Bangladesh to publish National Human Development Report

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Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division (ERD) is planning to publish the second installment of the National Human Development Report (NHDR) with support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) after a 26-year hiatus.

The NHDR was first released in 1992 and the publication subsequently stopped. To revamp the publication, ERD is organising a series of consultations aimed at developing the working modalities for the publication of this report.

Dr. Selim Jahan, Director of UNDP Human Development Report Office in New York, who attended the third of such consultations, emphasised on the need for “a framework where the status of people-centred development is illustrated.”

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He went on to point out that although economic governance and per-capita income are important, they do not guarantee the development of the people: “Look at the per capita income of Pakistan or India. It is higher than Bangladesh. But the people here have higher life expectancy compared to those two countries.”

So, in terms of human development, the focus on healthy life, access to education and a decent standard of living is also important, according to the expert who was also a member of the core team which brought out the first NHDR.

Attendees of the consultation held on August 12, with ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam in the chair, were aligned to the concept and decided to form an advisory committee and a small panel of experts to vet the themes and contents of the upcoming report.

Up until now, UNDP publishes a Global Human Development Report annually, which however, does not focus particularly on a single country’s development.

A National Human Development Report could fill the vacuum and contribute towards analysis of the ties between development efforts and impact on life and livelihood of the people.

It would also help in understanding the context of the particular country and better identify local development needs.  

GED member Dr. Shamsul Alam, UNDP Bangladesh Country Director Sudipto Mukerjee, BIDS’ Senior Research Fellow Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Centre for Policy Dialogue Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem and Dr. Imran Matin, Executive Director, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, attended the consultation.

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