Sunday, July 16, 2006

What is the HDI?

In the previous posts, I had talked about GDP, Inflation and the stock market. These are all indicators of an economy, but if all these are growing at high rates but the Human Development Index (HDI) is low, then the over all well being of that nation is also low. Along with economic growth we need an improvement of the well being of the people too. Human capabilities need to be improved through measures taken by the government. The government should provide sufficient and easily accessible opportunities to facilitate human capabilities and freedom.
The human development index (HDI) is a composite index that measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, as measured by life expectancy at birth; knowledge, as measured by the adult literacy rate and the combined gross enrolment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary schools; and a decent standard of living, as measured by GDP per capita in purchasing power parity (PPP) US dollars.

HDI serves the following purposes.
• To capture the attention of policy makers, media and NGOs and to draw their attention away from the more usual economic statistics to focus instead on human outcomes. The HDI was created to re-emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth.
• To question national policy choices - asking how two countries with the same level of income per person can end up with such different human development outcomes (HDI levels). For example, Viet Nam and Pakistan have similar levels of income per person, but life expectancy and literacy differ greatly between the two countries, with Viet Nam having a much higher HDI value than Pakistan. These striking contrasts immediately stimulate debate on government policies on health and education, asking why what is achieved in one country is far from the reach of another.
• To highlight wide differences within countries, between provinces or states, across gender, ethnicity, and other socioeconomic groupings. Highlighting internal disparities along these lines has raised national debate in many countries.

The HDI does not reflect political participation or gender inequalities. The HDI and the other composite indices can only offer a broad proxy on some of the key the issues of human development, gender disparity, and human poverty.

HD Report 2005
The US has been given the 10th rank, China 85th and India 127th rank. China and India falls in the category of medium human development while US in high human development.

Conclusion & suggestions
We have a long way to go in the path of human development. With more than 50% of population poor, we really have a long path. The government needs to put in more funds for developing backward areas and it has to seek the help of the private sector in this development process. Only a development process with public private partnership will be successful. India needs to reform its education sector mainly requires more qualified teachers who have to be given adequate remuneration. The current wages for teachers need to be revised. Education is an important tool for enhancing growth in a country and also the most efficient way.
For sustenance we need proper health care centres and good hospitals and medical colleges. We need to have efficient and innovative pharmaceutical companies who should be willing to reduce the exorbitant rates of medicines.
To enable connectivity, proper transport must be readily and cheaply available. Roads must be well laid and rural connectivity must be specifically implemented with haste.
The central, state and the local self governments need to work together to achieve high rates of human development and growth!

HDR 2005


Intradaytips said...

The origins of the HDI are to be found in the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Reports (HDRs). These were devised and launched by Pakistani Economist Mahbub ul Haq in 1990 and had the explicit purpose: ‘‘to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people centered policies’’Due to the new methodology adopted in 2010 HD Report, its HDI figures appear lower than the HDI figures in previous reports.

i wonder if they consider factors like how much crap you buy from IKEA or how many ethanol cars you have or maybe it's how socialist your country is after all it is socialists making the list.

Thank you,
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Anonymous said...

i wonder if they consider factors like how much crap you buy from IKEA or how many ethanol cars you have or maybe it's how socialist your country is after all it is socialists making the list.
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