The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) has just launched its Human Development Report 2016 entitled “Human Development for Everyone”. The most significant finding contained in the report is that, although average human development improved significantly across all regions from 1990 to 2015, one in three people worldwide still lives in low levels of human development. It also underlines that disadvantages affect some groups more than others. Women and girls, rural dwellers, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees, and the LGBTI community are often systematically excluded by barriers that are not purely economic, but political, social and cultural as well.
The report underlines the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to foster human development and it conveys five crucial messages:
• Universalism is key to human development, and human development for everyone is attainable
• Various group of people still suffer from basic deprivations and face substantial barriers to overcoming them
• Human development for everyone calls for refocusing some analytical issues and assessment perspectives
• Policy options exist and, if implemented, would contribute to achieving human development for everyone
• A reformed global governance, with fairer multilateralism, would help attain human development for everyone
But what is exactly human development? According to the report, it “is a process of enlarging people’s choices” and a concept that implies that people must influence the processes that shape their lives. The approach it has to embrace is a comprehensive one, hence the Human Development Index comprises three dimensions of human development: life expectancy at birth to reflect the ability to lead a long and healthy life, mean years of schooling and expected ones to reflect the ability to acquire knowledge and gross national income per capita to reflect the ability to reach a decent standard of living.