The 2010 Human Development Report shows improvement in Sri Lanka’s human development record
The 20th anniversary issue of the Human Development Report titled “The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development— “will be launched globally on the 4th of November – today, by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who helped devise the Human Development Index (HDI) for the first Human Development Report in 1990, together with the late economist Mahbub ul Haq, the series founder.
The 2010 Human Development Report includes the HDI rankings of 169 countries. Norway, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.A, occupy the top 4 spots of the list and have been labeled as “Very High Human Development Countries,” along with the 38 other countries that have been listed in this category.
Sri Lanka, along with India, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and 37 other countries have been listed as “Medium Human Development Countries.” Sri Lanka ranks 91 on the index while India, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia have been ranked as 119, 92, 97, and 108 respectively.
Sri Lanka’s HDI has progressively increased up to 0.659 in 2010 compared to 0.513 in 1980. This increase is mainly due to favorable social indicators of literacy and life expectancy.
Sri Lanka is also recorded to have a considerably high level of gender equality, with a GII of 0.599. While this shows high levels of gender equality, especially regarding maternal health standards and educational opportunities for women, there are several areas including the labor force participation and parliamentary representation for women, in which Sri Lanka is still lagging.
The report reveals that most developing countries made dramatic yet often underestimated progress in health, education and basic living standards in recent decades, with many of the poorest countries posting the greatest gains. The countries that have made the fastest progress in human development from 1970 to 2010 are Oman, China, Nepal and Indonesia.
Since its inception, The Human Development Reports and the Human Development Index have challenged purely economic measures of national achievement and helped lay the conceptual foundation for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, calling for consistent global tracking of progress in health, education and overall living standards. The 2010 report has taken this process a step further by introducing the Inequality Adjusted HDI (IHDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) as three new indices for the measurement of human development.
- Asian Tribune -