributing assets can also bring those left places, is far from being shattered. Gender
out into the growth process. Human capital requirements in selection and recruitment
is an asset, and differences in educational at- and incentive mechanisms for retention can
tainment prevent poor people from becoming enhance womens representation in the public
part of the high-productivity growth process. and private sectors. The criteria for promoting
Democratizing education, particularly tertiary men and women into senior management po-
education, would benefit people from poorer sitions should be identical, based on equal pay
backgrounds. for equal work. Mentoring, coaching and spon-
Similarly, doing things locally may bring soring can empower women in the workplace
multiple development impacts. Providing au- by using successful female senior managers as
tonomy to local governments in formulating role models and as sponsors.
and implementing local development plans
allows the plans to reflect the aspirations of Addressing lifecycle capabilities
local communities. Fiscal decentralization can
also empower local governments to collect To ensure that human development reaches
their own revenues and depend less on central those left out, building capabilities should be
government grants. But if the local approach seen through a lifecycle lens as people face var-
is to ensure human development for those left ious types of vulnerabilities in different phases
out, it will also require peoples participation of their lives.
and greater local administrative capacity. Sustained human development is more likely
when all children can acquire the skills that
Enhancing opportunities for women match the opportunities open to young people
joining the workforce. Much attention is cor-
Because half of Gender equality and womens empowerment rectly focused on what is needed to ensure that
humanity is not are fundamental dimensions of human de- all children, everywhere, complete a full course
velopment. Because half of humanity is not of schooling, including preschooling. The
enjoying progress in enjoying progress in human development, such World Bank has found that every dollar spent
human development, development is not universal. on preschool education earns $6$17 in public
such development Investing in girls and women has multidimen- benefits, in the form of a healthier and more
sional benefitsfor example, if all girls in devel- productive workforce.32 Ghana now includes
is not universal oping countries completed secondary education, two years of preschool in the education system.
the under-five mortality rate would be halved.31 China is contemplating providing preschool
Women also need support to pursue higher ed- facilities for all youngsters.33
ucation, particularly in science, technology, en- Empowering young people requires actions
gineering and mathematics, where much future on both the political and the economic fronts.
demand for high-level work will be. On the political front at least 30 countries have



21st century skills

Ways of thinking Tools for working Ways of working Skills for living in
the world
Creativity Information and Communication Citizenship
Critical thinking communication Collaboration Life and career
Problemsolving Personal and social
Information literacy responsibility

Source: Human Development Report Office.

some kind of nonadult parliamentary structure, Fiscal space has four pillars: official devel-
nationally or in cities, villages or schools.34 So opment assistance, domestic revenue, deficit
young peoples opinions in various forms of financing (through domestic and external bor-
participationi n government-sponsored rowing) and variations in spending priorities
advisory roles, youth parliaments and round- and efficiency. The choice of which pillar to
table discussionsare being integrated into use to increase or rebuild fiscal space depends
policymaking. mainly on country characteristics. In 2009
On the economic front creating new op- Ghana considered improving revenue collec-
portunities for young people and preparing tion to increase the health budget, even though
young people with the skills they need to take the share of the total government budget allo-
advantage of the opportunities are required. cated to health was stable.37
More than one-third of the skills important in Consolidating and streamlining remittances
todays economy will have changed by 2020.35 could make them a funding source for human
Acquiring skills for the 21st century has to development priorities. Remittance banks can
be part of lifelong learning of the four Cs be set up in countries where the flows are large,
critical thinking, collaborating, creating and such as Bangladesh, Jordan and the Philippines. Options for mobilizing
communicating (figure 6). Easy and transparent legal remittance-sending
For the aged and infirm, key measures in- mechanisms can be put in place in consultation resources for human
clude establishing a combination of public and with host countries. development priorities
private provisioning of elder care, strengthen- In the least developed countries, where range from creating
ing social protection for older people through emissions are low, climate finance can expand
basic noncontributory social pensions (as in climate-resilient livelihoods, improve water and
fiscal space to using
Brazil)36 and creating opportunities for the sanitation systems and ensure food security. climate finance, and
older people to work where they can contrib- These investments go beyond climate adapta- from cutting subsidies
ute, including teaching children, care work and tion programmes in the narrow sense and focus
not beneficial to
voluntary work. more on achieving human development by
increasing the long-term climate resilience of poor people to using
Mobilizing resources for human economies and societies. resources efficiently
development priorities Ending subsidies for fossil fuels can free re-
sources for human development. And efficiency
Options for mobilizing resources for human in resource use is equivalent to generating addi-
development priorities range from creating tional resources. For example, telemedicine can
fiscal space to using climate finance, and from deliver medical advice and treatment options
cutting subsidies not beneficial to poor people to patients irrespective of their locationand
to using resources efficiently. reduce the cost of service provision.

Overview | 13
Pursuing measures for groups with special needs
Because some social groups (ethnic minorities, special provisions often protect indigenous
indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities) peoples, as in Canada and New Zealand.39
are systematically discriminated against and Yet in many cases effective mechanisms for
thereby left out, specific measures are needed so implementation and full equality in law are
they may achieve equitable outcomes in human lacking. National human rights commissions
development. or commissions for specific groups can provide
oversight and ensure that the rights of these
Using affirmative action groups are not violated. And overcoming the
discrimination and abuse of members of the
Affirmative action has been important in re- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
dressing historical and persistent group dispar- community requires a legal framework that can
ities and group discriminations. It may take the defend their human rights.
form of enrolment quotas for ethnic minorities Participation in the processes that shape the
in tertiary education or preferential treatment lives of disadvantaged groups needs to be en-
of female entrepreneurs in obtaining subsidized sured. For example, quotas for ethnic minorities
credit through the banking system. and representation of indigenous peoples in
Affirmative action has made a difference parliaments are ways to help them raise their
in womens representation in parliament. concerns. Some indigenous peoples have their
Following the Beijing Declaration and Platform own parliaments or councils, which are consul-
for Action at the United Nations Fourth World tative bodies. New Zealand has the longest his-
Conference in 1995, some countries adopted tory of indigenous representation in a national
a gender quota to increase the proportion of legislature.40
seats held by women, providing confidence and For persons with disabilities, inclusion and
incentives for women to run for elected office accommodation are critical to empowering
and win. Rwanda, where women account for them to live independently, find employment
64percent of representatives in the House of and contribute to society. Specific vocational
Deputies, is a shining example.38 training initiatives should be undertaken to
develop their skills. Increasing access to pro-
Promoting human development ductive resources, such as finance for self-em-
for marginalized groups ployment, and providing information over
mobile devices can help them in self-employ-
Despite the great diversity in identities and ment. Appropriate infrastructure including
needs, marginalized groups such as ethnic technology can enable persons with disabilities
Marginalized groups minorities, indigenous peoples, persons with to be more mobile.
often face similar disabilities, people living with HIV and Migrants and refugees are vulnerable in host
constraints, such as AIDS, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender countries, and national actions are needed to
and intersex individuals often face similar address the new nature of migration and its
discrimination. But constraints, such as discrimination, social evolution. Countries should pass laws that
each group also has stigma and risk of being harmed. But each protect refugees, particularly women and
special needs that group also has special needs that must be met children, a big part of the refugee population
if they are to benefit from progress in human and the main victims. Transit and destination
must be met if they
development. countries should provide essential public goods
are to benefit from For some vulnerable groups, such as ethnic in catering to the displaced, such as schooling
progress in human minorities or persons with disabilities, anti refugee children. And destination countries
development discrimination and other rights are guaranteed should formulate temporary work policies and
in constitutions and other legislation. Similarly, provisions for refugees.


Making human development resilient
Progress in human development often stag- Combating violence and
nates or dissipates if threatened by shocks ensuring peoples security
such as global epidemics, climate change,
natural disasters, violence and conflicts. The drivers of violence are complex and thus
Vulnerable and marginalized people are major call for a multipronged approach that includes
victims. promoting the rule of law based on fairness and
zero tolerance for violence; strengthening local
Addressing epidemics, governments, community policing and law
shocks and risks enforcement personnel in hotspots of violence;
and developing response and support services Progress in human
Much progress has been made in scaling up to address violence and its victims. development often
antiretroviral therapy, but 18 million people Viable policy options include developing
stagnates or dissipates
living with HIV still do not have access to high-quality infrastructure, improving public
it.41 Young women, who may be exposed to transit in high-crime neighbourhoods, building if threatened by
gender-based violence and have limited access better housing in the poorest areas of cities and shocks. Vulnerable and
to information and health care, are among the providing socioeconomic alternatives to vio- marginalized people
most exposed, as are prisoners, sex workers, lence, particularly to young people, engaging
drug users and transgender people. Still, there them in strengthening social cohesion. are major victims
have been successes in reducing infection rates
among women and children and in expanding Maintaining human well-being
their access to treatment. in postconflict situations
In an increasingly interconnected world,
being prepared for possible health crises On the political front transformation of insti-
has become a priority. The recent epidemic tutions is key. It would ensure peoples security
of the Zika virus provides a good example. through community policing, pursuing rapid
Countries have reacted in different ways governance actions (such as faster caseload
to the spread of the Zika virus. Countries processing) and reintegrating ex-combatants
with an ongoing virus transmission, such by disarming and demobilizing them.
as Colombia, the Dominican Republic, On the economic front reviving basic social
Ecuador and Jamaica, have advised women to services, supporting work in the health sector
postpone pregnancy.42 In Brazil a new mos- to cover many goals, initiating public works
quito strain was released to try to fight the programmes and formulating and implement-
Zika virus, and members of the armed forc- ing targeted community-based programmes
es were sent across the country to educate (such as makeshift schools so that children do
people about mosquito control and to warn not lose access education) are key for moving
them of the risks linked to the virus.43 forward on the development continuum.
More recently, the revised strategic re-
sponse plan designed by the World Health Addressing climate change
Organization in collaboration with more than
60 partners focuses on research, detection, pre- Climate change jeopardizes the lives and
vention, and care and support.44 livelihoods of poor and marginalized people.
Building disaster resilience into policies and Addressing it requires three initial policy
programmes at all levels can reduce the risk measures. Putting a price on carbon pollution
and mitigate the effects of disasters, particu- through an emissions trading system or a
larly for poor people. Innovative programmes carbon taxbrings down emissions and drives
are at the heart of the Sendai Framework for investment into cleaner options. Approximately
Disaster Risk Reduction endorsed by the UN 40 countries and more than 20cities, states and
General Assembly following the 2015 Third provinces use carbon pricing.45
UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Taxing fuel, removing fossil fuel subsidies and
Reduction. incorporating social cost of carbon regulations

Overview | 15
are more indirect ways of accurately pricing bear the brunt of environmental damage, even
carbon. By phasing out harmful fossil fuel sub- though they seldom create it. Policies that pro-
sidies, countries can reallocate their spending tect community commons (such as common
to where it is most needed and most effective, forests), ensure the rights and entitlements of
including targeted support for poor people. poor people and provide renewable energy to
Getting prices right is only one part of the poor people would improve biodiversity on
equation. Cities are growing fast, particularly which poor peoples lives depend and reverse
in developing countries. With careful planning the downward spiral of poverty and environ-
in transport and land use and the establish- mental damage.
ment of energy efficiency standards, cities can
avoid locking in unsustainable patterns. They Promoting social protection
can open access to jobs and opportunities for
poor people, while reducing air pollution. Policy options to expand social protection to
Increasing energy efficiency and renewable marginalized groups include pursuing social
energy is crucial. The Sustainable Energy for All protection programmes, combining social pro-
initiative sets out three goals for 2030: achieve tection with appropriate employment strategies
universal access to modern energy, double the and providing a living income.
rate of improvement in energy efficiency and A social protection floor can secure mini-
double the share of renewable energy in the mum health care, pensions and other social
global energy mix. In many countries develop- rights for everyone. Creating jobs through a
ing utility-scale renewable energy is now cheap- public works programme can reduce poverty
er than, or on par with, fossil-fuel plants.46 through income generation, build physical
Climate-smart agricultural techniques help infrastructure and protect poor people against
farmers increase their productivity and resil- shocks. The Rural Employment Opportunities
ience to the impacts of climate change while for Public Assets programme in Bangladesh is a
creating carbon sinks that reduce net emissions. prime example.47
Forests, the worlds lungs, absorb carbon and A guaranteed basic income for citizens, inde-
store it in soils, trees and foliage. pendent of the job market, is also a policy option
Focusing on the povertyenvironment nex- that countries (such as Finland48) are experi-
us, which is complex but critical for margin- menting with as an instrument for social protec-
alized people, is also important. Poor people tion, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Empowering those left out

If policies do not deliver well-being to margin- civil society and states about human rights and
alized and vulnerable people and if institutions recommend legal reforms.
fail to ensure that people are not left out, there But state commitments to upholding these
People will have to must be instruments and redress mechanisms rights vary, national institutions have different
be empowered by so that these people can claim their rights. They implementation capacities, and accounta-
upholding human have to be empowered by upholding human bility mechanisms are sometimes missing.
rights, ensuring access to justice, promoting Institutional shortcomings aside, treating
rights, ensuring access
inclusion and ensuring accountability. development as a human right has been in-
to justice, promoting strumental in reducing deprivations in some
inclusion and ensuring Upholding human rights dimensions and contexts.
In an integrated world the state-centred
Human development for all requires strong model of accountability must be extended to
national human rights institutions with the ca- the obligations of nonstate actors and to the
pacity, mandate and will to address discrimina- states obligations beyond national borders.
tion and ensure the protection of human rights. Human rights cannot be realized universally
Human rights commissions and ombudsmen without well established domestic mechanisms
handle complaints about rights abuses, educate and stronger international action.


Ensuring access to justice cyberactivism. Improving the quality and scope
of citizen engagement in public institutions
Access to justice is the ability of people to seek involves civic education, capacity development
and obtain remedy through formal or informal and political dialogue.
judicial institutions.
Poor and disadvantaged people face immense Ensuring accountability
obstacles, including their lack of awareness and
legal knowledge, compounded by structural Accountability is central to ensuring that hu-
and personal alienation. Poor people lack ade- man development reaches everyone, especially
quate access to public services, which are often in protecting the rights of those excluded.
expensive and cumbersome and have few re- One major instrument for ensuring ac-
sources, personnel and facilities. Police stations countability of social institutions is the right
and courts may not be available in remote areas, to information. Since the 1990s more than 50
and poor people can rarely afford the cost of countries have adopted new instruments that
legal processes. Quasi-judicial mechanisms may protect the right to information, often due to
also be inaccessible or prejudicial. democratic transitions and to the active partic-
Obstacles to justice for indigenous peoples ipation of civil society organizations in public
and for racial and ethnic minorities stem from life.49
their historically subordinate status and from The right to information requires the freedom
sociopolitical systems that reinforce bias in the to use that information to form public opinions,
legal framework and the justice system. call governments to account, participate in de-
cisionmaking and exercise the right to freedom
Promoting inclusion of expression. Information and communication
technology is increasingly being used to ensure
Human development for everyone requires accountability.
inclusion of all in the development discourse Participatory exercises to hold state institutions
and process. accountable, such as public expenditure tracking
New global forms and methods of organi- surveys, citizen report cards, score cards, social
zation and communication are facilitated by audits and community monitoring, have all been
technology and social media. They have mobi- used to develop direct accountability relation-
lized grassroots activism and brought in people ships between service users and service providers.
and groups to voice their opinions, as through

Global institutional reforms and a fairer multilateral system

would help attain human development for everyone
We live in a globalized world where human de- and pose as barriers to human development for
velopment outcomes are determined not only everyone. Global institutional
by actions at the national level, but also by the Global institutional reforms should encom-
structures, events and work at the global level. pass the broader areas of regulation of global reforms should
The shortcomings in the current architecture markets, the governance of multilateral institu- encompass the
of global systems pose challenges for human tions and the strengthening of global civil so- broader areas
development on three fronts. The distribution- ciety with each area reflecting specific actions.
al consequences of inequitable globalization
of regulation of
have promoted the progress of some segments Stabilizing the global economy global markets,
of the population, leaving poor and vulnerable the governance of
people out. Globalization is also making those Reforms should focus on regulating currency
multilateral institutions
left out economically insecure. And people transactions and capital flows and coordinating
are suffering in lingering conflicts. In short, macroeconomic policies and regulations. One and the strengthening
all these undermine and limit national efforts option is a multilateral tax on cross-border of global civil society

Overview | 17
transactions; another is the use of capital con- Making the global economy sustainable
trols by individual countries.
Sustainable development activities at the national
Applying fair trade and level must be complemented with global actions.
investment rules Curbing global warming is possible. Coordinated
global action has worked well in the past, as in
The international agenda should be to set rules to moves to halt ozone depletion in the 1990s.
expand trade in goods, services and knowledge to Continuing advocacy and communication on
favour human development and the Sustainable the need to address climate change and protect
Development Goals. The key reforms to advance the environment are essential to gather support
this agenda include finalizing the World Trade from various stakeholders (including multilat-
Organizations Doha Round, reforming the eral development banks). The recently created
global intellectual property rights regime and New Development Bank has explicitly commit-
reforming the global investor protection regime. ted to giving priority to clean energy projects.

Adopting a fair system of migration Ensuring well funded

multilateralism and cooperation
Measures are needed to strengthen strategies
that protect the rights of and promote the op- Multilateral and regional development banks
portunities for migrants, to establish a global can do more to address several challenges of
mechanism to coordinate economic (voluntary) globalization. Increasing official development
migration and to facilitate guaranteed asylum assistance from traditional donors, expand-
for forcibly displaced people. The International ing the participation of developing countries
Organization for Migration officially joined the through SouthSouth and triangular coop-
UN System in September 2016, and its work eration, and exploring innovative options for
and actions are expected to expand and advance. financing would be useful.

Assuring greater equity and legitimacy Globally defending peoples security

of multilateral institutions
From a human development perspective, as-
The time has come to examine the representation, sistance in human emergencies and crises is an
transparency and accountability of multilateral ethical obligation. In such cases, proposed solu-
The time has come institutions. Some policy options to move these tions include restructuring current mechanisms
institutions towards greater equity and legitima- towards prevention in addition to short-term
to examine the
cy are increasing the voice of developing coun- responses to shocks, prioritizing field opera-
representation, tries in multilateral organizations, improving tions and coordinating better internally and ex-
transparency and transparency in appointing heads of multilateral ternally with civil society and the private sector.
accountability of organizations and increasing coordination and
effectiveness to achieve people-centred goals. Promoting greater and better
multilateral institutions participation of global civil society
Coordinating taxes and
monitoring finance globally Tapping civil societys potential requires ex-
panding mechanisms for it to participate in
A move towards a global automatic exchange of multilateral institutions; enhancing the trans-
information (such as a global financial register) parency and accountability of multilateral in-
would facilitate the work of tax and regulatory stitutions; promoting and supporting inclusive
authorities tracking income and detecting illicit global civil society networks focused on such
financial flows, which may be mobilized for hu- groups as women, young people and ethnic mi-
man development. This would require increasing norities; increasing the free flow of information
technical capacity of countries to process infor- and knowledge through active transparency
mation and implement active policies against tax mechanisms; and protecting the work of inter-
evasion, tax avoidance and illicit flows. national investigative journalism.


An action agenda Closing the gender gap

Human development for everyone is not a Gender equality and womens empowerment
dream; it is a realizable goal. We can build on are fundamental dimensions of human develop-
what we have achieved. We can explore new ment. Gender gaps exist in capabilities as well as
possibilities to overcome challenges. We can opportunities, and progress is still too slow for
attain what once seemed unattainable, for what realizing the full potential of half of humanity.
seem to be challenges today can be overcome At a historic gathering in New York in
tomorrow. Realizing our hopes is within our September 2015 some 80 world leaders com-
reach. His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos, mitted to end discrimination against women by
President of Colombia and the 2016 Nobel 2030 and announced concrete and measurable
Peace Prize Laureate confirms the hope of at- actions to kickstart rapid changes.50 Now is the
taining a peaceful and prosperous world (see time to act on what has been promised and
special contribution). agreed.
The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable
Development Goals are critical steps towards Implementing the Sustainable The 2030 Agenda
human development for everyone. Building on Development Goals and other
its analysis and findings, the Report suggests global agreements and the Sustainable
a five-point action agenda to ensure human Development Goals are
development for everyone. The actions cover The Sustainable Development Goals, critical in critical steps towards
policy issues and global commitments. their own right, are also crucial for human de-
velopment for everyone; the 2030 Agenda and human development
Identifying those who face the human development approach are mutually for everyone
human development deficits reinforcing. Further, achieving the Sustainable
and mapping where they are Development Goals is an important step for all
human beings to realize their full potential in life.
Identifying those who have been left out The historic Paris Agreement on climate
of the progress in human development and change is the first to consider both devel-
mapping their locations are essential for oped and developing countries in a common
useful advocacy and effective policymaking. framework, urging them all to make their best
Such mapping can help development activists efforts and reinforce their commitments in the
demand action and guide policymakers in coming years. The UN Summit for Refugees in
formulating and implementing policies to September 2016 made bold commitments to
improve the well-being of marginalized and address the issues facing refugees and migrants
vulnerable people. and to prepare for future challenges. The in-
ternational community, national governments
Pursuing a range of available and all other parties must ensure that the
policy options with coherence agreements are honoured, implemented and
Human development for everyone requires a
multipronged set of national policy options: Working towards reforms
reaching those left out using universal policies, in the global system
pursuing measures for groups with special-
needs, making human development resilient To move towards a fairer global system, the
and empowering those left out. agenda for global institutional reforms should
Country situations differ, so policy options focus on global markets and their regulation,
have to be tailored to each country. Policies in on the governance of multilateral institutions
every country have to be pursued in a coherent and on the strengthening of global civil society.
way through multistakeholder engagement, lo- That reform agenda should be advocated vigor-
cal and subnational adaptations and horizontal ously and consistently by bolstering public ad-
(across silos) and vertical alignment (for inter- vocacy, building alliances among stakeholders
national and global consistency). and pushing through the agenda for reform.

Overview | 19

Peace in Colombia is also peace for the world

In Colombia we are more determined than ever to end the longest running We have also made early progress in the quality of education
and only remaining internal armed conflict in the Americas. another of the Sustainable Development Goals. Not only do all children and
Colombians were divided over the agreement that was negotiated young people study in public schools for free, we are increasing their class
between the Government and the FARC guerrillas. And so, we undertook hours and improving the quality of learning through different programmes
efforts to reach a new peace accord that would dispel doubts and garner and initiatives. As a result of these efforts, our students have significantly
nationwide support. Almost simultaneously we announced the beginning of improved the average scores on tests that measure their knowledge and
peace talks with the ELN, the last remaining guerrillas. We hope this will skills.
bring a definitive end to the armed conflict in our country. With our focus on peacebuilding, the emphasis on education is perhaps
For five decades the war has had a very high price for Colombia and has, the best example of what we can do in this new phase without the burden
undoubtedly, hurt the nations prospect. A study by Los Andes University of the armed conflict. For the first time ever, the education budget is greater
estimates that households who have been victims of forced displacement than that for security and defence, which is consistent with our goal to be-
and violence saw their income reduced by half. This is exacerbated when come the most educated country in Latin America by the year 2025.
one considers that these people are likely to have difficulty recovering and Peace, equity and education are three areas that Colombians have been
are at risk of living in conditions of chronic poverty. deprived of historically. Peace, equity and education have been the three
Beyond the effect on our economy, the greatest impact of the war falls pillars of our main efforts over the past few years.
on 250,000 or more casualtiesand their familiesand the 8million vic- However, if our goal is to achieve human development for everyone,
tims and internally displaced people. Every life lost, as well as each and our efforts cannot stop here: Climate change is the greatest threat ever
every one of the personal and family tragedies of those who were affected faced by humankind.
by the armed conflict and survived, both saddens us and also strengthens In this regard Colombia has decided to play an active part in tackling
our commitment. this phenomenon. As guardians of one of the most biodiverse regions on the
We agree with the spirit of this Human Development Report, which is planet, with exceptional forests, water resources and soil fertility, we have
that the wealth of human lives must be considered before the wealth of an enormous responsibility to both Colombians and the world.
economies when judging the prosperity of society. In that sense we under- The concept of green growth is part of our economic development
stand that peace is a basic condition for enriching the lives of Colombians. model and has been mainstreamed into all sectors of the economy. We
And I am referring to a broader concept of peace that transcends the end of are convinced that growth and environmental sustainability are perfectly
the conflict and brings harmony and well-being. compatible. In addition, the demarcation of our paramos (moorland eco-
A family with insufficient income does not live in peace, nor does a systems) and the declaration of protected areaswhich by 2018 should
family without decent housing or access to education. This is why we have reach 19million hectares, an area larger than Uruguayare proof of our
focused on fostering economic growth that benefits everyone and that re- resolve.
duces social gaps. Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, Colombia has set out a
The progress we have made to date is in line with the Sustainable goal: to reduce projected greenhouse gas emissions by 20percent by 2030.
Development Goals that Colombia championed and began working towards, And we have already begun to take decisive action to achieve this ambitious
even before they were adopted by the United Nations. Indeed, we were the objective: We have presented a bill to Congress for the creation of a carbon
first country to include these goals in our National Development Plan. tax on various fuels. We will be the first Latin American countryand one
Thanks to our early efforts, we have been able to reap the benefits of of the first in the worldto apply such a measure. With this single initiative
our work ahead of schedule. For example, over the past five years we have we expect to meet half of our commitment established in the Paris Climate
reduced extreme poverty by nearly halffrom 14.4percent to 7.9percent Change Conference.
a very significant achievement that allows us to envisage its eradication Peaceunderstood, as I mentioned before, in the broader sense of
by 2025, if not sooner. well-being and harmonyopens the door to the possibility of a viable world
That jump, beyond the numbers, means that millions of Colombians for future generations, one in which their very existence is not threatened
have improved their quality of life. We are certain of this because, together by global warming. We are proud to confirm that these efforts, in addition to
with traditional income-based measures of poverty, we have pioneered the the end of the armed conflict, improved education and increased equity, are
Multidimensional Poverty Index, which assesses other variables, such as ac- a contribution to the world.
cess to public services or the type of family housing. Today, without a doubt, With the end to the conflict, people from around the globe can enjoy
more Colombians have a better life. the natural wonders and tourism in Colombia, which had been restricted for



decadeseven for Colombians themselves. Also, foreign business people Human development for everyone is a commitment that transcends
can discover new opportunities in sectors and regions that were previously our country, and we want our work to impact and enrich the lives of citizens
off limits because of violence. from other nations. Similarly, we feel that the support of the international
In terms of equity we are strengthening the middle class that will cre- community has had a positive impact on Colombians. We are convinced
ate an opportunity for investors in search of new markets. And with quality that, in a spirit of solidarity and collaboration, we will continue working
education we are preparing a new generation that in the future will be able together, Colombians and non-Colombians, to build peace in Colombia and
to put its skills and knowledge into practice anywhere in the world. peace for the rest of the world.

Juan Manuel Santos

President of Colombia and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

*** Human development requires recognizing that

every life is equally valuable and that human
From a human development perspective, development for everyone must start with
we want a world where all human beings have those farthest behind.
the freedom to realize their full potential in The 2016 Human Development Report is
life so they can attain what they value. In the an intellectual contribution to resolving these
ultimate analysis, development is of the people, issues. We strongly believe that only after they
by the people and for the people. People have are resolved will we all reach the end of the road
to partner with each other. There needs to be together. And when we look back, we will see
a balance between people and the planet. And that no one has been left out.
humanity has to strive for peace and prosperity.

Overview | 21
Chapter 1

Human development
challenges and hopes
Infographic 1.1 The world we want

End poverty and Prosperity
hunger in all forms Ensure prosperity
and ensure dignity and fulfilling lives in
and equality harmony with nature

Planet The world

Protect our we want
planets natural Peace
resources and Foster peaceful,
climate for future just and
generations inclusive societies

Implement the agenda
through a solid
global partnership
Human Development
Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

Human developmentachievements,
challenges and hopes
Human development is all about peopleexpanding their freedoms, enlarging their choices, enhancing their capabilities
and improving their opportunities. It is a process as well as an outcome. Economic growth and income are means to human
development but not ends in themselvesbecause it is the richness of peoples lives, not the richness of economies, that
ultimately is valuable to people. With such a simple but powerful notion, the first Human Development Report, appearing
in 1990, put people at the centre of the development discourse, changing the lens for assessing development policies and
outcomes (box 1.1).1

Over the ensuing 10 years the Human In addition to contributing to development

Development Reports extended the frontiers thinking, these reports, with their policy
of thought leadership, public policy advocacy recommendations and innovative data pres-
and influence on development agendas. The entations, had policy impacts. The proposal
1994 Human Development Report intro- to create Honesty International in the 1992
duced the notion of human security, going Human Development Report led to the es-
beyond the traditional concept of national tablishment of Transparency International.5
The Human
and territorial security.2 The 1995 Human And the disaggregation of Egypts Human
Development Reportwhich strongly argued Development Index (HDI) value in the Development Reports
that development, if not engendered, is endan- 1994 Human Development Report led to have extended the
geredcontributed to the Beijing Declaration an increased allocation of public resources to frontiers of thought
and Platform of Action at the Fourth World Upper Egypt, a less well developed area of the
Conference on Women.3 The 1997 Human country.6 leadership, public
Development Report introduced a multi- At the turn of the century 189 heads policy advocacy
dimensional concept of poverty, known as of state and government endorsed the and influence on
human poverty, and an associated composite Millennium Declaration and the Millennium
measurethe Human Poverty Index, an ana- Development Goals to overcome basic development agendas
lytical breakthrough to elevate the discussion of human deprivations by 2015, all solidly an-
human deprivations beyond income poverty.4 chored in the human development approach.

BOX 1.1

Human developmenta people-centred approach

Human development is about acquiring more capabili- processes that influence and shape their lives. Income is
ties and enjoying more opportunities to use those ca- a means to human development but not an end in itself.
pabilities. With more capabilities and opportunities, The human development approach in the 1990
people have more choices, and expanding choices is at Human Development Report also introduced a compos-
the core of the human development approach. But hu- ite index, the Human Development Index (HDI), for as-
man development is also a process. Anchored in human sessing achievements in the basic dimensions of human
rights, it is linked to human security. And its ultimate development. Those dimensions of human development
objective is to enlarge human freedoms. are to lead a long and healthy life, measured by life ex-
Human development is development of the people pectancy at birth; to acquire knowledge, measured by
through the building of human resources, for the people mean years of schooling and expected years of school-
through the translation of development benefits in their ing; and to achieve a decent standard of living, measured
lives and by the people through active participation in the by gross national income per capita.

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 25

During the last decade Human Development threats to people, and about 20,000 children
Reports covered such themes as deepening have become Ebola orphans.19
democracy (2002), cultural diversity (2004), Human ingenuity has opened promising
climate change (2008), sustainability and eq- new arenas, but human suffering also abounds.
uity (2011) and work for human development Violence, not dialogue, has become a common
(2015).7 human language. Isolationism, not diversity,
The global reports have been complemented is gaining currency. Despite the challenges,
over the years by more than three dozen re- what humanity has achieved over the past 25
gional and subregional Human Development years and our desire to aspire to even more
Reports and more than 700 national Human give us hope on many fronts. Challenges also
Development Reports. 8 Subnational re- offer rays of hope, and hopes face daunting
ports have also been produced, including 19 challenges before they can be realized. This
state-level reports in India and a municipal link needs to be kept in mind as we pursue our
HDI in Brazil.9 goal to overcome the challenges and realize
Over the last quarter century all these reports the hopes.
Every developing have added momentum to human progress,
and thus some of what seemed to be a daunting
regions HDI value challenge in 1990 was largely achieved by 2015. The achievements we have made
increased considerably Extreme poverty is estimated to have been be-
between 1990 and low 11percent globally in 2013, a drop of more The levels of human development have im-
than two-thirds since 1990.10 So even though proved all over the world. Every developing
2015, although the global population increased by 2billion regions HDI value increased considerably be-
progress has been from 5.3billion in 1990 to 7.3billion in 2015 tween 1990 and 2015, although progress has
slowing since 2010 the number of people in extreme poverty fell been slowing since 2010 (figure 1.1). This re-
by more than a billion. flects important advances not only in income,
Yet not all the news is good news. but also in health and education. Between
Substantial human deprivations persist de- 1990 and 2015 the aggregate HDI value
spite the progress. One person in nine in the of the least developed countries increased
world is hungry, and one person in three is 46percent, and the aggregate HDI value for
malnourished.11 Eleven children under age 5 low human development countries increased
die every minute, and 35 mothers die during 40percent.20
childbirth every hour. 12 About 15 million
girls a year marry before age 18, one every Reduced poverty and hunger
two seconds. 13 Worldwide 18,000 people
a day die because of air pollution, and HIV The global extreme poverty rate ($1.90 a day)
infects 2million people a year.14 Every minute was estimated at less than 11percent in 2013,
an average of 24 people are displaced from a drop of more than two-thirds from the
their home.15 35 percent in 1990.21 The decrease has been
And new development challenges have particularly remarkable in East Asia and the
emerged. Conflicts, disasters and natural re- Pacific, where the proportion of people living
sources can no longer be considered national on less than $1.90 a day fell from 60.2percent
concerns; they have become global concerns. in 1990 to 3.5percent in 2013, and in South
More than 21.3million peopleroughly the Asia, where the proportion fell from 44.6per-
population of Australiaare refugees.16 More cent to 15percent.22 Chinas extreme poverty
than 100 million people could be affected rate plummeted from 66.5percent in 1990 to
by the combined impact of El Nio and La 1.9 percent in 2013. The working poor, who
Nia, a double shock.17 Insecurity because of work and live on less than $1.90 a day, ac-
violent extremism has spread throughout the counted for 10percent of workers worldwide
globe. The cost of violence globally is about in 2015, nearly two-thirds less than in 2000.23
$1,900 per person.18 Water scarcity and climate The global population suffering from hunger
change have added to international tensions. declined from 15 percent in 20002002 to
Epidemics such as Ebola and Zika pose serious 11percent in 20142016.24



Regional trends in Human Development Index values

Human development classification

(Human Development Index value)
Very high
(0.800 or
High Europe & Central Asia
(0.700 Latin America &
the Caribbean
East Asia & the Pacific
Arab States
0.699) South Asia

Sub-Saharan Africa
(less than

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Decreased mortality 84 percent of children worldwide. Global

coverage of two doses of the measles vaccine in- While children in the
The global under-five mortality rate was more creased from 15percent in 2000 to 53percent poorest households
than halved between 1990 and 2015.25 The in 2013, resulting in a 67percent decline in the are far less likely to
steepest decline was in Sub-Saharan Africa, number of annual reported measles cases. An
survive to their fifth
where the challenge was the greatest. While estimated 15.6million lives were saved through
children in the poorest households are far less measles vaccination between 2000 and 2013.29 birthdays, the mortality
likely to survive to their fifth birthdays, the These positive developments have led to a dra- rate is declining faster
mortality rate is declining faster for children matic decline in preventable child deaths.
for children in poor
in poor households than for other children. Overall mortality rates are falling in part be-
Maternal mortality rates have also declined cause of actions to tackle malaria, tuberculosis, households than
considerably since 1990: 45 percent globally measles, and HIV and AIDS. Between 2001 for other children
and 64 percent in South Asia, as of 2013.26 and 2015 more than 6.8million malaria deaths,
Access to professional health care has im- many of them in children, were prevented.30 The
proved: in 2014 more than 71percent of births number of new HIV infections also fell, from
worldwide were attended by skilled health per- an estimated 3.5million in 2000 to 2.1million
sonnel, up from 59percent in 1990. In North in 2013. From 1995 to 2013 increasing use of
Africa the proportion of pregnant women who antiretroviral therapy averted 7.6million deaths
receive at least four antenatal medical visits rose from AIDS.31 Tuberculosis mortality rates also
from 50percent in 1990 to 89percent in 2014, fell in response to efforts to prevent, diagnose
the largest improvement worldwide.27 Globally, and treat the disease, with 37million lives saved
nearly two-thirds of women ages 1549 who between 2000 and 2013.32
are married or in union use contraception, up
from 55percent in 1990. Improved access to basic
Global health is also improving. In develop- social services
ing regions the proportion of undernourished
people has been nearly halved since 1990.28 Access to basic social services has been greatly
In 2013 measles-containing vaccines reached expanded worldwide. Between 1990 and 2015,

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 27

2.1 billion people gained access to improved their opinion and defend their interests on the
sanitation, halving the number of people re- national and international scenes.
sorting to open defecation, a major source of
transmittable diseases such as cholera.33 More Improved environmental sustainability
than 2.6 billion people gained access to an
improved source of water, and the Millennium Environmental protection, which has become
Development Goal target of halving the a key global issue, has shown encouraging
proportion of the population without access successes as well. The degradation of the ozone
to safe drinking water was reached five years layer, a major concern in the 1990s, has been
ahead of schedule.34 The improvement has been halted, and by 2050 the ozone layer will have
impressive in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the fully recovered from the damages caused by
proportion of the population with access to ozone-depleting substances.38 The share of
an improved drinking water source rose from marine biodiversity areas that are protected
48percent in 1990 to 68percent in 2015, and increased from 15percent in 2000 to 19per-
in East Asia, where the proportion rose from cent in 2016.39 The global net loss in forest area
68percent in 1990 to 96percent in 2015. And declined from 7.3million hectares a year in the
despite rapid urbanization across the globe, the 1990s to 3.3 million in 20102015, and the
proportion of the urban population living in share of terrestrial areas that are protected in-
slums fell almost 10percentage points between creased from 16.5percent in 2000 to 19.3per-
2000 and 2014 in developing regions.35 cent in 2016. Communication and information
In developing regions 91percent of primary on the need to protect nature and the impact of
Communication and schoolage children were enrolled in 2015, climate change have reached more people than
information on the up from 83percent in 2000, and the number ever before, raising awareness in every corner of
impact of climate of out-of-school children worldwide fell by the world.
almost half over the same period.36 The greatest
change have reached progress has been in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Advances in technology
more people than the net primary school enrolment rate rose
ever before, raising from 52percent in 1990 to 80percent in 2015. New technologies are one of the most apparent
As a result, a larger proportion of young people changes in our current lives. They have lifted
awareness in every can now read and write: The global literacy rate economies up, facilitated transportation and
corner of the world among people ages 1524 was 91 percent in communication, led to major advances in health
2015, up from 83percent in 1995. The gap in and education, expanded information and
literacy between young men and young women participation and created new security tools.
has also narrowed, to an estimated 3 percentage Green technologies may be the key to a more
points in 2015. North Africa and South Asia sustainable future, where resources are availa-
showed the greatest improvement in youth ble to all without harming the environment.
literacy, pushed by a strong increase in literacy Information and communication technology
among young women. has spread exponentially. In 2016, 94.1percent
of the population in developing countries own
Increased peoples participation a mobile phone, and 40.1percent have access to
the Internet, up from 7.8percent in 2005.40 In
Peoples participation in public and political developed countries access to the Internet and
life, another essential aspect of human develop- to smartphones is nearly universal.
ment, has also improved over the past 25 years. The impact of technology on the economy
The average share of parliamentary seats held by is undeniable. Global high-technology exports
women worldwide rose from 11percent in 1995 have more than doubled in the last 15 years,
to 22percent in 2015, and two-thirds of devel- from $987billion in 1999 to $2,147billion in
oping countries have achieved gender parity in 2014.41 Cloud technology, three-dimensional
primary education, allowing girls and women to printing, advanced robotics, energy storage
better voice their concerns and interests.37 Civil and digital assistants hold great potential
society organizations have expanded considera- for creating new jobs and new areas of work.
bly, helping individuals exercise agency, express People with the skills and resources to use


technology and create value can thrive in (gender inequality), some are regional (water
todays digital world, as discussed in the 2015 stress) and some are within national boundaries
Human Development Report. (natural disasters). Most are mutually reinforc-
New technologies have also changed the ing: Climate change reduces food security, and
way governments interact with their citizens, rapid urbanization marginalizes poor people
increasing the reach and efficiency of public in urban areas. Whatever their nature or reach,
service delivery.42 Several countries use mobile these challenges have an impact on peoples
phones to extend basic social services, includ- well-being.
ing health care and education, to hard-to-reach
populations.43 The Internet allows much more Lingering deprivations and inequalities
information to be shared than any other means Even with all the
of communication has. The amount of digital Even with all the impressive progress in reduc- impressive progress
data has doubled every three years since 2000, ing poverty over the past 25 years, 766million
in reducing poverty
and today less than 2percent of stored informa- people,45 385million of them children,46 lived
tion is offline.44 on less than $1.90 a day in 2013. Poor nutrition over the past 25 years,
Though there is far to go before all people causes 45percent of the deaths among children 766million people,
can live their lives to their full potential, co- under age 5.47 Children born in developing
385million of them
operation and commitments to eliminating countries in 2016 will lose nearly $177billion
deprivations and promoting sustainable human in potential lifetime earnings because of stunt- children, lived on less
development have improved the lives of billions ing and other delays in physical development.48 than $1.90 a day in 2013
of people over the past 25 years. The Republic Yet one-third of the worlds food is wasted
of Korea has sustained progress in human de- every year.49 If one-fourth of the food wasted
velopment for even longer (box 1.2). across the globe could be recovered, it could
feed 870 million people.50 Unless the world
tackles deprivation today, 167 million chil-
The challenges we face dren will live in extreme poverty by 2030,
and 69 million children under age 5 will die
Some challenges are lingering (deprivations), of preventable causes.51 These outcomes will
some are deepening (inequalities) and some are definitely shrink the capabilities of future gen-
emerging (violent extremism). Some are global erations. About 758million adults, including

BOX 1.2

Human development in the Republic of Koreaa longer term perspective

The Republic of Korea has travelled a highly successful major currents in the human development space, such
path of human development over the past six decades. as globalization, technological change and urbanization.
And the major drivers behind the countrys sustained The Republic of Korea attained a critical mass of
trajectory of high human development include success- policies conducive to human development in the face
ful land reforms, rural development, extensive human of multiple challenges. Doing so allowed the country
resources development and rapid equitable economic to remain on a path of rapid and socially inclusive hu-
growth. Export orientation, sustainable domestic re- man development for so longand to serve as a model
source mobilization with strong redistribution policies, for other countries. The country, assisted by the United
and public infrastructure development also played major Nations Development Programme Seoul Policy Centre
roles. Needless to say, effective institutions and gover- for Global Development Partnerships, is already convey-
nance were also key. ing its knowhow (such as that gleaned from the Seoul
The main dynamics of the Republic of Koreas prog- governments Clean Construction System) to partner
ress was a virtuous cycle between economic and social countries, duly adapted to the realities of partner coun-
policies, whichwhile maintaining the primacy of the tries, whose policymakers and political leaders are aim-
growth objectiveadapted flexibly to evolving con- ing for similarly rapid and sustained improvements in
straints and opportunities and successfully harnessed human development.

Source: UNDP Seoul Policy Centre for Global Development Partnerships.

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 29

114million young people, still lack basic read- Rising incomes around the world have been
Poverty is no longer a ing and writing skills.52 Lingering deprivations accompanied by widening inequality. Measures
are evident in various aspects of human devel- of the gaps in income equality include the
problem of developing opment (figure 1.2). Gini coefficient (where a value of 0 means that
regions only; it is Poverty is no longer a problem of devel- everyone has the same income, and a value of 1
also on the rise in oping regions only; it is also on the rise in means that one person has all the income) and
developed countries. The International Labour quintile ratios (the ratio of the average income
developed countries Organization estimates that in 2012 more than of the wealthiest 20percent of the population
300 million people in developed countries to the average income of the poorest 20percent
lived in poverty.53 of the population).
Children and women are the most affected Although income inequality across house-
by poverty, and 36percent of children in de- holds has risen in many countries, some
veloped countries live under the relative pov- estimates show that it has narrowed across
erty line, in households with an income below the world as a whole because the incomes of
60percent of the national median household developing and developed regions have been
income. In the United States 32million adults converging. Relative global inequality has de-
are functionally illiterate, and in the United clined steadily over the past few decades, from
Kingdom 8million.54 a relative Gini coefficient of 0.74 in 1975 to


Human deprivation lingers in some indicators of well-being

Poverty and hunger

Income poor 766 million (2013)

Chronic hunger 795 million (20142016)

Children stunted 159 million (2014)
Children underweight 90 (million 2015)

Health, mortality and education

Children dying before age 5 6 million (2015)

Maternal mortality 303,000 (2015)
People living with HIV 36 million (2015)
Illiterate adults 758 million (2014)
Illiterate young people 114 million (2014)
Functionally illiterate people in OECD countries 160 million (2009)
Children not at school at primary level 61 million (2016)
Children not learning basic skills 250 million (2014)

Access to basic social services

People who lack access to an improved
water source 663 million (2015)
People who lack access to an improved
sanitation facility 2.4 billion (2015)
People resorting to open defecation 946 million (2015)
People living in urban slums 880 million (2015)

Source: Human Development Report Office.


0.63 in 2010, driven by declining inequality the wealthiest 1percent of the worlds popula-
between countries arising from the extraordi- tion. Conversely, the poorest 50percent of the
nary economic growth in, primarily, China and worlds population received only 1percent of
India.55 This happened despite an increasing the increase.57
trend towards inequality within countries. By Global wealth has become far more concen-
contrast, absolute inequality, measured by the trated. The wealthiest 1percent of the popu-
absolute Gini coefficient, has increased dra- lation had 32percent of global wealth around
matically since the mid-1970s (figure 1.3). To 2000 and 46percent around 2010 (figure 1.5).
understand the absolute and the relative, take The super-richthe wealthiest 0.1percent
an example. In 2000 one person in a country loom larger. The share of national wealth among
earns $1 a day and another person $10 a day. the super-rich in the United States increased
With economic growth, in 2016 the first from 12percent in 1990 to 19percent in 2008
person earns $8 a day, and the second person (before the financial crisis) and to 22percent in
$80 a day. The relative difference between the 2012 (critics pointed to inequality as one of the
two remains the same (the second person has key causes of the crisis).58
10 times more than the first person), but the Access to the benefits of the digital revo-
absolute difference has gone up from $7 to $72. lution is uneven globally. Almost 2 billion
The World Bank reports that between 2008 people still do not use a mobile phone, and
and 2013 income gaps widened in 34 of the only 15 percent of the world population has Global wealth has
83 countries monitored as income grew more high-speed Internet access.59 Some 89percent become far more
quickly for those in the wealthiest 60percent of the planets urban population has access to
of the income distribution than for those in the 3G mobile broadband, compared with only
concentrated. The
poorest 40percent.56 And in 23 countries peo- 29percent of the rural population.60 wealthiest 1percent
ple in the poorest 40percent saw their income The inequality discussion often focuses on of the population
decline. vertical inequalitysuch as the inequality be-
had 32percent of
Increases in income have been particularly tween wealthiest 10percent of the population
sharp at the top of the income distribution. and the poorest 10 percentand rarely on global wealth around
Some 46percent of the total increase in income horizontal inequalitysuch as the inequality 2000 and 46percent
between 1988 and 2011 went to the wealthiest across ethnic groups. Analysis of horizontal around 2010
10percent (figure 1.4). Since 2000, 50percent inequality can bring critical insights to the in-
of the increase in global wealth benefited only equality discourse (box 1.3).


Relative global inequality has declined steadily over the past few decades, but absolute inequality has
increased dramatically
Relative Gini coefficient Absolute Gini coefficient
0.75 8,000

0.70 6,000

0.65 4,000

0.60 2,000

0.55 0
1975 1985 1995 2000 2005 2010

Source: Nio-Zaraza, Roope and Tarp 2016.

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 31


Some 46percent of the total increase in income between 1988 and 2011 went to the wealthiest 10percent

2005 PPP $ (billions) Increase in income, 19882011

Top 1 percent





1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Global income decile
Note: PPP is purchasing power parity.
Source: Lawson 2016.

FIGURE 1.5 Multidimensional population dynamics

Global wealth has become far more concentrated
The planets surging population is projected to
grow to 9.7billion in 2050 (figure 1.6), with
1 percent five main implications: widespread urbaniza-
32% tion, an ageing population, a growing middle
class, migration and a youth bulge.
In 2014 more than half the worlds people
99% lived in urban areas, a share expected to reach
two-thirds by 2050, when cities will have swol-
54% len by another 2.5billion people.61 The world
is projected to have 41 megacities by 2030,
each with more than 10million inhabitants.62
Population Global wealth Global wealth Urbanization has been described as a new fron-
2000 2011 tier of development because it is not a passive
outcome of development, but a creator of value
Source: Human Development Report Office estimates based on Milanovic (2016).
the more than half of humanity living in
cities generates more than 80percent of global
gross domestic product (GDP).63
Lingering deprivations and inequalities Not all urbanization is positive, however,
Urbanization has been
present serious challenges to human develop- especially if it is unplanned. It puts pressure
described as a new ment on at least three fronts. First, they stunt on infrastructure and may lower residents
frontier of development the capabilities of peoplenot only their quality of life. More than 1billion people live
because it is not a well-being, but also their voice and autonomy. in housing that is below minimum standards
Second, they initiate and reinforce a process of comfort and sanitation, and new houses
passive outcome of of exclusion whereby poor people and others have to be built for 3billion people by 2030.64
development, but a at the bottom of the social ladder are excluded Some 880 million people live in slums, and
creator of value from influencing the processes that shape their nearly 40 percent of the worlds future ur-
lives. Third, they create a society where rights ban expansion may occur in slums.65 Almost
and opportunities are denied to poor people 700million urban slumdwellers lack adequate
and that is unjust. sanitation, which along with lack of safe


BOX 1.3

Insights based on horizontal inequalities

A common argument in discussions about horizontal in- rights, justice and equality in a multiethnic society. Such
equality is that people would be more favourable to re- policies would have constitutive benefits (such as enhanc-
distribution within their own group and less favourable ing human capabilities in various groups) as well as con-
to redistribution between groups because the former is sequential benefits (such as improving social cohesion).
perceived by the group as just and fair. Deprivation is a denial of human rights (which have
But Ghana and Uganda showed far higher approval intrinsic value), and overcoming it is also instrumental
ratings for redistribution between ethnic groups, even in enjoying other rights and freedoms. Equality has in-
though ethnic identity was just as strong as in other trinsic value (anchored in the notion of justice) as well
countries. High approval for redistribution is clearly as instrumental value because it affects other accepted
compatible with a strong ethnic identification. objectives. Inequality is justified only if it improves the
Redistribution is critical in addressing horizontal in- position of the poorest or if it arises through legitimate
equality and can form the core of public policy to ensure processes.

Source: Cornia and Stewart 2014.

leaving them exposed to the dangers of flood-

FIGURE 1.6 ing associated with rising sea levels and storm
The planets surging population is projected to
As a result of declining fertility and greater
grow to 9.7billion in 2050
longevity, older people now make up an in-
creasing proportion of national populations.
World population (billions) The number of people ages 60 and older is
expected to reach 1.4 billion in 2030 and
9.7 2.1 billion in 2050.68 That would raise the
9 global old-age dependency ratio (the ratio of
7.3 the number of people ages 65 and older to
the number of people of working age, gener-
ally ages 1564) in developing countries from
5.0 85 percent are 13 percent in 2015 to 26 percent in 2050.69
projected to live
in currently And that will have major implications for
developing retirement ages, health services, elder care,
3 social protection and family relationships. In
developed countries ageing populations are
challenging retirement systems and requiring The global middle class
0 adaptations to work arrangements and long- is expected to expand
1990 2015 2050 term care services.70 to 3.2billion people in
The global middle classhouseholds with
a daily expenditure of $10$100 per capita in Asia and the Pacific
Source: UNDESA 2015b.
purchasing power parity termsis expected and to 1.7billion people
to expand to 3.2billion people in Asia and the elsewhere by 2030
drinking waterraises the risk of communica- Pacific and to 1.7billion people elsewhere by
ble diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea, par- 2030.71 Its rapid expansion stems from the rise
ticularly among children.66 Violence, drugs and in countries such as China, where m iddle-class
crime also increase with rapid urbanization. households (with an annual income of
And urbanization is linked to climate change. $11,500$43,000) increased from 5million in
Along with prosperity and innovation, global 2000 to 225million in 2015.72 But country defi-
cities are the principal sources of the carbon nitions of the middle class differ, both through
dioxide emissions that are warming the earth.67 the lenses of income and expenditure and in
Many larger cities are in low-lying coastal areas, relative terms compared with a societal mean.73

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 33

How might the growth of the middle class human history.77 Young people are active users
affect human development? The larger middle of information and communication technology,
class is more of an economic middle class than and 30percent are digital natives, young people
the traditional intellectual middle class, and its ages 1524 who have been using the Internet
approach to social debate, intellectual leader- for five years or more.78
ship and social cohesion may differ from that of Yet 73.3 million young people are out of
its predecessors, which acted as the conscience work, and 40percent of young people in the
of society, provided intellectual leadership in global labour force are either unemployed or
social and cultural movements and champi- poorly paid.79 Young people are three times
oned the poor and the marginalized. In most more likely than adults to be out of work.80
societies younger people will constitute an eco- Nearly 156million young people in emerging
nomic middle class that strives for innovation and developing countries are working poor
and creativity in life as well as in work. They working but living in extreme poverty on less
are also more likely to see themselves as global than $1.90 a day or in moderate poverty on
citizens, with positive implications for human $1.90$3.10 a day.81 In the next 15 years young
capabilities and opportunities. people worldwide will need 600million jobs.82
But the new middle class may show consump- Millennialspeople ages 1834 in 2015
tion patterns that have adverse impacts on sus- are expected to work longer hours (nearly a
tainable consumption. It may have its own social quarter work more than 50 hours a week) and
agenda (such as social entrepreneurship) but be retire much later (a quarter expect to retire after
motivated more by personal economic advance- age 70) than their grandparentsthe silent gen-
ment. It may also be more insular and be more eration, mostly in their 70s and 80s (box 1.4).83
intimately linked to a Twitter community or a
Facebook community than to a physical com- Globalization a double-edged sword
munity or neighbourhood. It may have many
digital connections but few human connections. Globalization has been heralded over the years
Population dynamics will continue to change as an engine of growth. In China and India
because of migration to developed countries. opening up the economy to the world accel-
The population of the European Union was erated growth, which in turn helped address
Population shifts 507 million in 2013. Without migration it human development challengesreducing
associated with would drop to 399million by 2080, but with poverty, improving health outcomes and ex-
migration will migration it would rise to 520million.74 The tending access to basic social services. Thanks
population of the United States was 324mil- largely to China, the extreme poverty rate in
change not only the
lion in 2015. Without migration it would East Asia dropped from 60percent in 1990 to
demographic profile have risen to 338 million by 2016, but with 3.5percent in 2013.84 In 40 countries analysed
of societies, but also migration it reached 441million. Population
their values, norms, shifts associated with migration will change not
BOX 1.4
only the demographic profile of these and other
culture and political societies, but also their values, norms, culture Millennials versus the silent generation
and social institutions and political and social institutions, possibly
creating tensions and conflicts. One human de- Millennials are better educated.
velopment challenge will thus involve forging Female millennials are much more likely to be
peaceful and cohesive multicultural societies in working.
many parts of the world. Millennials face tougher job markets.
Today young people ages 1024 account for Millennials are less likely to marry.
about 1.8billion of the worlds 7.3billion peo- Millennials are more likely to be an ethnic
ple.75 Around 90percent of these young people minority.
live in developing countries. A third of the Millennials are far less likely to be war veterans.
Female millennials are better educated than
worlds population is under age 20, and in about
male millennials.
40 African countries more than half the popu-
lation is under age 20.76 There are more young Source: Patten and Fry 2015.
people alive today than at any other time in


in 2013, 453million people190million of are invisible in indicators such as overall GDP
them womenwere working in global value growth or progress out of poverty by extremely
chains, up from 296 million in 1995.85 A poor people, yet the frustration can create polit-
study of 40 countries, 13 of them developing ical and institutional instability if left addressed.
countries, found that trade generally favours There seems to be a widespread view that glo-
the poorest people because they spend more in balization is good for a small elite but not for the
traded sectors.86 broad masses of people.90 Even many academics
Globalization has been accelerated by the and policymakers who welcomed globalization
Globalization cannot
technological revolution, particularly the dig- are revising their opinion. It was always thought
ital revolution. Global trade in merchandise that globalization would not benefit everyone be rolled back, so
and services amounted to almost $24trillion but that the benefits would eventually outweigh the challenge is to
in 2014, up from $13trillion in 2005.87 And the losses.91 The backlash against globalization
ensure that it leaves
knowledge-intensive flows increased 1.3 times is reshaping politics in various countries. But
faster than labour-intensive flows.88 it cannot be rolled back, so the challenge is to no one behind
But globalization has not delivered the ex- ensure that globalization leaves no one behind.
pected shared prosperity. Unskilled workers
lost jobs in many economies, and manufactur- People on the move
ing jobs disappeared. Productivity may have
increased, but this did not always translate Millions of people are on the move because of
into higher wages, and the inequality in pay conflicts, disasters or a search for better econom-
between unskilled and highly skilled labour has ic opportunities. Conflicts, violence and human
widened considerably.89 rights violations have prompted massive displace-
People have struggled during the process of ments of people within or outside their countries.
globalization: Those who have recently crossed At the end of 2015 more than 65 million
the poverty line in developing countries face people worldwide had been forcibly displaced
vulnerable employment and informality, and (internally displaced persons, refugees and
the traditional middle class in high-income asylumseekers)the most since the Second
countries faces stagnant wages and reductions World War and more than the population
in social services. This pattern is shaping global of France or the combined populations of
social attitudes towards globalization: People Australia, Canada and New Zealand (figure
self-defined as part of the lower middle class and 1.8).92 Some 86percent of them are hosted in
working class feel less engaged by the concept developing countries, making refugees less of a
of global citizenship (figure 1.7). The causes burden on developed countries (box 1.5).93


People self-defined as part of the lower middle class and working class feel less engaged by the concept
of global citizenship

Upper class 80.8%

Upper middle class 77.9%

Lower middle class 75.0%

Working class 74.4%

Lower class 75.8%

(% strongly agree or agree with I see myself as a world citizen)

Note: Data are for 59 countries.

Source: Human Development Report Office estimates based on World Values Survey, wave 6, (www.worldvaluessurvey.org/wvs.jsp).

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 35

FIGURE 1.8 Children are among the major victims of
forced displacement. Of the nearly 50 million
At the end of 2015 there were more than 65million
children who have migrated across borders or
people worldwide who had been forcibly displaced
been forcibly displaced, 28 million fled vio-
lence and insecurity.94 More than 98,000 chil-
Children are among 65.3 million dren are unaccompanied in migration or have
forcibly displaced worldwide
been separated from their family.95
the major victims of
People on the move also face dangers during
forced displacement their journeys and afterwards. The global count
40.8 million
of migrant deaths was more than 10,000 in
displaced 2014 and 2015, and many more were unac-
persons counted for.

Widespread conflict and

21.3 million
violent extremism
3.2 million Widespread conflict and violent extremism have
asylumseekers become a challenge of our time. Conflict-related
deaths are a proxy measure for the absence of
peace. Since the end of the Second World War
Source: Statista 2016.
there has been a downward trend in such deaths,
except in 2000, when the EritreanEthiopian
BOX 1.5
war alone caused at least 50,000 deaths.96 With
Five common myths about refugees the escalation of conflict and extreme violence
in the Syrian Arab Republic, 2014 saw the high-
Refugees are a European problem est number of battle-related deaths since 1989:
Europe is home to only 6 percent of global refu- more than 50,000 (figure 1.9).97 In 17 countries
gees; 86 percent are in developing countries. The affected by prolonged conflicts, more than
six richest nations host only 9 percent of refugees
worldwide. FIGURE 1.9

Refugees are not desperatethey are 2014 saw the highest number of battle-related
choosingtomigrate deaths since 1989: more than 50,000
By definition refugees are people who flee across bor-
ders to escape violent conflict or persecution.
Syrian Arab Republic 54,600
Most refugees are young, able-bodied men Afghanistan 12,250
Worldwide nearly 50million children have migrated
or been forcibly displaced. These children may be Iraq 11,933
refugees, interally displaced persons or migrants.
Ukraine 4,352
Refugees and migrants bring terrorism
Over the past few years the deadliest terrorist attacks Nigeria 3,793
around the world have been perpetrated by citizens
Pakistan 3,140
born in the targeted countries.
South Sudan 1,674
Developed countries are overcrowded and
cannot take any more people Israel 1,665
The size of the population in most developed coun-
tries is actually declining, and the demographic divi- Yemen, Rep. 1,660
dend in these countries is being exhausted. Migration
can be crucial in addressing this issue. Somalia 1,103

Source: Human Development Report Office. Source: Purdie and Khaltarkhuu 2016.


56million people are trapped in a vicious cycle BOX 1.6
of violence and hunger.98
Human security, as people see it
In 2000 UN Security Council resolution
1325 recognized that war affects women differ-
Human security to me means that my children and
ently and stressed the need to increase womens
grandchildren will never see killing of human beings
participation in peace talks.99 But from 1992 to
because of their colour or tribe as I witnessed in 1994
2011 only 9percent of participants in peace ne- during the genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda.
gotiations were women.100 Globally, fewer than A female professional from Rwanda
5percent of peacekeepers are women.101
Incidents of violent extremism and terrorism Human security to me means that I can walk on any
street, anywhere, at any time using any clothes that I
worldwide rose from fewer than 5,000 in 2006 to
wantand with no fear. A man from Brazil
nearly 15,000 in 2014.102 There has been a nearly
tenfold increase in deaths from violent extremism To me personally, human security means being free to
and terrorismsince 2000from 3,329 victims to be myself as a transwoman who came from the very
32,685 in 2014.103 And the death toll keeps ris- oppressive continent of Africa, to be free from that
ing. In Iraq an estimated 50,000 people have died violence and feeling safe and functional.
A former student from the United States
since 2003.104 In 2016 more than 20,000 people
died during internal conflict in Afghanistan, and Human security is good nutrition, health and educa-
more than 10,000 died in Yemen.105 tion, stability and peace, prosperity of the country and
Economic losses from conflict are estimated a robust state, freedoms, justice, democratic govern-
at $742billion a year, dwarfing the $167billion ment. A male government official from Yemen
in annual gross disbursements of official devel- For me, human security means equality between
opment assistance.106 But the costs of conflicts people no matter what age, race, gender, social sta-
and violence are not limited to economic costs. tus or preferences they have. It means mutual respect
People are uprooted because of conflicts and between the people in the whole wide world.
violence, they lose their belongings, they are on A female student from Belarus
the run, their families are broken upand too Human security for me is to have a voice. It means
many die. About 600million young people live the right to participate in political process, the right to
in fragile and conflict-affected situations with criticize injustice. A male professor from India
no work and little hope.107 Despair sometimes
Human security is not to worry or think about my day-
leads them to violent extremism. Refugee chil- to-day needs and safety.
dren and adolescents are five times more likely A gay male government official from the Philippines
than nonrefugee children and adolescents to
be out of school, with serious implications for Human security for me is the future health and well- Broader peace,
being of my children and grandchildren.
building their capabilities.108 stability and security
A female retired social worker from New Zealand
Broader peace, stability and security are
linked not only to the end of wars and conflicts, are linked not only
Source: Human Development Report Office.
but also to the end of violence within societies to the end of wars
and human security in personal and communi- and conflicts, but
ty life. Violence has become a human language not transitory; they may become permanent.
also to the end of
in many societies, and intolerance has become Recovering from shocks takes a long time. Even
the reaction (box 1.6). six years after the economic and financial crisis violence within
of 20082009, at least 61million fewer jobs societies and human
Rising shocks, expanding vulnerabilities were available globally than expected.109 Five
security in personal
years of war in the Syrian Arab Republic and
Although human beings are extremely re- the spillover in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and community life
silient, the system in which they live and and Turkey have cost close to $35 billion
operate has to be resilient as well. Pandemics, equivalent to the GDP of the Syrian Arab
natural disasters, climate change, economic Republic in 2007.110 It will take time to return
and financial crises and other shocks can slow, to the prewar GDP.111 Restoring Libyas infra-
reverse or completely derail human develop- structure will cost an estimated $200 billion
ment. The effects on human development are over the next 10 years.112

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 37

Eighteen million people living with HIV, the lives and livelihoods of 1.5billion people.127
mostly young and adolescent, do not receive Desertification could displace up to 135million
antiretroviral treatment.113 Young women ages people by 2045.128 Biodiversity is below safe
1524 are at higher risk of HIV infection and levels across more than half the worlds lands.129
account for 20percent of new HIV infections Every year, 300 million tonnes of plastic are
among adults globally.114 About 1.8 million manufactured, but only 15percent is recycled,
children live with HIV, and only half of them leaving 46,000 floating pieces of plastic per
receive lifesaving treatment. 115 More than square mile of ocean.130 But this is a minuscule
50 percent of people living with HIV do fraction of the total amount of waste held in the
not know that they are infected,116 and only seas, which affects nearly 700 marine species.131
30percent of young women have comprehen- In 2012 an estimated 8.4million people died
sive and correct knowledge about HIV.117 from air, water or land pollution.132 At least
Noncommunicable diseases lead to 38mil- 6.5million people a year are believed to be dying
lion deaths a year, 28million of them in low- from air pollution, with many more injured.133
and middle-income countries.118 Cancer causes The cost of air pollution in welfare losses has
8.2million deaths a year, 5.7million of them been estimated at $5 trillion, 60 percent of
in developing countries.119 Almost 2.1billion which is in developing regions.134 About 2.7bil-
people worldwide are overweight or obese, lion people still depend on wood or waste fires
62percent of them in developing countries.120 that cause indoor air pollution, affecting women
The number of overweight children is project- and children the most.135 Indoor air pollution
ed to double by 2030.121 leads to around 3.5million deaths a year.136
Ebola and Zika have emerged as epidemics Forests and trees provide vital resources to
going beyond a country or group of countries. 1.3billion people, and in developing countries,
And infectious diseases are developing resist- forest income is second only to farm income
The combined effects ance to the antimicrobial drugs used to treat among rural communities.137 Between 60mil-
them. Overprescription and failure to complete lion and 200million indigenous peoples rely
of growing populations,
courses of treatment allow resistance to develop on forests for survival.138 Acting as the lungs of
rising incomes and and microbial infections to become a human the world, forests also slow climate change, and
expanding cities will health threat. Some 700,000 deaths are attrib- acting as carbon sinks, they increase resilience.
uted to antimicrobial resistance each year;122 Yet in tropical countries the annual net forest
cause the demand
that number could skyrocket to 10 million a loss is 7million hectaresthe size of Ireland.139
for water to rise year by 2050 and cause global GDP to drop Water stress is a major challenge affecting
exponentially, while 1.13.8percent. Some 28million more people more than 4billion people worldwide.140 The
supply becomes more are projected to slide into poverty because of combined effects of growing populations, ris-
antimicrobial resistance.123 ing incomes and expanding cities will cause the
erratic and uncertain Some 218million people a year are touched demand for water to rise exponentially, while
by natural disasters.124 The total direct costs supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.
of disasters and major diseases are equivalent. Water is becoming scarcer in the Arab States
Between 1980 and 2012 an estimated 42mil- and in the African Sahel, where it is already
lion human life-years were lost to disasters, and in short supply, and may start disappearing in
80percent of them in developing countries.125 Central Africa or East Asia, where it is current-
Fragile and conflict-affected states are home ly abundant. These regions could see declines of
to more than 1.4 billion people and half the as much as 6percent of GDP by 2050 because
worlds extremely poor, a number that will grow of water-related impacts on agriculture, health
82percent by 2030 if no action is taken.126 and income.141
In 2012 more than 80percent of the worlds
Imbalances between the needs of primary energy supply came from fossil fuels,
people and the capacity of the planet and only 16 percent came from renewable
energy.142 In 2015 fossil fuels accounted for
Every year, 24billion tonnes of fertile soils are 55 percent of global energy investment, and
lost to erosion, and 12million hectares of land today fossil fuel companies benefit from global
are lost to drought and desertification, affecting subsidies of $10 million a minute.143 About


1billion people worldwide lack access to elec- 700million people worldwide became account
tricity.144 By 2040 the planets energy system holders in banks, other financial institutions or
will need to serve 9billion people, and much of mobile money service providers.150
the energy will have to be renewable. Africa boosted life expectancy by six years in
Climate change will aggravate land the 2000s. Latin America and the Caribbean
degradation especially in drylands, which reduced the under-five mortality rate by
occupy 40percent of global land area, are in- 70 percent between 1990 and 2015.151 The
habited by some 2billion people and support Americas have been declared free of mea-
half the worlds livestock.145 By 2030 climate sles.152 Guatemala has joined three other Latin
change is expected to cause an additional American countries that were already free of
250,000 deaths a year from malaria, diarrhoea, river blindness.153 Southeast Asia cut the share
heat stress and malnutrition.146 of the population living in slums from 40per-
The poorest people are more exposed than cent in 2000 to 27percent in 2014.154
the average population to climate-related In 2005 India aimed to connect every
shocks and are at high risk of floods, droughts community with more than 1,000 people
and heat waves; crop failures from reduced rain- (and every community with more than 500
fall; spikes in food prices after extreme weather people in hilly, tribal and desert areas) to an
events; and increased incidence of diseases after all-weather road.155 Four years later, 70percent
heat waves and floods. Poor people are also of the target communities were connected. In
more exposed to higher temperatures and live 2005 Ethiopia launched Sub-Saharan Africas
in countries where food production is expected largest social protection programme.156 Four
to decrease. If climate-smart action is not taken years later 7.5million people were supported in
now, more than 100million additional people times of food insecurity. In 2010 Senegal tar-
could be living in poverty by 2030.147 Climate geted 191 rural villages for improved access to
change can have the most disastrous effects on electricity, boosting the number of people with
indigenous peoples, who rely more on natural access from 17,000 to 90,000 in 2012.157 The world has the
resources and agriculture. All these gains are reasons for hope that rapid
progress is possible, even in areas previously lag- resources, the
ging. The world has the resources, the technology technology and
The hopes we have and the expertise to overcome human depriva- the expertise to
tions. And the notion of sharing prosperity gives
What humanity has achieved over 25 years de- us hope that we are ready to tackle human depri-
overcome human
spite all the challenges it has faced gives hope that vations together. Inaction is not an option. deprivations. And
fundamental change is possible. Yes, progress on the notion of sharing
many fronts has been uneven and deprivations The resounding voices of the people
prosperity gives us
linger, yet what has been achieved can become
a foundation for progress in many areas. We can People everywhere want to influence the pro- hope that we are
explore new possibilities for overcoming chal- cesses that shape their lives. They are vocal in ready to tackle human
lenges and attain what once seemed unattainable. raising concernssuch as those related to deprivations together
Realizing our hopes is within our reach. waste recycling and extractive industries, ethi-
cal sourcing and fair practices in trade, citizen
Rapid progress is possible safety and the public health implications of
agribusiness and pharmaceuticals. Other exam-
Some of the impressive achievements in human ples include antiglobalization protests and the
development over the last 25 years have been Occupy movement against wealth and income
in regions and areas that once were lagging. inequality. Technology and social media have
South Asia, where extreme poverty is ram- mobilized grassroots activism and included
pant, reduced the extreme poverty rate from people and groups previously unable to exercise
44.5percent in 1990 to 15percent in 2013.148 voice and opinion (box 1.7).
Average incomes rose among the poorest The Internet brings people together through
40percent between 2008 and 2013 despite the offline protests as well. In 2014 the platform
financial crisis.149 And between 2011 and 2014, Avaaz.org coordinated a gathering of more than

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 39

400,000 people in Manhattanand hundreds become a more powerful force, giving others
of thousands more in other citiesfor the big- hope in shaping the world they want.
gest climate march in history.158 Crowdfunding
allows individuals to contribute small amounts Expanding human ingenuity
of money towards a philanthropic project that and creativity
As more people requires larger funds. Donors can fund local
raise their voices to projects through civic crowdfunding or projects Human ingenuity and creativity have initiated
in other countries through charity crowdfund- technological revolutions and translated these
express their hopes
ing.159 Spacehive, a civic crowdfunding platform revolutions into the way we work, think and
and aspirations as in the United Kingdom, specializes in raising behave. Technology is all around us, and some-
well as their despair funds for small community projects such as im- times in usbiotech, digital tech, nanotech,
and frustration, proving a playground or renovating a school. It neurotech, green tech and so on. The digital
has raised nearly 5million (more than $6mil- revolution has been going on for some time.
mobilizing to demand lion) since its launch in 2011.160 The number of connected devices worldwide
what they want will Although petitions, protests, fundraising and was projected to increase from 9 billion in
become easier political publications have always existed, the 2012 to 23billion in 2016.162 Some estimates
Internet has allowed them to reach an unprec- put the Internets contribution to global GDP
edented level and bring together people across at as much as $4.2trillion in 2016.163
the world. Mobile phones have multiplied the The innovations of the technological rev-
impact of popular movements. The broadcast- olution have ranged from three-dimensional
ing on Facebook of police attacks during pro- technology to digital banking, from e-books
democracy demonstrations was instrumental to e-commerce, from the sharing economy to
in the 2011 Arab Spring.161 Smartphones and crowdworking. Economies have become indi-
subscription-free mobile phones will likely ac- vidualized to match demand and supply peer-
celerate this trend, creating new opportunities to-peer. The labour market does not require
for people to express themselves freely, even a traditional workplace, and the process has
under authoritarian regimes. opened opportunities for many while making
As more people raise their voices to express work precarious or even vulnerable for many
their hopes and aspirations as well as their despair others.
and frustration, mobilizing to demand what they Mobile phones and mobile Internet
want will become easier. Peoples voices can thus services offer many new opportunities for

BOX 1.7

Cyberactivisma new form of participation

Cyberactivism is political engagement by means of the an online petition to oppose the eviction of the Maasai
Internet. Netizens are individuals who work to create people from their ancestral lands by the Tanzanian gov-
online communities to realize social or political goals. ernment. Since 2010 the United Kingdom has provided
But the Internet also brings together individuals who do the opportunity for citizens to petition Parliament on an
not otherwise engage in political or public life and sim- issue by gathering 100,000 signatures.
ply feel concerned by a specific issue. In 2003 online mobilization led protests in sev-
On several occasions in recent years, large num- eral countries against the war in Iraq. Over the past
bers of people have signed online petitions to draw 10 years this trend has encompassed protests by civil
the attention of policymakers to their opinions. In 2010, society organizations and protests prompted by indi-
2 million petitioners succeeded in banning politicians viduals who join together over a specific issue and
convicted of crimes from running for office in Brazil. In then disengage from political discourse. An important
2012 an online petition received 1.8million signatures aspect of these protests is their geographic scope,
in support of the recognition of Palestine as a state by sometimes spanning several cities and sometimes
the United Nations. In 2014, 2.3million people signed several countries.

Source: Human Development Report Office.


people access to dynamic price informa- same conditions as men.167 Financial services in
tion (as in Niger), productivity gains (as in South Africa and the United States are similar-
Morocco), job creation in technology-based ly regulated to avoid gender discrimination.168
industries and labour-market services. They Romanias Order No. 473/2014 supports
have helped poor female entrepreneurs through female entrepreneurs by financing their best
marketing information (as in Bangladesh) and business plans.169 It aims to cultivate entrepre-
contributed to the financial inclusion of poor neurship among woman-owned businesses.
people through mobile banking (as in Kenya).164 Bangladesh is encouraging female participation
The digital revolution raises the hope of ad- in the workforce, with the ambition of bring-
dressing such daunting challenges as ensuring ing the share of women in the workforce up
food security, overcoming health concerns, from 34 percent to 82 percent by 2026, thus
combating climate change and meeting energy adding 1.8percentage points to GDP.170 In the
needs. The development of immunotherapy has Democratic Republic of Congo a new family
opened opportunities for successfully battling code is being drafted to support women in busi-
different types of cancers, such as breast can- ness.171 All these efforts contribute to womens
cer. Three-dimensional printing can produce economic empowerment, which needs to be
industrial prototypes and human tissue. Cloud appropriately conceptualized (box 1.8).
technology has the potential to improve access Women have become active in areas where
to online information technology services for they were not traditionally active, and they
businesses and governments at low cost and to have excelled in every aspect of life where they
enable new online products and services for are engaged, even in societies where women
millions of producers and billions of consumers. have faced great obstacles in overcoming their
traditional roles. Consider the success of Kimia Women have become
Continuing the progress in Alizadeh, the Iranian female athlete at the 2016 active in areas
womens empowerment Olympics, who not only competed but won a where they were
medal.172 There is now a female fighter pilot in
Women have made major strides in all walks of the United Arab Emirates.173
not traditionally
life. Gender equality and womens empowerment Women are demanding gender equality in active, and they have
are not add-on issues in the development dia- all walks of life. Nearly 15,000 people recently excelled in every
logue, but a mainstream dimension of the devel- signed an online petition in Saudi Arabia call-
aspect of life where
opment discourse locally, nationally and globally. ing on the government to abolish the countrys
Women have proved to be productive guardianship system, which prevents women they are engaged
economic actors, prudent decisionmakers, vi- from engaging in fundamental tasks without
sionary leaders, compassionate volunteers and the permission of a male relative or without
constructive peacekeepers. And many women being accompanied.174
are expanding their horizons. Society is gradually accepting and appreciating
Focusing primarily on girls and disadvan- what women can achieve and contribute. Norms,
taged groups, Nepals Welcome to School values and legal frameworks are evolving. Cte
Initiative led to an increase in net enrolment dIvoire is tackling legal discrimination against
of 470,000 children, 57percent of them girls, women.175 While in the 1990s very few countries
within a year of its implementation in 2005.165 legally protected women from violence, today
Nepals policy on adolescent girls was initially 127 do. This is partly the result of successful
centred on health and education but now en- awareness-raising on the human and economic
compasses needs in employment, skills devel- cost of such violence.176 Lebanon now penalizes
opment and civic participation.166 domestic violence. Peru prohibits sexual harass-
Access to employment opportunities and ment in public spaces. Hungary criminalized eco-
to finance has opened opportunities for many nomic violence as a form of domestic violence.
poor women. The Women Development Act in Cabo Verde adopted a new law in 2011 to fight
the Philippines allows women to borrow mon- gender-based violence.177 The State of Palestine
ey, obtain loans, execute security and credit ar- recently elaborated the Arab regions first nation-
rangements and access loans in agrarian reform al strategy to fight violence against women, with
and land resettlement programmes under the the participation of survivors of violence.

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 41

BOX 1.8

Five misconceptions about womens economic empowerment

Womens economic contribution is limited when dedicated attention to gender equality and not rely
women are not employed. Globally, women are solely on growth to achieve it.
less engaged in paid employment than men. In What works for one group of women will work for
2015, 36percent of women and 44percent of men another. Women across the world often face sim-
worked full time for an employer. However, wom- ilar obstacles, such as limited access to property
ens economic contribution in unpaid care and do- and financial services, lack of social protection and
mestic work is remarkable: a 2011 survey in 46 unpaid care burden. Yet demographic, economic
countries found that, on average, 28 percent of and cultural contexts also contribute to these bar-
women and 6 percent of men spent three to five riers and make each womans experience different
hours a day on household work. from others. Policymakers cannot consider women
Womens economic participation equals womens to be a homogeneous group and apply standardized
economic empowerment. Increasing the number solutions to gender issues. Tailored approaches are
of women in the workforce is an important objec- required.
tive, but if they enter it under poor conditions, their Increasing womens individual skills and aspira-
empowerment may not be improved. Exploitation, tions is the main challenge. Womens capacity
dangerous or stigmatized work, low pay and job in- to seize economic opportunities can be substan-
security are unfavourable terms often encountered tially improved through individual support such
by women. as training in business management skills, but
There is an automatic win-win between gen- structural causes of gender inequality must be
der equality and wider development outcomes. addressed simultaneously. A survey of 67 coun-
Gender equality has been found to promote eco- tries in 2009 showed that 20percent of men be-
nomic growth, household poverty reduction and lieved that women should not be allowed to hold
human development. But the reverse is not always any job that they are qualified for outside of their
true. This means that governments need to pay home.

Source: Hunt and Samman 2016.

Countries where the El Salvador obtained its first conviction in their daughters education thanks to increased
rule of law is applied a case of femicide after a national protocol savings.
also have more to guide investigations was adopted.178 In
Latin America and the Caribbean the United Slowly opening the space for
gender-equal laws Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the action on some taboos
Empowerment of Women is working with the
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Several issues that were once rarely discussed and
Rights to promote the adoption of a regional poorly addressed have received increased atten-
model protocol for investigating femicide.179 tion from the general public, civil society and
Gambia and the United Republic of Tanzania policymakers over the last two decades. Among
have banned child marriage, raising the legal age the groups of people who have benefited from
of marriage for both boys and girls to 18.180 And breaking these taboos are lesbian, gay, bisexual,
in Mozambique, marrying the survivor of rape is transgender and intersex people, women and
no longer a defence option for rapists.181 girls who suffered female genital mutilation and
Countries where the rule of law is applied cutting, and survivors of gender-based violence.
also have more gender-equal laws.182 Specialized Same-sex marriage is performed in nearly two
courts that tackle acts of violence against dozen countries.183 Numerous countries rec-
women can help provide effective legal action. ognize civil unions, registered partnership and
Domestic and family violence courts were unregistered cohabitation. Even though lesbian,
created in Brazil through the Maria da Penha gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people
Law. The Indian inheritance law reform im- have equal constitutional rights in only five coun-
proved the economic freedom of women, who tries, at least their existence is recognized and
were thereby able to double their spending on their problems are discussed in various platforms,


including the United Nations.184 According to a online counselling and referral mechanisms,
report by GLSEN, the situation of lesbian, gay, has already provided information to and poten-
bisexual, transgender and intersex students in the tially saved the lives of 18,000 callers.193
United Sates may be gradually improving, but it
remains troublesome.185 Many civil society organ- Increasing awareness of sustainability
izations such as OutRight Action International
have been working to address these issues. Awareness of sustainability has been increas-
Several countries have implemented legal re- ing. It is much more visible in the global devel-
forms to reduce female genital mutilation and opment agenda today than it was in the 1990s
cutting, femicide, acid violence and honour (box 1.9). Both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris
violence. Gambia has outlawed female genital Agreement on climate change bear this out.
mutilation and cutting.186 El Salvador and This increased visibility results from changes
Mexico have enacted legal reforms that define in the environment, natural resources and the
femicide as a criminal offence and have adopted climate that we can now all perceive. These
measures to prevent and punish the crime.187 changes have made it necessary to transform
The first law banning acid violence was passed the way we produce, consume and function to
in Bangladesh in 2002, and the death penalty was protect our abilityand the ability of future
introduced later as punishment for the crime.188 generationsto live on the planet.
Acid attacks in Bangladesh fell from 494 incidents Realization is growing that natural resources
in 2002 to 59 in 2015. The Indian Penal Code are everybodys responsibility, from individuals to
was amended in 2013 to recognize acid violence global institutions. They are global common-pool
as a criminal act.189 Female parliamentarians, po- resources, meaning that they are limited (overuse Several countries
litical leaders and nongovernmental advocates in reduces the availability for other users) and that have implemented
Pakistan have actively supported new legislation to anyone can access them relatively freely (regu-
legal reforms to
prevent acid attacks against women.190 About 100 lating their consumption is difficult). So their
acid attacks in Colombia occur each year, so the management must be global, but national and reduce female genital
country strengthened its legislative framework and local actions can have considerable impacts. The mutilation and cutting,
enacted a law in January 2016 to impose sentences pollution of a river by a single factory can deplete
femicide, acid violence
of 1250 years imprisonment for perpetrators.191 natural resources along the riverbanks for kilo-
The Acid Survivor Foundation, active in metres downstream and pollute underground and honour violence
Bangladesh, Cambodia and India, provides water reserves over an even larger area. Positive
support to acid violence survivors.192 A dedicat- individual actions, if repeated by millions of peo-
ed helpline in the State of Palestine, including ple, can likewise make a difference.

BOX 1.9

The growing recognition of the importance of environmental sustainability

In 1992 a milestone summit was organized in Rio de attention to environmental sustainability and climate
Janeiro that led to the United Nations Framework change, and the Paris Agreement on climate change,
Convention on Climate Change. In 2000 environmen- through which 195 member states committed to re-
tal sustainability was included as one of the eight ducing carbon emissions. Three of 17 Sustainable
Millennium Development Goals and subsequently inte- Development Goals are dedicated to environmental
grated into most international and national development sustainability, and all of the others call for environmen-
strategies. At the World Summit on Social Development tally sustainable practices in their respective fields.
in 2005, environmental sustainability was recognized as Increasingly perceptible resource depletion and climate
one of the three pillars of sustainable development, along change highlight the importance of integrating environ-
with economic development and social development. mental sustainability in development strategies for the
The year 2015 was a turning point with the adop- good of present and future generations.
tion of the 2030 Agenda, which gives unprecedented

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 43


The power of culture to prompt action

My son recently asked me whether he had saved much CO2 from being emit- to do or how to feel, but rather empowers us to find out for ourselves. Today,
ted into the air by using the Little Sun solar lamp I designed. He also wanted in politics, we are bombarded with emotional appeals, often linked to polar-
to know why, if a tonne of CO2 weighs so much, it does not drop to the izing, populist ideas. The great thing about the arts and culture, on the other
ground. And where is it? To him, a tonne is heavy and physical and not an hand, is that they allow spaces to emerge in which people can disagree and
intangible mass distributed in the atmosphere. His questions made me real- still be together, where they can share individual and collective experiences,
ize how little I myself know about CO2. and, in the process, form diverse communities based on inclusion rather
When I was my sons age, back in the late seventies, there was no than exclusion. Experiences like these can become exercises in democracy,
discussion of climate change. Nature was where I spent my summers, in a inspiring trust, in ourselves and in society.
tent in the Icelandic highlands, a stark contrast to the Copenhagen I lived When I work in my studio, I draw inspiration from the fact that neurosci-
in. These natural and manmade realms could not be more separate. But entists and psychologists recognize that the brain has two different systems
today, there is no nature outside of human activity. Our survival and future for processing perceptions: one is analytical and deals with facts and data,
depend on understanding the effects of CO2 consumption and acting on that and the other is experiential and deals with emotions and instincts. The ex-
understanding. periential systemactivated when you encounter art, for instancetends
But what do we understand? What, for instance, is a tonne of CO2? Is it to be the stronger motivator. Much of the communication on climate change,
hot or cold, wet or dry? Perhaps it would help to know that one tonne of CO2 however, is focused on the analytical, attempting to reason with people to
could be imagined as a cube the size of a three-storey house or that, when change their behaviour. Although it is clearly important to ground action in
frozen, it would form a block of dry ice about 0.67 cubic metres in size. But knowledge and rational thought, we also need to understand the central role
what does that actually tell me if I do not know how much CO2 I produce in of our experiential system in motivating action.
a year or on an average day? What does it tell me if I do not sense my inter- Ice Watch, an artistic intervention that I created with Minik Rosing, a
relationship with planet Earth? geologist and expert on Greenland, takes an experiential approach by bring-
We need science to tell us that the weight of CO2 is based on the atomic ing people into direct contact with the physical reality of climate change.
mass of the molecules. A scientist can tell me that a tonne of CO2 is equal to In 2015, during COP21 in Paris, we brought almost 100 tonnes of glacial
the energy expenditure of a house for about a month, a small car driven for ice from Greenland to the Place du Panthon. Visitors touched the blocks
two days nonstop or a 747 flying for less than two minutes and that because of ice as they melted, put their ear to them and even tasted the ice. When
of the greenhouse effect, excessive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere lead we asked people about their responses, most described feelings; they felt
to global warming. touched. Some spoke about the sounds of the melting ice, like miniature
But for many people, science alone is not enough to compel action. It explosionsas if the small pockets of compressed air, frozen inside the tur-
struck me, when I was looking up this data, that it was familiar, that I had seen quoise ice for millennia, were speaking to us from the past. Contact with the
it more than once in the media and that I somehow knew most of it. So I asked ice afforded an experience of its fragility, of time and of the distant Arctic. It
myself why does knowing not translate into doing when so much is at stake? was both concrete, physical and spatial as well as abstract and contempla-
This is where culture has something to offer. Culture can help us make tive. Together, the emotional and intellectual experience allowed each of us
sense of abstract concepts and information in ways which resonate. The to host the climate debate in our bodies, paving the way for an embodied
visual arts, theatre, poetry, literature, dance, architecture and creativity in a understanding of our changing environment and planet.
broad sense help us build a relationship with abstract ideas, making them Culture can inspire people to move from thinking to doing, and it holds
concrete, felt. Culture can add motivational impetus to the knowledge we the potential to inspire great social change. It is only by connecting the head
gain from science. Importantly, however, culture can bring people to the and the heart that we will succeed in building a future for the planet shaped
point of action without prescribing the actual action. It does not tell us what by positive, powerful climate action.

Olafur Eliasson
Artist and founder of Little Sun

Climate-smart agriculture and climate-smart worlds top source of installed power capacity.194
development are gaining currency. For example, On a single day11 July 2016India planted
about 500,000 solar panels were installed every 50 million trees to take on climate change.195
day in 2015, an unprecedented growth that In 2015, 247,000 electric cars were sold in
meant that renewable energy had become the China.196 Globally, 13 percent of greenhouse


gas emissions are now covered by carbon pricing The first UN Summit for Refugees, held
initiatives.197 The value of the trade in environ- in September 2016, brought member states
mental goods almost tripled between 2001 together to agree on a more humane and co-
and 2012, from $231billion to $656billion.198 ordinated way to respond to the risks faced
According to some estimates, the value of the by refugees and migrants and to prepare for
environmental goods and services market will future challenges. It resulted in the New York
reach $1.9trillion by 2020. Trade can also do Declaration, a series of national and interna-
more to spread green technology. A clear shift tional commitments (see chapter 6).
in spending towards cleaner energy was seen in A recent groundbreaking ruling by the
2015$313billion in renewable energy sourc- International Criminal Court in The Hague
es and $221billion in energy efficiency.199 sentenced an Islamic militant from Mali who
But awareness about sustainability has to take helped destroy the fabled shrines of Timbuktu
a broader view. For example, climate change is to imprisonment for nine years.203 The trial was
not only an environmental issue or a science unique on two fronts: it was the first at the
issue. Olafur Eliasson, artist and founder of court to focus solely on cultural destruction as
Little Sun, argues that to internalize and act a war crime, and it was the courts first prosecu-
on the vital data of climate change, culture has tion of an Islamic militant.
something to offer (see special contribution).

Stronger global commitments The human development In spite of heated

approach and the 2030 Agenda debates leading to
Over the years people have grown accustomed bitter gridlock at the
to heated debates leading to bitter gridlock The human development approach and the
national, regional
at the national, regional and global levels. 2030 Agenda have three common analytical
But through the rubble the tender shoots of links (figure 1.10): and global levels,
a global consensus are emerging to ensure a Both are anchored in universalismthe hu- through the rubble
sustainable world for future generations. The man development approach by emphasizing
the tender shoots of a
2030 Agenda adopted by 193 member states the enhancement of freedoms for every hu-
of the United Nations on 25 September 2015 man being and the 2030 Agenda by concen- global consensus are
is among the most important platforms for trating on leaving no one behind. emerging to ensure a
efforts to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a Both share the same fundamental areas of
sustainable world for
sustainable future.200 The agenda includes 17 focuseradicating extreme poverty, ending
Sustainable Development Goals, 169 targets hunger, reducing inequality, ensuring gender future generations
and 230 indicators (box 1.10). equality and so on.
Similarly, parties to the United Nations Both have sustainability as the core principle.
Framework Convention on Climate Change The links among the human development ap-
reached a landmark agreement on 12 proach, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable
December 2015 in Paris, charting a fundamen- Development Goals are mutually reinforcing
tally new course in the two-decade-old global in three ways. First, the conceptual foundation
climate efforts. After four years of negotiations of the 2030 Agenda is strengthened by the
the treaty is the first to consider both devel- analytical elements of the human development
oped and developing countries in a common approach strengthen its conceptual foundation.
framework, urging them all to make their best Similarly, the human development approach is
efforts and reinforce their commitments in enriched by elements in the narrative of the
the coming years.201 All parties should now 2030 Agenda.
report regularly on emissions and on efforts to Second, the Sustainable Development Goal
implement their commitments and submit to indicators can be used with the human devel-
international review. The Paris Agreement on opment indicators in assessing progress towards
climate change came into force on 4 November the Sustainable Development Goals. Similarly,
2016. More than 70 countries, which account the human development approach can sup-
for nearly 60percent of global emissions, have plement the Sustainable Development Goal
ratified it.202 indicators with additional indicators.

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 45

BOX 1.10

Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 1 Goal 10
End poverty in all its forms everywhere Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 2 Goal 11
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutri- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe,
tion and promote sustainable agriculture resilient and sustainable

Goal 3 Goal 12
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
all ages
Goal 13
Goal 4 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and impacts1
promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 14
Goal 5 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and ma-
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls rine resources for sustainable development

Goal 6 Goal 15
Ensure availability and sustainable management of wa- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terres-
ter and sanitation for all trial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat
desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation
Goal 7 and halt biodiversity loss
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and
modern energy for all Goal 16
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable
Goal 8 development, provide access to justice for all and build
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all
growth, full and productive employment and decent levels
work for all
Goal 17
Goal 9 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sus- the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
tainable industrialization and foster innovation
The links among the
1. Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global
human development response to climate change.
Source: United Nations 2015c.
approach, the
2030 Agenda and Third, the Human Development Report can development over the past 25 years and the
the Sustainable be an extremely powerful advocacy instrument hope it presents, human development for every-
Development Goals are for the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable one must be and can be attained. But there are
Development Goals. And the Sustainable considerable challenges and barriers to universal
mutually reinforcing Development Goals can be a good platform human development So universalism of human
for the greater visibility of the human develop- development must not remain a philosophical
ment approach and the Human Development tenet. It must become a practical reality to
Report through 2030. analyse the who and where of why human de-
Universalism is at the core of human de- velopment not reaching everyonea task for
velopment. And given the progress in human chapter 2.



Analytical links between the human development approach and the 2030 Agenda

genda and examin

the 2030 A e pa
rts t
e of hat
rrativ can
na en
the ric


e tion ndam
nc y of
ilit tr
n i

en e po
Sus re p



are ty, ending hunger


a of
The 2030

The human Agenda and
development Common anchors the Sustainable
approach Development


in c

ms is m

of u niversal eb

fo r
eve o on
ry h in gn a ti
uman b Leav
fo u




a ly
tic ce
al on
men ni ts c
ts of th e
hum an t re ng
d e v elo p m en t t o s

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 1 Human development a chievements, challenges and hopes | 47

Chapter 2

from principles
to practice
Infographic 2.1 Barriers to universalism

and exclusion
Discriminatory laws
Social norms

bargaining power
self-identities Barriers to
Nationalism universalism Inequality
Identity politics Lack of voice

Elite capture
of institutions
Rise of 1 percent
Lack of pluralism
Human Development
Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

Universalismfrom principles
to practice
The progress in human development over the past 25 years has been impressive on many fronts. More children are going to
school, people are living longer, incomes are higher and people have greater potential to shape their societies and their future
under democratic forms of government. But the gains have not been universal, and not all lives have been lifted. This reality
was the impetus for the intergovernmental agreement on the 2030 Agenda, which aims to leave no one behind. Millions of
people are indeed unable to reach their full potential in life because they suffer deprivations in multiple dimensions of human
developmentlacking income and secure livelihoods, experiencing hunger and malnutrition, having no or limited access to
social services, fearing violence and discrimination and being marginalized from the political processes that shape their lives.
There are imbalances across countries; socioeconomic, ethnic and racial groups; urban and rural areas; and women and men.
Some groups are more deprived than others, and the most deprived individuals belong to multiple disadvantaged groupsan
older, ethnic minority woman in a least developed country, for example.

The absolute deprivations in basic human devel- and to relative capabilities and opportunities.
opment remain pronounced and demand urgent It is not enough to enable those with the least
attention. But being left behind is a dynamic and capabilities to move above minimum thresh-
relative process, so universalismhuman devel- olds. For instance, even if extreme poverty were
opment for everyonerequires a forward-look- to be eradicated globally or universal primary
ing approach. As gains are achieved, other school enrolment attained, the wealthy and
deprivations may become more critical, and new highly educated could simultaneously accrue
groups may bear the burden of being left behind. enormous economic resources or achieve higher
Many people appear to be doing well according tertiary enrolment rates, thereby maintaining or
to measures such as minimum schooling and in- even widening gaps in key capabilities. Despite
come, but the quality of education and of work absolute gains for all people, the possibilities
conditions are low for many millions of people. for those with the least wealth and education to
Likewise, people are living longer and healthier realize their full potential would continue to lag. As gains are achieved,
lives, but many face deficits in political freedom Because the starting points vary widely other deprivations may
and in opportunities for political participation. across individuals, more equitable outcomes
Demographic shifts, transitions from peace may require greater attention and support become more critical,
to insecurity and other macro threats such as for the people who are farthest behind. It is and new groups may
epidemics, financial crises, natural disasters particularly important to close the gaps in bear the burden of
and climate change all generate new forms of voice and agency. Institutions and policies may
advantage and disadvantage. In this digital age otherwise disproportionately reflect the values being left behind
a lack of reliable access to information, infra- and interests of elites, who often have greater
structure or technology can severely curtail voice. There is a risk that gaps could become
opportunities, even in developed countries, self-perpetuating and ever more difficult to
reshaping patterns of deprivation. And even as eradicate. And extreme inequalities in voice
restrictive social normssuch as restrictions and agency can breed economic, social and
on women working outside the homelose political instability and conflict.
force in some societies, otherssuch as dis- Human development embodies a com-
crimination against older peoplebecome mitment to ensure rights, voice, security and
more powerful. Who is left behind, how and freedomnot to most, but to all people in
why are questions with different answers in every corner of the world. It also stresses the
different places at different times. importance of sustaining capabilities and op-
Enabling all human beings to realize their full portunities throughout an individuals lifecycle
potential demands urgent attention to inequality and for subsequent generations.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 51
One of the main One of the main challenges of practical deprived are, where they live, what the extent
challenges of universalismadvancing from ideas to actions of their deprivation is and what the risks of new
and institutionsis reaching those who experi- deprivations are. The Report on the World Social
practical universalism ence the most extreme deprivations and those Situation 2016 noted that universalism is pos-
is reaching those who are the most socially marginalized and sible only after those who are being left behind
who experience excluded. Technical and financial barriers can have been identified.1 With this reasoning, this
be overcome, and there are indeed strong col- chapter:
the most extreme lective efforts in this direction. But deep-seated Looks beyond national averages and existing
deprivations and those barriers to universalism, including discrimina- measures.
who are the most tory social norms and laws and inequalities in Comprehends the development barriers that
agency and voice, require more attention. There often block particular groups, such that some
socially marginalized
is also a need to appreciate the dynamic nature groups are disproportionately marginalized
and excluded of deprivations and exclusionthat gains can and more at risk of emerging threats.
be reversed by health or financial shocks, that Contextualizes human development, identi-
new barriers can emerge if conflict erupts or fying deprivations and inequalities across the
community security and services deteriorate spectrum of countries with different incomes
and that new groups without reliable access and human development profiles and map-
to the Internet can be marginalized when that ping out how new barriers can emerge, even
access becomes central to livelihoods. as some deprivations are overcome.
The goal is not only to reach the most de- Analyses the barriers to practical universalism
prived and ensure that no one is left behind so that steps can be taken to eliminate them.
today, but also to protect those at risk of being
left behind tomorrow. Universalism is a princi-
ple of the human development approach, and Beyond averages using
now is the time to translate it into practice by the family of human
identifying and breaking down barriers that development indices
exclude certain groups, narrowing the wide
gaps in life chances among different groups, Human development is about improving the
proposing policy options that fit contexts life chances of individuals. However, the meas-
and levels of development and identifying ures used to monitor progress in human de-
institutional shortcomings. This is practical velopment often cover only countries and not
universalism. individuals or groups. Disaggregated measures
are therefore needed that show who is deprived,
where they live and the nature of their depri-
Momentum towards universalism vations. National, subregional and regional
Human Development Reports have identified
Space is opening for the practice of universalism deprivations by analysing data disaggregated
and the extension of human development to by age, gender, subnational units, ethnicity and
everyone. The 2030 Agenda takes a universal ap- other parameters. Disaggregating and analysing
proach. Its Sustainable Development Goalsem- the family of human development indices
body a shared vision of progress towards a safe, the Human Development Index (HDI), the
just and sustainable world in which all human Inequality-adjusted Human Development
beings can thrive. The goals reflect principles Index (IHDI), the Gender Development Index
of universality that no one and no country (GDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and
should be excluded and that everyone and every the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)
country share a commonalbeit differentiated are early steps towards quantifying the scale of
responsibility for the outcomes of all. Global deprivations globally.
momentum is thus in place to enable policymak-
ers and advocates to move in ways that may have Human Development Index
been much more difficult in the past.
Translating principle into policy and institu- The HDI is one tool for identifying depriva-
tional practice requires mapping out who the tions in a selection of essential capabilities (a


long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent having medium human development.4 In both
standard of living). Country-level trends on countries the split is between capital provinces
the HDI have been impressive over the past and more rural areas.
25 years: Between 1990 and 2015 the number Disaggregation at the global level suggests
of countries classified as having low human that a third of the worlds population lives in
development fell from 62 to 41, and those low human development (figure 2.1). Many of
classified as having very high human develop- these people are severely deprived in education,
ment rose from 11 to 51.2 These shifts reflect health and income. Medium, high and very
improvements in the life conditions of millions high human development countries are home
of people. But the trends also reflect average to hundreds of millions of people living in low
national progress. The unfortunate reality is human development.5 Many people are being
that millions of people fall on the wrong side of left behind in countries across the development
the average and struggle with hunger, poverty, spectrum.
illiteracy and malnutrition, among other depri-
vations. Making human development work for Inequality-adjusted Human
everyone requires a greater understanding of Development Index Disaggregated
who these people are and where they live.
Disaggregated HDI values within countries Unequal concentrations of well-being mean HDI values within
confirm that many people live with unaccept- that indicators of average human development countries confirm
ably high deprivation, even though their coun- like the HDI do not reflect the well-being of that many people live
try appears to have improved in HDI value and a vast portion of the population. The IHDI
rank. Panama is classified as having high human quantifies the effects of inequality on human with unacceptably
development, but 2 of its 12 provinces are clas- development, measured in terms of the HDI. high deprivation,
sified as having low human development, while Some 22 percent of the worlds human devel- even though their
the capital province is classified as having very opment is lost because of inequality.6 Inequality
high human development.3 Ethiopia is classi- in education contributes the most to overall
country appears to
fied as having low human development, as are inequality, followed by inequality in income have improved in
9 of its 11 regions, but 2 regions are classified as and inequality in life expectancy. Sub-Saharan HDI value and rank

A third of the worlds population lives in low human development

7.4 billion people

in the world
Where they live

Very high
and high human 33%
development Low human
countries development
One-third live countries
in low human
Medium human

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 53
Africa has the highest loss of human develop- FIGURE 2.2
ment because of inequality (32 percent).7
Women are the most disadvantaged in low human
At the country level unequal distribution of
development countries
human development occurs both in low hu-
man development countries, such as Comoros Very high
(where 46 percent of human development is lost human development
because of inequality) and in very high human
development countries, such as Chile (where 18
percent of human development is lost because of
inequality).8 The IHDI indicates that human de-
velopment for everyone will require considerable Low High
human .590 .291 human
interventions to overcome unequal distributions development development
in key capabilities within countries.

Gender Development Index and

Gender Inequality Index
human development
Women are more likely than men to suffer from
Note: 1 indicates absolute inequality, as measured by the Gender Inequality
low human development.9 Many groups are Index, and 0 indicates perfect equality.
disadvantaged, but the systemic deprivations of Source: Human Development Report Office.

women relative to men deserve to be highlight-

ed because women constitute half the worlds A challenge to global progress in human de-
population. The deprivations facing women are velopment across all regions and groups, gender
the most extreme barrier to global progress in inequality is most severe in low and medium
The deprivations human development. human development countries and in the Arab
facing women are the Despite the fact that in all regions women States, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.11
have longer life expectancy than do men and As countries human development improves,
most extreme barrier the fact that in most regions the expected num- womens choices and opportunities must be
to global progress in ber of years of schooling for girls is similar to equal to those of men so that everyone benefits
human development that for boys, women consistently have a lower from advances in human development.
HDI value than do men. The largest differences
captured by the GDI are in South Asia, where Multidimensional Poverty Index
the HDI value for women is 17.8 percent lower
than the HDI value for men, followed by the Deprived people often lack capabilities and
Arab States with a 14.4 percent difference and opportunities across multiple dimensions. The
Sub-Saharan Africa with 12.3 percent. MPI, which is calculated for 102 developing
Much of the variation in HDI between countries, reveals more about the depth and
women and men is due to lower income among overlapping nature of peoples nonincome dep-
women relative to men and to lower educational rivations than do one-dimensional measures of
attainment among women relative to men. Part poverty. Based on 10 indicators, the MPI iden-
of the variation in the HDI between men and tifies households that are acutely deprived by
women is generated by barriers to women work- their health, education and standard of living.
ing outside the home, to accessing education, Almost 1.5 billion people in the developing
to voicing their concerns in political arenas, to countries for which the MPI is calculated live
shaping policies and to receiving the benefits of in multidimensional poverty, 53.9 percent of
high-quality and accessible health care. them in South Asia and 33.5 percent in Sub-
The GII is a composite index that captures Saharan Africa.12 People are also deprived in
the inequality that many women face in repro- developed countries (box 2.1).
ductive health, secondary education, political Some systematic patterns of deprivation can
representation and the labour market (figure be inferred from poverty measures. People in
2.2). Women are the most disadvantaged in low rural areas are far more likely than people in
human development countries.10 urban areas to be multidimensionally poor (29


BOX 2.1

Poverty is also a developed country problem

Deprivations are a universal problem afflicting people in deprivations caused by obesity are also high. The most re-
developed and developing countries alike. An average of cent survey data indicate that an average of 53.8 percent
11 percent of the population in Organisation for Economic of the adult population in OECD countries is overweight
Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries were or obese and faces high risks of cardiovascular disease,
below the income poverty line in 2014.1 As of 2012 there respiratory illnesses, diabetes and other diseases.5
were 633,000 homeless people in the United States and The data make clear that not all people in countries
284,000 in Germany.2 OECD countries have the highest classified as having very high human development are
incarceration rates of any group of countries: an aver- able to achieve their full life potential. Poverty can take
age of 274 people per 100,000, isolated from society in different forms in developed countries and in developing
prison.3 An average of 15 percent of young people ages countries, but it is no less debilitating to the choices and
1529 are neither employed nor in education or training the future of individuals and households experiencing
and are struggling to find their place in society.4 Health the deprivations.

1. OECD 2016a. 2. OECD 2015a. 3. Based on UNODC (2016). 4. OECD 2016e. 5. OECD 2015b.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

percent versus 11 percent), though there is var- urban population in developing countries and
There is a high
iation across regions (figure 2.3). are deprived of many services and opportunities
Nearly half of people in rural areas worldwide the very benefits that many deprived people likelihood that if
lack access to improved sanitation facilities, migrated from rural areas to obtain.15 a household is
compared with a sixth of people in urban are- There is a high likelihood that if a household deprived in one of
as.13 And twice as many rural children as urban is deprived in one of the 10 indicators used to
children are out of school.14 At the same time, calculate the MPI, it will also be deprived in the 10 indicators
slumdwellers account for 48 percent of the others. To improve the conditions of the most used to calculate the
MPI, it will also be
FIGURE 2.3 deprived in others
People in rural areas are far more likely than people in urban areas to be multidimensionally poor

Population in multidimensional poverty (%) Rural population

Urban population


29 31 29

8 8
3 2 1

Developing Sub-Saharan South Asia Arab States Latin America East Asia & Europe and
countries Africa & the Caribbean the Pacific Central Asia

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 55
deprived, a more comprehensive cross-sectoral average measures. Despite the overall progress,
approach to policy may thus be more effective about one-third of people in the world live in
Viewing the nation than interventions that separately target par- unacceptably low human development. Many
as the primary ticular elements of poverty. of themespecially women and girls, people in
unit of analysis Poverty rates differ between men and wom- rural areas and people in countries in conflict
en. Although at the global level households suffer multiple and overlapping deprivations.
for policymaking headed by men and those headed women are Viewing the nation as the primary unit of
and measurement almost equally likely to be multidimensionally analysis for policymaking and measurement
has value, but poor29 percent of man-headed households has value, but looking directly at the condi-
and 28 percent of woman-headed households tions of individuals is essential for identifying
looking directly at
are multidimensionally poorthere is consid- who is being left behind. Countries human
the conditions of erable variation across countries and regions.16 development may improve, but this does not
individuals is essential Because the MPI is calculated at the household mean that entire populations are better off
level rather than at the individual level, com- or benefit equally. Supplementing national
for identifying who
plementary research may be needed to clarify measures with subnational measures is impor-
is being left behind the relationship between gender and poverty. tant for policymaking. Data disaggregation is
People are more likely to fall into multidi- critical for identifying the integrated actions
mensional poverty during conflict, and people needed to support universalism and the full
in conflict areas face particular barriers to realization of life potential among all people
moving out of multidimensional poverty. An (see chapter 3). Melinda Gates, co-chair of
average of 49 percent of the population in 24 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ar-
countries in conflict for which the MPI is cal- gues that getting a clearer picture of poverty
culated lives in multidimensional poverty, and and deprivation is a fundamental first step
another 16 percent live in near-poverty. An av- towards designing and implementing more ef-
erage of 27 percent of people in these countries fective policies and interventions (see special
live in severe multidimensional poverty. contribution).
Deprivations also vary across socioeconomic
groups. In Sub-Saharan Africa poor people,
especially women attending school in rural A look at disadvantaged groups
communities, are far less likely than nonpoor
people to be learning critical skills such as All people in all circumstances are not equally
reading, writing and mathematics.17 In Chad disadvantaged. People with certain charac-
the richest quintile of the population averages teristics, in certain locations or at particularly
6.7 years of schooling, compared with 1.0 for vulnerable stages of the lifecycle are more
the poorest quintile. The story is similar in likely than other people to lack access to
Ethiopia7.5 years for the richest quintile capability-enhancing resources and opportu-
and 1.6 years for the poorest quintileand nities to suffer deprivations. These groups are
in Madagascar9.8 years and 1.7 years.18 In also disproportionately exposed and vulnerable
South Africa HIV prevalence is higher among to emerging threats such as epidemics, climate
the poorest socioeconomic groups. Access to change and natural disasters, so progress
basic social services of acceptable quality is may be less sustainable among these groups
often limited among people living in poverty, even when gains in human development are
intensifying the disparities in well-being. In achieved. Group distinctions such as ethnicity
Zambia poor people are less likely to use pub- or religion can serve as dividing lines to support
lic hospitals because of financial and physical discrimination and restrict access to resources
barriers, despite having greater need than other and opportunities. The result can be differ-
income groups.19 ences in the human development outcomes of
particular groups. The following subsections
Too many people are still missing out identify some of the groups that are missing out
on progress in human development and show
The HDI, GII, GDI and MPI indicate that not how deprivations may take shape in particular
everyone is lifted as countries progress on these contexts and conditions.



Getting a clearer picture of poverty

I was asked last year to select one photograph that has profoundly influenced poverty profile should also include a gender dimension, given that most
my life. I chose an image known as Migrant Mothera haunting picture of average income measurements miss the contribution and consumption of
a woman named Florence Owens Thompson sitting with three of her chil- women and girls within households entirely.
dren in their makeshift home, a rudimentary tent. The photograph was taken For a long time, for example, when data collectors in Uganda conducted
in California in 1936 as millions of American families struggled through the labour force surveys, they only asked about a households primary earner. In
Great Depression. Florence and her family are destitute and desperate. most cases, the main breadwinner in Ugandan households was the man, so
That iconic photograph, which I first came across in high school, still the data made it look like barely any women were participating in the work-
comes to mind whenever poverty is the topic of conversation. Poverty as a force. When the data collectors started asking a second questionwho
category of analysis is an abstraction. Migrant Mother captures its harsh, else in the household works?Ugandas workforce immediately increased
biting reality better than any other imageand any dictionary definition or by 700,000 people, most of them women. Obviously, these women had ex-
economic indicatorthat I have ever seen. And what motivates me is that, isted all along. But until their presence was counted and included in official
70 years on, this struggle is still daily life for more than a billion people reports, these women and the daily challenges they faced were ignored by
around the world. policymakers. Similarly, because many surveys tend to focus solely on the
In my work I have seen that struggle firsthand. I have seen how lack of head of householdand assume that to be the manwe have less idea of
family planning advice and contraceptives leaves parents with more mouths the numbers of women and children living in poverty and the proportion of
to feed than they can afford; how not getting the right food and nutrients woman-headed households in poverty.
leaves people unable to fulfil their potential; and how disease leaves adults Getting a clearer picture of poverty and deprivation is a fundamental
too weak to work, and children too sick for school. first step towards designing and implementing more effective policies and
So while there are robust and legitimate debates going on about the interventions, as well as better targeting scarce resources where they will
methodology and measurements we use to classify poverty, first and fore- have the greatest impact. Thats why our foundation is supporting partners
most we must remember what it actually means to be poor. Essentially, to better identify who and where the poorest and most vulnerable are, col-
being poor is about deprivation. Poverty not only deprives people of food, lect better information on what they want and need to improve their lives
shelter, sanitation, health, income, assets and education, it also deprives and develop a better understanding of the structural barriers they face. The
them of their fundamental rights, social protections and basic dignity. findings will then be used to develop strategies that specifically target those
Poverty also looks different in different places. While in East Africa it is identified within the first 1,000 days of SDG implementation.
related mostly to living standards, in West Africa child mortality and lack of This report is a welcome contribution to these efforts, along with the
education are the biggest contributors. United Nations Development Programmes ongoing work to revamp the Human
All this complexity and variation is impossible to capture in a defini- Development Index (HDI), including an explicit focus on women and girls.
tion of poverty as simplistic as living on less than $1.90 a day. If we really Since its creation in 1990 the HDI has been a central pillar of multidimensional
mean to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, as laid out in the first poverty and a key instrument to measure both how much we have achieved
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), then it fits that we have to know what and the challenges ahead. The report is also a timely addition to the calls
all those forms are. We need to have a far clearer picture of the most mar- made by the Commission on Global Poverty, the Organisation for Economic
ginalized and most vulnerable. Not just those who are financially poor, but Co-Operation and Development and others for incorporating quality of life
those facing a number of distinct disadvantages, such as gender, race and dimensions into the way we understand and determine human deprivation.
ethnicity, that taken together deprive them of the chance to lead healthy, I am excited by the prospect of a broader, more sophisticated approach
productive lives. to determining poverty. But all the best data in the world wont do us much
One of the reasons I find Migrant Mother so powerful is that it focuses good if they sit on a shelf collecting dust. They must be used to influence
on the plight of a woman and how she is scarred by deprivation, at a time decisionmaking and accountability, and ultimately to transform the lives of
when their hardship and suffering was sometimes overlooked by politi- the worlds most vulnerable people. The last 15 years have shown us that
cians and policymakers. It is critical to know more about the lives of todays progress on poverty is possible. But we also know that it is not inevitable
Florence Owens Thompsons since women and girls are widely recognized as nor has it been universal. My hope is that this report will catalyse the global
one of the most disregarded and disenfranchised groups in many developing community to ensure that, this time, no one is left behind. Lets not squander
countries. Indeed, the World Bank argues that a complete demographic this momentum.

Melinda Gates
Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 57
Women and girls and potential. Each year, 15 million girls in
developing countries marry before age 18, and
Women and girls are not able to live their if there is no reduction in the incidence of early
lives to their full potential in many countries. marriage among girls, by 2050, 18 million girls
Gender disparities in human development, will be married before age 18.20 Worldwide, one
Gender disparities in while narrowing slowly, are embedded in social out of eight age-eligible girls does not attend
norms and long-standing patterns of exclusion primary or secondary school.21 Only 62 of 145
human development, from household and community decision- countries have achieved gender parity in prima-
while narrowing making that limit womens opportunities and ry and secondary education.22
slowly, are embedded choices (box 2.2). As highlighted in the 2015 Human
Gender-based discrimination starts before Development Report, women face numerous
in social norms
school, even before birth. The preference for a disadvantages in paid and unpaid work. The
and long-standing son can lead to sex-selective abortions and miss- global labour force participation rate is 49.6
patterns of exclusion ing women, particularly in some South Asian percent among women and 76.2 percent
countries. Discrimination continues in families among men.23 Women employed in vulnerable
from household
through intrahousehold resource allocation. work or the informal economy may lack decent
and community The gender politics of foodnurtured by the work conditions, social security and voice and
decisionmaking assumptions, norms and values about women have lower earnings than do other workers.
that limit womens needing fewer caloriescan push women into Women also suffer discrimination in relation to
a perpetual state of malnutrition and protein productive assets, such as the right to land and
opportunities deficiency. Women and girls sometimes eat last property. Women are barred from owning land
and choices and least within the household. Early marriage because of customary laws and social norms and
among girls limits their long-term capabilities practices. Only 1020 percent of landholders

BOX 2.2

Gender-based inequalities in South Asian households

Women in South Asia are often excluded from decision- Inequality in work and education begins in child-
making, have limited access to and control over resourc- hood. Girls in South Asia learn domestic skills in the
es, are restricted in their mobility and are often under household and begin to take on domestic duties and
threat of violence from male relatives. These depriva- child care. There are strong beliefs in rural areas that
tions are linked strongly to patriarchal social norms and sons should be educated because they will remain in the
attitudes that impede equitable gender relationships family and support ageing parents, while daughters are
within households. They have consequences for health, likely to serve other families after marriage. Cultural be-
education and community participation. liefs that the role of a woman is to be a wife and mother
Discrimination at each stage of the female life- have direct consequences on parents incentives to in-
cycle contributes to health disparitiesfrom sex- vest in expanding their daughters capabilities through
selective abortions (particularly common in India and education and preparation for paid work. Another com-
Pakistan) to lower nutrition intake and the neglect of mon perception is that education for girls beyond primary
health care among girls and women. A girl between school will make it harder for a woman to find a husband.
her first and fifth birthdays in India or Pakistan has Legislation promoting gender equality is vital for
a 3050 percent greater chance of dying than a boy. women in South Asia. But households are where most
The maternal mortality ratio in South Asia is also decisionmaking takes place, and norms and values
stubbornly high, second only to that in Sub-Saharan continue to perpetuate inequalities between men and
Africa. This is partly because many births are not women across generations, even when such laws are
attended by skilled health personnel (44 percent in in place. If women are not encouraged to work outside
Bangladesh). Decisions about seeking care are made the home, labour laws will not reach them. If families do
largely by husbands or older male and female house- not allow girls to attend school, scholarships and school
hold members, and mistrust or misinformation about gender quotas will not support them. And if violence
modern health facilities for child delivery restricts ac- against women is overlooked in the home, women will
cess by women. not feel empowered to voice their concerns.

Source: Banu 2016.


in developing countries are women.24 Women up with the expected behaviours of women,
take on a disproportionate amount of unpaid as dictated by their families or societies.
work in the home, forgoing opportunities for Worldwide, 5,000 women a year are murdered
other activities, including education, visits to in such honour killings.32
health centres and work outside the home. When women are discriminated against, so-
There are more women than men living in ciety suffers. Even in a narrow economic sense,
poverty. In 2012 in Latin America and the gender gaps in womens entrepreneurship and
Caribbean there were 117 women in poor labour force participation account for estimat-
households for every 100 men, an 8 percent ed economywide income losses of 27 percent in
increase since 1997.25 the Middle East and North Africa, 19 percent
In many countries outcomes in educational in South Asia, 14 percent in Latin America and
attainment and health are worse for girls than the Caribbean and 10 percent in Europe.33 In
for boys. Globally, 60.3 percent of adult women Sub-Saharan Africa annual economic losses
have at least some secondary education, com- because of gender gaps in effective labour (the
pared with 69.2 percent of adult men.26 Maternal labour force participation rate and years of
mortality ratios and adolescent birth rates are schooling) are estimated at $95 billion.34
declining but remain high in Sub-Saharan
Africa, at 551 deaths per 100,000 live births and Ethnic minorities
103 births per 1,000 women ages 1519.27
One of the most brutal forms of womens In many developing and developed countries
disempowerment is violence against women, ethnic minority status is associated with lower
including in the home, in all societies, among all capabilities and opportunities. More than 250
socioeconomic groups and at all levels of edu- million people worldwide face discrimination
cation. According to a 2013 global review, one- solely on the basis of caste or inherited status.35
third of womenand more than two-thirds in In Viet Nam there are gaps between the capa-
some countrieshave experienced physical or bilities of ethnic or linguistic minorities and In many developing
sexual violence inflicted by an intimate partner the Kinh-Hoa majority. In 2012, 50.9 percent and developed
or sexual violence inflicted by a nonpartner. of the ethnic minority population was living countries ethnic
Some 20 percent of women experienced sexual in multidimensional poverty, compared with
minority status is
violence as children.28 Nearly a quarter of girls only 16.5 percent of the Kinh-Hoa popula-
ages 1519 worldwide reported having been tion. In 2008 the poverty rate was 51 percent associated with
victims of violence after turning 15.29 among ethnic minorities and 54 percent among lower capabilities
Violence against women can be perpet- non-Vietnamese speakers, compared with only
and opportunities
uated through social norms. For example, 26 percent among the Kinh-Hoa population.
female genital mutilation and cutting remain Some 84.6 percent of Kinh-Hoa children ages
widespread. New estimates indicate that 200 1223 months were fully immunized in 2014,
million women and girls living today have compared with 69.4 percent of ethnic minority
undergone female genital mutilation, even children.36
though the majority of men and women op- Evidence from Nepal shows similar patterns
pose the practice in many countries where it is of disadvantages among ethnic minority groups.
performed.30 Acid attacks against women are The 2014 Nepal National Human Development
a heinous form of violence common in com- Report found wide variations in HDI values
munities where patriarchal gender orders are across population groups, although the trends
used to justify violence against women. In the are towards less inequality. The Newar people
last 15 years more than3,300 acid-throwing have the highest HDI value, 0.565, followed
attacks have been recorded in Bangladesh, by the Brahman-Chhetris (0.538), followed by
Colombia, Pakistan, Uganda and the United Janajatis (0.482), Dalits (0.434) and Muslims
Kingdom.31 The true number is likely much (0.422; figure 2.4). The variations in HDI
higher because many cases go unrecorded. values are significant within these groups, de-
In some societies women are also targets of pending on location. The highest inequalities
honour-based violence, where the concept of are in education, and this may have pronounced
honour and shame is fundamentally bound long-term effects on capabilities later in life.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 59

Variations in Human Development Index values are wide across population groups in Nepal

All Brahman/Chhetri 0.538

Hill Brahman 0.557
Hill Chhetri 0.507
Madhesi Brahman/Chhetri 0.536
Madhesi other castes 0.460
All Dalits 0.434
Hill Dalit 0.446
Madhesi Dalit 0.400
Newar 0.565
All Janajatis excluding Newar 0.482
Hill Janajati 0.509
Tarai Janajati 0.473
Muslim/Musalman 0.422
All Hill/Mountain groups 0.511
All Tarai/Madhesi groups 0.454
Others 0.586

Human Development Index value, 2011

Source: UNDP 2014e.

Deprivations among Deprivations among ethnic minorities are (scaled from 0 to 10) is 5.03; the HDI value for
ethnic minorities also apparent in countries classified as having Latinos (4.05), African Americans (3.81) and
very high human development. Measure of Native Americans (3.55) are below this average,
are also apparent
America produces an HDI value that is disag- while the HDI values for Whites (5.43) and
in very high human gregated by ethnic group for each state in the Asian Americans (7.21) are above it (figure
development countries United States. The countrys average HDI value 2.5). Box 2.3 focuses on the issue of human


In the United States the Human Development Index value is below the country average for some ethnic
groups but above it for others

Human Development Index value, 2010 (010) Subgroup national average

7.21 Subgroup lowest state average

5.69 5.43
US average 5.03
3.97 4.05 3.81 3.55


Asian Whites Latinos African Native

Americans Americans Americans

Note: Data refer to the Human Development Index produced by Measure of America, which differs from teh Human Development Index produced by hte Human
Developme Report Office.
Source: Human Development Report Office estimates based on Lewis and Burd-Sharps (2013).


BOX 2.3

Human development among African Americans in the United States

African Americans life expectancy is shorter than that Differences in wages between African Americans
of other ethnic and racial groups in the United States. and Whites are also related to discrimination in the
African Americans also trail Whites and Asian Ameri- job market. Discrimination accounts for an estimated
cans in education and wages: Whites earn 27 percent one-third of wage disparities, all else (including edu-
more on average. In some metropolitan areas the dispar- cation) being equal.3 This indicates that policies are
ity is particularly striking. The life expectancy of African needed to ensure that skills and education are rewarded
Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, St. equally. Social pressures within the African American
Petersburg and Tampa is now close to the national av- community can limit choices and later life chances
erage in the late 1970s.1 The reasons are complex but among adolescents. Being labelled as acting White
linked to a long history of legal and social discrimination. whereby high-achieving African American students
Policies that improve educational achievement can are shunned in some contexts by their peers for doing
expand opportunities for African Americans and other well academicallycan discourage good performance
racial and ethnic minorities in work and other areas. in school.4 Reducing the stigmatization of academic
Equalizing educational achievement could reduce dis- achievement among African American youth could be
parities in employment between African Americans and a step towards reducing inequalities in human develop-
Whites by 53percent, incarceration by 79percent and ment outcomes.
health outcomes by 88percent.2

1. Lewis and Burd-Sharps 2013. 2. Curto, Fryer and Howard 2011. 3. Fryer, Pager and Spenkuch 2013. 4. Fryer 2006.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

development among African Americans in the change and economic shocks, with devastating
United States. effects on life chances (box 2.4).
Deprivations in capabilities linked to ethnic- The resources available to individuals to
ity can be exacerbated by greater exposure to enhance their capabilities vary by country. For
external pressures such as climate change. In example, public spending on health care pro-
Cambodia indigenous peoples are disadvan- grammes and insurance in Organisation for
taged by higher poverty rates, limited access Economic Co-operation and Development
to education and health, and fewer representa- (OECD) countries averages 7.7 percent of
tives in national and subnational decisionmak- GDP, while public health expenditures in Individuals born into
ing institutions. The same groups are doubly the least developed countries average only
communities that
deprived because their livelihoods rely more 1.8 percent of GDP.37 Public expenditure on
heavily on natural resources and agriculture education is 5.1 percent of GDP in OECD are geographically
than those of other population groups, and the countries but 3.3 percent in the least devel- isolated, predominantly
impact of climate change on their livelihoods oped countries.38 In 2010 the share of the home to politically
has been high. population living on degraded land (land with
limited productive capacity) was only 3.4 and socially excluded
People in vulnerable locations percent in OECD countries but 23.5 percent minorities or
in the least developed countries.39 These statis- disproportionately
Where individuals are born has an immense tics suggest why people in different countries
effect on their potential capabilities and op- face different means of reaching their full exposed to
portunities. People born in the least developed potential. environmental
countries, fragile states and countries in conflict Individuals born into communities that are pressures have
suffer huge disadvantages relative to people geographically isolated, predominantly home
born in stable, highly developed countries. to politically and socially excluded minorities
fewer opportunities
Citizenship, an ascribed group characteristic, or disproportionately exposed to environmen-
can tie individuals to place-based conditions of tal pressures have fewer opportunities. Whole
violence and insecurity, under-resourced public communities risk being left behind unless un-
programmes or vulnerability to environmental balanced service distribution is rectified.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 61
BOX 2.4

Limitations in opportunities among young people in small island developing states

Small island developing states face several economic poverty reduction efforts and negatively affects securi-
challenges stemming from the limited resource base, ty by exacerbating crime and violence. Indeed, in 2012,
remoteness from markets and barriers to economies of 1724 percent of male school-age young people in 10
scale. Extreme vulnerabilities to climate change place Caribbean countries admitted to having been involved
additional stress on economic activity, particularly in in gangs.3 High rates of crime and violence can con-
tourism, fisheries and agriculture. The economic vul- tribute to a vicious cycle whereby youth imprisonment
nerabilities translate into limited choices and oppor- and declines in revenues from tourism reduce overall
tunities among citizens. The obstacles are especially economic activity and opportunities.
high for young people looking for decent work. The There are formidable challenges to expanding choic-
youth unemployment rate ranges from 18 percent to 47 es among young people and other vulnerable groups in
percent among countries in the Caribbean, with the ex- small island developing states, but some of these chal-
ception of Trinidad and Tobago, and the jobs available lenges could be transformed into opportunities with the
to working young people are often in low-skill areas right mix of policies. Investments in c limate-resilient in-
with limited mobility.1 Likewise, in the Pacific Islands, frastructure could turn climate change into a generator
youth unemployment is estimated at 23 percent but of employment. Investments in high-quality education
reaches 63 percent in the Republic of the Marshall and youth training programmes could increase entre-
Islands, 54 percent in Kiribati and 46 percent in the preneurship and remittances from labour migration and
Solomon Islands.2 The lack of stable employment op- invigorate sectors such as telecommunication, tourism
portunities is detrimental to income generation and and creative industries.4

1. UNDP 2016b. 2. ILO 2014b. 3. UNDP 2016b. 4. ILO 2014b.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

People in conflict-affected countries ex- a country, as can the quality of these services.43
perience severe and immediate impacts on Financial supportnational and official devel-
human development. Modelling of the losses opment assistancealso varies across regions,
in each dimension of the HDI by the United with different effects on development outcomes.
Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Thus, a far greater proportion of people are poor
Refugees in the Near East in 2013 suggested in rural areas than in urban areas, and in urban
that over two conflict years the Syrian Arab areas poor people are often clustered in slums.
Republic lost the equivalent of 35 years of pro- Health care in India exemplifies the extreme
gress in human development.40 geographic differences in health services. In the
Conflict limits the availability of essential mid-2000s, 39 percent of children overall and
human developmentenhancing services such 59 percent in urban areas benefited from full
as health care and education. Children in immunization coverage, theoretically provided
The ability to access
conflict-affected countries accounted for half by the public sector. Kerala had one public hos-
health care, education, of all children denied an education in 2011, pital bed per 1,299 people, but Uttar Pradesh
water and housing even though they made up only 22 percent only one bed per 20,041. Almost all births in
of the worlds primary schoolage children.41 Kerala were attended by health personnel, com-
can vary greatly by
The United Nations Educational, Scientific pared with just 27 percent in Uttar Pradesh.44
region in a country, and Cultural Organization reported in 2013 Geography in Tunisia counts much more
as can the quality that 28.5 million children in conflict-affected than wealth, gender or the education level of
of these services countries were out of school.42 Livelihoods are the household head in determining access to
similarly disrupted when violence interferes some opportunities. Whether a person was
with trade, infrastructure and service provision. born in a rural or urban area explains 30 per-
The distribution of opportunities and social cent of the inequality in school attendance and
services is uneven between and within countries. almost 50 percent of the inequality in access to
The ability to access health care, education, sanitation. The pattern is similar in other Arab
water and housing can vary greatly by region in States, including Egypt and Morocco.45 And in


Sudan in the mid-2000s the use of antenatal choice than exposure to the harms they would
health care services was five times greater in face by staying home. Migrants who leave with-
urban areas than in rural areas.46 out the push of violence typically improve their
The 2016 Mongolia National Human human development potential by migrating.54
Development Report highlights differences in Migrants fleeing conflict are cut off from their
levels of inequality in human development across main sources of income and may lack access to
aimags, first-level administrative subdivisions.47 health care and social services beyond emergen-
Likewise, the HDI in China varies considerably cy humanitarian assistance (box 2.5). They fre-
across regions: from the equivalent of a medium quently face harassment, animosity and violence
human development country in some provinces in receiving countries. Trying to find work and
(for example, Gansu, at 0.689) to the equivalent earn an income is the single greatest challenge.
of a high human development country in other In many countries refugees are not permitted to
provinces (for example, Fujian, at 0.758) and to work; when they are, they see few opportunities.
the equivalent of a very high human develop- Many also lack identification papers, limiting
ment country in Beijing (at 0.869).48 access to formal jobs and services. People fleeing
conflict are especially vulnerable to trafficking, Individuals born into
Migrants and refugees forced labour, child labour, sex work and work
in other exploitative, high-risk activities. disadvantagehave few
Individuals born into disadvantage in Migrants also confront barriers to partici- strategies available to
conflict-affected situations, countries at risk pation in political and public life. Numerous better their conditions.
of environmental disaster or areas with few countries impose restrictions on noncitizens
economic opportunitieshave few strategies in voting and holding elected public office. One option may be to
available to better their conditions. One option The restrictions may be based on the duration leave their home and
may be to leave their home and community in of the stay of the migrants, reciprocal laws community in search
search of more physically and economically se- in the country of origin or the scope of the
cure environments despite the risks the journey electionmost countries grant noncitizens the
of more physically
presents and the potential obstacles to be faced. right to vote at communal but not regional or and economically
The United Nations Population Fund report- national elections. Language barriers can also secure environments
ed in 2015 that 244 million people were living be a key obstacle to community engagement.
outside their home countries.49 Many are seek- Newspapers, websites, television and radio pro-
ing better economic opportunities and hope to grammes covering host country political and
enhance their livelihoods and send money back public issues in the migrants native language
home. A 2012 survey in Somalia reported that can encourage civil participation.
more than 60 percent of young people intend- As migrant and refugee flows surge, the in-
ed to leave the country in search of better work frastructure and services of host countries are
opportunities.50 In 2010/2011 one person in challenged to absorb the newcomers. The pres-
nine born in Africa who had obtained a tertiary sure is especially intense in Jordan, Lebanon and
diploma lived in an OECD country.51 Turkey, which have taken in the vast majority
Not all migrants move because of hardship, of refugees from the conflict in the Syrian Arab
and not all move because of a lack of choices Republic.55 All basic services in Lebanon are un-
at home. Many migrants return with new skills der stress, especially the education system, which
and experience as opportunities for employ- has welcomed refugee children from the Syrian
ment at home increase, particularly in emerging Arab Republic but is now stretched thin.56
economies. But many migrants, especially the
worlds nearly 23 million refugees, asylumseek- Indigenous peoples
ers and stateless people, are fleeing extreme
conditions.52 And there are 50 million irregular Indigenous peoples are characterized by dis-
migrants who seek better conditions at great tinct cultures and close relationships with the
risk, often relying on smugglers for travel.53 land they inhabit. There are more than 370 mil-
People migrating to flee conflict and insecurity lion self-identified indigenous peoples in some
usually experience declines in their overall hu- 70 countries. Latin America alone numbers
man development, but migration is still a better more than 400 groups, and Asia and the Pacific

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 63
BOX 2.5

Disadvantages facing migrants

Migrants face barriers in accessing services to main- Education is another challenge among migrants.
tain their capabilities. They may not have the legal or Migrant children often have difficulty adapting in the
financial resources to access health care in their host host countrys classrooms, where the teaching methods,
countries and may therefore develop physical or mental curriculum and language are unfamiliar. An Organisation
problems that are aggravated by poor transit and living for Economic Co-operation and Development study in 23
conditions. When they are able to access health care, countries showed that first-generation immigrant stu-
they may not find health practitioners experienced in dents have much lower scores than do local students;
treating diseases that are uncommon in the host coun- second-generation immigrant students do slightly bet-
try, such as tropical diseases in northern latitudes or the ter.1 The variations across host countries are important,
psychological trauma associated with migration. They which may indicate that policies to integrate migrant
may also face discrimination from health practitioners or students affect these students outcomes. Migrant chil-
be unable to express themselves in the same language. dren may be experiencing school for the first time in the
Health care provided in refugee camps is not always of host country at an age when their peers have already
adequate quality and quantity, and people in transit may been in school. Besides the stress of adapting to a new
not be available for long-term treatments. The poor liv- country, migrant children must catch up to become in-
ing conditions and the high population density in most tegrated in their new schools. Some migrant children
camps can propagate communicable diseases. Women do not have access to education in their host country,
often confront threats of violence and physical insecurity. especially if they are undocumented.

1. Keeley 2009.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

an estimated 705.57 Indigenous peoples account Calls for self-determination through self-gov-
for around 5 percent of the worlds population ernment have been at the forefront of the
but 15 percent of people living in poverty.58 relationship between states and indigenous
Indigenous peoples face deprivations caused communities since the mid-20th century.
Because indigenous
by social, economic and political exclusion. In Because indigenous self-determination is explic-
self-determination is Africa indigenous peoples are more vulnerable itly limited by the right of states to territorial in-
explicitly limited by to HIV and AIDS because of a range of factors, tegrity, the representation of indigenous groups
the right of states to including stigmatization, structural racism and in parliament is a powerful symbol of self-deter-
discrimination, and individual and community mination and of inclusion more widely.
territorial integrity, disempowerment.59 In the United States Native In some cases, indigenous peoples have estab-
the representation Americans die at rates higher than the national lished their own parliaments or councils that
of indigenous groups average, especially as a result of liver disease, act as consultative bodiesfor example, the
diabetes, accidents, homicide, suicide and Sami people of Finland, Norway and Sweden.
in parliament is a chronic lower respiratory diseases.60 In other cases, such as the Maori in New
powerful symbol of Indigenous children are challenged in edu- Zealand, parliamentary seats are allocated for
self-determination cation systems by daily schedules that do not indigenous representatives.62
accommodate nomadic movement, and cur-
and of inclusion ricula rarely incorporate their history, culture Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
more widely and language.61 In many countries this leads to and intersex individuals
substantial gaps in years of schooling between
indigenous children and nonindigenous chil- In many countries people who are lesbian, gay,
dren (table 2.1). In Guatemala nonindigenous bisexual, transgender and intersex suffer extreme
children average twice as many years of school- discrimination and insecurity that deprive
ing as indigenous children. Income-generating them of dignity, basic rights and opportunities.
opportunities are more difficult to access when Statistics on sexual orientation are scarce, espe-
indigenous young people have low educational cially in countries where same-sex sexual acts are
attainment. illegal or socially invisible. But recent surveys in



Years of schooling, indigenous and nonindigenous children, selected countries

Country Nonindigenous Indigenous Difference

Bolivia 9.6 5.9 3.7

Ecuador 6.9 4.3 2.6
Guatemala 5.7 2.5 3.2
Mexico 7.9 4.6 3.3
Peru 8.7 6.4 2.3

Source: UNDESA 2009.

developed countries give some indication of the one another. Where intolerance remains high,
size of the population. In Australia 3 percent of legislation is critical to pushing back against
the adult population self-identified as gay, lesbi- hostile and discriminatory behaviour that lim-
an or other in 2014.63 In the United Kingdom its the choices of a large global population.
545,000 adults identified as gay or lesbian, and
220,000 identified as bisexual in 2012.64 In the Older people
United States 3.4 percent of adults identified as
lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.65 In these Given that many countries have an ageing pop-
surveys younger respondents were more likely ulation, what are the deprivations facing older
than older respondents to self-report as lesbian, people? By 2020 the number of people ages
gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, suggesting 60 and older will be greater than the number
that social norms influence the likelihood of of children under age 5. The proportion of
higher response rates. the worlds population over age 60 will dou-
Same-sex sexual acts are illegal among men ble between 2015 and 2050, to 22 percent.67
in 73 countries and among women in 45. In Few countries are prepared to cope with this
13 countries people who engage in such acts demographic transition. Without adequate Even in countries
can face the death penalty.66 Even in countries health systems, social protection, and work
where lesbian, gay,
where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and and retirement schemes in place, older people
intersex people are not considered criminals, are deprived of opportunities to maintain and bisexual, transgender
their prospects for human development are lim- expand their capabilities. They also suffer from and intersex people
ited by discrimination in social and economic prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory poli- are not considered
life. Unlike other minorities the lesbian, gay, cies and practices, often referred to as ageism.68
bisexual, transgender and intersex community These issues may be particularly pertinent for criminals, their
is often hidden. Sexual minorities may not dis- women, because the life expectancy of women prospects for
close their identity for fear of legal punishment, usually exceeds that of men. Pensions may be human development
social abuse, hostility and discrimination by unavailable to women who have performed
society or by close friends and family members. unpaid care work for much of their lives or who are limited by
Because differences in sexual orientation are have worked in the informal sector. Older men discrimination in social
not openly recognized in many societies, data are more likely to have pensions as a benefit of and economic life
on discrimination are not widely available, and their paid formal work. Poverty rates are higher
evidence-based policymaking is difficult. among older women than among older men.69 In
For 25 countries with data, attitudes towards the European Union older women are 37 percent
the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and in- more likely than older men to live in poverty.70
tersex community have become more tolerant Women are often expected to continue well
since the 1990s (figure 2.6). Social acceptance into old age unpaid care work for spouses and
has increased as the adoption of antidiscrimi- grandchildren. This can be a source of fulfilment
nation legislation has moved forward. Social but also takes a physical toll and may come
norms and legislation have positively reinforced with little recognition. Many older people,

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

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Since the 1990s attitudes towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community have
become more tolerant, and the number of antidiscrimination laws has increased

% of the population that does not want homosexuals as neighbours

No antidiscrimination laws
70 Antidiscrimination laws approved

Country group I
No antidiscrimination laws

Country group II
Antidiscrimination laws
40 approved in the 2010s
Country group III
Antidiscrimination laws
30 approved in the 2000s

20 Country group IV
Antidiscrimination laws
approved in the 1990s

1990s 2000s 2010s

Source: Human Development Report Office estimates based on ILGA (2016a) and WVSA (2016).

particularly women, are also constrained by without health insurance or retirement bene-
psychological and physical abuse that reduces fits. In the United Kingdom people in wealth-
their sense of security and dignity. A HelpAge ier neighbourhoods live six years longer than
International study found that two-thirds of old- people in poor neighbourhoods and spend 13
er people who experience emotional, economic more years without disability.73
and physical abuse in Moldova are women.71
The general increase in life expectancy means Persons with disabilities
that older people have many healthy, produc-
Deprivations suffered tive years ahead of them. In 2014, 11 percent of Physical and social barriers may deprive per-
in old age are generally entrepreneurs in the United States were in the sons with disabilities of the chance to achieve
accumulated through 5564 age group.72 Many older people are still their full life potential. Special facilities allow
capable and willing to work, and many need persons with disabilities, older people and
the lifecycle
to continue working if adequate retirement other groups with limited mobility to fully
schemes are not in place. But hiring practices participate in public life. Although around 1
that discriminate against older people limit billion people worldwide live with some form
their opportunities for work, and a mandatory of disability, adequate infrastructure for persons
retirement age may force older people to leave with disabilities is still underdeveloped, making
the labour market. independent mobility a challenge for many.74
Deprivations suffered in old age are generally Remote rural areas present severe mobility chal-
accumulated through the lifecycle. Children lenges. Additional impediments may remain
in poorer households may suffer from malnu- even when infrastructure is in placesuch as
trition, have poorer health, have less schooling discriminatory hiring practices that limit access
and end up in a low-skilled, low-paid job to jobs for persons with disabilities .


People with mental health conditions are and epidemics push people into multidimen-
particularly vulnerable to social exclusion. In sional poverty. People in developed countries
27 European countries the gap in unemploy- can lack opportunities for work, education and Deprivations can
ment rates between individuals with mental access to information, despite extensive infor- materialize when
health conditions and those without widened mation and communication technology infra-
between 2006 and 2010 (before and after structure because broadband Internet systems development leads
the financial crisis), and social stigmatization do not reach some rural areas or carry prohibi- to new needs and
was an important factor contributing to job tive costs. This section elaborates on important new mechanisms
insecurity.75 In Germany the unwillingness but perhaps underemphasized issues of human
to recommend an individual with depression developmentquality, information access, of exclusion
for a job increased between 19902000 and security, and lifecycle and intergenerational
20002010. 76 An estimated 350 million deprivationsthat are increasingly central to
people worldwide are affected by depression, peoples life potential.
about 60 million are affected by bipolar affec-
tive disorders, 21 million by schizophrenia and From quantity to quality in
other psychoses and 47.5 million by demen- human development
tia.77 The fact that half a billion people suffer
from these conditions means that the exclusion Over the last quarter-century, assessments of
of people with mental health conditions from human development have focused primar-
work and social activities is a major barrier to ily on quantitative achievements. But with
universalism.78 substantial progress in human development
linked to measures of quantity, such as years of
schooling or life expectancy, there are questions
Deprivations in human about whether quality has also improved. Has
development as a quality in education, health and standards of
dynamic process living been enhanced? Quality is an important
yardstick against which the progress in human
The universal achievement of some basic capa- development across countries and individuals
bilities will not enable all people to realize their should be examined. Large variations in the
full life potential. Many dimensions of human quality of human development across groups
development may still be lacking, including can become the basis for inequality and the
agency, security and sustainability. And the perpetuation of deprivations throughout an
capabilities that matter most vary in different individuals lifecycle and across generations.
contexts and at different stages of the lifecycle. Within the human development approach, the
Security may be at the top of the list for a concept of quality can be explored in opportu-
household in a conflict-affected country, while nities for public participation, the enforcement
interesting work opportunities may be the top of rights and the quality of work. As a starting
priority of an educated young person. Nor point, the analysis is directed at the quality of
does rising above the low human development education, health and living standardsthe di-
threshold ensure that people are protected mensions of human development that compose
from emerging and future threats to human the HDI.
development. Indeed, 900 million people live Many countries have made gains in access
close to the threshold of multidimensional to education, but improvements in the quality
poverty and risk falling into poverty after even of education have not kept pace. One-third of
a minor setback in health, education or live- primary schoolage children are not learning
lihood.79 The condition of being deprived is basic mathematics and reading even though
therefore dynamic. half of them have spent at least four years in
Deprivations can materialize when develop- school.80 Girls enrolment in primary education
ment leads to new needs and new mechanisms has increased, but the results in terms of litera-
of exclusion. Political transitions, demographic cy are not encouraging. In half of 53 develop-
shifts and outbreaks of violence put pressure on ing countries with data, the majority of adult
achieved gains. Climate change, financial crises women who completed four to six years of

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 67
primary school are illiterate.81 These outcomes life expectancy.86 The difference between life
are linked partly to the quality of teaching. The expectancy and healthy life expectancy can
People are living number of primary school teachers trained be interpreted as years that are burdened with
according to national standards is below 75 illness and disability. In 2015 the difference was
longer but also percent in around a third of the countries for more than 10 years in nine countries (table 2.2).
spending more years which data are available.82 High pupilteacher People are living longer but also spending more
suffering because of ratios are also a challenge to quality of educa- years suffering because of illness and disability.
tion. Ratios in primary education were above It is assumed that peoples living standards im-
illness and disability
40 to 1 in 26 countries (23 in Sub-Saharan prove when incomes rise. However, the quality
Africa) in 2011.83 Such lack of support dimin- of peoples lives can vary greatly even as per cap-
ishes the prospects of learning and raises the ita income rises. Per capita income measures can
likelihood of dropping out of school. rise when goods and services that are consumed
Health is improving worldwide. People are in response to social malaise and problems
living longer. Life expectancy at birth globally such as police protection, prison systems, legal
was four years longer in 2015 than in 2000.84 services and mental health servicesincrease.
This is due in part to declines in death and Per capita income likewise excludes some goods
illness caused by HIV and AIDS and malaria in and services that may raise the quality of peoples
the past decade as well as to advances in treat- lives, such as unpaid care work and ecological
ing communicable, maternal, neonatal and nu- services. Qualitative improvements in peoples
tritional disorders. Improvements in sanitation standard of living thus need to be assessed be-
and indoor air quality, greater access to immu- yond quantitative growth in per capita income.
nization and better nutrition have also enabled Inequality in access to advanced, high-
children in poor countries to live longer.85 But quality education, health care and other servic-
are the added years of life expectancy healthy es restricts the ability of some people to expand
years or years with illnesses and disability? their capabilities. It also affects the distribution
The World Health Organization has exam- of income in the long run. Inequality in the
ined healthy life expectancy by measuring the quality and quantity of education is directly
years lived in good health without disability. related to unequal income. Segregated edu-
Analysis for 188 countries in 1990, 2005 and cation systems can reinforce class distinctions
2013 indicates that there have been increases and the intergenerational perpetuation of
in healthy life expectancy but that they have inequalities.87 Governments can take steps to
not been as dramatic as the increase in overall reduce differences in service quality between


The difference between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy in selected countries

Relative difference between life expectancy Absolute difference between life expectancy
Country and healthy life expectancy (percent) and healthy life expectancy (years)

Nicaragua 14.8 11.1

Qatar 13.4 10.5
Saudi Arabia 13.4 10.0
Australia 13.2 10.9
United States 12.9 10.2
Sweden 12.6 10.4
Spain 12.6 10.4
Chile 12.5 10.1
Finland 12.5 10.1

Source: Human Development Report Office estimates based on WHO (2016e).


private and public providers and standardize benefits and could push people who are already
costs, including by taxing private suppliers to deprived in other areas further behind.
support public services (box 2.6). The key is to Less than half the worlds population (47 per-
build the support across all population groups cent) uses the Internet. Only 25 percent of peo-
for good-quality, universal services so that all ple in Sub-Saharan Africa are users, and only The digital divide
classes, genders and ethnicities have an interest 42 percent of people in Asia and the Pacific and continues to impede
in fair and adequate provision to all. the Arab States are. In contrast, two-thirds of universal benefits and
the population is online in the Americas and
Expanding digital access in the Commonwealth of Independent States. could push people
The rate in Europe is 79 percent.88 who are already
Broadband coverage and variations in access Prices in many regions make connecting to deprived in other
to computers and smartphones could generate the Internet prohibitively expensive. Basic mo-
new forms of exclusion. Inexpensive and relia- bile or fixed broadband plans cost much more areas further behind
ble access to the Internet is becoming essential in developing countries than in developed
to the development of capabilities in other countries and cost the most in the least devel-
areas, such as education, work and political par- oped countries (figure 2.7). But digital divides
ticipation. Access to information is crucial for exist even in developed countries.
high-quality education and thus for expanding To enable all people to benefit from the
opportunities among children and youth. The opportunities that information and commu-
biggest challenge is to make these benefits nication technology holds for human devel-
available to all people everywhere. However, opment, striving for universal access to free
the digital divide continues to impede universal Wi-Fi may be needed. Combined with access

BOX 2.6

The challenge of a two-tier public and private system for universal access to quality services

Despite advances towards universal public education, The use of private services by middle and upper
health care and social protection in many countries, segments of the welfare distribution across countries
people are still being left behind in accessing high- increases the likelihood of poor-quality public services
quality services. Quality differs greatly between public because large segments of the population do not have a
and private services in some cases. Access to high- vested interest in public service quality, social pressure is
quality services is too often a privilege reserved for insufficient to maintain good-quality, universally accessi-
well-off populations. Highly unequal societies face the ble public services and public services are becoming less
risk of segmentation between a universal public system cost-efficient because of user flight. The sustainability
and a smaller private system for elites. of funding for public programmes is at risk if the middle
Take Argentina. Despite expanded investment in class does not have a vested interest in the programmes.
public schools between 2003 and 2011, enrolment in pri- A two-tier public and private service system is not
vate schools increased from 22percent to 39percent.1 inherently negative. It is problematic only if there are
In Latin America and the Caribbean on average 50per- extreme variations in quality between the two options
cent of children of households in the highest income that reinforce inequalities in opportunity among those
quintile attended private primary and secondary schools who can pay and those who cannot. There are wide dis-
in 2010, compared with less than 4percent of children parities in quality between public and private education
of households in the lowest income quintile.2 In Turkey services in many developing countries. A recent review
expansion among private health care providers has re- of 21 studies in Ghana, India, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and
sulted in more social stratification in the consumption Pakistan found that students in private schools tend to
of health services because higher income patients are achieve better learning outcomes than do students in
abandoning public services for private services that are state schools. Teaching is also often better in private
often better in quality.3 schools than in state schoolsfor example, in India,
Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa and Tanzania.4

1. Martinez-Franzoni and Snchez-Ancochea 2016. 2. Daude 2012. 3. Agartan 2012. 4. Day Ashley and others 2014.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 69
FIGURE 2.7 production. Children are physiologically and
metabolically less able than adults to adapt to
Basic mobile or fixed broadband plans cost much
heat and other climate-related exposure and are
more in developing countries than in developed
countries and cost the most in the least developed more likely to be injured or killed during natural
countries disasters.90 They may also be kept out of school
following disasters. During the Ebola outbreak
Monthly cost, 2015 (PPP $) in 2014 an estimated 5 million children were de-
prived of education in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leonebecause schools were closed for months.91
120 Women were also disproportionately affected by
Fixed broadband plan
the Ebola outbreak: they faced higher risks of
100 infection because of their role caring for the sick,
Mobile broadband plan
and they suffered from less antenatal, perinatal
80 and postnatal care. In Sierra Leones Kenema
District avoidance of hospitals and birthing
60 centres for fear of exposure to Ebola resulted
in 29 percent fewer antenatal care visits and 21
40 percent fewer postnatal care visits.92
Voicing concerns about these emerging
20 threats can carry risk. Defenders of land and
the environment around the world suffer from
0 threats and physical violence, criminalization
World Developed Developing Least
countries countries developed and restrictions on their freedoms. As environ-
countries mental pressures have increased, so have phys-
ical threats against environmental activists. A
Source: ITU 2016b. record number of environmentalists were killed
in 2015185 in 16 countries, up 59 percent
from 2014. Members of indigenous groups,
to high-quality education, universal Internet who accounted for 40 percent of the deaths in
access could greatly increase opportunities and 2015, are among the most at risk.93
reduce inequalities everywhere. The physical insecurity of those who speak
out about environmental pressures is part of
Security threats a larger condition of physical insecurity and
violence that severely restrict the choices and
There may be threats to the security of the more freedoms of individuals around the world.
abundant choices and opportunities available Many people feel insecure in their homes and
to people today. Epidemics, violence, climate communities. One billion girls and boys ages
Epidemics, violence, change and natural disasters can quickly under- 217 worldwide experienced physical, sexual or
climate change and mine the progress of individuals who have exited psychological violence in the prior year, accord-
poverty and push poor people into more extreme ing to one study.94 Some 25 percent of children
natural disasters can poverty. They can also generate new deprivations. suffer physical abuse, and nearly 20 percent of
quickly undermine Millions of people around the world are exposed girls are sexually abused at least once in their
progress in human to climate-related natural disasters, droughts and life.95 Elder abuse remains a hidden problem:96
associated food insecurities and subsist on de- 10 percent of older adults were abused in the
graded land. Between 1995 and 2014 more than prior month.97 Homicide is also a major social
15,000 extreme weather events resulted in more concern. In 2012, 437,000 people worldwide
than 525,000 deaths worldwide and economic were the victims of intentional homicide.98
losses of more than $2.97 trillion.89 Average homicide rates in Latin America and
Some groups are more exposed to threats than the Caribbean between 2010 and 2014 exceed-
others. Many women depend on agriculture for ed 20 per 100,000 people.99
their livelihoods and are therefore dispropor- Freedom from violence was one of the most
tionately exposed to climate pressures on food frequently cited concerns among respondents


to a survey on human security carried out Poor children are more likely than their more
by the Human Development Report Office. affluent peers to experience myriad environ-
Physical security and freedom from the threat mental risks before birth, including household
of violence were particular concerns among disruption, pollution and violence. These an-
female respondents (box 2.7). For women, real tenatal exposures to stress have been found to
or perceived physical and emotional violence mould life trajectories in health and cognitive
is a major barrier to meeting their full human and socioemotional developmentprecisely
potential and feeling free to move about. the areas of development that might otherwise
allow individuals to be productive members Lifelong deprivations
Deprivations throughout the of society (box 2.8). For instance, children in
among children and
lifecycle and across generations Canada who had been exposed in the womb
to a strong winter storm in 1998 later exhib- adults can begin
Lifelong deprivations among children and ited lower levels of cognitive development, even before birth
adults can begin even before birth (figure 2.8). language functioning and motor functioning
Starting at conception, the environment to than did children who had not been exposed.
which pregnant women are exposed and the Antenatal exposure to a 2005 earthquake in
choices available to them shape the future skills Chile has been negatively associated with chil-
and abilities of their children in ways that are drens future cognitive ability. Such exposure
difficult to alter as the children grow. A lack of to stress can play a role in the intergenerational
medical attention, poor nutrition and heavy transmission of disadvantage by constraining
physical demands put unborn children at risk. development potential early in life.100

BOX 2.7

Human security from a womans point of view

A survey conducted by the Human Development Report Human security for me is freedom from fear, fear of
Office asked women of all ages and occupational back- being looked down at because of being a woman and
grounds around the world, What does human security being assaulted and disrespected because of the same
mean to you? Many women responded that they were A female student from India
concerned with physical and psychological violence.
Human security is being able to sleep peacefully, not
Human security is the right to move freely in your town being afraid of getting home late at night because of
without worrying about whether you will return home violators, not driving with closed windows for fear that
unharmed and unthreatened. someone will grab my bag, going to the supermarket
A female teacher from Brazil without being afraid of having my belongings stolen
from the car, going to the Yaound market without
It is impossible to feel safe as a human being if our hiding my money in my bra, and walking freely along
own existence is not recognized or respected, even if Kennedy Avenue. A woman from Cameroon
we have access to all sorts of opportunities.
A female economist from Mauritania Human security is the freedom to live your life free
from hate crimes, sexism, racism and other kinds of op-
Human security means being able to go about alone pression, freedom to express yourself and be active in
outside any time of the day or night and not fear any society. A female activist from Sweden
possible violence. It means that I should not consider my
gender, religion or any other distinctive features when Human security means freedom from abuse and vio-
making a decision to spend time outdoors for fear of lence, particularly child abuse, domestic violence, in-
malicious intent. terpersonal violence and intimate partner violence. It is
A female development worker from Kazakhstan about the protection of children, youth, elderly, persons
with disabilities and women from violence and crime.
A female researcher from Trinidad and Tobago

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 71

Deprivations among women can accumulate throughout life

Female infanticide
and neglect
Low primary and
secondary school enrollment

Insufficient access to health care

High maternal mortality risk

High burden of care work

Low labour force particiaption

Insufficient pensions and

protection in old age

Source: Human Development Report Office.

BOX 2.8

Antenatal stress and intergenerational deprivation

Educational attainment
Educational attainment is a central mechanism for per- probability that poor people will be exposed to risks
is a central mechanism petuating socioeconomic stratification across genera- in the womb may constitute the first injustice and may
for perpetuating tions. Advantaged parents can afford more and better play a central role in the persistence of disadvantage
socioeconomic education for their children, which has many benefits in across generations.
the labour market. There is also a direct transmission of Why does antenatal exposure have such persistent
stratification across economic advantage through inheritance and the use of effects over the lifecycle? The antenatal period includes
generations job referral networks to favour children. These mecha- critical and sensitive developmental stages in which
nisms affect later stages of the lifecycle, when children the effect of the environment on future capabilities is
have reached school age or working age. But a growing especially strong and potentially irreversible, regardless
body of research suggests that the intergenerational of subsequent interventions. During the antenatal pe-
perpetuation of deprivation begins before birth and that riod the central nervous system and the brain undergo
the intergenerational transmission of advantage may a cascade of critical developmental processes that are
already be advanced when children enter the education particularly susceptible to the environment and that
system. shape later abilities in a cumulative fashion. An ante-
Exposure to environmental stressors in the womb natal shock can result in reduced language ability in the
has been connected to poor birth outcomes such as first years of life, which may affect the ability to read
lower birthweight and higher probability of preterm and to succeed in school overall.
birth. It has also been connected to childrens develop- Abundant research in the biological and behav-
mental outcomes such as motor skills, cognitive ability, ioural sciences highlights the importance of investing
emotional stability, attention deficit disorder and early in the well-being of populations in the early stages of
educational achievement. Given that birth outcomes life, starting at conception. An economic perspective
and early childhood development predict educational suggests that investments in capabilities early in life
and economic attainment in adulthood, the higher are much more cost-effective than investments later on.

Source: Torche 2016.


Parents educational attainment and earnings education is positively associated with the
are strong predictors of childrens educational offsprings adult living standards, and maternal
attainment.101 A study in South Africa found education has a much larger positive effect than
that fathers with high educational attainment does paternal education.106 Interventions to
pass on three-fifths of their earnings advantage overcome deprivations today need to be viewed
to sons.102 Daughters who inherit the low ed- as opportunities to prevent deprivations among
ucational attainment of their parents are more future generations.
disadvantaged as adults: They are 9 percent Interventions for women early in life can
more likely to be in the bottom of the occupa- prevent deprivations later in the lifecycle (fig-
tion distribution relative to the overall popula- ure 2.9). When investments in life capabilities Interventions
tion.103 In the United Kingdom people whose occur sooner rather than later, as through early to overcome
father had low educational attainment are 7.5 childhood education and care, the prospects deprivations today
times more likely to have little education than improve for education and work.107 This is
are people with a highly educated father; in because capabilities at any stage in life are
need to be viewed
turn, people with low educational attainment path dependent and reflect the challenges and as opportunities to
are 11 times more likely to be deprived of ma- opportunities encountered at earlier stages. prevent deprivations
terial assets than are people with higher educa- Children who do not have access to early child-
among future
tional attainment.104 hood education may not do as well in primary
As the 2015 Human Development Report and secondary school. Young people who have generations
stressed, increasing womens access to educa- an education but live in an area with a sluggish
tion and paid work may have effects on the labour market may resort to informal work
choices of subsequent generations of girls. Girls or remain unemployed, which can lead to an
are more likely to be employed and to earn insufficient pension in old age. Older people
more as adults if their mother was employed. may suffer illnesses and disabilities accumulat-
In the United States the daughters of mothers ed over years of strenuous physical labour and
who are employed earn 23 percent more than insufficient preventive health care. The barriers
the daughters of mothers who do not work facing marginalized groups may emerge at vari-
outside the home.105 In Senegal the parents ous points throughout the lifecycle and lead to


Interventions for women early in life can prevent deprivations later in the lifecycle

More sufficient pensions and social

protection for women in old age

More women in parliament and

upper managment positions

Higher likelihood of labour force

participation and paid work

Lower likelihood of child marriage

and adolescent pregnancies

Equitable access to primary and

secondary education for girls

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 73
severe deprivations in old age. Early interven- top three priorities are good education, better
tions can prevent subsequent limitations, along health care and better job opportunities. A
with interventions that help individuals recover disaggregation of the survey data by develop-
from past deprivation. ment status, age, gender, citizenship and region
shows more variation in the top priorities.
What do people value in human There are thus differences in the aggregate
development beyond the basics? priorities of individuals in countries at different
levels of human development (figure 2.10).
Fulfilling basic needs Fulfilling basic needs is an essential part of Good education is the top priority across all
is an essential part of expanding capabilities but is insufficient to human development groups, and the top three
expanding capabilities enable people to reach their full potential. priorities are similar in the low, medium and
This is especially so in a world characterized by high human development countries. But an
but is insufficient to new and often more precarious forms of work, honest and responsive government and access
enable people to reach escalating violence and mounting environ- to clean water and sanitation are among the
their full potential mental crises. Many people are deprived of a top three priorities in very high human devel-
sense of security that they will be able to retain opment countries, where better health care and
tomorrow the gains they have made today. better job opportunities are not even among
Many are deprived of voice and opportunities the top five priorities.
to participate in the collective valuation of A survey by the Pew Research Center re-
policies and priorities. Others lack access to inforces the context specificity of peoples
good-quality services and to information and priorities and concerns. Some 83 percent
communication technology. Practical univer- of respondents in 34 developing countries
salism requires attention to these and other considered crime to be the biggest problem
dimensions of human development in which in their country.109 Corruption, lack of health
people in both developed and developing care, poor schools and water pollution were
countries remain deprived. also viewed as major problems. The percentage
Development in some of these dimensions of respondents who listed crime as a concern
may not have appeared so urgent in the past was 93 percent) in Tunisia, compared with
simply because of the scale of the deprivation in only 31 percent in Poland, where 59 percent
basic needs. Parents of children who lack access of respondents listed health care as a very big
to schooling may not worry about the quality problem (which compares with only 17 percent
of secondary education. Families that are trying in China).
to get by on less than $1.90 a day may not pri- Income can also shape peoples priorities.
oritize the prevention of environmental crises. Respondents in a nationwide opinion survey
But as the types of deprivations captured in in Chile were asked what was most important
the HDI and MPI are reduced for individuals to them in order to have a happy life. The
and societies, other deprivations become more answers of respondents in the highest and
prominent. People have more choices and free- lowest income quintiles varied substantially.
doms, but there are still constraints that limit Respondents in the highest income quintile
life potential. most often cited the achievement of life goals
Surveys based on subjective evaluations pro- and targets, whereas respondents in the lowest
vide insights into the diversity of values across income quintile cited a peaceful life without
populations and suggest links between the much disruption (figure 2.11). Leading a
surroundings and the development priorities of meaningful life and enjoying the good things in
individuals. For example, the My World global life were less of a priority among respondents in
survey being conducted by the United Nations the lowest income quintile.
in support of the 2030 Agenda assessed devel- Peoples priorities and values appear to be
opment issues that matter most to people.108 context specific. In Algeria, where youth un-
More than 9 million responses have prioritized employment rates are high, a young woman
action issues from 16 options, ranging from may value employment most. Once integrated
securing a good education and ensuring polit- into the labour market and at the peak of her
ical freedom to tackling climate change. The career, she may value free time the most. A



There are differences in the aggregate priorities of individuals in countries at different levels of human

Low Medium High Very high

human human human human
development development development development

A good education 1 1 1 1

Better health care 2 2 3

Better job opportunities 3 3 2

An honest and responsive government 4 5 4 2

Affordable and nutritious food 5 5

Access to clean water and sanitation 4 3

Protection against crime and violence 5 4

Source: Human Development Report Office estimates based on United Nations (2015b).


The priorities of Chileans vary by income

40 Poorest 20 percent

Richest 20 percent




Leading a Sharing Leading a That loved ones Achieving life Enjoying the
meaningful life with others peaceful life without have a good life goals and targets good things in life
much disruption

Most important to have a happy life

Because values evolve
Source: UNDP 2012a.
and shift according to
the context, the human
healthy older man in Norway may value good his Algerian counterpart. Because values evolve development approach
interpersonal relationships with friends and and shift according to the context, the human remains relevant even
family the most, despite having valued free time development approach remains relevant even as basic needs are met
more when he was younger and working, like as basic needs are met.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 75
Barriers to universalism barriers and types of exclusion must be over-
come (see infographic 2.1 at the beginning of
Deprivations can be eliminated. The progress the chapter).
since the first Human Development Report in
1990 demonstrates this. The global HDI value Intolerance and exclusion and
has increased 20 percent since then, from 0.597 the related mechanisms
to 0.717. The increase in the HDI value for the
Whether intentional least developed countries is 46 percent.110 Whether intentional or unintentional, one
Progress has not come easily, but the path to group excluding another group from oppor-
or unintentional, the progress may have been easier than the path to tunities is often the root of deprivation and
exclusion from the the goal of leaving no one behind. Individuals disadvantage. Membership in a group fulfils a
opportunities of one who are still deprived may be the most difficult basic desire to belong to a family, a community,
to reachg eographically, politically, socially a religion or a race. Individuals have multiple
group by another
and economically. It is time to push to eradicate group affiliations at any one time and belong to
group is often the the remaining deprivations not only in access to different groups throughout life. Groups allow
root of deprivation health care, education and livelihoods, but also individuals to identify with others based on a
and disadvantage in other dimensions of well-being, such as se- shared characteristic or interest, but they also
curity, freedom of participation in political life permit exclusion.
and access to advanced, high-quality services. Group inequalities reflect divisions that are
The realization of this vision will face chal- socially constructed and sustained because they
lenges. Some barriers may require technical establish a basis for unequal access to valued
solutionsgreater fiscal resources and devel- outcomes and scarce resources. Once inequal-
opment assistance, gains in technology and ities are established, the organizational focus
improved data resources for monitoring and becomes how to maintain the distinctions
evaluation (see chapter 3). These barriers can be and ensure group loyalty and solidarity so that
addressed, albeit not easily, through changes in those who benefit from membership in the
national policies (see chapter 4) and in interna- group are able to maintain their advantageous
tional systems (see chapter 5). positions. At the same time the dimensions
Other barriers are deeply embedded in so- and mechanisms of exclusion are dynamic,
cial and political relationships and identities. as are the characteristics that groups use as a
The context in which many individuals make basis for exclusion. An ethnic minority group
choices is fraught with insecurity, glaring may penetrate the political space that has been
inequalities and competition for scarce re- occupied by the majoritya success from the
sources. Discriminatory laws, exclusionary perspective of equity in political participation
social norms, violence, imbalances in political but the members of the ethnic minority who
participation and unequal distribution of occupy the space may then use class divisions
opportunities all stand in the way of progress. to exclude others in the same ethnic minority
Exclusion can be intentional or unintentional, from participating in policy decisions. It is thus
but the results are the samesome people important to recognize that group identity and
will be more deprived than others, and not barriers of exclusion tend to shift under strate-
all people will have an equal chance to realize gies to protect advantages.
their full potential. Men have more choices Many dynamics have a bearing on group for-
than women, rich people have more choices mation and protection strategies. Today, trends
than poor people, citizens have more choices in global income distribution present challeng-
than migrants and some ethnicities have more es to collective agreements and cooperation
choices than others. across countries and population segments.
Progress towards universal human devel- Voters in the lower middle class in developed
opment requires a deep awareness and under- countries are frustrated with the lower than
standing of the drivers and dynamics of these average growth in their living standards relative
groups exclusion. The drivers and the dynamics to elites (box 2.9). The frustration is coupled
inevitably vary across countries and regions. with an awareness of high income growth in
Universalism in practice is possible, but key emerging economies such as China and India,


BOX 2.9

From the champagne glass to the elephant curve

The 1992 Human Development Report showed that global income distribution 1988 and 2008 follows an elephant curve (see right panel of figure).1 The per-
followed a champagne glass pattern, where the bulk of income is concentrated centage change in real income favoured those who were in the bottom half and
at the top of the distribution, and the global income distribution in 1998 and the top declie of the global income distribution, whereas the real income of the
2008 reflected that pattern (see left panel of figure). One might conclude that lower middle class in developed countriesgrew only modestly. For example,
the people who are not at the top of the distribution have a collective interest in Germany the real income of the poorest 50 percent grew 07 percent, in the
in redistributing resources. But there seems to be a different lived experience United States the poorest 50 percent saw real income growth of slightly over 20
across the stem of the glass. The rate of change in the real income between percent and in Japan the poorest 10 percent saw real income decline.

Income gains from 1998 to 2008 have not been even across income deciles

Global income distribution, Real income growth,

1988 and 2008 19882008 (%)
(2005 PPP $)
50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0
Richest 1% 39%
P95P99 27%
P90P95 17%
2008 The bulk of global income The real incomes of the
Champagne glass is concentrated at the very top of 5% lower middle class in
P80P90 developed countries have
the distribution
seen only modest growth
P70P80 12%
Champagne glass
P60P70 58%

P50P60 72%

P40P50 70%

P30P40 62%

P20P30 53%

P10P20 46%

Poorest 10% 25%

1. Milanovic 2016.
Source: Human Development Report Office estimates based on Milanovic (2016) and UNDP (1992).

which may become a source of resentment and cultures, and lifestyles. Historically, people
against trade with and migration from develop- have navigated periods of widespread change
ing countries. and unpredictability, but these periods are
The pace of change is rapid and unpredict- often characterized by immense suffering and
able, and many people are struggling to find conflict. Strict and extreme beliefs and views
their way. With globalization and greater hu- whether religious or politicalbreed intol-
man mobility, come changes in demographic erance and prevent flexibility and adjustability
structures, languages and cultural diversity. to change. It is therefore crucial to identify and
From a human development perspective, reverse patterns of intolerance during such
diversity should be celebrated as a powerful times, whether discriminatory laws, exclusion-
ingredient of human creativity. But there are ary social norms or violence and coercion and
also risks that social cohesion, mutual respect to instead respond to emerging global challeng-
and tolerance of differences can be strained or es through mutual respect and collaboration.
break down altogether, resulting in xenopho- Discrimination, exclusion and intolerance run
bia, nationalism, discrimination and violence. counter to universalismthe centrepiece of
There can be a lack of recognition or appre- human development and the cornerstone of
ciation for different beliefs and views, norms the world we want.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 77
Discriminatory laws from the political spaces where policies and leg-
islation are agreed. Globally women hold only
Legal and political Legal and political institutions can be used 22 percent of the seats in parliament, 26 percent
institutions can be and abused to perpetuate group divisions. An of the seats on the highest courts and 18 percent
extreme case relates to the rights of the lesbian, of ministerial positions.
used and abused gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex com- Regulations and the nature of institutions
to perpetuate munity in the 73 countries and five territories can also indirectly limit the access poor people
group divisions where same-sex sexual acts are illegal, including have to services and resources. For example,
13 where such acts are punishable by death.111 banks that require minimum deposits limit
Only 10 countries grant lesbian, gay, bisexual, access to financial services for poor people.
transgender and intersex people equal consti- Around 2 billion people worldwide are still
tutional rights.112 Laws are discriminatory in unbankedlacking accounts at banks, other
other cases because they prevent certain groups financial institutions or mobile money service
from accessing services or opportunities, such providers.115 Similarly, the absence of birth
as when host countries legally bar refugees registrations and lack of identity cards can pre-
from working. State policies can be discrimina- vent poor people from gaining access to many
tory as wellsuch as denying citizenship or the public services.
right to vote or run for political office. National
borders thus become legal instruments that Social norms
can reinforce inequalities between the citizens
of different countries. Within-country ine- Social norms are implicitly established rules of
qualities are wide, but the laws and practices behaviour. Some may be helpful in promoting
in countries of birth can also determine life harmonious coexistence, but others may be
chances and opportunities. discriminatory, prejudicial and exclusive.
In some cases women do not have the same For example, prejudice and social perceptions
legal rights as men. Womens opportunities are often lead to unequal outcomes among different
impeded by law in 155 out of 173 countries groups in job markets, which reduces livelihood
with data. In 100 countries women are prevent- opportunities for minorities. In employment
ed from engaging in some professions because recruitment in the United States White job
of their gender. In 32 countries the procedures applicants are often systematically selected over
that women face to obtain a passport differ African American and Latino job applicants,
from those that men face. In 18 countries wom- even when the minorities have equal or higher
en need their husbands approval to take a job. qualifications. African Americans are often re-
And in 46 countries laws do not protect women jected solely on the basis of their names (which
from domestic violence.113 Women also face dis- employers glean from resumes) and receive only
crimination if their opportunities and choices half as many job offers as White candidates.
are restricted because appropriate protective Despite Nepals laws against untouchability, in-
laws have not been enactedfor example, when dividuals considered of lower caste continue to
paid maternity leave is not mandated or when be excluded from certain jobs and services, and
discriminatory hiring practices are tolerated. Dalits earn considerably less than non-Dalits.
As the 2015 Human Development Report Discriminatory treatment of persons with dis-
highlighted, far more women would become abilities is widespread and has implications for
active in the labour market and have better their livelihoods. In Mauritius, Panama, Peru,
wages and positions of influence if regulations the Russian Federation and the United States
were in place to reduce workplace harassment the employment gap between persons with dis-
against women, ensure equal wages and hiring abilities and persons without disabilities is more
practices and provide care options for children than 40 percentage points.116
and older people.114 Discriminatory laws and In many countries social norms reduce choice
the lack of legislation restrict womens freedoms and opportunities for women and girls. As the
and impede their full participation in public life 2015 Human Development Report highlight-
as equal members of society. These outcomes are ed, norms and traditions that distribute the
linked to the fact that women are often excluded bulk of unpaid work in the home to women


limit womens participation in the labour mar- Kingdom found that 56 percent of the current
ket and can prevent girls from attending generation of women have married a partner
school.117 Women are typically responsible for in the same social class, a rising trend.122 Some
more than three-quartersof unpaid care work 11 percent of the increase in inequality in
in the household.118 The presence of women as developed countries since the 1980s is due to
customers in cafs or restaurants may also be peoples choice to marry at a similar socioec-
discouraged by social norms, and in some cases onomic leveldoctors marrying lawyers, for
it is taboo for women to travel in public without instance.123 Marriage also perpetuates social
being accompanied by a man.119 Practices such norms and traditions linked to ethnic groups.
as female genital mutilation and cutting, per- The preference in Mauritius for marrying with-
formed on 200 million girls and women alive in the same ethnic group overrides even class-
today, are also linked to social norms and put based considerations.124
girls at extreme and unnecessary health risk.120
Social norms in marriage can reduce op- Violence
portunities and reinforce inequalities. Child
marriage is a fundamental violation of human Perhaps the most direct and radical mechanism Intolerance of
rights, yet it continues because of customs and of exclusion is violence. Coercive tools enable
other normative factors.121 In South Asia 46 one group to force its vision of society on otherslegal, social
percent of girls become child brides, and many another and to protect its access to resources, or coerciveis
marry before age 15 (figure 2.12). Early mar- outcomes and the power to make decisions. antithetical to human
riage limits a girls future development because Motivations include consolidating political
it increases the likelihood of early pregnancy, power, safeguarding the well-being of elites, development and
social isolation and leaving school early. controlling the distribution of resources, seiz- to universalism
There is also evidence that the choices peo- ing territory and resources and favouring ide-
ple make in marriage reinforce socioeconomic ologies based on the supremacy of one identity
hierarchies and ethnic divisions because people and set of values.125
tend to marry within their own socioeco- Exclusion breeds violence. One study draw-
nomic or ethnic group. A study in the United ing on global data since 1945 found that a 30
percent increase in the size of the politically
FIGURE 2.12 excluded population boosted the chance of
civil war by 25 percent.126 Another study found
In South Asia many girls marry before age 18
that countries with higher inequality among
some before age 15
ethnic groups have lower incomes overall and
% a more uneven distribution of services and in-
Under age 15 frastructure and are more prone to conflict and
Under age 18
Intolerance of others l egal, social or
coerciveis antithetical to human develop-
ment and to universalism. Intolerance, exclu-
40 sion and inequality are nonetheless common
and are on the rise in some cases. Overcoming
these barriers will require finding ways to link
collective interests to equity and justice (see
20 chapter 3).

Elite capture of institutions

Some thrive in a global labour market owing to

their advanced skills and education. They retire
Bangladesh India Sri Lanka Pakistan
comfortably with private pension funds and
savings. They send their children to the best
Source: Banu 2016. schools for advanced tertiary education. They

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 79
live in the safest communities. And they have transfers increased from 46 percent in 2004
the means to influence the political process in to 65 percent in 2010 in Ecuador and from
their favour. 40 percent in 2002 to 61 percent in 2010 in
There are links among income inequality, Mexico.133
inequalities in education and health care and Elite capture of the benefits of development
inequalities in political participation and influ- and the institutionsmarkets, states and civil
ence. The top 1 percent of the wealth distribu- societythat guide the distribution of oppor-
tion holds 46 percent of the worlds wealth.128 tunities can widen and perpetuate divisions
Much of the income gain in recent decades in capabilities in highly unequal societies.134
has been at the top: 44percent of the income The extreme concentration of capabilities and
earned between 1988 and 2008 went to only opportunities at the top can erode democratic
5 percent of the population.129 Such income governance and reduce pluralism in decision-
inequalities influence inequalities in other di- making. Equity and justice take a back seat to
mensions of well-being. rules that perpetuate divides.
Extreme inequality and the concentration of
capabilities and opportunities among a narrow Weak bargaining power
elite are part of a vicious circle. As inequalities
become wider, marginalized and excluded Excluded groups are in a weak position to
groups face growing deficiencies in opportuni- instigate the transformation of institutions
ties to expand and apply their capabilities and because of the extent of inequality and elite
to influence the institutions and policies that capture. They lack agency and voice and have
determine the subsequent distribution. Positive little political leverage to influence policy
opportunities for political participation and outcomes and legislation through traditional
influence are central to breaking the vicious means. Over the past three decades, various
circle. measures have shown a decline in rights of free
Extreme inequality The interests of the middle class may also association and collective bargaining (figure
and the concentration sometimes lead to policy decisions that per- 2.13).135 The increasingly flexible and part-time
of capabilities and petuate deprivations and the exclusion of nature of work reduces the ability of traditional
poorer groups. Antipoverty programmes have worker organizations, such as trade unions, to
opportunities among
been opposed in some countries because they counter elite interests.
a narrow elite are part do not benefit the middle class, an important Other, sometimes dangerous and debilitating
of a vicious circle political constituency.130 One result is that means of participating become more attractive
redistribution programmes can have limited in highly unequal societies. There has been a
coverage among the poorest population and steady increase in local and global protests in
exhibit substantial leakage to the middle class recent years, including demonstrations and
and elites. Some programmes tie eligibility for rallies, campaigns of social and political move-
transfers to employment in the formal sector in ments and unorganized crowd actions such
order to gain the support of the middle class.131 as riots (843 worldwide between 2006 and
In Tanzania distributing vouchers for agricul- 2013).136 This suggests that people do not feel
tural inputs disproportionately benefited the sufficiently empowered by established political
households of village officials, who received 60 processes and are choosing to voice their con-
percent of the vouchers.132 These approaches cerns in alternative ways.
increase political support, but miss those who Groups may be organizing and participating
are most in need of support. in peaceful marches and rallies, but they are also
Conditional cash transfers have generated using civil disobedience to magnify their voices
impressive reductions in poverty, but their by blocking roads and occupying city streets
reach has extended beyond poor people. In and public spaces. They are using technology
some cases this has been to ensure that peo- to leak government and corporate data. The
ple who are near poverty and people who are global circulation of the Panama Papers drew
vulnerable have access to funds, but there is attention to grievances against offshore tax
also leakage to those with less need. The share havens and hidden wealth accumulation among
of nonpoor beneficiaries of conditional cash the worlds political and corporate leaders.


FIGURE 2.13 were being fought by nationalists seeking to
establish separate nation-states or between eth-
Over the past three decades there has been a
nicities over ethnic balances of power within
decline in rights of free association and collective
bargaining existing states.137 The Brexit is one of the most
recent examples of a retreat to nationalism
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining Index
among individuals who are feeling alienated in
a changing world. This shift towards support
for nationalism might have been foreseen.

Breaking down barriers

7 Divisions and exclusions, while often deep, are

not static. Shocks, disasters, crises, political
shifts, the spread of technologies, the globali-
6 zation of information, business and social
networksall open space for new alignments
and the redistribution of political and material
5 resources across groups. This is why we need to Divisions and
1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
understand emerging trends that can unite, em- exclusions, while often
power and motivate people to push for change deep, are not static
Note: Data are for 73 countries. and the potential collective interests of groups
Source: Human Development Report Office estimates based on Marx, Soares
and Van Acker (2015). that may stand to gain influence and leverage.
The 2030 Agenda is momentous in that it
Narrow self-identities focuses on the universal reduction of depriva-
tions. If this intergovernmental agreement can
Economic, ecological and technological sys- be harnessed to truly shift institutions onto a
tems extend across national borders. Decisions path that promotes justice, equity and sustain-
in one nation or region can affect individuals ability, remaining deprivations and inequalities
on the opposite side of the world. Trade can be overcome.
policies in Europe can affect agricultural live- The human development approach has always
lihoods in Latin America. Carbon emissions advocated for the expansion of capabilities and
in Asia can generate climate vulnerabilities in freedoms to the fullest for all people regardless
Africa. Financial policies in the United States of gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orienta-
can shift global capital flows. Universal human tion or any other group identity. But translating
development and ensuring opportunities for universalism from principle to practice will have
all thus require a united global effort to reduce to rely on more than mapping the groups that
inequalities and empower marginalized groups. have been bypassed in the human development
At a time when global action and collabora- journey and identifying the barriers to ensure
tion are imperative, self-identities are narrow- that human development reaches everyone. It
ing. Social and political movements linked to will also require refocusing on some elements
identity, whether nationalist or ethnopolitical, of the human development analytical approach
seem to be increasing in frequency and that have so far been insufficiently considered,
strength. Identity politics are on the rise. Data such as voice and participation, identity and
from 1816 to 2001 show a peak in 2001 when diversity, inclusion and social justice. Chapter 3
almost 90 percent of the conflicts in the world is devoted to such analysis.

Chapter 2 Universalismfrom principles

to practice | 81
Chapter 3

Reaching everyone
analytical and
assessment issues
Infographic 3.1 Human development represents freedom
of well-being as well as freedom of agency

s Ca
in ng p


Things a person


values being or doing

Set of combinations
of functionings that
can be achieved


Agency to do or achieve
what is valued

Voice a
nd autono m y
Human Development
Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

Reaching everyone
analytical and assessment issues
The human development approach is anchored in the idea of universalism, whereby all peoplepresent and futurecan
realize their full potential. Two issues stand out. First, practical universalism shows that progress in human development is
unbalanced across and within countries, socioeconomic groups, ethnic and racial groups, women and men, and generations
and have not always reached the most deprived. Second, the world of today differs from the world of 25 years ago and
presents new opportunities and challenges. It is thus necessary to map out those who have been left out of the progress in
human development and to understand why. It is equally importantas this chapter outlinesto address analytical and
assessment issues that, once resolved, may help the barriers to universal human development be overcome.

The human development approach is based on a systematic way to articulate these ideas. It
two fundamental freedomsthe freedom of can be especially powerful in illuminating the
well-being, including functionings and capa- interplay among factors that can operate to
bilities, and the freedom of agency, including the disadvantage of individuals and groups in
voice and autonomy. Functionings are the var- different contexts.
ious things that a person may value being and This chapter highlights ideas from the hu-
doing, and capabilities are the combinations man development approach that need to be
of functionings that a person can achieve. re-emphasized to ensure that human develop-
Agency is related to what a person is free to ment reaches everyone. It also presents specific
do and achieve in pursuit of whatever goals analytical perspectives for examination.
or values he or she regards as important (see The human development approach has
infographic 3.1 on the preceding page).1 shown continuity but also resilience. It has
proven robust but also adaptable to changes in
the world over the past quarter-century. The
What aspects need core definitions of the approach have been
to be analysed used in diverse ways. They have been used The human
to describe whether and how much people
Over the years the Human Development have a say in matters that concern their lives, development approach
Report has emphasized that human develop- a meaningful opportunity to contribute to can be especially
ment is about expanding choices. This remains development and a chance to obtain a fair powerful in illuminating
true. Choices determine who we are and what share of the fruits of development. And they
we do. Those choices rest on four foundations: have been simplified by attributing to human the interplay among
the wide range of options that we have to development any improvement in the human factors that can
choose fromour capabilities; the social and condition that allows people to live longer operate to the
cognitive constraints and social norms and in- and healthier lives. The human development
fluences that shape our values and choices; our approach is ultimately simple yet rich, full yet
disadvantage of
own empowerment and the agency we exercise open-ended, flexible yet responsible, norma- individuals and groups
individually and as part of groups in shaping tive yet visionary, inspiring yet practical.2 in different contexts
our options and opportunities; and the mech-
anisms that exist to resolve competing claims Human rights the bedrock of the
in ways that are fair and conducive to realizing human development approach
human potential (figure 3.1).
Examining these foundations is particularly The definition of human rights consistently
important to ensuring human development for used in the Human Development Report is
everyone. The human development approach, that of the Universal Declaration of Human
grounded in the capability approach, provides Rights of 1948, which considers political and

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 85


Choices rest on four foundations

Foundations underlying choices

Our own empowerment The mechanisms that

The social and cognitive
The wide range of and the agency we exist to resolve
constraints and social
options that we have to exercise individually and competing claims in
norms and influences
choose from as part of groups in ways that are fair and
that shape our values
our capabilities shaping our options and conducive to realizing
and choices
opportunities human potential

Source: Human Development Report Office.

socioeconomic rights as well as civil and cultural to free basic education means much more than
rights.3 Human rights thus include the right to merely agreeing that it is a good thing for every-
life, liberty and security; the freedom of assem- one to have a basic educationor even that
bly, thought, religion and opinion; the right everyone should have an education. Rather,
to work; the right to an adequate standard of asserting this right is claiming that all people
living, food, clothing, housing and education; are entitled to a free elementary education and
and the right to participate in community life. that if some lack access to it, there must be
Human development and human rights are accountability somewhere in the social system.
Focusing on closely related. The best way to secure human This focus on accountability for failures with-
accountability for rights may be to consider rights in terms of in a social system broadens the outlook beyond
capabilities. The right to bodily integrity, to the minimum claims of human development.
failures within a social associate freely, to political participation and This broader perspective can be a powerful tool
system broadens the all other rights are secured when the relevant in seeking remedy, and the analysis of human
outlook beyond the capabilities are available. To secure a right is to development can profit from it. Such a per-
enable people to be or do something that they spective spotlights the strategies and actions of
minimum claims of
have reason to value. Yet certain fundamental various duty bearers to contribute to fulfilling
human development rights may be recognized on paper but not human rights and advancing the corresponding
and can be a powerful implemented or available in practice.4 Women aspects of human development. It also leads to
may have the right to vote by law but be threat- an analysis of the responsibilities of actors and
tool in seeking remedy
ened with violence if they leave the house. They institutions when rights go unfulfilled. This anal-
thus lack the capability to exercise the human ysis and understanding are essential to achieving
right of political participation. progress inhuman development for everyone.
Human rights offer a useful perspective for
analysing human development such as the idea Voice, participation and
that others have duties to facilitate and enhance democratic practice an integral
human development.5 The 2000 Human part of human development
Development Report highlighted that to have
a particular right is to have a claim on other The ability to deliberate, participate in public
people or institutions that they should help debates and be agents in shaping their own
or collaborate in ensuring access to some free- lives and environments is a fundamental value
dom.6 With invoked duties come the notions of most people. There are three main reasons
of accountability, culpability and responsibil- within the human development approach to
ity. For example, recognizing the human right value voice and participation (box 3.1). Voice


and participation are both a means and an end. the cost of their own health or security. They
Truly functional, participatory democracy, are exercising their agency. Human agency
which is much broader than a voting process, thus advances any goals that are important to
leads to a virtuous circle. Political freedoms individualsfor themselves, for their commu-
empower people to demand policies that ex- nities or for other entities.
pand their opportunities to hold governments The exponential spread of information and
accountable. Debate and discussion help communication technologies, along with ris- Agency can advance
communities shape priorities. A free press, a ing education and literacy rates, has provided
ones own well-
vibrant civil society and the political freedoms individuals with new tools for participation
guaranteed by a constitution underpin inclu- (box 3.2). Online participation can have a being, but it can
sive institutions and human development. The major impact on agency and empowerment. also further the
human development approach views people But new forms of participation also face chal- well-being of others
not only as beneficiaries of development, but lenges and risks that must be addressed. Equal
also as architects of their own lives.7 access to the Internet for all people must be
Related to this is the notion of agency. People pursued between and within countries. And
who enjoy high levels of agency are engaged people must be protected from the risks of
in actions congruent with their values. When misinformation and online violencesuch as
people are coerced into an action, are submis- cyberbullying, online sexual abuse, harassment
sive or desirous to please or are simply passive, or hate speechthat target mostly children
they are not exercising agency.8 and women.9
Well-being and agencythe two funda- The primary focus of the human development
mental freedoms in the human development approach and of the Human Development
approachare related yet distinct. An agent Report has largely been on the freedom of
is someone who acts and brings about change. well-being. This is reflected in the way the
Agency can advance ones own well-being, but Human Development Index (HDI) has been
it can also further the well-being of others. constructed. This focus may have arisen because
People may thus volunteer for causes that do basic deprivations were once more widespread,
not advance their own well-being, such as pro- attracting the preponderance of analysis, meas-
tecting the rights or improving the conditions urement and policy response. But as well-being
of vulnerable groups or conserving ecosystems, was realized, emphasizing freedom of agency has
landmarks or historical monuments. People become more important. That freedom has an in-
may put themselves in gruelling situations, dependent, intrinsic worth, in addition to an in-
working to promote causes they believe in at strumental value because it enhances well-being.

BOX 3.1

Voice and participationintrinsic, instrumental and constructive

Voice and participation are intrinsically important, make off and not possessing voice are usually the rea-
instrumental contributions and play a constructive role sons that people and groups lack basic capabilities,
in the human development approach: sometimes generation after generation.
Intrinsic. Voice and participation have high intrinsic Constructive. Societies and nations must deliberate
value to people as key functionings. and decide, through give and take, their common
Instrumental. Voice and participation enhance dem- priorities and agendas. Effective participation en-
ocratic political freedoms and thus have instrumen- sures that all groups sit at the table. Broad, truly
tal value in expanding capabilities. The functionings representative participation in civic dialogue is the
of being well fed and free of disease or having an way to ensure that societies advance towards re-
adequate education may appear basic. In practice, alizing the concept of justice, the principles of uni-
even these are difficult to achieve without the abili- versalism and sustainability, and other values that
ty to participate in society. Being excluded and shut they hold collectively.

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 87

BOX 3.2

Facilitating participation through new technologies

The spread of the Internet over the past decades has Activists can now gather support from millions of
facilitated the rise of new forms of civil participa- people in a few weeks and with limited resources, per-
tion. These include e-government, online petitions, mitting them to have an impact on public and political
mass demonstrations, crowdfunding and blogging. life that would have been impossible through traditional
Although petitions, protests, fundraising and politi- means of participation. This has challenged government
cal publications have long existed, the Internet has and party monopolies in politics and effectively broad-
allowed them to achieve unprecedented coverage, ened civil participation. New technologies have also
bringing people together across physical borders with helped previously excluded groupssuch as people
enormous speed. with limited mobility, people living in secluded areas and
young peopleparticipate in public and political life.

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Human security a precondition risk to shocks. But looking at the world only
for human development through the lens of threats sometimes imposes
the tyranny of the urgent over the essential.
The concept of human security shifts the Peaks in attention to emergencies fail to
attention from interstate conflicts towards address the gradual and complex process of
Looking at the world
peoples feelings of insecurity. It encompasses vulnerability that builds between shocks.
only through the lens concerns about jobs, income, health, the envi- The human development and human security
of threats sometimes ronment and crime. It also means protection approaches, while remaining available to con-
from sudden and harmful disruptions in life. front short-term security imperatives, should
imposes the tyranny
According to the 1994 Human Development become involved in aligning efforts to shift the
of the urgent over Report, human security is not a concern with emphasis away from shock-driven responses to
the essential weaponsit is a concern with human life and global threats. People are also left behind when
dignity.10 threats are protracted and require a long-term
Millions of people around the world must commitment to crisis management.
cope with the impacts of climate change, Promoting a culture of prevention. How
natural disasters, economic and health crises, should we understand and practise preven-
and intolerance and violence (see chapter 1). tion as part of the development process?
Because of these new realities and the aspi- If one sees the world through the prism of
ration of leaving no one behind, the concept threats, it may appear normal for crises to be
of human security remains highly relevant. considered opportunities. A return to busi-
The emphasis should be on achieving a deep ness as usual once the emergency has passed
understanding of threats, risks and crises and may appear equally normal. Yet, while crisis
addressing them through joint action based on prevention may receive the least attention in
the crucial concepts and approaches of human the cycle of crisis management, it is the com-
development and human security.11 Two ideas ponent that, everybody agrees, should be the
are relevant: most important.
Countering the shock-driven response to global To shift from a shock-driven response to cri-
threats. There is no denying that an inevitable sis to a needs-driven one, human development
short-term security imperative exists requiring strategies must be anchored in the everyday
an emergency response. This is understandable and not rooted in emergencies. Human secu-
from a human agency perspective. The effect rity emphasizes the centrality of people in the
of shocks on global attention nonetheless calculations that make us assign importance to
has significance in responding to questions some threats over others. This emphasis should
about who is being left behind and why. This also encourage us to pay attention to the full
is because precisely these forgotten or difficult cycle of relief, recovery and prevention in crisis
to reach populations are usually the most at management.


Human decisionmaking to Some choices seem to irrationally depend on
be examined more closely considerations that should not matterhow
healthy and unhealthy foods are arranged in
The functionings that individuals realize the supermarket or whether a company signs
through their capabilities flow from a conflu- up employees automatically for a retirement
ence of conscious or subconscious choices. In savings plan. In all walks of life, how the op-
making choices, people often fail to take into tions are presented and experienced can have
account the spillovers and long-term conse- an effect on the choices made.16
quences. They may follow the herd or fail to In some cases understanding how and under
correct for cognitive bias. They may simply what conditions choices are made may suggest
be overwhelmed and unable to process all the straightforward policy fixes.17 In many other
available informationwith important im- cases there may be no easy policy fixes. So being
plications for human development. Examples aware of the vagaries of human behaviour is
include the failure to save for retirement or essential. Only by being aware of how people
taking on bad loans although better options are make choices can planners design programmes
available. Such mistakes are well documented and policies to support decisionmaking ap-
in the literature on behavioural and cognitive propriately among people who may otherwise
science.12 be especially prone to mistakes. Policy design
People face many decisions, ranging from the involves judgements about default options,
trivial to the consequential. They face multiple how much information to introduce and how
options and have to make choices, sometimes the information is framed, presented and dis-
as part of a group. Development economists seminated. Understanding how people make
and practitioners use standard models to assess choices can enhance the process.18 Some of
how people make choices. Psychologists and these insights are integrated into policymak-
experimental and behavioural economists, ing. Others are novel, and a large number of
meanwhile, have been documenting the mis- researchers around the world are working on
takes in how people make choices.13 Peoples uncovering them.19
decisions seem to be swayed by considerations
that should not matterthe default option, Collective capabilities helping
the order in which options are presented and marginalized groups
sometimes seemingly irrelevant options. Some
researchers say that people are irrational or that Human development is not only a matter of Human development
they make (predictably) irrational choices.14 promoting the freedoms that individuals have
is also a matter
Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor at Duke and have reason to choose and value. It is also
University and a leading authority on behav- a matter of promoting the freedoms of groups of promoting the
ioural economics, shares his thoughts on how or collective entities. Individuals are not the freedoms of groups
to advance human development in a less than only unit of moral concern; structures of living or collective entities
rational world (see special contribution). together are, too.20 The failure to explicitly
What seems like irrational behaviour by include them in evaluating the state of affairs
a group, such as poor people, may at times leads to the loss of important information.
simply reflect a lack of access to services that Take the example of a society that makes
everyone else takes for granted. People with explicit arrangements to include persons with
stable incomes may fail to save and ensure fu- disabilities in the mainstream, allowing them
ture financial security. This may appear to be to lead full lives as individuals and members
irrational behaviour. But it may simply be that of society. Or a society that is open towards
these people lack access to basic services such and accepting of refugees, allowing them to
as savings accounts. In the Philippines about find work and integrate in the mainstream.
30percent of people who were offered a savings Conversely, a community that discourages les-
account with no option to make a withdrawal bian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex indi-
for six months accepted. Individuals who used viduals from marrying or having children limits
the accounts increased their savings 82percent the fulfilment of these peoples lives. Societies
more than the control group did.15 vary in the number, functions and effectiveness

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 89


Predictably irrationalhelping advance human development in a less than rational world

How did you get into studying how individuals make decisions or not achieve much. What is needed is a better theory of how people behave,
choices? Was this a rational decision? what the conflicts of interest are and what can be done to bring down these
I got into this following my experience of being in hospital for a very long conflicts of interest.
time. I was badly injured when young. While in hospital, there were a num-
ber of things that I thought were very wrong, and I didnt like. One was how Being able to lead a long and healthy life, being well informed and
the bandages were replaced for burn patients. What is the right approach being able to participate and make decisions are the foundations of
for doing thisripping them fast, or taking them out slowly? What is the well-being in the human development approach. This view holds that
best way to minimize the pain? The nurses said they knew the best ap- the expansion of individuals choices should be the goal of development.
proach, which was to rip them off fast. They followed their intuition. I didnt Given what we know from behavioural economics, would you say this
agree that this was the right way. Despite good intentions, the nurses were view can be qualified, or nuanced, in some way?
wrong about this. This is a beautiful but nave perspective. Choices are all good when they
After leaving the hospital, I thought about doing experiments to under- have no cost. Having choices can lead to what has been called the burden
stand how we sometimes have bad intuitions. Where do these fail us the of choice.
most? What is the right model of human behaviour? I wanted to understand We have to ask ourselves: Are we helping people by giving choices? Is
how people behave, how we make mistakes and also how we can do better. it fair? Do you want to choose when to end your parents life, when to pull
This was not a rational decision. I did not consider all my options and life support?
think about them. I found something I liked to do and felt passionate about. There are tiny choiceswhere to drink coffee, eat. People have no time
I jumped right into it without thinking too much and without thinking for too to think about those choices. People take what is easily available. They dont
long. make these choices with full agency. There are the middle-range choices,
for example, which camera or stereo system to buy. These are the decisions
What have we learned from behavioural economics about how where people can make the right choicegiven the right information, if
individuals and groups make decisions? How has this changed how they have the time and they think about it.
economists think about decisionmaking? What are the implications in Then there are the really huge choices, involving marriage, house, sav-
terms of policies for health, education and well-being? ings, etc. When people get bad news, say about a health condition, they
People, in general, dont make very thoughtful, rational decisions. For ex- shut down. Studies show that with people who have prostate cancer, the
ample, take texting and driving and our general addiction to cellphones. This course of treatment depends on which doctor they see first. If they see a
is quite irrational. Most of the messages and emails we get do not need surgeon, they have surgery. If they see a different doctor, they have a differ-
immediate attention. ent treatment plan, not surgery.
There is the concept of random reinforcement. A rat gets food every It is with the very small and the very big choices that we have to help
100th time he presses a lever. If the food is given on any random press people.
between 1 and 200, the rat will go on pressing for much longer in hope of
a reward. This is why we are addicted to our phones. From time to time we We want to explore how individuals act as part of groups. How much
get an email or message that is very exciting, and hence we are hooked. We are individual decisions impacted by social norms, values, stereotypes
check our phones way too often, including when we are driving. and prejudices? How do norms such as those of fairness, cooperation
Take overeating, underexercising, financial decisionmaking, and there and honesty come to be, and how are they sustained?
are millions of other places where we fail. In terms of relevant policies, this With honesty, we have to think about rationalization. There are different
is not always an information problem. With smoking, for example, the bar- aspects of honesty. People ask, how dishonest can I be and yet feel good
rier is not lack of good information. about myself? This has to do with social norms. In some countries, bribery
A policy is a tool to get people to behave in a different way. If the model is ok. People ask themselves, what is acceptable here? They end up say-
that the policy is based on is wrong, the policy will fail. There are some ing, ok, this is acceptable. If you live in a country where giving a bribe to
assumptions in standard models that have to be questioned. For example, a public official is common practice, you tell yourself that this is perfectly
people do not usually think long term. acceptable.
And then, with banking regulation there is a need to understand the In the United States everyone gets away with illegal downloads. This
model. Bankers are not bad people, but there are conflicts of interest. is corruption! There is a big social element to it. People know it is illegal.
Policies are introduced, for example, to increase transparency, but they do Because everyone does it, this empties the moral content of it.



How important is self-image, or how we view ourselves, in making Policies that take advantage of the impact of social norms can be very
decisions? What are some applications of this and some implications effective. They had this problem in Bogot, where people would not stop
for policy design? at red lights. The city hired mimes (clowns) to stand at intersections and
Experiments show that people are not completely dishonest. People cheat to make fun of people who wouldnt stop at traffic signals. People started
less than what the theory of rational individuals would suggest. People ask behaving better. If you think about it, it was a beautiful intervention. This
themselves what they will be comfortable with (not what they can get away underlines the importance of understanding social constructs, changing the
with). There is a range of goodness. People have a self-image, an internal words and terms that people use and to get people to start thinking of them-
standard for good behaviour, which is very much a social construct. selves in different ways.

Dan Ariely
James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University

of social institutions and thus in the range of Aires transformed a hazardous activity based
social competencies that can promote human on poor technology into a cooperative system
freedoms.21 of urban recycling based on decent work con-
What social institutionsf amily, communi- ditions, appropriate technology and reduced
ty, nongovernmental organizations, neighbour- incidence of child labour.22
hood or social clubs, and cooperativescan
be or do reflects collective capabilities. Such Social values and norms key
capabilities enhance human development, par- impacts on universalism
ticularly among people who are marginalized
or deprived and whose freedom cannot be en- Social values and norms influence the parame-
hanced through the actions of individuals alone. ters of the freedoms that are enhanced through
The collective capabilities of social institu- human development. Societies may limit the
tions are essential in many cases. Every indi- freedoms that are recognized among individu-
vidual values freedom from hunger, but few als who are, say, women, gay, transgender, with
individuals have the capability to achieve this disabilities or of a particular race or religion
freedom through their own efforts. Society (see chapter 2). For example, a society that ex- Society must organize
must organize resources, technology, expertise, pects women to perform only unpaid care work
resources, technology,
policies and institutions in a way that enables explicitly or implicitly discourages girls from
individuals to take action to achieve the free- attaining higher education and fulfilling their expertise, policies
dom. Similarly, people in forced labour may full potential. and institutions in
not escape it without collective capabilities or The norms and values of a society may not sup-
a way that enables
the capabilities of institutions. port the most disadvantaged. Prejudice against
Groups and coalitions are a means of exer- some groups is sometimes deeply ingrained in individuals to take
cising collective agency, which is much more culture and practice. Women face explicit and action to achieve
powerful than people exercising individual implicit discrimination in school and working human freedom
agency. Groups to which individuals belong, life.23 This discrimination is found even in en-
including groups that individuals may establish, vironments that would be expected to reward
can expand individual capabilities and afford merit objectively, such as higher education and
individuals new freedoms. A leading example the scientific community.24 In advanced coun-
is the Grameen Bank experience in Bangladesh, tries groups may face discrimination and lack of
where groups of destitute women helped em- opportunities based on race. In the United States
power individual woman economically and so- the bias of educators against African American
cially, which individual efforts might not have children has an impact as early as preschool.25
achieved. Informal workers in many economies Bias and prejudice thus play a role in almost all
have organized to demand their rights to better important aspects of life. What individuals do
conditions. Through organization and collec- and how they act are dictated largely by social
tive action since 2002, waste pickers in Buenos traditions of privilege and subordination.

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 91

Groups are governed by social norms that maintained by households under social pressure.
also influence the behaviour of individuals and Violating a norm can cause psychological dis-
often shape the freedoms individuals articulate, comfort, financial loss or worse. In these cases
particularly agency. The effect on freedom has the focus should be how the norms can influence
been analysed in terms of adaptive preferenc- the effects of healthy policies and the identifica-
es, the mechanism people use to adjust their tion of ways to alter the norms (box 3.3).
preferences according to their circumstances.
The frequently unconscious adaptation of pref- Multiple identities how they
erences distorts perceptions of freedom so that influence agency and well-being
individuals may not notice that their freedom
of choice has been constrained. Multiple identities influence an individuals
The concept of adaptive preferences is espe- agency and well-being (functionings and ca-
cially applicable to the gender debate.26 The pabilities): citizenship, residence, geographic
deprivation in agency associated with social origin, class, gender, politics, profession, em-
norms and culture is evident in the practice ployment, social commitments and so on. Each
of early marriage, the lack of womens control of these groups is associated with a specific
over household resources and the attitudes aspect of an individuals identity. Group affili-
that expose women to the risk of gender-based ations and identities are more fluid than fixed.
violence. Almost half the women surveyed Each person belongs to a number of groups at
in Africa report agency-related deprivation one time. People are born into some groups
in more than one area of their lives. Women a woman, an Asian, lefthandedness. Other
who are educated, who work or who live in groups may be abandoned, such as religion.
urban areas have more voice and autonomy. In Still others may be joined, such as citizenship.
Africa almost 20 percent of women who live No single identity can completely define an
in rural areas and have no more than a primary individual throughout her or his life.
People should have education experience three major deprivations, People have the liberty of choosing their
the liberty of choosing compared with 1percent of women who live in identities. Individuals have reason to recognize,
their identities urban areas and have higher education.27 value and defend the freedom to choose identi-
Social norms, rules and conventions are not ties. Liberty is important and valuable because
created in a vacuum. Norms and expected and all individuals deserve the space to consider the
accepted behaviour evolve. The circumstances various facets, nuances and choices associated
that may have given rise to particular norms with their identity. Liberty is also a precondi-
may change, but the norms themselves may tion for peaceful coexistence in multiethnic
not. Traditions and norms tend to become and multicultural societies.
entrenched. Once established, a norm can be Three identity issues have implications for
difficult to dislodge. Many anachronistic and human development. First, the space for mul-
sometimes perverse social norms persist for tiple identities is more limited among people
generations. Traditions, including dowry from who are marginalized, and those people may
the families of brides and child marriage, are lack the freedom to choose the identity they

BOX 3.3

Strategies for changing social norms

Rectify mistaken beliefs about what others do or think. Change the incentives for supporting norms among
Use the mechanisms of social pressure. key actors.
Change the symbolic meaning of a social norm. Send countermessages through appropriate
Create or exploit conflicts among different norms. messengers.
Change the signalling function of norm compliance. Adjust how norms interact with laws.

Source: World Bank 2014.


value. This absence can be a serious deprivation more powerful groups to restrict the freedom
in their lives because it limits their agency. of others. This is reflected in the affluence bias
Second, many people favour a single identity of the policy matrix, the way the legal system
to the disadvantage of all others and deny rea- functions and the way institutions operate in
soning and choice in selecting identities. Much many economies. This elite capture represents
extremism and hatred can be undermined by an attempt of the rich and the powerful to curb
promoting the acceptance of multiple iden- the opportunities of poor and deprived people.
tities over a single identity, such as ethnicity, The human development approach recogniz-
religion or caste. Embracing single identities es that more must be done than merely calling
may make other groups or identities appear as for the expansion of capabilities and freedoms.
rivals or even enemies. It misses all the multiple All societies need to make tradeoffs, decide
identities that may be shared, such as humanity, among the claims of competing groups on finite
parents or neighbours. Multiple identities are resources and establish priorities in a context
essential to the freedom of agency because they of unequal distribution of income and wealth,
provide people with the chance to explore dif- voice and participation, inclusion and diversity,
ferent functionings and capabilities, and they and so on. Following reasoned debate, societies
can ensure autonomy. need to determine the principles for settling
Third, identity groups interact and com- these issues to realize a more just society.
pete with each other over limited economic
and political resources and power. Groups Sustainable development
often seek to obtain more power at the cost of as social justice
other groups. They are often able to become
entrenched in positions of power. The result- Interdependent freedoms and choices are also
ing concentration of economic and political characteristic of intergenerational equitythe freedoms and choices
control within a single group can be difficult to freedoms of future generations in relation to are also characteristic
unravel (see chapter 2). In this process, margin- the freedoms of the present generation. The of intergenerational
alized groups experiencing deprivationssuch 2011 Human Development Report defines
as indigenous groups, older people and ethnic sustainable human development as the ex- equity
minoritieslose out and may become excluded pansion of the substantive freedoms of people
from progress in human development. today while making reasonable efforts to
Yet groups have the space to interact and avoid seriously compromising those of future
share their concerns in a participatory dem- generations.28
ocratic system. They should seek a common This is similar to many conventional notions
understanding of a fair society through ne- of environmental sustainability. But it also
gotiation and discussion so all people possess reflects the concept of universalism, which
the freedom to explore different identities and goes deeper. Universalism argues that the life
choose their own path. Collective values and experiences of all individuals within and across
collective aspirations can be fostered through a generations are equally important. The human
collective discourse in which all constituencies development approach therefore considers
truly and effectively participate. sustainability as a matter of distributional
equity both within and across generations.
The interdependence of freedoms Human Development Reports have consist-
the inevitability of tradeoffs ently advanced this integrated approach to
According to the human development ap- The human development approach reiterates
proach, all people should be able to lead the that sustainable development is much broader
kind of life that they have reason to value. than the protection of natural resources and
But the freedom of one person or group may the environment; that environmental degra-
interfere with the freedom of another person or dation exerts larger, unequal impacts on poor,
group. This can be an unintended outcome or a marginalized and vulnerable people; and that
deliberate goal. Given the political economy of climate change affects the people and countries
societies, there may be attempts by richer and the most that have least contributed to it. From

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 93

a human development perspective, sustainable is a 20percent increase in the probability of an
development thus embodies social justice. agreement lasting at least 2 years and a 35per-
cent increase in the probability of an agreement
Gender equality and womens lasting at least 15 years.31
empowerment vital markers

If human development must reach everyone, Checking whether progress

gender equality and womens empowerment in human development
need to be central. When women are allowed reaches everyone
to work in a profession of their choice, when assessment requirements
they have access to financial services and when
they are protected by law from domestic vi- Averages are not adequate for determining
olence, they are able to lead lives to their full whether everyone benefits from progress in
potential. The more command women have human development; a disaggregated approach
over household income, the more they partici- is needed. Nor will a purely quantitative assess-
pate in the economy, the more girls are enrolled ment succeed; qualitative aspects are needed,
in secondary school and the larger the benefits too. Data on freedom of agency also need to
for their families, their communities and their be reviewed, particularly on voice and account-
The more command countries. ability. Other indicators of human well-being
women have over Gender equality and womens empowerment can provide insights, such as the social progress
household income, need to be addressed in a mainstreamed and in- index.32 Finally, good generation and dissem-
tegrated way. Sustainable Development Goal5 ination of data are important and require
the more they covers gender equality and the empowerment additional in-depth research, experimentation,
participate in the of all women and girls, and it proposes relevant consultations and alliance-building among
economy, the more targets and indicators. But gender equality and stakeholders.
womens empowerment should not be limited
girls are enrolled in to a single goal. Gender-focused targets are The disaggregated perspective
secondary school and also covered by Sustainable Development Goal
the larger the benefits 3 (good health and well-being) and Goal 4 An assessment of whether progress in human
(quality education). These goals and targets development is reaching everyone requires dis-
for their families,
have catalysing effects on achieving the other aggregated data by region, gender, ruralurban
their communities Sustainable Development Goals. location, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity
and their countries Gender parity is often mistaken for gender and so on. Disaggregated data unmask the av-
equality. Gender parity is an equality of num- erages and show who has been bypassed, where
bers. Gender equality, by contrast, refers to the they are and why.
social relationship between men and women Development barriers often fall along group
and has deeper dimensions. Take the example lines. People with certain characteristics, in
of womens participation in peacebuilding certain locations and with certain identities are
efforts to end conflicts. At times, female more likely to lack access to essential services
representatives are invited to negotiations in and opportunities and are more prone to be
order to meet a formal requirement for equal victims of discrimination and other forms of
participation. However, when women are em- social exclusion.
powered to be effective participants, they can To include everyone in progress in human
have a great impact.29 In the recently completed development, the excluded and marginalized, as
Colombia peace process, one-third of partic- well as the depth of their deprivations, need to
ipants in the negotiations were women. Their be identified, often through data disaggregated
lobbying ensured that those who committed in National Human Development Reports.
sexual violence in the conflict would not be For example, Ethiopias 2014 National Human
eligible for pardons. The women also advocat- Development Report presented HDI values dis-
ed for economic support for women in rural aggregated by region, Mexicos 2010 National
areas for new development activities.30 When Human Development Report presented HDI
women are included in the peace process, there values disaggregated by indigenous group and


Somalias 2012 National Human Development is a great challenge in reaching the most exclud-
Report presented Multidimensional Poverty ed and marginalized groups.
Index values disaggregated by area (nomadic, Data on health, education and other aspects
rural, urban and the like).33 The 2030 Agenda of well-being are already available in disaggre-
stipulates that progress towards achieving the gated form by gender, age, location and income
Sustainable Development Goals will depend decile through household surveys, including
on high-quality, accessible, timely and reliable Demographic and Health Surveys, Multiple
data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, Indicator Cluster Surveys and the Living Investments in national
ethnicity, migration status, disability, geograph- Standards Measurement Study.35 More can be statistical capacities,
ic location and other characteristics relevant in done to increase the frequency of these surveys more financing
national contexts.34 and improve their comparability, but using the
to support longer
While there is agreement in principle that disaggregated data that already exist is a start
enabling all people to benefit from progress in towards understanding patterns of exclusion. and more detailed
human development demands disaggregated Investments in national statistical capacities, surveys that target
data, there is less clarity about how to ensure more financing to support longer and more de-
the individual rather
data availability. Which survey instruments tailed surveys that target the individual rather
are the most accurate and cost-effective for than the household and greater use of big data than the household
collecting these data? And there are questions will be needed to strengthen and extend survey and greater use of big
about how to gather data that may be culturally coverage. data will be needed to
or politically sensitive but extremely important. Disaggregated data can also be mobilized
Many groups may remain largely invisible in through perception surveys. A 2015 field strengthen and extend
data because of such sensitivitiesfor example, survey in Nigeria revealed that peoples per- survey coverage
the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter- ceptions of threats to security in such areas as
sex community. Any group that suffers extreme ability to support oneself or losing ones bank
discrimination or criminalization may hide savings were much more intense in the Federal
their identity, making the collection of accurate Capital Territory than in the South-South re-
data nearly impossible. Likewise, data disaggre- gion (figure 3.2). Such information alerts poli-
gated by indigenous population or ethnic group cymakers to the barriers to a sense of security in
may be discouraged. Overcoming these cultural the Federal Capital Territory and to the need to
and political barriers to open self-identification undertake remedial action.36


Peoples perceptions of threats to security were much more intense in Nigerias Federal Capital Territory
than in the South-South region




South-South Federal Capital Territory

Being unable to support oneself Losing ones saving in the bank

Inability to pay for ones childrens or ones own education Needing to bribe someone in order to obtain a service
Inability to pay ones rent or other household bills

Source: UNDP 2015b.

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 95

Determining the types of disaggregation agreed in accordance with the Programme
needed to reveal inequalities along particular di- of Action of the International Conference
mensions can be difficult without understanding on Population and Development (1994)
the processes of exclusion and marginalization and the Beijing Platform for Action (1995)
in a society. It is thus important that decisions and the outcome documents of their review
about data collection be rooted in qualitative conferences.
and historical research on these processes in
each context. For example, in Mongolia, data Qualitative assessment
have been disaggregated by disability. In 2010
the share of people ages 10 or older with no Progress in human development has often been
education was three times higher among persons widespread and impressive quantitatively but is
with disabilities than among the rest of the pop- less impressive when the quality of outcomes
ulation, and persons with disabilities were also is factored in. The differences in quality across
less likely to obtain higher education (8percent groups can also be stark. In terms of people
versus 18percent of the rest of the population).37 and their lives, low quality implies a lack of the
Disparities in one Disparities in one area may reinforce dispari- tools necessary to reach ones full potential and
ties in other areas and create a dynamic where- express all ones capabilities.
area may reinforce by people are left further and further behind More children are enrolled in and attending
disparities in other in human development. For example, women school than ever. But 250 million children
areas and create a are generally disadvantaged relative to men in worldwide do not learn basic skills, even though
obtaining the benefits of human development. half of them have spent at least four years in
dynamic whereby If such women are living in ecologically fragile school.39 In most countries class size, the number
people are left further areas, they are doubly deprived: because of of qualified teachers and the availability of im-
and further behind in their gender and because of their location. The proved facilities are more desirable in better-off
deprivations may pile up if these women are neighbourhoods than in poorer neighbour-
human development also poor. The assessment perspective should hoods, leading to wide differences in learning.
thus address these dynamics and focus first on International testing has been conducted
those who are furthest behind. since the 1950s to compare cognitive achieve-
One key dimension of data disaggregation is ment at various levels of schooling across coun-
gender, yet this dimension is missing or opaque tries and to identify the causes of measured
in most development indicators. The 2030 differences (box 3.4). Most of these attempts
Agenda, particularly Sustainable Development to assess the quality of education reflect the
Goal 5, focuses on targets that will require principle that cognitive development is the
gender-disaggregated data, including:38 main objective of education and thus measure
Ending all forms of discrimination against all the success of education systems based on this
women and girls everywhere. concept. Scholastic test scores provide a gauge
Eliminating all forms of violence against all of how well the curriculum is learned and of
women and girls in the public and private students learning achievements at the main
spheres, including trafficking and sexual and exit points of school systems.
other types of exploitation. Global health is also improving. People are
Eliminating all harmful practices, such as living longer. Global life expectancy at birth
child, early and forced marriage and female was 4.9 years longer in 2015 than in 2000,
genital mutilation. though there were wide variations across re-
Recognizing and valuing unpaid care and do- gions and countries. The increase in life expec-
mestic work through the provision of public tancy at birth from 2000 to 2015 was greatest
services. in Sub-Saharan Africa (8.8 years), followed by
Ensuring womens full and effective partici- South Asia (5.5 years) and Latin America and
pation and equal opportunities for leadership the Caribbean (3.8 years).40 But are the added
at all levels of decisionmaking in political, years of life expectancy healthy years or years
economic and public life. characterized by illness and disability? The
Ensuring universal access to sexual and re- notion of healthy life expectancy helps answer
productive health and reproductive rights as this question (see chapter 2). The increase in


BOX 3.4

Test score methods for assessing the quality of education

More than 60 countries and other education systems Latin American Laboratory for the Assessment of Quality
participate in the Trends in International Mathematics in Education.
and Science Study, which covers mathematics and The question is whether these international tests
science, and 55 education systems took part in the provide a useful assessment of the quality of education
2011 round of the Progress in International Reading outcomes in a country or remain mainly a measure of
Literacy Study.1 In 2015 the Organisation for Economic how well students have learned a curriculum. PISA is
Co-operation and Developments Programme for the only one that uses tests not directly linked to curri-
International Student Assessment (PISA) was conduct- cula. National PISA scores are averages and so conceal
ed in 72 countries and economies, mainly industrialized variations within a country. PISA and the Latin American
and middle-income countries. Other initiatives include Laboratory assessment provide more detail on distribu-
the 16 country Southern and Eastern African Consortium tion, such as quartiles, and on standard deviations and
for Monitoring Educational Quality and the 15 country scores by parent income quintile.

1. U.S. Department of Educations Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study website (https://nces.ed.gov/timss/) and Progress in International Reading Literacy
Study website (https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pirls/).
Source: Human Development Report Office.

healthy life expectancy has not been as dramat- to be left behind as a result of ongoing trends.
ic as the increase in life expectancy, so people Groups that suffer absolute and relative depri-
are generally living more years, but those years vations in outcomes are often also deprived in
are not free from illness and disability.41 voice, participation and process freedoms.
Urban-based health facilities provide better The extent of agency and participation
health services than do rural health centres. enjoyed by different groups may change.
The upshot is that not everyone or every group Advances in technology, government regimes,
enjoys high-quality human development; there economic structures and legal frameworks may
are differences in the quality of the capabilities affect freedom of agency.
achieved and the opportunities available. There is generally a positive relationship be-
tween well-being (measured by the HDI) and
Data on freedom of agency agency and participation (as measured by the
World Banks voice and accountability indicator;
Even though freedom of agency has always box 3.5). But it is possible for a country to have a
been an integral component of the concept of high HDI value and a low score on the voice and
human development, the Human Development accountability index (figure 3.3). This supports
Report has usually been much more concerned the notion that the two measures, if not perfectly
with well-being than with agency. This is true correlated, are complementary. In other words,
of the HDI, which does not accord intrinsic societies may achieve high average freedom of
valueas distinct from instrumental valueto well-being but not freedom of agency. If human
freedom of agency. The omission is mitigated development is to reach everyone in its various An assessment that
to some extent by the Gender Empowerment aspects, freedom of agency must be enhanced. combines well-being
Index and related measures, but agency is not An assessment that combines well-being with
with agency and
only a gender issue. agency and participation at the political level
One of the problems in assessing freedom may be a more complete assessment of human participation at the
of agency is that it is inherently much more development. political level may
difficult than well-being to measure. However, One aspect of freedom of agency is the
be a more complete
a good deal can be learned about the progress extent of womens agency and the extent to
in achieving freedom of agency (or not) around which women are able to shape decisions that assessment of human
the world without precise measurements. This affect their lives. This is extremely important development
is particularly relevant to examining who is from a human development perspective but
being left behind and why and who is likely difficult to capture quantitatively in all its

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 97

BOX 3.5

Voice and accountability indicatorthe World Banks approach

The voice and accountability indicator is one of six aggre- which a countrys citizens are able to participate in select-
gate governance indicators constructed by the World Bank ing their government, as well as freedom of expression,
to capture the dimensions of governance in a country freedom of association and a free media.1
voice and accountability, political stability and absence The individual variables from the various data sources
of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory qual- are rescaled to run from zero to one, with higher values in-
ity, rule of law and control of corruption. Each indicator is dicating better outcomes, and the rescaled values are then
based on information from several data sources, ranging used to construct estimates of voice and accountability.
from household and firm surveys to the subjective assess- Estimates are available for 214 countries and territories
ments of multilateral organizations, nongovernmental from 1996 to 2015 in units of a standard normal distribution
organizations and providers of commercial business infor- ranging from approximately 2.5 to 2.5. Updated annually,
mation. The voice and accountability indicator aggregates the indicator was first used by the Human Development
data from surveys to capture perceptions of the extent to Report Office in the 2002 Human Development Report.2

1. World Bank 2007, p. 262. 2. UNDP 2002.
Source: Human Development Report Office.


It is possible for a country to have a high Human Development Index value and a low score on the voice
and accountability index

Human Development Index, 2015





0.6 Arab States

East Asia & the Pacific
0.5 Europe and Central Asia
Latin America & the Caribbean
0.4 OECD
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa
2.0 1.0 0 1.0 2.0
Voice and accountability, 2015

One dimension
Source: The World Banks Worldwide Governance Indicators website (www.govindicators.org); Human Development Report Office.
that lends itself to
measurement is
dimensions. One dimension that lends itself included in the Gender Inequality Index.) By
womens participation to measurement is womens participation in shedding light on a key dimension of womens
in national political life national political life and decisionmaking, agency, this indicator complements the HDI
and decisionmaking which is measured using womens share of seats and provides a more complete picture of a
in the national parliament. (This indicator is nations progress.



The trend in nonincome Human Development Index values and in womens and mens shares of seats in
parliament is moving in the desired direction in every region

Human Development Index, 1997 and 2015

Arab States
0.9 East Asia & the Pacific
Female Europe and Central Asia Male
0.8 Latin America & the Caribbean
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa




0 25 50 75 100
Share of seats in parliament, 1997 and 2015 (%)

Source: Human Development Report Office.

HDI values can be estimated separately for Other measures of well-being

women and men by estimating education,
health and income outcomes among women Various measures of human well-being have
and men separately. The gender-based differ- been proposed and constructed over the years. All regions have made
ences in well-being outcomes tend to be more In the context of human development reaching progress in closing the
pronounced in the education and health out- everyone, this section examines whether some gap in representation
comes. They are also measured more clearly, are of these measures can provide an assessment
better understood and reflect more robust data. framework for capturing universal well-being. in parliament between
So estimates of nonincome HDI values among women and men
women and men are usedthat is, HDI values Social progress index
constructed from the education and health
dimensions alone. The social progress index ranks countries by
The trend in nonincome HDI values and social progresshow societies improve in social,
in womens and mens shares of seats in par- political and economic structures so that every-
liament is moving in the desired direction in one benefits.42 Gains may derive from direct
every region, even if initial points and chang- human action, such as through social enterprise
es over time vary (figure 3.4). Yet all regions or social activism, or as a natural progression in
have made progress in closing the gap in sociocultural evolution. The index measures the
representation in parliament between women extent to which countries provide for the social
and men. Latin America and the Caribbean and environmental needs of their citizens. Fifty-
has one of the strongest performances, while three indicators on basic human needs, the foun-
East Asia and the Pacific has made little dations of well-being and opportunity to progress
progress. show the relative performance of nations.

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 99

World happiness index It involves citizens in constructing the index, so
people have a say in its value.
The world happiness index annually surveys nu-
merous people in various countries around the Subjective measures of well-being
Various measures world to identify the country with the happiest
of human well-being population.43 Rankings are based on responses Some countries support subjective measures of
have been proposed to a life evaluation questionnaire that is based well-being or happiness. For example, Bhutan has
on Cantrils ladder. It asks respondents to think a gross national happiness index.45 The United
and constructed of a ladder on which their best possible life Kingdom, through the Office for National
over the years would be step 10, while their worst possible life Statistics,is one of the first countries to officially
would be step 0. Respondents are then asked to embrace the measurement of life satisfaction and
rate their lives at the present moment as a step happiness, with measures of national well-be-
on the ladder. The researchers identify the re- ing.46 Proponents note that a single measure of
sult as the perception respondents have of their happiness, which arguably summarizes peoples
own happiness. The responses are weighted feelings about many aspects of well-being, avoids
based on six other factors: level of gross domes- the need to weight components. Others note
tic product (GDP), life expectancy, generosity, that an individuals happiness may also be related
social support, freedom and corruption. to his or her relativerather than absolute
level of well-being in a society, which may hinder
Better life index cross-country comparisons. Many people, includ-
ing young people, are thinking of a long-term vi-
The better life index is a composite index com- sion of the future in terms of achieving a life that
puted for the 35 Organisation for Economic can be graded good (box 3.6).
Co-operation and Development countries
plus Brazil, the Russian Federation and South Human development indicators and
Africa. It measures well-being according to 11 Sustainable Development Goal indicators
themes in living conditions (housing, income
and jobs) and quality of life (community, edu- Human development indicators and
cation, environment, civic engagement, health, Sustainable Development Goal indicators may
life satisfaction, safety and worklife balance).44 support each other (figure 3.5). For example,

BOX 3.6

A long-term vision of the futurethe Leimers List

In 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr., called for a world per- and presented to the United Nations in February 2015.
spective. The young people of HOPE XXL are trying to HOPE XXL challenges everyone to contribute.
answer that call. HOPE XXL wants to ensure that all To implement the Liemers List, HOPE XXL has pro-
people can achieve a life they grade as good (at least posed a new approach to international cooperation
a 8 on a scale of 0 to 10). called the Peoples Partnership. It is an essential ele-
HOPE XXL started in 2009 in The Netherlands. Ten ment in the young peoples vision of the future and a new
young people from the Liemers region developed the first approach to international cooperation. In the Peoples
version of the Liemers List: a long-term vision of the future. Partnership all countries are paired together to realize
HOPE XXL has since grown into an international move- the goal of all persons grading their lives as good. HOPE
ment with thousands of young people joining and sharing XXL believes that the number 8 encompasses the great-
their ideas. During a series of international events, includ- er goal of the UN Global Goals and is therefore the per-
ing the 2012 European conference with Kofi Annan, the fect symbol to communicate to reach a wider audience.
Liemers List was developed further. The Liemers List was The first partnership is between Bangladesh and
finalized by young people from all over the world at the The Netherlands, and HOPE XXL is focusing on strength-
HOPE XXL Global Summit in Costa Rica in January 2015 eningtherelationshipbetweenthetwo countries.

Source: HOPE XXL 2015.



Human development indicators and Sustainable Development Goal indicators may support each otheran
example in health
Data need to be
Sustainable Development Goal
generated and
indicators Human development indicators
disseminated on the
Indicator 3.1.1
Maternal mortality ratio
A component of
Gender Inequality Index Table 5
basis of innovative
perspectives to
encourage the
Indicator 3.2.1
Under-five mortality rate
In health outcomes Table 8 participation of more
Sustainable Development
Goal 3promoting people, use of new
long and healthy
well-being at all ages
technologies and
Indicator 3.4.2
Suicide mortality rate
In human security Table 12 reliance on more
aspects of peoples
Indicator 3.7.2 A component of
Adolescent birth rate Gender Inequality Index Table 5

Source: Human Development Report Office.

Sustainable Development Goal indicator 3.2.1 FIGURE 3.6

on the under-five mortality rate can draw on
New data sources for Sustainable Development
data in the Human Development Report
(see Statistical table 8) and be used to track
progress. Similar examples can be drawn from Number of projects by data source
such areas as poverty and inequality, education
Mobile phone 20
and gender equality. Human development
Satellite imagery 18
indicators in the Human Development Report
may also identify and integrate Sustainable Other social networks 12

Development Goal indicators in the Human Web 12

Development Report statistical tables, particu- Scanner 11
larly those on sustainability, urbanization and Twitter 11
governance. Financial transactions 11
Facebook 8
New ways to generate and Sensors 6
disseminate data
Smart meter 5

Data need to be generated and disseminated

Source: Ballivian 2015.
on the basis of innovative perspectivesto
encourage the participation of more people,
use of new technologies and reliance on more One issue in the data generation and the
aspects of peoples perceptions. In a survey of dissemination process is Big Data. Big Data is
existing projects that use new sources of data about data characterized by high volume, high
and their suitability for measurement of the velocity, great variety and often also significant
Sustainable Development Goals, the most veracity.48 It is as much associated with how,
common sources of new data were mobile where and why it is generated, whether col-
phones, satellite imagery and social media lected purposely by official or private entities
(figure 3.6).47 or as byproducts of data generated for other

Chapter 3 Reaching everyone a nalytical and assessment issues | 101

purposes. Granularitydetailis a particular and through government accountability. The
strength, enabling deeper, more nuanced anal- call was also recognition that the trajectory
ysis and tracking, but it is also associated with of progress in internationally available official
elements of risk, particularly pertaining to the statistics was inadequate and needed new mo-
protection of individuals or groups who may mentum, despite the efforts of the Partnership
not be aware that they are being monitored. in Statistics for Development in the 21st
The World Economic Forum obtained data Century and other bilateral, regional and glob-
from LinkedIn to add granularity to analysis al initiatives.
of tertiary education for its 2016 Human A dashboard approach has become a com-
Capital Report.49 In the international context mon approach for measuring development
Big Data has wide application in humanitar- outcomes. It provides colour-coded tables
ian situations and for data on community that show the levels and progress of humanity
behaviour as part of programme and project on various development indicators. Such an
implementation. approach can be effective in presenting data
The UN Secretary-Generals High-Level on well-being. This edition of the Human
Panel on Sustainable Development called for Development Report experiments with
a data revolution for sustainable development two dashboards, one on the environmental,
in 2013 through a new international initiative economic and social aspects of sustainable
to improve the quality of statistics and infor- development and one on gender equality and
mation available to citizens.50 It asked stake- womens empowerment (see the statistical an-
holders to take advantage of new technology, nex). A dashboard does not convey a definitive
crowdsourcing and improved connectivity to conclusion on country achievements, merely an
empower people with information on the indication. But if useful, dashboards could be
progress towards the Sustainable Development extended to other areas of human development.
Goal targets. It maintained that better data
and statistics would help governments track ***
A true data revolution progress and ensure that decisions were based
would draw on on evidence. These enhanced data and statistics The human development approach recognizes
existing and new can also strengthen accountability. A true data that the choices people make are the ways in
revolution would draw on existing and new which they realize their aspirations, though
sources of data to sources of data to integrate statistics into deci- the claims of individuals are interdependent
integrate statistics sionmaking, promote open access to and use of and can compete with one another. A practical
into decisionmaking data and ensure increased support for statistical realization of universal outcomes thus requires
systems. considering not only the ways choices are made,
Particularly important in the call for a data but also the ways those choices can be en-
revolution is the focus on empowering citizens hanced not for a few, not for the most, but for
through information, including through the everyone. And that is where policies become
transparency and openness of official statistics importanta theme taken up in chapter 4.


Chapter 4

Caring for those

left outnational
policy options
Infographic 4.1 National policies to care for those left out
a four-pronged strategy

grouprsuing m
s wi
es th s easu
polici pec res
ial fo
al ne r
ivers Pursuing Using ed
un inclusive affirmative
ing growth action Promoting
Enhancing human


development for

for women marginalized


g th

Addressing Upholding

lifecycle human
capabilities rights

resources Ensuring
Caring for those access

ering those left out

for human
development to justice
priorities left outnational
policy options
Promoting Promoting
social inclusion

shocks and
Combating Addressing
M violence and climate
ak Maintaining
ing ensuring peoples change
human well-being
hu security
ma in postconflict
n dev situations
t resil
Human Development
Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

Caring for those left out

national policy options
Basic human development has progressed well on average in all regions of the world. But not everyone has benefited from
this progressat least not equitably. Some have been left out, and some have been left behind. Given the challenges
of todays world, this chapter identifies the key national policies and strategies that need to be pursued to achieve basic
human development for everyone and to protect the gains that have been made.

Ensuring that human development reaches reversed. This makes it essential to protect the
everyone calls for a four-pronged policy gains and avoid reversal, especially for people
approach (see infographic 4.1 on the facing who have achieved only the basics in human
page). First, universal policies are needed to development and for people who have yet
reach those left out. There are three important to achieve the basics. The first group could
aspects of universal policies. One, universalism fall back below the threshold of basic human
is an idea, but as chapter 2 shows, practical development, and the second might make no
universalism is another matter, particularly in headway towards reaching it. Thus human
policy areas. For example, a country may be development has to be resilient.
committed to universal health care, but diffi- Fourth, people who have been left out will
cult geography may prevent it from establish- have to be empowered so that if policies and
ing health care centres that are accessible to all the relevant actors fail to deliver, these people
localities. Two, even with universal outcomes, can raise their voice, demand their rights and
there may be disparities. For instance, a coun- seek to redress the situation. That requires
try may attain universal primary education, a framework for human rights and access to
but the quality of learning may vary between justice, a space for dialogue and effective par-
schools in rich neighbourhoods and schools in ticipation, and a mechanism for demanding
poor neighbourhoods. Three, because of these accountability.
factors, universal human development policies
need to be reoriented to reach those left out.
Thus, economic growth is an important means Reaching those left out
to achieve human development, but if the using universal policies
benefits of growth are to reach disadvantaged
and marginalized people, growth will have to Some policies that enhance human develop-
be inclusive such that poor and disadvantaged ment, especially universal ones, can have more Some policies that
people actively participate in the generation than proportionally positive impacts on mar-
of growth and have an equitable share in the ginalized and vulnerable people. Identifying enhance human
outcome. and reorienting these policies can narrow development,
Second, even with the new focus on univer- the human development deficits of those left especially universal
sal policies, some groups of people have special out. Essential in this are pursuing inclusive
needs that would not be met (see chapter 2). growth, enhancing opportunities for women, ones, can have more
Their situations require specific measures and addressing lifecycle capabilities and mobilizing than proportionally
attention. For example, persons with disabili- resources for human development priorities positive impacts on
ties require measures to ensure their mobility, b ecause universal policies are resource
participation and work opportunities. intensive.
marginalized and
Third, human development achieved does vulnerable people
not mean human development sustained. Pursuing inclusive growth
Particularly in todays world, with all the risks
and vulnerabilities (see chapter 1), progress in For human development to reach everyone,
human development may be slowed or even growth has to be inclusive. This means that

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 105
people who are willing and able to participate available in agriculture and can be transferred
in the growth process must be able to do so and to and adapted in various economies through
to derive equitable benefits. Inclusive growth collaboration across developing countries.1
has four mutually supporting pillars: formulat- Adjusting the distribution of capital and la-
ing an employment-led growth strategy with bour in public spending to create jobs. Public
an emphasis on creating productive and remu- spending can support job creation by favour-
nerative employment opportunities in sectors ing technologies and sectors that enhance
where poor people live and work; enhancing human development. It can also have a
inclusion in productive resources, especially demonstration effect, signalling to the rest
finance; investing in human development of the economy the many ways of using more
priorities relevant to those who are left out; labour-intensive technologies.
undertaking high-impact multidimensional Securing decent work opportunities and
interventions (win-win strategies). better jobs for all people around the world with
the notion of just jobsthose with fair remu-
Formulating an employment-led growth neration, rights at work and opportunities for
strategy economic mobilityis the main feature of the
Global Deal launched in September 2016 (box
The major elements of an employment-led 4.1).2
growth strategy are:
Removing barriers to employment-centred Enhancing financial inclusion
development. For example, small- and medi-
um-size enterprises often face bias in market People who are left out lack access to pro-
entry and access to credit, and entrepreneurs ductive resources, including land, inputs and
may lack access to information and market- technology. But lack of access to finance has
ing skills. Removing these barriers requires been identified as a major constraint to their
Lack of access to multiple levels of support to improve the economic opportunities and to becoming a
productivity and income of such enterprises. part of the inclusive growth process. From
finance has been Designing and implementing a conducive legal 2011 to 2014, 700million additional people
identified as a and regulatory framework to tackle informal worldwide became bank account holders, yet
major constraint work. Informal workers are among the most 2billion people are still unbanked.3 Financial
vulnerable and insecure, and a regulatory services can be a bridge out of poverty and
to an inclusive framework can provide protection, which vulnerability. Several measures can enhance the
growth process increases security and incentives to enhance financial inclusion of the poor.
productivity and value added. Expanding banking services to disadvantaged
Strengthening the links between large firms and marginalized groups. Opening bank
(typically capital intensive) and small and me- branches in rural areas, offering easy banking
dium-size enterprises (typically labour inten- services, using group solidarity as collateral
sive). Industrial clusters supported by public (as with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh)
investment can increase access to capital and and having simple procedures that can be
technology and promote transfers of skills. followed by people with low literacy can all
Those actions can shift resources to sectors reach people now unbanked. The former
with greater potential for creating jobs and Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has a model
adding value. for others to emulate (box 4.2).
Focusing on sectors where poor people live and Steering credit towards unserved remote areas
work, especially in rural areas. Policy measures and sectors. Investment banks in Argentina,
to sustain and generate jobs in agriculture Brazil, Malaysia and the Republic of Korea
can improve productivity (without displac- have directed credit to industrial sectors spe-
ing jobs) through intensive cultivation, reg- cializing in exports.4
ular changes in cropping patterns, integrated Reducing interest rates and providing credit
input packages and better marketing. As the guarantees and subsidized credit to small and
2015 Human Development Report indicat- medium-size enterprises. In Nigeria an agri-
ed, low-cost, sustainable technologies are cultural lending facility provided incentives


BOX 4.1

The Global Deala triple-win strategy

Decent work and good labour relations contribute to great- It aims to develop a platform for parties to collabo-
er equality and more inclusive economic development, rate and to strengthen existing cooperation structures.
benefiting workers, companies and societies (a triple It will build on established initiatives and projects,
win). The Global Dealinitiated by the Prime Minister of providing political direction and impetus to overall
Sweden and designed with the Organisation for Economic development and systematizing and scaling up exist-
Co-operation and Development and the International ing processes. The expectation is that it will contribute
Labour Organizationaims to enhance dialogue among to inclusive growth, reduce inequalities and become a
like-minded national governments, companies, employer step towards achieving the Sustainable Development
associations, trade unions and broader civil society to im- Goals and the ultimate goal of eradicating extreme
prove employment conditions and boost productivity. poverty.

Source: Dewan and Randolph 2016; Global Citizen 2016.

BOX 4.2

Providing finance to rural farmers in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Two-thirds of the poor people in the former Yugoslav enhanced and the technical and managerial skills of
Republic of Macedonia, mostly subsistence farmers, service providers were improved. In the other, only ag-
unemployed people and pensioners, live in rural areas, ricultural financial services and technical support were
where they lack the finance for investment and rural fi- provided through agricultural investments.
nancial and technical services. In a simple but focused approach, the project pro-
A 2008 Agricultural Financial Services Project that vided 2,745 loans, lifting the average participant house-
was aligned with the countrys rural development policy holds annual business income from 5,166 to 8,050 in
concentrated on two basic services. In one, groups two years. Project-linked branches offering credit and
of clients were formed, their financial literacy was credit officers expanded fivefold.1

1. IFAD 2009, 2016.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

to banks to allocate a large share of their Investing in human development Financial services
credit to agribusiness, particularly small priorities
entrepreneurs. Such loans accounted for can be a bridge
1percent of total bank loans in 2010 and are In 2014 public expenditure as a percentage out of poverty and
expected to reach 10percent by 2020.5 of such basic social services as health care was vulnerability
Harnessing modern technology to promote 3percent in developing countries; the share in
financial inclusion. In Africa 12 percent of education was 4.7percent between 2005 and
adults have mobile bank accounts, compared 2014.8 Yet a major part of this expenditure may
with 2 percent globally.6 Kenya leads the not reach those who need the services the most.
way at 58percent, followed by Somalia, the Most disadvantaged and marginalized groups
United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda lack universal primary education, universal
at 35percent.7 M-Pesa in Kenya is a prime health care, improved sanitation and decent
example of how mobile phone technology housing. But simply increasing social spending
can reach the unbanked. BKash, a mobile is not enough because in many instances such
banking system in Bangladesh, has changed spending goes for modern health facilities for
the way poor people transfer money, includ- well-off groups in urban areas rather than to
ing remittances by garment workers, bill pay- mother and child care centres in rural areas.
ments and the purchase of daily necessities. Focused investments in human development

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 107
Focused investments priorities can produce human development care centres would be a disincentive for women
benefits by delivering services along with infra- and girls to use the centres.
in human development structure, thereby directing high-quality servic- Second, mere provisioning of services with-
priorities can deliver es to disadvantaged and marginalized groups out considering quality is detrimental to poor
high-quality services (figure 4.1). people. Many services in poor areas are low
Investing in human priorities is intended to qualitypartly because of the perception that
to disadvantaged and reach those who lack basic social services such poor people do not want to pay for high-quality
marginalized groups as education and health care that are essential services and partly because of the perception
for enhancing human capital so that these that it is enough that poor people have some
people can not only be part of inclusive growth, services, regardless of the quality. The result:
but also enhance their capabilities, which are Most high-quality services are enjoyed by the
intrinsically valuable. affluent. But poor people are usually ready to
But there are four relevant policy consider- pay for high-quality and affordable services. In
ations. First, the mere availability of services 2004 poor parents in Chad paid for schooling
or access to them is not enough; the effective both in cash ($2 is the average annual contribu-
use of services also requires affordability and tion) and in kind (volunteering at community
adaptability. Low-cost but good services are or government schools).10 Parents also covered
possible and can be affordable for poor people. the cost of books and other supplies.
In Nicaragua compact ultrasound machines High-quality services can indeed be provided
that can be carried on bicycles are being used to poor people, as in Burkina Faso. The Office
to monitor the health of pregnant women, National de lEau et de lAssainissement (the
improving antenatal care at relatively low cost.9 National Office of Water and Sanitation),
Similarly, services must be sensitive to the cul- the utility in charge of water and wastewater
tural and social norms of the contexts in which services in the capital, Ouagadougou, and
they are provided. For example, the presence other urban areas, provides piped water only
of only male doctors in rural mother and child to formal settlements.11 But about 16percent


Investments in priority human development to ensure human development for everyone

Public expenditure ratio Social allocation ratio Social priority ratio Human expenditure ratio
Government share of GNP Social services share of Human priority share of Human priority share of GNP
government spending social sector spending

The human expenditure ratio is the product of three ratios:

E/Y = public expenditure as a S/E = the proportion of public P/S = the proportion of expenditure Put differently, the human
proportion of national income expenditure going to the social in the social sectors going to human expenditure ratio is E/Y x S/E x P/S
sectorthe social allocation ratio development prioritiesthe social
priority ratio

Source: Human Development Report Office based on UNDP (1991).


of Ouagadougous nearly 2million inhabitants settings.18 Yet the cost was too high for affected
live in informal settlements, which are beyond developing countries, which obtained the tests
the utilitys mandate.12 To skirt this problem, only after a dedicated publicprivate part-
the utility designed five-year concession con- nership was created. Economic and political
tracts for private firms to build and operate choices around the funding and support of
water networks in five informal settlements, innovations often result in such barriers to ac-
beginning in 2013.13 The utility sells bulk water cess. Identifying gaps in the protection of target
to the operators and regulates the tariffs. The populations, determining the best new ways to
model has been so successful that the utility address persistent challenges and providing
added two more concessions in Ouagadougou evidence of the efficiency of the new methods
and three in Hound in 2015. Another should may convince decisionmakers to scale up inno-
be ready by the end of 2016 in Bobo-Dioulasso. vations and ensure inclusiveness.19
Third, nongovernmental organizations have Since 2000, governments around the world
become major actors in many countries by have increasingly used the Internet to engage
providing such basic social services as health with their populations, publishing official doc-
care, education and safe drinking water. uments and data on websites, allowing citizens
The BRAC nonformal education system in to undertake administrative procedures online
Bangladesh is a prime example.14 Following an and sometimes inviting them to provide feed-
innovative curriculum but providing education back or even participate in political decision-
in a cost-effective way has boosted both school making (box 4.3).20 But with a digital divide
attendance and retention. Two major measures and without a digital dividend, few marginal
that BRAC schools have initiated are separate and vulnerable groups can take advantage of
toilets and two free sets of school uniforms these services.
for girls. These measures have contributed im-
mensely to the education of girls in Bangladesh. Undertaking high-impact multidimensional
BRAC also leads in providing basic social ser- interventionswin-win strategies
vices, particularly in conflict and postconflict
countries such as Afghanistan.15 In many coun- Universal human development could be accel-
tries nongovernmental organizations and foun- erated if some multidimensional high-impact
Universal human
dations (for instance, the Bill & Melinda Gates interventions are pursued. Measures such as development could be
Foundation) are working with governments providing school meals, redistributing assets accelerated if some
and other agencies on immunization drives for and prioritizing local actions are a crucial part
multidimensional high-
children.16 Publicprivate partnerships and al- of the answer because such interventions have
liances may thus be an effective mechanism for strong and multiple impacts; they are win-win impact interventions
providing services. strategies. are pursued
Fourth, innovative services rarely include
poor people, even though poor people often Providing school meals. School meal pro-
need these services the most. As the UN grammes provide multiple benefits: social
Secretary-Generals High-Level Panel on Access protection by helping families educate their
to Medicines highlighted, medical innovations children and protect their childrens food se-
have saved and improved millions of lives curity in times of crisis; nutrition, because in
around the world, but access to them is highly poor countries school meals are often the only
unequal. Vulnerable groups are prevented from regular and nutritious meal a child receives; ed-
fully benefiting from the innovations because ucation, because a daily school meal provides a
of multiple factors, including limited resources, strong incentive to send children to school and
stigma, discrimination, poor health education, keep them there; and a boost to local agricul-
unavailability of health insurance, regulatory ture, because food is often bought locally, ben-
barriers and exclusive marketing rights.17 efiting local farmers. Evidence from Botswana,
One stark example: The international non- Cabo Verde, Cte dIvoire, Ghana, Kenya,
governmental organization Mdecins Sans Mali, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa bears
Frontires validated new tests for tuberculo- testimony to all the benefits of school feeding
sis to be used in low-income, humanitarian programmes.21

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 109
BOX 4.3


Digital identification systems, a new area of develop- E-government can reduce costs and expand reach to
ment for civil participation, have great potential. They even the most secluded areas of a country, as long as the
have increased the efficiency of public services in Internet is accessible. In 2000 the United States launched
Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, the Republic of Korea the governments official web portal to provide informa-
and Singapore, where citizens can pay taxes or request tion and services to the public. Today 159 governments
official documents online.1 In developing countries digi- publish information online on finance, 151 on health, 146
tal identification can expand civil registration systems. on education, 132 on labour, 130 on the environment and
Nigeria piloted a new voter authentication system in the 123 on social welfare.3 Another rapidly developing area
2015 elections, using fingerprint-encoded cards to avoid is open government datafreely accessible on websites
duplicate votes.2 with raw data, giving people the opportunity to follow
their governments results and to hold it accountable.

1. World Bank 2016p. 2. World Bank 2016p. 3. UNDESA 2014a.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

Rural infrastructure, especially roads and been advocated as a prerequisite for levelling
electricity, is another area. Building rural roads the playing field so that growth is equitable. But
reduces transport costs, connects rural farmers customary laws for property tenure are still the
to markets, allows workers to move more freely norm in many societies. Such laws cover more
and promotes access to schools and health care than 75 percent of the land in most African
clinics. More than 1 billion people worldwide countries and deprive women in particular.27
lack electricity.22 Electrification in rural commu- Appropriate land legislation can be formulated
nities in Guatemala and South Africa has helped to supersede customary laws.
increase employment among marginalized Human capital is an asset, and differences in
groups.23 Low-cost options such as mini-grids educational attainment, one aspect of this asset,
have been successful in Kenya (green mini-grid), prevent poor people from becoming part of the
Senegal (smaller community projects) and the high-productivity growth process. And the out-
Differences in United Republic of Tanzania (good consumer come of that difference becomes stark in tertiary
tariff ) and can be easily replicated elsewhere.24 education. In the United States in 2015 the me-
educational attainment Mini-gridsoften supplied by hybrid generation dian weekly income of a person with a masters
prevent poor people systems and incorporating smart technologies degree was $1,341, but that of a person with
from becoming part of are also connecting rural households. only a high school diploma was roughly half
Cost-effective nutritional interventions that, at $678.28 (The 2015 Human Development
the high-productivity can address deficiencies in iodine and Report called for democratizing tertiary educa-
growth process micronutrientsdeficiencies common among tion both nationally and globally.)29
disadvantaged and marginalized groups.25 Subsidizing inputs for poor people enhanc-
Adding iodine to salt, removing taxes on micro- es their productivity and contributes to the
nutrients and fortifying staples and condiments growth process. For example, subsidizing green
have improved the nutrition status of poor peo- energy would be both poverty reducing and en-
ple.26 Such easy low-cost interventions can be vironment friendly. Bangladeshs central bank
readily scaled up and replicated elsewhere. has financed environmentally sustainable initi-
atives through a low-cost refinancing window.30
Redistributing assets. Redistributive policies Jordan and Morocco have followed suit.
are often framed as reducing inequalities in
outcomes (such as income) or providing social Prioritizing local actions. Local approaches can
protection (as in cash transfers). But redistrib- limit conflict, protect minority rights, improve
uting assets can also bring those left out into the service delivery and be more responsive to local
growth process. For example, land reform has needs and citizen preferences.


Providing autonomy to local governments model has worked so well that 70 towns and Local approaches can
in formulating and implementating local communities have adopted it, and 350,000
development plans allows plans to reflect the Moldovans are involved in improving local contribute much to
aspirations of local communities. Fiscal decen- development. human development
tralization can also empower local governments in the poorest areas
to collect their own revenues and depend less Enhancing opportunities for women
on central government grants, under a formula
for revenue generation between the central Creating opportunities for women requires
government and local governments. In Latin ensuring womens empowerment in the eco-
America decentralization increased local gov- nomic, political and cultural spheres (figure
ernment spending from 20percent of total gov- 4.2). Investing in girls and women has multi-
ernment spending in 1985 to about 30percent dimensional benefitsfor example, if all girls
in 2010.31 But the share of own-source revenue in developing countries completed secondary
remained unchanged, at about 10 percent of education, the under-five mortality rate would
the national total, making local government be halved.33
finances more vulnerable and less predictable, As more girls finish primary and secondary
undermining long-term planning. Indonesias education, they can carry on to higher edu-
big bang decentralizations provide resources to cation, enabling them to do the work of the
meet local needs (box 4.4). future and move up the career ladder. But more
But if the local approach is to ensure human women should be in science, technology, engi-
development for those left out, it will also re- neering and mathematics, where much future
quire peoples participation and greater local demand for high-level work will be. Only one-
administrative capacity. A transparent and fifth of countries had achieved gender parity
accountable mechanism should be in place to in research by 2015, meaning that 4555per-
monitor human development outcomes. With cent of researchers were women.34 Increasing
community involvement and support from the womens enrolment in tertiary education and
central government and other development in science, technology, engineering and mathe-
partners, local approaches can contribute much matics requires such incentives as scholarships,
to human development in the poorest areas, admission quotas and internships with research
as in Moldova (box 4.5).32 The participatory institutions and technology firms.

BOX 4.4

Fiscal decentralization in Indonesiaimproving service delivery

Starting in 2000, when devolution to cities and districts Provincial governors and local mayors have been
became a focus of government reforms, decentraliza- directly elected since 2005.
tion was especially strong on the expenditure side in The Public Information Disclosure Act, passed in
Indonesia. Subnational governments now manage al- 2008, promised better access to public information
most a third of total public spending and about half of as well as more transparency.
development outlays. Local governments are obliged to Citizens provide input into local government plan-
provide health care, education, and environmental and ning, and there are mechanisms for providing
infrastructure services. Some of the major steps of the small-scale community services.
reforms: The positive outcomes of the reforms include a
Local governments were given budget autonomy. substantial increase in local public spending on services
The next higher administrative level was mandat- and better service delivery in some sectors. But there
ed to review legality. Law 32/2004 expanded high- have been issues with spending efficiency in some ar-
er-level oversight of local budgeting. eas, as well as disputes over the extent of gains. And
Local and provincial assemblies are now elected more attention has to be paid to developing effective
every five years. local accountability mechanisms.

Source: Smoke 2015.

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 111
BOX 4.5

How local government makes a difference in Moldova

Telenesti, a town of 9,000, was once one of Moldovas central government for direction. So more than 10,000
poorest. For 20 years basic water, sewerage and gar- local officials80percent of the national totalwere
bage services were a rare luxury for most people. Then trained in how to engage with community members and
Telenestis municipal government teamed with local better manage public services.
residents to improve basic services under a national Telenesti has since renovated its water network,
participatory initiative. added street lighting and built new roads. It became the
A long-standing problem was that local govern- first town in the country to provide all residents with
ments had little experience in guiding local develop- access to a sewerage system.
ment. Under socialism they depended on the distant

Source: UNDP 2013a.


Factors that enable or constrain womens empowermentsix direct and four underlying factors

ocial n
atory s
dis La
nd ur

Access to property, Education skills



assets and financial development and


services training

Social Womens economic Collective action
protection empowerment and leadership
F is c

Address unpaid Access to

al p

Investing in girls care and work quality, decent

ol i c

burdens paid work


and women brings

benefitsfor example, icy f
ra m
L e g a l, r e g u l a t o r y a n d p o l
if all girls in developing
countries were to Source: Hunt and Samman 2016.

complete secondary
education, the
under-five mortality Women also have to juggle paid employment telecommuting, can allow women to return to
outside the home and unpaid care work inside work after giving birth. Women could also be
rate would be halved the home as well as balance their productive offered salary increases to return to work.
and reproductive roles. Reserving jobs for Reducing the burden of unpaid care work
women on maternity leave for up to a year among women can also give women more
and flexible working arrangements, including choices. Enlarging care options, including day


care centres, afterschool programmes, homes for Breaking the glass ceiling
senior citizens and long-term care facilities could
help. Another option is to subsidize unpaid care The glass ceiling, though cracked in many
work through vouchers or credits. Improved ac- places, is far from being shattered. Women in
cess to clean water and sanitation, energy services business hold 24percent of senior management
and public infrastructure, including transport, positions globally, but 33percent of business-
can greatly reduce the burden of unpaid care es have no women in those posts.36 Gender
work, leaving more time for paid work, if women requirements in selection and recruitment
choose to pursue it. Parental leave for mothers and incentive mechanisms for retention can
and fathers can balance the distribution of enhance womens representation in the public
unpaid care work and reduce wage gaps in paid and private sectors. The criteria for promoting
work when fathers are included and have incen- men and women into senior management po-
tives to use it. A more equitable distribution of sitions should be identical, based on equal pay
reproductive roles between mothers and fathers for equal work.
would also benefit men, who often miss out on In developing countries business leadership po-
important family time with their children. sitions that are open to women are often limited
to micro or small enterprises. In such contexts,
Encouraging and supporting female policies promoting womens entrepreneurship
entrepreneurs and supporting the participation of women-led
small and medium-size enterprises in public sec-
Measures to encourage womens entrepreneur- tor procurement can be particularly relevant.
ship include establishing a legal framework Womens representation can be increased
that removes barriers to women owning land, through affirmative action, such as quotas for Mentoring, coaching
a critical asset, especially in agriculture. Farms women on corporate boards, as in the European
managed by woman-headed households are Union. Such efforts are even more effective and sponsoring can
between half and two-thirds the size of farms when accompanied by policies that raise reten- empower women in
run by man-headed households.35 So, land pol- tion rates. Mentoring, coaching and sponsoring the workplace by using
icies, legislation and administration need to be can empower women in the workplace by using
changed to accommodate womenand the new successful senior female managers as role mod- successful senior
rules must be enforced. These measures should els and as sponsors. All these approaches can female managers
cover formal and informal legal systems. In some change norms and promote women to positions as role models and
countries legal reforms are already under way of seniority and responsibility. A complementa-
that may provide opportunities for women that ry approach is to encourage men to join profes-
as sponsors
have been heretofore unavailable (box 4.6). sions traditionally dominated by women.

BOX 4.6

Arab Stateso pening opportunities for women

Business associations are emerging to support female especially given womens higher educational attainment
entrepreneurs through training, research, network- and purchasing power.
ing and other services. Examples include the MENA In Saudi Arabia the number of women employed has
Businesswomens Network Association in Bahrain, the increased 48percent since 2010, thanks partly to petitions
Occupied Palestinian Territory Business Womens Forum and legal reforms that enable women to work in formerly
and the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs closed sectors, including law, to go outside unaccompa-
of Tunisia.1 nied by men, to exercise voting rights and to be elected
Female labour force participation may increase at certain levels of government.2 In Jordan the online
in the Arab States as businesses and governments platform for engineering contractors, Handasiyat.net, has
recognize the financial benefits of employing women, attracted female engineers seeking to work from home.3

1. ILO 2016b. 2. Chew 2015. 3. ILO 2016b.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 113
The Norwegian quota law requires all public since 2000, but the gaps, still large, require
(limited) companies listed on the Norwegian urgent attention.
Stock Exchange as well as state-owned, munici- The World Bank has found that every dollar
pal, intermunicipal and cooperative companies spent on preschool education earns $6$17 in
to appoint boards that include at least 40per- public benefits in the form of a healthier and
cent women. Women made up 6percent of the more productive workforce.38 Many developing
boards of public limited liability companies in countries seem to have accepted this. Ethiopia
2002 and 40percent only six years later.37 says that it will increase preschool enrolment
to 80percent by 2020, from 4percent in 2009.
Addressing lifecycle capabilities Ghana now includes two years of preschool
in the education system. China is contem-
Capabilities built over a lifetime have to be plating providing preschool facilities for all
nurtured and maintained. And vulnerabilities youngsters.39
that people face in various phases of their lives
must be overcome. To ensure that human de- Empowering young people
velopment reaches those left out, building capa-
bilities should be seen through a lifecycle lens. Voting is often the main avenue to influenc-
ing a political process, but it seems to be less
Helping children prepare for the future attractive to younger voters than to older vot-
ers. In Canada 3550 percent of voters ages
Universally fulfilling outcomes are more likely 1834 voted in 20042011, compared with
when all children can acquire the skills that 6578percent of voters ages 5574.40 Young
match the opportunities open to young people people also seem disenchanted with traditional
joining the workforce. Much attention is cor- politics. That should not be interpreted as a
rectly focused on what is needed to ensure that lack of interest in public life.
all children, everywhere, complete a full course Millennials are seeking alternative ways to
of schooling. improve their communities, both locally and
Universally fulfilling But the formal education system is only part globally. Sixty-three percent of them have do-
of a continuum of influences that connects a nated to charity, 52percent have signed peti-
outcomes are more newborn to adulthood. Social and cultural in- tions and 43percent have volunteered for civil
likely when all children fluences operate inside and outside the school society organizations.41 They are also looking
can acquire the system. Factors critical to learning and life out- to social movements and community organi-
comes make themselves felt even in the womb zations as platforms for their political interests
skills that match the and are cumulative, so that a shortfall at one and action. In Egypt, the Syrian Arab Republic
opportunities open to stage can be compounded later and become and Tunisia young protesters used their mobile
young people joining harderif not impossibleto address. phones to post comments, photos and videos
At one level, school systems have to be of events during the Arab Spring live on social
the workforce flexible enough to accommodate divergent media, to generate national and international
cultures. At another, promoting school support for their demands.42
readinesscreating capabilities that promote The challenge in these areas is integrating into
learningis as important as schooling for pro- policymaking the opinions and convictions of
ducing positive life outcomes, such as increased young people expressed through alternative
productivity, higher income, better health and forms of participation. One approach might be
greater upward mobility. Traditional methods through government-sponsored advisory roles,
of remediation, such as public on-the-job youth parliaments and roundtable discussions.
training or adult literacy programmes to boost At least 30 countries have some kind of non-
the skills of disadvantaged young people, adult parliamentary structure, nationally or in
have lower returns than early childhood pro- cities, villages or schools.43 Government agendas
grammes. A better choice is early interventions developed for children and youth, such as those
in the preschool years that promote learning in New Zealand, can also promote participation.
and retention in school. Early childhood ed- On the economic front creating new op-
ucation services have expanded considerably portunities for young people and preparing


young people with the skills needed to take (figure 4.4).45 The world is also moving towards
advantage of those opportunities are required. a knowledge economy, so that low-skilled or
More than one-third of the skills important in marginal workers are losing their livelihoods.
todays economy will have changed by 2020.44 The European Union is expected to add 16mil-
Acquiring skills for the 21st century has to lion new jobs between 2010 and 2020, but the
be part of lifelong learning of the four Cs number of jobs available for people with little or
critical thinking, collaborating, creating and no formal education is anticipated to decline by
communicating (figure 4.3). around 12million.46 As some jobs
Unbridling young peoples creativity and As some jobs disappear, new jobs will appear in disappear, new
entrepreneurship requires policy support for nontradables such as education, health care and
jobs will appear in
sectors and enterprises in new areas of the public services, which are also fundamental to
economy, for young entrepreneurs involved in enhancing human development. Workers should nontradables such
startups or crowdsourcing, for instance, and for be educated for and guided towards such jobs. as education, health
social entrepreneurs (box 4.7). For example, skills can be developed so workers care and public
can transition to sustainable employment in the
Protecting vulnerable workers green economy, solar energy and wind power. services, which are
A fit-for-the-future skill-learning system also fundamental to
Three of the worlds ten largest employers are can be designed and implemented starting in enhancing human
replacing workers with robots, and an esti- secondary school and continuing in tertiary ed-
mated 57percent of jobs in Organisation for ucation. An emphasis on science, technology, development
Economic Co-operation and Development engineering and mathematics may be necessary.
countries are at risk because of automation But flexibility in the curricula of the learning


21st century skills

Ways of thinking Tools for working Ways of working Skills for living in
the world
Creativity Information and Communication Citizenship
Critical thinking communication Collaboration Life and career
Problemsolving Personal and social
Information literacy responsibility

Source: Human Development Report Office.

BOX 4.7

Social businesses attract young people

Social businesses are emerging as new areas of work transitioning from for-profit ventures to engage in social
among young people. They are cause-driven entities change. A survey of 763 commercial entrepreneurs in
designed to address a social problemn onloss, non- India who made the transition from commercial to social
dividend companies, financially self-sustainable, the entrepreneurship between 2003 and 2013 and a quan-
primary aim of which is not to maximize profits (though titative analysis of 493 entrepreneurs indicated that
profits are desirable) but social benefits. 21percent of successful entrepreneurs shifted to social
Inspired by a particular cause and by the desire change efforts. Most are skilled organization builders,
to give back to society, numerous successful young independently wealthy, often establishment outsiders,
commercial entrepreneurs around the world are and some from the diaspora.

Source: UNDP 2015a.

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 115

Navigating the fourth industrial revolution

1 1784 2 1870 3 1969 4 ????

Steam, water, Division of The computer, The barriers
mechanical production labour, electricity, electronics between people and
equipment mass production and the Internet machine dissolve

Source: Schwab 2016.

system is crucial, and training should provide children, care work and voluntary work.
multitasking skills and the agility to move from Older relatives may provide care for children
one line of activity to another. Workers whose whose parents are working or have migrated
livelihoods are threatened can transition to jobs for work or where the children have become
at similar and higher levels with the aid of wage orphans. In Denmark and the Netherlands
subsidies and temporary income support. more than 60percent of women and more
than 40percent of men ages 6065 provide
Caring for older people care for their grandchildren.50 In the United
Kingdom 30percent of people ages 6574
Older people form a particularly vulnerable engage in voluntary work.51
group that often suffers from deprivations in
health, income and social life (see chapter 2). Mobilizing resources for human
They require dedicated attention from policy- development priorities
Older people require makers to ensure that their human rights are re-
spected and that opportunities are available so Public policies for human development priorities
dedicated attention they can enjoy self-realization and contribute require domestic and external resources. One of
to ensure that to society. Some appropriate measures include: the critical issues is how resources are mobilized
Establishing a combination of public and pri- for such investments. The domestic revenue base
their human rights
vate provisioning of elder care. Public provision in many developing countries is generally low. For
are respected of health care can be strengthened through example, in 2002 tax revenue as a share of GDP
affordable but high-quality health services was about 7.2 percent in low human develop-
targeted exclusively at older people. Because ment countries, compared with nearly 15percent
of changing family structures and womens in very high human development countries.52
increasing economic activity, market mecha- Foreign direct investment favours certain coun-
nisms can enable private provision of such care tries (such as China and India), but not so much
(such as the employment of private caregivers) other countries. The economic lifeline of some
or innovative collective community-based sys- poor countries is official development assistance,
tems. Under the Fureai Kippu system in Japan, the prospect of which is rather dim because of
people earn credits for caring for older people the global political economy situation. Given
that they can use later when they need care or such diverse circumstances, there are at least five
that they can transfer to others.47 options that developing countries can explore to
Strengthening the social protection for older generate the necessary resources.
people through basic noncontributory social
pensions (as in Brazil).48 Countries should Creating fiscal space
also explore fully funded contributory pen-
sions and social pensions.49 Fiscal space is the financing available to gov-
Creating opportunities for older people to work ernments through policy actions aimed at
where they can contribute, including teaching enhancing resource mobilization and reforms


to improve the governance, institutional and instituted in consultation with host countries. Consolidating
economic environment. Fiscal space has four And digital remittance transfers can be mod-
pillars: official development assistance, domes- elled after M-Pesa and BKash. and streamlining
tic revenue, deficit financing (through domes- remittances could
tic and external borrowing) and variations in Using climate finance as human make them a funding
spending priorities and efficiency.53 development priority financing
The choice of which pillar to use to increase source for human
or rebuild fiscal space depends mainly on coun- The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate development priorities
try characteristics. In 2009 Ghana considered Change Agreement mark the global communi-
improving revenue collection to increase the tys commitment to take action to end poverty,
health budget, even though the share of the to- confront inequality and tackle climate change,
tal government budget allocated to health was which impact marginalized and vulnerable peo-
stable.54 In 2006 Chile identified higher revenue ple the most. Climate finance has thus emerged
and greater borrowing as channels to expand the as a major resource to help countries tackle
fiscal space.55 In the mid-2000s Brazil and India climate change. Given the differences in con-
identified higher expenditure efficiency in areas cerns in middle-income countries and the least
where stronger revenue efforts were identified as developed countries, there has been a debate
a means to boost the fiscal space.56 about the appropriate relationship between
Expanding the per capita fiscal space allows development finance and climate finance.
for greater spending on sectors of the economy Concerns vary across countries. Developed
that directly enhance human development. and middle-income countries that emit the
And the stability of the fiscal space during majority of the carbon dioxide into the atmos-
economic downturns can also help maintain or phere are seeking financing and technologies to
even increase expenditure on social services as a reduce emissions and mitigate climate change.
countercyclical measure. But in the least developed countries, where
Macroeconomic stability can help boost the emissions are low, climate finance can expand
fiscal space. Fiscal rules, stabilization funds and climate-resilient livelihoods, improve water and
a medium-term expenditure framework can sanitation systems and ensure food security.
strengthen fiscal governance and bolster the fis- These investments go beyond climate adapta-
cal space, as can more efficient use of resources. tion programmes in the narrow sense to focus
For example, developing countries might take on achieving human development by increasing
advantage of lower commodity prices to reform the long-term climate resilience of economies
subsidies. Broadening the tax base and reduc- and societies.
ing tax distortions also help.
Exploiting other means
Consolidating remittances
An estimated $1trillion flows illegally out of
In 2016 remittances to developing countriesa developing and emerging economies each year,
lifeline for many societieswere expected to more than these economies receive in foreign
reach $442billion.57 They enter through various direct investment and official development as-
channels (not all legal) for a raft of purposes, sistance.58 Beyond depriving the worlds needy
from pure consumption to education and asset countries, this propels crime, corruption and
purchases, including land. But the transfer costs tax evasion. Most of the money is lost through
are steep, averaging nearly 8percent worldwide trade invoicingchanging prices to secretly
to send $200 internationally in 2015. move money across borders. If exporting and
Consolidating and streamlining remittances importing countries collaborate to monitor
could make them a funding source for human invoicing through trade rules and other mech-
development priorities. Remittance banks can anisms, such flows can be identified and seized.
be set up in countries where the remittance Development impact bonds can be floated
flows are large, such as Bangladesh, Jordan to open revenue streams from private inves-
and the Philippines. Easy and transparent tors and allow public entities to transfer risk.
legal remittance-sending mechanisms can be They also force policymakers to measure the

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 117
benefits of interventions. But they need clear Oximeter mobile health platform uses a
goalssuch as building 1 million toilets. A low-cost sensor powered by a mobile phone
clear quantitative goal may sound great and be to measure blood oxygen levels and then
easily measurable, but the toilets would make displays informed advice for diagnosis and
little difference if they are not part of a locally treatment.64
led sustainable sanitation system.
Stopping corruption and capital flight can
also provide resources for human develop- Pursuing measures for
ment. In 2010, $21trillion worth of financial groups with special needs
assets were transferred to offshore tax havens.59
Nigeria is estimated to have lost over $400bil- Because some groups in society are systemat-
lion to corruption between independence and ically discriminated against and thereby left
1999.60 A small fraction of that could do much out, only positive discriminatory measures
to reach those left out. can achieve more equitable outcomes in
Ending subsidies to the rich or for com- human development. To ensure that human
modities such as fossil fuel can free resources development reaches everyone, measures are
for human development. In 2014 the richest needed for some groups with special needs
20 percent of Indias population enjoyed such as women, ethnic minorities, indigenous
subsidies of $16 billion thanks to six com- peoples, persons with disabilities, people
modities and servicescooking gas, railways, living with HIV and AIDS and vulnerable
power, aviation fuel, gold and keroseneand workers.
exempt-exempt-exempt tax treatment under One of these measures is to collect disaggre-
the public provident fund.61 The International gated data on all these groups (see chapter 3).
Ending subsidies to the Monetary Fund estimates that fossil fuel Other policy measures are affirmative action
companies benefit from global subsidies of and specific interventions to promote human
rich or for commodities $10million a minute largely because polluters development for marginalized groups.
such as fossil fuel can are not charged for the cost of the environ-
generate resources for mental damage they cause.62 That cost includes Using affirmative action
the harm to local populations by air pollution
human development as well as to people across the globe affected Affirmative actionpositive discrimination
by the floods, droughts and storms driven by for distributive justicehas been important
climate change. in redressing historical and persistent group
In the 1990s a 20:20 compact was proposed disparities and group discrimination and in
for basic human development developing reiterating that every human being has equal
countries would devote 20 percent of their rights. Women, ethnic minorities and per-
domestic budget to human development sons with disabilities face various forms of
priorities, complemented by 20percent of of- discrimination because of their sex, ethnicity
ficial development assistance.63 Given the 2030 or circumstances (see chapter 2). Stigma and
Agenda, such ideas should be revived. norms also contribute to the disparities and
discrimination affecting indigenous peoples or
Using resources efficiently people living with HIV and AIDS. Affirmative
action may take the form of enrolment quotas
Efficiency in resource use is equivalent to for ethnic minorities in tertiary education or
generating additional resources. For example, preferential treatment for female entrepre-
telemedicine can deliver medical advice and neurs in obtaining subsidized credit through
treatment options to patients irrespective of the banking system.
their location, thereby reducing the cost of Affirmative action such as quotas not only re-
service provision. Frontline health workers serves jobs for persons with disabilities, but also
have difficulty diagnosing pneumonia, which provides an opportunity for the rest of society
kills more than 1million children a year, and to observe the capabilities and achievements of
pre-e clampsia, the second-leading cause of these people, changing bias, attitudes and social
maternal deaths. To change this, the Phone norms. One area where affirmative action has


made a difference is in womens representation Promoting human development
in parliament (box 4.8). for marginalized groups
Indias affirmative action programme
launched in 1950, making it the worlds oldest Despite the great diversity in identities and
was originally intended to benefit Scheduled needs (see chapter 2), marginalized groups,
Castes, which include Dalits, or untouchables, such as ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples,
who had been oppressed for centuries under persons with disabilities, people living with
the caste system and accounted for about HIV and AIDS, and lesbian, gay, bisexual,
16percent of the population, and Scheduled transgender and intersex individuals, often
Tribes, the historically neglected tribal groups face similar constraints in their efforts to en-
that accounted for about 8 percent of the hance their capabilities and freedoms, such as Despite the
population.65 The programme was expanded in marginalization in basic well-being, voice and
the early 1990s to include the Other Backward autonomy, or rights and privileges. They often great diversity in
Classes, lower castes of socially and education- face discrimination, social stigma and risk of identities and needs,
ally disadvantaged people encompassing about being harmed. But each group also has special marginalized groups
25percent of the population. The programme needs that must be met for the group to benefit
has not remedied caste-based exclusions, but from progress in human development. must confront common
it has had substantial positive effects. In 1965, First, for some vulnerable groups, such as eth- constraints in their
for example, Dalits held fewer than 2percent of nic minorities or persons with disabilities, anti efforts to enhance
senior civil service positions, but the share had discrimination and other rights are guaranteed
grown to 11percent by 2001. in constitutions and other legislation. Similarly,
their capabilities
In 2013, 32 of the 38 state universities and 40 special provisions often protect indigenous and freedoms
of the 59 federal universities in Brazil had some peoples, as in Canada and New Zealand. Yet in
form of affirmative action policy.66 Between many cases effective mechanisms for full equal-
1997 and 2011 the share of Afro-Brazilians ity in law are lacking. National human rights
of college age enrolled in university rose from commissions or commissions for specific groups
4percent to 20percent. can provide oversight and ensure that the rights

BOX 4.8

Affirmative action has helped increase womens representation in parliament

Gender-based quotas in senior positions and parlia- quotas. Countries with quotas for female parliamentari-
ments have gained prominence since the adoption of ans have provided confidence and incentives for women
the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the to contest general parliamentary seats and win those
United Nations Fourth World Conference in 1995 and seats.
the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Rwanda, with female representation of 64percent
against Womens general recommendation 25 (2004) in the House of Deputies, is a shining example. The 2003
on special temporary measures, including quotas. constitution set aside 30percent of legislative seats for
Governments have increasingly adopted quotas since women. Each election since has increased the seats held
the conference to boost womens participation, counter by women, both those reserved for women and some of
discrimination and accelerate change. the nonreserved seats. Womens representation in the
In countries with some type of parliamentary gen- House of Deputies rose to 64 percent in 2013. Today,
der quota a higher share of parliamentary seats are women account for over 60percent of the members of
held by women. Women average 26 percent of the parliament.2 Since the introduction of quotas, women
seats in lower houses and in single houses of parlia- have not only increased their number of representa-
ment in countries with voluntary party quotas, 25per- tives, they have also used their positions to pass laws
cent in countries with legislated candidate quotas and empowering women, including preventing and punishing
23percent in countries with reserved seats for women.1 violence against women, increasing property rights for
Compare this with 16percent in countries with no such women and promoting women in the labour force.

1. United Nations 2015d. 2. UN Women 2016a.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 119
of these groups are not violated. Some of these native language not only recognizes the impor-
groups are not recognized as marginalized in tance of distinct native languages, but is also
many countries. Only five countries recognize conducive to greater learning among children.
the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Third, effective participation by disadvan-
and intersex people (box 4.9; see also chapter 2). taged groups in the processes that shape their
Second, recognition of the special identity lives needs to be ensured. Quotas for ethnic mi-
and status of marginalized groups, such as ethnic norities and indigenous peoples in parliaments
minorities or indigenous peoples, is necessary. are thus a means not only to foster self-deter-
Thus, because recognizing the right to self- mination, but also to help them raise their con-
determination sends a powerful message about cerns. Some indigenous peoples have their own
Quotas in favour of the need for protection, recognizing the right of parliaments or councils, which are consultative
self-determination among indigenous commu- bodies (see chapter 2). New Zealand has the
ethnic minorities and nities is crucial. The special relationship of many longest history of indigenous self-representa-
the representation of indigenous peoples and the land should likewise tion in a national legislature (box 4.10). Mirna
indigenous peoples be recognized, with measures to advance human Cunningham Kain, activist for the rights of the
development among these people reflecting an Nicaraguan Miskitu indigenous peoples rights
in parliaments are a awareness of this reality. Ethnic minorities and activist and former chairperson of the United
means not only to foster indigenous peoples have distinct cultures and Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,
self-determination, but languages that need to be taken into considera- emphasizes that the there is much to learn from
tion in expanding access to health care facilities indigenous peoples quest for peace and develop-
also to raise issues and education opportunities. Education in their ment in a plural world (see special contribution).
of special concern
BOX 4.9

Overcoming discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals

Overcoming the discrimination and abuse of lesbian, people to deny their sexual preference. Awareness
gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) indi- campaigns need to be launched in households, com-
viduals requires a legal framework that can defend the munities, schools and workplaces so that acceptance
relevant human rights. Where LGBTI people are criminal- becomes easier. Nonacceptance within households of-
ized, they are widely discriminated against. In countries ten leads teenagers to run away or drift and encourages
with no basic legal tolerance for LGBTI people, there harassment in schools and discrimination in hiring. Help
is almost no room for a defence based on the principle centres, hotlines and mentoring groups can assist this
of antidiscrimination: The main protection is for LGBTI community.

Source: Human Development Report Office.

BOX 4.10

Maori representation in New Zealands parliament

The Maori Representation Act of 1867 introduced a dual Electoral reform in the 1990s affected Maori rep-
constituency system in New Zealand whereby mem- resentation in two ways. First, it allowed the number
bers of parliament are elected from two sets of single- of Maori electorates, which had remained fixed at four
member electorates, one for people of Maori descent since 1867, to vary up or down depending on the numbers
and the other for people of European descentnow of voters of Maori descent who elected to enroll to vote
referred to as general electorates. In 1975 the act was in those electorates. Second, it introduced proportional
amended to introduce a Maori Electoral Option, which representation, which allowed Maori and other groups
gave electors of Maori descent the right to choose to be elected from party lists. This resulted in the elec-
whether they enrolled in the Maori or the general tion of Maori from a wider range of political parties and
electorates. a much higher number of Maori members of parliament
(currently 25 out of 121 total members of parliament).

Source: Edwards 2015; Forbes 2015.



The world has much to learn from indigenous peoples

From my lifelong experiences, being an advocate for the rights of some of rights related to their lands, territories and resources. Across the world,
the most marginalized peoples, allow me to share what I have learned and indigenous peoples increasingly experience militarization, armed conflict,
come to see as essential elements to ensure peaceful societies and sustain- forced displacements or other conflicts on their lands, which have become
able development in a plural world. increasingly valuable in light of globalization and the continued quest for
resource extraction. Indigenous human rights and environmental defenders,
Celebrating diversity who mobilize to protect their rights, face death threats, harassment, crimi-
Indigenous peoples contribute to diversity, and their history emphasizes the nalization and killings. According to an Oxfam Report, 41percent of murders
importance of revitalizing and celebrating ancient cultures, music, languag- of human rights defenders in Latin America were related to the defence of
es, knowledge, traditions and identities. Living in an era where xenophobia, the environment, land, territory and indigenous peoples. The essential and
fundamentalism, populism and racism are on the rise in many parts of the first step to prevent conflict and ensure peaceful development is hence to
world, celebrations and positive messages about the value of diversity can protect, promote and ensure the basic rights of all peoples, including their
contribute to counter negative stereotypes, racism and discrimination and free, prior and informed consent on development activities taking place on
instead foster tolerance, innovation and peaceful coexistence between their lands. In that light the 2030 Agendas goal 16 on peaceful societies
peoples. This is essential to safeguard the inherent belief in human beings and strong institutions is essential. In particular, the focus on transparency,
equal worth, as reflected in the fundamental principles of the Universal the rule of law and equal access to justice will be crucial to ensure account-
Declaration on Human Rights. ability to the rights of all peoples.

Taking special measures to ensure equality and Bringing in the voices, world views and power of
combatdiscrimination indigenouspeoples
The world today is more unequal than ever beforeyet, there is an increas- Indigenous peoples have called for their rights to be at the negotiating table
ing recognition of the crucial importance of addressing systematic inequali- and have a voice in decisionmaking processes. Nothing about us, without
ties to ensure sustainable development. To address inequalities, a first step us goes one of the mottoes, that is being repeated. Consistent with the
is to repeal discriminatory policies and laws that continue to exist in many UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples article 7, indigenous
countries, preventing particular groups of peoples from fully realizing their peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as
potential. For indigenous peoples, it is necessary to adopt positive or special distinct peoples. Furthermore, in postconflict societies, states should ensure
measures to overcome discrimination and ensure the progressive achieve- the participation of indigenous peoples through their own representative
ment of indigenous peoples rights, as emphasised in the UN Declaration institutions in peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitar-
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (article 21.2). This includes measures ian assistance and reconciliation processes. By strengthening indigenous
to safeguard cultural values and identities of indigenous peoples (article peoples own institutions and governance systems and ensuring their inclu-
8.2) or to ensure access to education in their own languages (article 14). sion in essential decisionmaking processes at the local, national and global
Further, nondiscrimination for indigenous peoples is strongly related to the levels, just solutions to conflicts can be found, and the structural root causes
right to self-determination and cultural integrity. These principles should be that led to the conflicts can be addressed. Indigenous peoples can also con-
promoted in the context of addressing target 16b of the 2030 Agenda, pro- tribute to peace processes through their ancient wisdom and approaches to
moting and enforcing nondiscriminatory laws and policies. reconciliation and peace. Indigenous approaches to reconciliation often go
beyond legal solutions with an essential focus on forgiveness, coexistence
Getting down to the root causes of conflicts and harmony, which can inspire in a conflict situation that might otherwise
No solution to conflicts and injustices will be possible without addressing seem protracted. The world has much to learn from indigenous peoples in
the root causes for these conflicts. For indigenous peoples, root causes the quest for peace and development in a plural world, as the one we are
most often relate to violations against their human rights, in particular living in.

Mirna Cunningham Kain

Nicaraguan Miskitu, indigenous peoples rights activist and former chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 121
Fourth, among marginalized groups inclusion Fifth, migrants and refugeesoften compelled
and accommodation are fundamental human to leave their home countries by violent conflict
rights and are critical to empowering them to live and consequently a desperate form of migration
independently, find employment and participate are vulnerable in host countries (see chapter 2).
in and contribute to society on an equal basis. An Although a cross-border issue (chapter5 analyses
environment conducive to productivity and crea- it as a global challenge), the problem also needs
tivity is essential among persons with disabilities, to be addressed locally. And actions need to re-
though finding and sustaining employment may flect the new nature of migration and its context.
be difficult. Ensuring skill and vocational training Countries should pass laws that protect refugees,
among persons with disabilities, expanding their particularly women and children, a big part of
access to productive resources (such as finance the refugee population and the main victims.
for self-employment) and providing information Transit and destination countries should provide
over mobile devices are positive steps. More ef- essential public goods in catering to displaced
ficient information flows and infrastructure can people, such as schooling for refugee children;
Persons with help persons with disabilities obtain work and refugees will otherwise become a lost generation.
help employers take advantage of this wealth of Destination countries should formulate tempo-
disabilities are human ingenuity. Some countries are relying on rary work policies and provisions for refugees
differently abled these techniques to enlarge employment choices because work is the best social protection for
among persons with disabilities (box 4.11). these people (box 4.12).
There is also a need to encourage behavioural A comprehensive set of indicators measuring
shifts in favour of persons with disabilities. human development among migrant families
Changing social norms and perceptions to should be created. Governments should establish
promote the perception that persons with comprehensive migration policy regimes, given
disabilities are differently abled and should be that migration boosts national economies, as in
given a fair opportunity in work is fundamental Sweden (box 4.13). Because the refugee problem
and should be backed by a legal framework that is global, collaboration among national and inter-
discourages discrimination. national actors would represent a step forward.
Technology can enhance the capacities of per-
sons with disabilities. Indonesia instituted a legal
requirement for Braille templates for blind voters Making human
or voters with visual impairments at all polling development resilient
stations.67 Cambodia has made such templates
available since 2008.68 The Philippines offers Progress in human development can stagnate
special voter registration facilities before election or even be reversed if threatened by shocks
day and express lanes for voters with disabilities.69 from environmental degradation, climate

BOX 4.11

Enlarging employment choices among persons with disabilities in Serbia

Living with a disability in Serbia has often meant being with Disabilities. The law established an employment
poor and unemployed and facing prejudice and social quota system that legally obliged all employers with 20
exclusion. More than 10percent of the population has 50 employees to hire at least one person with disabilities
disabilities, more than 70percent of persons with dis- and one more for every 50 additional employees. Private
abilities live in poverty, and only 13percent of persons companies could opt not to comply with the quotas, but
with disabilities have access to employment.1 then had to pay a tax that would fund services for persons
In 2009 the government introduced the Law on with disabilities. Almost 3,700 persons with disabilities
Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons found employment in 2010, up from only 600 in 2009.2

1. UNDP 2011a. 2. UNDP 2011a.
Source: Human Development Report Office.


BOX 4.12

Providing work to Syrian refugees in Jordan

In Jordan the presence of Syrian refugees in host greater European investment in Jordan and access to
communities has bolstered the informal economy, de- soft loans. As a followup, Syrian refugees were given
pressed wages, impeded access to public services and a three-month grace period to apply for work permits.
increased child labour. The focus then became finding a practical means to
Efforts are under way to improve the access of Syrian increase Syrian refugees access to the labour market
refugees and members of local host communities to in a way that would fill labour shortfalls, benefit host
Jordans formal labour market. Early in 2016 Jordan agreed communities and contribute to Jordans economy. By
to accommodate a fixed number of Syrians in the labour June 2016, 12,000 new work permits had been issued
market in return for better access to European markets, to Syrian refugees.

Source: ILO 2016a.

change, natural disasters, global epidemics and

conflicts. Vulnerable and marginalized groups BOX 4.13
those already left outare the major victims.
The Swedish economy is being boosted by
Promoting social protection
Immigration has helped fuel Swedens biggest eco-
Social protection provides support for those nomic boom in five years. In 2015 Sweden took in
left out, but it can also have an impact on devel- more refugees per capita than any other country
opment by enhancing capabilities. Social pro- in Europe. The National Institute of Economic and
tection includes social security, social assistance Social Research indicates that the economy has
and social safety nets. Only 27percent of the benefited from the larger workforce, but emphasizes
worlds population is covered by a comprehen- the difference between immigrants and refugees.
sive social protection systemabout 5.2 bil- There is a perception that a large influx of refugees
lion people are not. Policy options to expand
70 is an impossible burden on the state even in the
social protection include: short term, but it increases growth. Still, the govern-
Pursuing well designed, well targeted and well ment needs a long-term strategy to integrate refu-
gees and continue the economic expansion.
implemented social protection programmes. A
social protection floora nationally defined
Source: Witton 2016.
set of basic social security guarantees
launched within the UN system in 2009 and
updated with concrete recommendations in Assets Programme in Bangladesh are prime
2012 aims to secure a minimum level of health examples.72
care, pensions and other social rights for every- Providing a living income. A guaranteed basic Progress in human
one.71 Countries are exploring ways to finance minimum income for all citizens, independ-
the floor, ranging from restructuring current ent of the job market, is also a policy option. development can
public expenditures to extending social securi- Finland is about to launch an experiment stagnate or even
ty contributions, restructuring debt and using whereby a randomly selected group of 2,000 be reversed if
the foreign exchange reserves of central banks. 3,000 citizens already on unemployment
Combining social protection with appropriate benefits will receive a basic monthly income threatened by shocks
employment strategies. Creating jobs through of 560 (approximately $600), which would from environmental
a public works programme targeted at replace their existing benefits. The amount degradation, climate
poor people can reduce poverty through is the same as the countrys guaranteed min-
income generation, build physical infra- imum social security support. A pilot study
change, natural
structure and protect poor people against to run in 20172018 will assess whether this disasters, global
shocks. The National Rural Employment basic income transfer can reduce poverty, epidemics and conflicts
Guarantee Programme in India and the social exclusion and bureaucracy, while in-
Rural Employment Opportunities for Public creasing employment.73 Switzerland held a

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 123
referendum on a basic minimum income in receive regular cash payments and training in
2016, but only 23percent of voters backed nutrition, early childhood development and
the measure.74 The main criticism is the leadership skills.76
enormous cost; the counterargument is that
a large portion of the cost would be offset by Addressing epidemics, shocks and risks
Human development the elimination of other social programmes.
Another criticism is that a living income Human development will never be resilient
will never be resilient would be a disincentive to work, but the goal in the fight against HIV and AIDS unless
in the fight against is not to enhance the incentive to work for everyone who needs help can be reached. Yes,
HIV and AIDS unless pay, but to enable people to live if there is no much progress has been made in scaling up
paid work. antiretroviral therapy, but 18million people
everyone who needs Tailoring programmes to local contexts. The les- living with HIV still do not have access to
help can be reached sons learned through highly successful Latin it.77 Particular populations are left out; young
American experiences show that cash trans- women, who may be exposed to gender-based
fers can provide effective social protection. violence and have limited access to infor-
The conditional cash transfer programme in mation and health care, are among the most
the Philippines reached 4.4million families exposed.78 Still, there have been successes in
in 2015, covering 21 percent of the popu- reducing infection rates among women and
lation; 82 percent of the benefits went to children and in expanding their access to
the poorest 40percent of the population.75 treatment (box 4.14).
The programmes success can be linked to In an increasingly interconnected world, in
careful targeting and regular assessments which people move around more and more
to update the list of recipients and ensure easily and frequently, being prepared for possi-
that the programme effectively matches the ble health crises has become a priority in both
needs of the most vulnerable. Madagascar, developed and developing countries. The re-
where 60percent of the population lives in cent epidemic of the Zika virus provides a good
extreme poverty, has a simple cash transfer example of why countries should be prepared
programme. Beneficiaries, mostly women, for health shocks. The outbreak of the virus

BOX 4.14

Reaching those left out in the fight against HIV and AIDS

Malawi is a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS with primary health care services in the city centre. In Kigali,
a game-changing approach known as Option B+, adopted Rwanda, the Womens Equity in Access to Care and
in 2011. The programme provides antiretroviral therapy Treatment Clinic, dedicated to working with women and
to all pregnant women with HIV in a treat-all approach, vulnerable young people and adolescents living with
which removes the delays and hurdles involved in de- HIV, supports nearly 400 young people living with HIV,
termining eligibility. Early treatment helps women stay 90 percent of them on antiretroviral therapy. In Dar es
healthy, protects their next pregnancies from infection Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, the faith-based
and reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to their partners. organization Pastoral Activities and Services for People
A year after Option B+ was introduced, the number of with AIDS Dar es Salaam Archdiocese offers testing and
pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV who counselling to increase enrolment in care, treatment and
were on antiretroviral therapy had risen from 1,257 in support among children and adolescents living with HIV.
the second quarter of 2011 to 10,663 in the third quarter In Nairobi, Kenya, the Mathari hospital provides antiret-
of 2012.1 Following this success, Malawi launched the roviral therapy for those living with HIV who inject drugs.
20152020 National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan in 2014 And Support for Addiction, Prevention and Treatment in
to reach populations missed by previous initiatives. Africa provides psychosocial counselling, testing for HIV
Brazil opened its first clinic for transgender people and other sexually transmitted infections, and needle
in So Paulo in 2010 and has since opened nine more and syringe programmes at two facilities.2

1. CDC 2013; UNAIDS 2016f. 2. UNAIDS 2016c.
Source: UNAIDS 2016f.


occurred at the beginning of 2015 in Brazil, that can be used to predict seasonal flooding.
and the virus spread rapidly across countries in Sri Lanka has implemented projects to improve
the Americas. The spread of the virus has been the resilience of school buildings that can joint-
so rapid and alarming that in February 2016 the ly serve as community facilities during disasters
World Health Organization declared the virus such as the 2004 tsunami.84 The buildings are
a Public Health Emergency of International designed with storm-resilient toilets, solar
Concern. systems for electricity, high foundations to re-
Countries have reacted in different ways to duce flood vulnerability and flat concrete roofs
the spread of the Zika virus. Countries with an to resist high winds. The success of these and
ongoing virus transmission such as Colombia, similar programmes requires cooperation and
the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Jamaica collaboration among various stakeholders and
have advised women to postpone pregnancy.79 affected groups (government, civil society, sci-
In Brazil a new mosquito strain was released entific research institutions, the private sector,
to try to fight the virus, and members of the women, migrants, poor people and children).
armed forces were sent across the country to It also requires communication and shared
educate people about mosquito control and resources among institutions at all levels and
to warn them of the risks linked to the virus.80 an understanding of the different roles these
The revised strategic response plan designed institutions play in disaster monitoring and
by the World Health Organization, in collab- response.
oration with more than 60 partners, focuses on
research, detection, prevention, and care and Combating violence and
support.81 ensuring peoples security
The Ebola epidemic that tore through West
Africa in 2014 claimed 11,310 lives. A combi- Violence endangers peoples security. The driv-
nation of factors contributed to its savagery, in- ers of violence are complex and thus call for a
cluding a mobile population, crumbling public multipronged approach that includes:
health systems, official neglect and hazardous Promoting the rule of law based on fairness
burial practices. A genetic mutation may have and zero tolerance for violence. This approach
made Ebola more deadly by improving the vi- needs a civic space for dialogue and partici-
russ ability to enter human cells. This suggests patory decisionmaking against violence and
that the scope of the epidemic was expanded. close collaboration with local leaders and
According to one alarming finding, patients in- credible intermediaries to promote dialogue
fected with mutated versions of Ebola are much with gangs and alienated groups.
more likely to die.82 Strengthening local governments, community
Natural disastersearthquakes, floods, tsu- policing and law enforcement personnel in hot-
namis, volcanic eruptions and the likecan spots of violence not only to address violence,
generate enormous loss of life, drive people but also to fight corruption.
into poverty and even reverse progress in hu- Developing high-quality infrastructure, im-
man development. The effects of disasters on proving public transit in high-crime neighbour-
human well-being can be greatly reduced, espe- hoods and building better housing in the poorest
cially among the groups that are most exposed. urban areas to enhance the trust between the
Building disaster resilience into policies and authorities and people left out. The Medelln
programmes can reduce the associated risks miracle in Colombias second largest city The drivers of
and greatly mitigate the effects. is a prime example of how a multipronged
This is the approach at the heart of the Sendai approach can turn a city once notorious for violence are complex
Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction agreed its homicide rate (about 6,000 a year in 1991) and thus call for a
in March 2015. Several programmes illustrate into a thriving and agreeable place to live.85 multipronged approach
the innovations involved in the approach. In Providing socioeconomic alternatives to vi-
Azerbaijan meteorological stations are being olence, particularly among young people, by
modernized with automatic alarm systems to building social cohesion.
alert authorities when critically high water lev- Developing response and support services to
els are reached.83 The system also collects data address violence and aid its victims.

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 125
Maintaining human well-being demobilization and reintegration must recog-
in postconflict situations nize that ex-combatants are a heterogeneous
group and often include child soldiers, so a
Many societies, especially those with low human targeted, phased approach is needed.
development, face great difficulty in achieving On the economic front, the following policy
progress in well-being because they are in the interventions are necessary:
grips of violent conflict or its aftermath. Human Reviving basic social services. This has social
development policies in such situations must and political benefits, and positive results can
include both political and economic measures. be achieved even in the direst situations (box
On the political front a three-pronged ap- 4.15). Communities, nongovernmental or-
proach to transforming institutions is needed ganizations and publicprivate partnerships
during postconflict relief, recovery and recon- can be good catalysts in such situations.
struction. First is to ensure peoples security. Supporting work in the health system to cover
This needs to be done through citizen protec- many goals. In many conflict-afflicted coun-
tion and community policing, including the tries the health system has collapsed, con-
vetting and redeployment of security forces verting health services into a life-threatening
accountable to the public. The need to immedi- challenge for helpers and the wounded.
ately deploy an effective police forcenational International aid becomes indispensable in
or internationaltrained in dealing with vio- this setting, but local volunteers can contrib-
Successful programmes lence against women is urgent. ute substantially to providing crucial health
Second is to pursue faster caseload process- services and saving lives.
in disarmament, ing to ensure social accountability, especially in Initiating public works programmes.
demobilization and delivering humanitarian relief and establishing Emergency temporary jobs and cash for work
reintegration must the groundwork for future powersharing. can provide much-needed livelihoods and
Third is to reintegrate ex- c ombatants. contribute to the building of critical physical
recognize that Disarmament, demobilization and reintegra- and social infrastructure.
ex-combatants are a tion of ex-combatants are early steps in the Formulating and implementing targeted com-
heterogeneous group transition from war to peace. Disarmament munity-based programmesfor example by
and demobilization require security, the continuing to use makeshift schools so that chil-
and often include inclusion of all warring parties, political dren do not lose access to education. Through
child soldiers, so a agreement, a comprehensive approach and such initiatives, the capabilities of future
targeted, phased sufficient resources. Reintegration focuses on generations can be maintained. Economic
reinsertion, addressing the economic needs of activities can be jumpstarted by reconnecting
approach is needed
ex-combatants and economic reintegration. people, reconstructing networks and helping
Successful programmes in disarmament, restore the social fabric.

BOX 4.15

Success in reducing maternal and child mortality in Afghanistan

After the collapse of the Taliban in 2002, Afghanistan Decreases in the maternal mortality ratio and the
adopted a new development path and, with the help under-five mortality rate are consistent with changes
of donors, invested billions of dollars in rebuilding the in key determinants of mortality, including higher age
countrys economy and health systems. These invest- at marriage, greater contraceptive use, lower fertil-
ments have improved maternal and child health and ity, better immunization coverage, improvements in
reduced maternal and under-five mortality. the share of women delivering in health facilities,
The 2010 Afghanistan Mortality Survey estimated more widespread antenatal and postnatal care,
that there were 327 maternal deaths per 100,000 live greater involvement of community health workers
births and 97 deaths among children under age 5 per and increased access to the basic package of health
1,000 live births. services.

Source: Rasooly and others 2014.


Addressing climate change These options are intended to make those
who are responsible for the damage and who
Climate change jeopardizes the lives and are in a position to limit it pay for remediation.
livelihoods of poor and marginalized people Rather than placing formal restrictions on
through food insecurity, health and other emissions, a price on carbon raises the aware-
risks. Addressing it requires three initial policy ness of polluters while giving them a choice.
measures. They can interrupt their polluting activities,
find ways to reduce their emissions or agree to
Putting a price on carbon pollution and pay the price for the pollution they generate.
ending fossil subsidies This is the most flexible and least costly way for Rather than placing
society to achieve environmental protection.
Putting a price on carbon pollution brings down It is also an efficient way to encourage inno- formal restrictions
emissions and drives investment into cleaner vations in clean technologies while promoting on emissions, a price
options. There are several paths governments economic growth. on carbon raises the
can take to price carbon, all leading to the same Approximately 40 countries and more than
result (box 4.16). The choice of the instrument 20 cities, states and provinces use carbon awareness of polluters
will depend on national and economic circum- pricing mechanisms, and more intend to do while giving them a
stances. There are also more indirect ways of so in coming years. These mechanisms cover choice; it is the most
accurately pricing carbon, such as through fuel around half of the emissions of these entities,
taxes, the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and or 13percent of annual global greenhouse gas
flexible and least costly
regulations that incorporate a social cost of emissions.86 The Paris Agreement on climate way for society to
carbon. Greenhouse gas emissions can also be change further encourages countries to cooper- achieve environmental
priced through payments for emission reduc- ate internationally on carbon markets and link
tions. Private or sovereign entities can purchase their respective carbon pricing policies.
emissions reductions to compensate for their Getting prices right is only one part of the
own emissions (offsets) or to support mitigation equation. Cities are growing fast, particularly
activities through results-based finance. in developing countries. Over half the glob-
These measures begin to capture what are al population is urban today; by 2050 that
known as the external costs of carbon emissions proportion is expected to reach two-thirds.87
costs that the public pays for in other ways, With careful planning in transport and land
such as higher food prices because of damage to use and the establishment of energy efficiency
crops, higher health care costs because of heat standards, cities can avoid locking in unsustain-
waves and droughts, and damage to property able patterns. They can open access to jobs and
because of flooding and sea level riseand tie opportunities for poor people, while reducing
them to their sources through a price on carbon. air pollution.

BOX 4.16

Two paths in carbon pricing

There are two main types of carbon pricing: an emis- emission reductions will take place to keep the emit-
sions trading system and a carbon tax. An emissions ters (in aggregate) within their preallocated carbon
trading systemsometimes referred to as a cap-and- budget.
trade systemcaps the total level of greenhouse gas A carbon tax directly sets a price on carbon by defin-
emissions and allows industries with low emissions to ing a tax rate on greenhouse gas emissions ormore
sell their extra allowances to larger emitters. By cre- commonlyon the carbon content of fossil fuels. It is
ating supply and demand for emissions allowances, different from an emissions trading system in that the
the system establishes a market price for greenhouse reduction in emissions as a result of the tax is not pre-
gas emissions. The cap helps ensure that the required defined, though the price of carbon is.

Source: World Bank 2016j.

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 127
By phasing out harmful fossil fuel subsidies, forces poor people to deplete resources to survive.
countries can reallocate their spending to where Biodiversity, on which poor peoples lives, liveli-
it is most needed and most effective, including hoods, food and medicine depend, has passed the
targeted support for poor people. In 2013 glob- precautionary threshold in half the worlds land.92
al fossil fuel subsidies totalled $550billion and It would be too simplistic to explain the
accounted for a large share of some countries povertyenvironment nexus in terms of income
GDP.88 Yet fossil fuel subsidies are not about only: Questions about the ownership of natural
protecting the poor: The wealthiest 20percent resources, access to common resources (such as
of the population captures six times more ben- water), the strengths and weaknesses of local
Poor people and efit from such subsidies than does the poorest communities and local institutions, and ensur-
20percent.89 ing poor peoples rights and entitlements to re-
environmental damage sources are all part of the policy options because
are often caught in a Increasing energy efficiency and the use they impact peoples environmental behaviour.
downward spiral. Past of renewable energy Climate-smart agriculture supports develop-
ment while ensuring food security as climate
resource degradation About 1.2billion people worldwide lack access changes. Using this approach, farmers can raise
deepens todays to electricity, and 2.8billion rely on solid fuels, productivity and improve their resilience to
poverty, which forces such as wood, charcoal and coal, which cause climate change. Their farms, along with forests,
noxious indoor air pollution, for cooking.90 can absorb and store carbon, creating carbon
poor people to deplete The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative sets sinks and reducing overall emissions.93
resources to survive out three goals for 2030: achieve universal Through a PovertyEnvironment Initiative
access to modern energy, double the rate of led jointly by the United Nations Development
improvement in energy efficiency and double Programme and the United Nations
the share of renewable energy in the global Environment Programme, the mutually rein-
energy mix. More than 20 years of effort in im- forcing links between poverty and environment
proving energy efficiency have reduced global have been mainstreamed into the national and
energy use to one-third less than it otherwise local development strategies of 24 countries
would have been. Choosing renewable energy and into the sector strategies of 18 countries
is more affordable than ever. Prices are falling, in an integrated fashion, focusing on multi-
and developing utility-scale renewable energy dimensional development issues (box 4.17).
is now less expensive than the cost of fossil fuel Protecting the gains of human development
facilities in a number of countries.91 and stopping the reversals of these gains would
model resilience in concentric circles around
Focusing on the povertyenvironment the individual, the family and tight local
nexusc omplex but critical for groups, the local community, local government,
marginalized people the state and the planet. The governments role
is to ensure a balance between the protection
The povertyenvironment nexus is complex. and the empowerment of the individual and
Environmental damage almost always affects the concentric circles of security providers,
people living in poverty the most. These people which are either extensions of the individual
become the major victims of air and water pol- or, if they are malfunctioning, the threats to the
lution, experience drought and desertification individual. Latvia has been at the forefront of
and generally live nearest to the dirty factories, such an approach, which can be replicated in
busy roads, waste dumps and ecologically frag- other parts of the world (box 4.18).
ile lands. There is an irony here. Even though
poor people bear the brunt of environmental
damage, they are seldom the creators of it. The Empowering those left out
rich pollute more, generate more waste and put
more stress on nature. If policies do not deliver well-being to mar-
Poor people and environmental damage are ginalized and vulnerable people and if insti-
often caught in a downward spiral. Past resource tutions fail to ensure that people are not left
degradation deepens todays poverty, which out, there must be instruments and redress


BOX 4.17

Mainstreaming the povertyenvironment nexus

Rwanda has integrated the povertyenvironment nexus development plans.1 The initiative has trained govern-
and climate objectives and targets into 30 district plans, ment officials on how ecosystem services and valuation
as it institutionalizes mainstream approaches to the methodologies can contribute to poverty reduction.
povertyenvironment nexus and implements poverty Lao Peoples Democratic Republic has identi-
environment objectives into its National Development fied foreign direct investment in natural resources,
Plan. including land, mining and hydropower, as the key
Mongolias Green Development Policy integrates povertyenvironment nexus issue.2 Such investment
povertyenvironment objectives and indicators. Sub- was driving rapid economic growth in the country but
stantial progress was also made in 17 provincial de- degrading the environment of rural communities. The
velopment plans and in the National Socio-Economic initiative has helped integrate social and environmen-
Development Plan (20162020), in which sustainable tal safeguards into national development planning and
development and inclusive growth are outcomes in sup- private investment management, including modern
port of the countrys economic development. guidelines for new investments and improved moni-
A povertyenvironment initiative has helped the toring capacity, in a signal contribution to Sustainable
government of Guatemala include pro-poor, gender Development Goal target 17.5, to adopt and implement
and sustainable natural resource management objec- investment promotion regimes for least developed
tives in its National Development Plan and regional countries.3

1. UNEP and UNDP 2016. 2. United Nations 2015c. 3.United Nations 2015c.
Source: GC-RED 2016.

BOX 4.18

Resilient human developmentlessons from Latvia

First, human resilience must be seen though a combined risks identified, gauge the intensity of the threats
lens of human development and human security. through standard approaches and identify the most
Second, human resilience must be embedded in vulnerable groups.
reality, as follows: Address objective and subjective factors because
Information technology and human mobility in- both affect behaviour.
crease the impact of individual and global actions. Identify and strengthen the factors with the great-
There are many development goals and limited re- est impact on promoting resilience, remembering
sources. The best development gains result from that these factors can be specific to individuals and
smart prioritizing and making good choices. communities.
The emergence of behavioural economics helps Foster the abilities of individuals to develop their
policymakers address human perceptions. own security strategies.
Third, to prioritize actions, decisionmakers may take Ensure efficient security constellations inter
the following steps: sectoral, multilevel cooperation to help the individ-
Ask people to identify the main threats, risks and ual, community and country to maintain security.
barriers to their development, collect data on the
The landscape of
Source: Simane 2016.
human rights tools
for addressing
mechanisms so that these people can claim dimensions of human development is complex.
their rights and demand what they deserve. Frameworks are in place to guarantee universal deprivations and
human rights and justice for all people. But exclusion across
Upholding human rights state commitments to upholding these rights the dimensions of
vary, national institutions have different imple-
The landscape of human rights tools for ad- mentation capacities and accountability mech- human development
dressing deprivations and exclusion across the anisms are sometimes missing. The Universal is complex
Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 129
Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in cannot be realized universally without well
1948, has served as the foundation for global established domestic mechanisms and stronger
and national human rights and moral calls international action (see chapter5).
for action.94 It has drawn attention to human
rights by influencing national constitutions Ensuring access to justice
and prompting international treaties aimed at
protecting specific types of rights, including the Access to justice is the ability of people to seek
International Covenant on Civil and Political and obtain remedy through formal or informal
Rights and the International Covenant on judicial institutions. The justice process has
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. qualitative dimensions and should be pursued
Governments have been selective in rec- in accordance with human rights principles and
ognizing international treaties and vary in standards. A central feature of the rule of law
adoption of mechanisms for greater account- is the equality of all before the lawall people
ability (figure 4.5). Optional protocols have have the right to the protection of their rights
been established to provide individuals with a by the state, particularly the judiciary. Therefore,
means to file complaints about rights violations equal access to the courts and other institutions
to international committees. These committees of justice involved in enforcing the law is impor-
are entrusted to conduct inquiries into serious tant. Access to justice goes beyond access to the
and systematic abuses. formal structures of the courts and the legal sys-
Human development for all entails a full tem; it is more than legal empowerment alone.
commitment to human rights that, as measured Poor and disadvantaged people face immense
by ratifications of human rights treaties, has obstacles, including their lack of awareness and
yet to be made. It also requires strong national legal knowledge, compounded by structural and
human rights institutions with the capacity, personal alienation. Poor people have limited ac-
mandate and will to address discrimination cess to public services, which are often expensive
and ensure the protection of human rights and cumbersome and lack adequate resources,
across multiple dimensions. Such institutions, personnel and facilities. Police stations and
including human rights commissions and courts may not be available in remote areas, and
ombudsmen, handle complaints about rights poor people can rarely afford the cost of legal
abuses, educate civil society and states about processes, such as legal fees. Quasi-judicial mech-
human rights and recommend legal reforms. anisms may also be inaccessible or prejudicial.
Treating development as a human right has Obstacles to justice for indigenous peoples
been instrumental in reducing deprivations in and for racial and ethnic minorities stem from
some dimensions and contexts. For example, their historically subordinate status and from
under the Indian Constitution the state must sociopolitical systems that reinforce bias in the
provide schools within a reasonable distance to legal framework and the justice system, which
the communities they serve; after this provision may tend to criminalize the actions of and incar-
became a motive of public litigation against cerate members of these minorities dispropor-
the government in the Supreme Court, such tionately. This leads to a systemic reinforcement
schools were provided. of weaknesses and susceptibility to abuse by law
In an integrated Treating the full expansion of choices and enforcement officials.
world, human rights freedoms associated with human development The political and legal marginalization of
require global justice as human rights is a practical way of shifting historically oppressed or subordinate groups
highly unequal power balances. Human rights can still be seen in these groups limited access
provide principles, vocabularies and tools for to justice. Ethnic minorities, poor rural people
defending the rights, help reshape political dy- and people displaced by conflict have tradition-
namics and open space for social change. ally faced some of the largest barriers to justice.
In an integrated world, human rights require Universal access to justice is particularly
global justice. The state-centred model of important for marginalized groups. Legal em-
accountability must be extended to the obliga- powerment and knowledge are essential so that
tions of nonstate actors and to the states obli- people can claim their rights. The weakest in
gations beyond national borders. Human rights society need them the most. The state-financed



Many countries have not ratified or signed various international human rights instruments

State party Signatory No action

International Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) 6

International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (1966)

International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights (1966) 6

Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) 2

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) 1

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of
All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (1990) 17

International Convention for the Protection of all
Persons from Enforced Disappearance (2006) 51

Convention on the Rights of Persons 168

with Disabilities (2007) 19

Source: UNOHCHR 2016.

Legal Aid Service in Georgia is a promising diversity among their population and within
example that has produced timely and tangible borders. Societies have dealt with cultural di-
results (box 4.19).95 versity and heterogeneous populations through
multiple measures that focus on integration,
Promoting inclusion assimilation and multiculturalism.
These approaches have often required an
Countries have deployed various political evolving notion of citizenship with sociopolitical
approaches in dealing with difference and features. These features have had varying effects

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 131
BOX 4.19

Equality under the lawGeorgias Legal Aid Service

Georgias state-financed Legal Aid Service was estab- Three-quarters of respondents to a 2010 survey rat-
lished in 2007 to provide legal advice, particularly to ed the service very satisfactory, and 71percent said
vulnerable groups, as part of a sweeping package of that they had achieved a favourable outcome in court.2
judicial reforms. The service operates as an indepen- By 2015 the service had expanded to 18 offices
dent entity accountable to parliament. Its indepen- across the country and had provided free legal as-
dence and transparency are safeguarded by the Legal sistance to more than 75,000 people. The majority of
Aid Council. beneficiaries were from the most vulnerable groups
The government has established the High School 57percent without jobs, 11percent without the edu-
of Justice to train judicial professionals.1 Lawyers have cation to understand legal language, 10percent socially
gained public outreach skills, particularly on behalf of vulnerable and 4 percent ethnic minorities. Fifty-eight
marginalized groups. percent of users were women.

1. UNDP 2016g. 2. UNDP 2016g.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

on peoples well-being and human development Since the 1990s more than 50 countries have
priorities because they have had a broad impact adopted new instruments that protect the right
on peoples political freedoms, their relative to information.97 In 2015 more than 100 coun-
The right to information position in markets and their status in social tries had national laws or national ordinances and
requires the freedom and public life. For example, some 1.5 billion regulations on the right to information.98 While
people worldwide cannot prove who they are.96 laws on freedom of information were enacted in
to use that information Without birth registration, a birth certificate or advanced industrialized countries to promote
to form public opinions, any other identification document, they face bar- good governance, transparency and accountabil-
call governments to riers carrying out everyday tasks such as opening ity, they had a somewhat different trajectory in
a bank account, accessing social benefits and many developing countries (box 4.20).
account, participate obtaining health insurance. New technologies The right to information requires the free-
in decisionmaking and can help countries build robust and inclusive dom to use that information to form public
exercise the right to identification systems. opinions, call governments to account, partic-
Where the deprived, excluded group is a ipate in decisionmaking and exercise the right
freedom of expression
demographic majority, democratic institutions to freedom of expression. This right of access
may lead to comprehensive policies that reduce to information places two key obligations on
socioeconomic inequalities. This was the case governments: to publish and disseminate to the
in post-apartheid South Africa and in Malaysia public key information on what public bodies
following the adoption of the New Economic are doing and to respond by letting the public
Policy in 1970. view the original documents or receive copies
Inclusion is at the core of the 2030 Agenda. of documents and information.
The pledge to leave no one behind is embedded Participatory exercises to hold state institu-
in the vision of a just, equitable, tolerant, open tions accountable, such as public expenditure
and socially inclusive world in which the needs tracking surveys, citizen report cards, score cards,
of the most vulnerable are met. social audits and community monitoring, have
all been used to develop direct accountability re-
Ensuring accountability lationships between service users and service pro-
viders. They also provide stakeholder inputs in
Holding social institutions publicly and mutually deliberative exercises that prioritize and allocate
accountable, especially in protecting the rights of local services and resources through participatory
excluded segments of a population, requires ex- budgeting, sector-specific budget monitoring
plicit policy interventions. One major instrument and participatory audits, all improving citizen en-
to accomplish this is the right to information. gagement in the management of public finances.


BOX 4.20

Right to informationactions in developing countries

Since 2005 India has introduced progressive acts on the In Bangladesh the Local Government (Union Pari-
right to socioeconomic entitlements, including informa- shad) Act 2009 and the Right to Information Act 2009
tion, work, education, forest conservation, food and pub- require disclosure of information on the Union Parishads
lic service. These acts have been marked by their explicit proposed budget at open meetings and of current de-
use of rights-based claims and by the design of innovative velopment plans and budgets at citizen gatherings.3
governance mechanisms that seek to enhance the trans- Mozambiques Conselhos consultivas (consulting coun-
parency, responsiveness and accountability of the state.1 cils) comprise citizens elected by their communi-
Social audits, defined as mechanisms by which ties, with quotas for community leaders (40 percent),
information on expenditures and implementation prob- women (30 percent) and young people (20 percent).
lems is gathered and then presented for discussion in They are intended to establish a public administration
a public meeting, have become popular, thanks to the for development as part of a process through which
work of the Indian grassroots group Mazdoor Kisaan citizens participate and influence the decisionmaking on
Shakti Sangathana.2 development.

1. Ruparelia 2013. 2. Joshi 2010. 3. McGee and Kroesschell 2013.
Source: Human Development Report Office.

Such participation is also well recognized as universal policies with appropriate focus and
contributing to human development and to reorientation, measures for groups with specific Peoples freedoms,
democratic governanceparticularly for those needs and interventions to protect human de- including those
left out. Empowered voice and participation velopment gains and stop reversals. But policies
have had pro-poor development outcomes as supporting national policies will also involve associated with voice
well as democracy-building outcomes. Peoples ensuring peoples participation in influencing and accountability,
freedoms, including those associated with voice policies and in evaluating development results, can have instrumental
and accountability, can also have instrumental particularly the voice of the marginalized and
or indirect value for other development ob- vulnerable. For this, the quality and use of data
or indirect value for
jectives, because different types of freedoms for evidence-based policymaking will need to other development
can be complementary. Enhancing voice and be greatly improved. And the systems and tools objectives, because
accountability can therefore have an impact on for transparency, accountability and evaluation
different types of
poverty and deprivations. will need to be greatly strengthened.
But the relevance and the effectiveness of freedoms can be
national policies depend largely on what hap- complementary
Conclusion pens globally in terms of issues and institutions,
given the broader bounds of the global com-
Advancing human development through munity and global markets. Chapter 5 takes up
efforts to reach everyone requires meaning- that issue.
ful and well designed policiesincluding

Chapter 4 Caring for those left out n ational policy options | 133
Chapter 5

global institutions
Infographic 5.1 Challenges and reforms in
global institutionsa summary

Global mar
Options for reforming kets
global institutions and
Macro- th
economic Fair trade

stability and


Fair system
of migration

Global tax

Structural challenges
in global institutions Sustainable
Unbalanced global
governance economy
of economic

Greater globalization
equity and
of multilateral
institutions Inequitable

Multilateral institu

Well funded Challenges

multilateralism Underfunded
and multilateralism and reforms in
global institutions

Globally multilateralism
defending Limited
peoples informed
security deliberation

Limited inclusiveness
in multilateral Protect
processes investigative

flow and
Promote transparency
and support
Expand inclusive
participation civil society
in multilateral networks
ie t

processes c
l ci
Human Development
Report 2016
Human Development for Everyone

Transforming global institutions

The current global landscape is very different from what the world faced in 1990. New global challenges threaten the 2030
Agenda for leaving no one behind. Inequality and exclusion, violence and extremism, refugees and migration, pollution
and environmental degradationall are caused by humans and their interactions, particularly across borders. That is why
their solution depends not only on the actions of individual countries, but also on the construction of global collective
capabilities to achieve results that no country can on its own.

All these cases involve global public goods having the capacity to pursue accountability.
and spillovers, which have grown in tandem These inequalities constitute barriers to prac-
with globalization and human connectivity. tical universalism and compromise fairness, as
Uncoordinated national policies addressing some groups have decisive advantages in defin-
global challengescutting greenhouse gas emis- ing both the rules of the game and the payoffs.
sions, protecting labour rights, ensuring mini- The winners and losers of globalization depend
mum incomes, cooperating to strengthen fragile on the way globalization is pursued.
states, providing humanitarian aid and refuge to To respond to these challenges, global institu-
those extremely endangeredare bound to be tions can enhance collective capabilities. They
insufficient because of the existence of externali- can expand opportunities for international
ties.1 So global and regional institutions are nec- exchange (including people, knowledge, goods,
essary to bring systematic attention, monitoring services and capital), both for cooperation and
and coordination to key global issues. for participation and accountability. But there
International institutions and the resulting is tension between globalization and democrat-
global order have enabled considerable progress ic national policymaking. International rules
in human development. But these institutions can constrain some national policies, including
have also coexisted with persistent extreme those that todays developed countries used in
deprivationleaving behind large segments of the past. However, it is possible to construct
the global populationand persistent human better global institutions and governance along
insecurity (see chapters 1 and 2). The mixed the following lines:
Rules that over-restrict development policies The winners and
success calls for reforms, with an agenda that
keeps what works and addresses evident gaps. are not an inevitable result of globalization. losers of globalization
The main global social institutions They are the consequence of a particular depend on the way
markets, multilateral organizations and civil path to globalization, where some countries globalization is pursued
societyare the focus of this chapter. They and some voices have had a greater say at
include rules and regulations governing the the negotiating table. But if broader views
interchange of goods, services, capital and are included more systematically and more
labour; multilateral organizations setting and equitably, it will be possible to enact human
enforcing the promotion of global public developmentfriendly rules for all. In par-
goods; and global networks of citizens pro- ticular, expanding opportunities requires
moting their diverse interests. The chapter that countries retain meaningful space for
addresses the structural challenges for human national policymaking under democratic
development, particularly for reaching every- principles.
one, and presents reform options. The generation of global public goods demands
On the challenges and structural deficien- stronger multilateralism and policy coher-
cies, the leitmotif is inequality among coun- ence, able to match the common good with
tries at different levels of development and the common responsibility, all endowed with
among segments of the global population. legitimacy. For example, curbing the inflow
Asymmetries persist in the way countries par- of migrants cannot be fully separated from
ticipate in global markets, in defining rules, in the responsibility to protect people facing
financing compensatory mechanisms and in extreme deprivation abroad.

Chapter 5 Transforming global institutions | 137

Developing countries require enhanced ca- nor inevitable. The world has previously seen
pacities to use globalization for sustainable waves of globalization followed by periods of
development. In the past they have accepted protectionism, a result of collective national,
t hrough democratic processest he regional and global decisions. Globalization
restrictions on national policymaking in requires minimum standards, rules and trust.
investment protection treaties, tax incentives For individuals globalization can be seen as
to foreign companies and the liberalization intrinsically human developmentenhancing,
of trade. Some of these commitments later since it opens new opportunities for interact-
become obstacles for development policies in ing, travelling and investing (an expansion of
some countries. individual capabilities). But it also implies ex-
posure to external shocks through interactions
with other people and nations. Some shocks
Structural challenges in will expand capabilities, some will reduce them
global institutions (table 5.1). Based on these effects, collective
decisions shape global institutionsthrough
Human development for everyone requires the interactions of different groups, with var-
identifying relevant barriers to practical uni- ying costs and benefits.
Collective decisions versalism at the level of the main global insti- Multilateral and bilateral organizations
tutions: markets, multilateral organizations and determine the main rules and standards. For
shape global global civil society. trade in goods and services the World Trade
institutionsthrough Organization is the main standard-setting en-
the interactions of Governance of economic globalization tity: Member countries are bound by its norms.
For the flow of capital the main mechanisms
different groups, Unbalanced governance of economic of protection are international investment
with varying costs globalization agreements and bilateral investment treaties.
and benefits For the flow of labour there is a mix of bilateral
The globalization of market institutions regu- agreements and international conventions.
lating the international flow of goods, services, The multilateral mechanisms protect-
capital and labour is neither spontaneous ing foreign goods and foreign capital from


Examples of the social benefits and costs of globalizing market institutions

Benefits Costs

Unemployment in import-substituting sectors

Access to goods and services at a lower price
Exposure to negative trade shocks
Trade Access to larger markets
Reduced space for national policies
Upgrading and diversifying economic structures
Race to the bottom (workers)
Financial volatility (exposure to financial shocks)
Access to new sources of financing
Reduced space for national policies
Finance Ability for firms to diversify risks by accessing other
markets Race to the bottom (workers, tax systems and
Access to a broader labour market for host countries Vulnerability of migrants and their families
Access to better working and living conditions than in Potential imbalances in service provision in host
Migration source countries for migrants countries, particularly in the face of a migration shock
Remittances for source countries Gaps in skills and care for countries of origin (brain
Flow of knowledge and culture drain)

Source: Human Development Report Office.


discriminatory treatment are much more prev- in seconds. But there has been little progress
alent than those protecting foreign workers in policies favouring labour mobility. About
from discrimination (figure 5.1). The World 73percent of surveyed countries had migration Mobility is more
Trade Organization has 164 members subject policies consistent with keeping migration
to its standards and rules; 181 countries have constant (typically no intervention), 16 per-
limited for workers
signed investment protection treaties, which cent had policies to lower migration and only than for goods or for
provide legal mechanisms for affected corpora- 11percent had policies to increase it.4 capital. But there has
tions to sue states. But fewer than 50 countries One of the main costs of globalization is the
been little progress
are committed to protecting migrants, their ba- transmission of major external shocks, those
sic rights as human beings and their economic beyond normal cycles. A collapse in terms of in policies favouring
rights as workers. trade because of global recession, a sudden stop labour mobility
The asymmetry in multilateral and bilateral of capital flows or a surge in migrants caused
institutions regulating international markets has by a conflict in a neighbouring country are ex-
affected patterns of globalization. The globali- ternal events with the potential to create large
zation of trade has surged since 1990, averaging cross-border crises. From the point of view of
6.7percent growth a year. The globalization of a particular country, these external shocks are
finance has expanded even faster. Foreign direct typically exogenous, but from the point of
investment increased 8.9 percent a year over view of the international community, they are
19902015.2 Meanwhile the number of mi- endogenous human-caused events. So in many
grants has grown 1.9percent a year, keeping the cases they are preventable. Similarly, once the
share of migrants in the world population stable shock starts, individual countries rarely have
over the last 25 years, at around 3percent.3 the capacity to affect its magnitude and dura-
Mobility differs for goods, services, capital tion. Instead, the coordinated action of many
and labour. It is more limited for workers countries must contain and reduce the negative
than for goods or for capital, which can move effects.


The number of countries subscribing to multilateral instruments varies

Annual growth of global trade: 6.7%

Annual growth of foreign direct investment: 8.9%

Global openess to trade and investment flow

correlates with high growth rates

Number of 164