Manav Vikas - 2012 India Human Development Awards: Partnerships

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PHOTO: RANJAN RAHI/UNDP INDIA

" Many Indian states and districts have human development reports which point to the fact that we have come a long way in defining agreed parameters against which people measure progress."

Montek Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairperson, Planning Commission speaking at the India launch of the book 'UN Ideas that Changed the World' in New Delhi, India 2010.

Manav Vikas, the 2012 India Human Development Awards have been jointly instituted by the Planning Commission, Government of India and UNDP India.

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Photo: UNDP India

The concept of human development, pioneered by Mahbub ul Haq, and building on the work of Amartya Sen on the capabilities approach, was introduced by UNDP in 1990 in the first global human development report (HDRs). These seminal publications also introduced the Human Development Index that measures a country's progress beyond gross national income to include social indicators such as health and education.

In India, this coincided with a period of economic reform, liberalization of the economy and the need to reinforce the idea that people matter. Today, India has the largest, most diverse body of work on sub-national HDRs in the world. Since 1999, UNDP has partnered with the Planning Commission to undertake planning, reporting and analysis of development processes through a human development lens. Initially the partnership focused on building state capacity for human development reporting and analysis, and later to help apply the human development approach in planning and policies. As a natural progression, the partnership has also focused on the preparation of district HDRs to strengthen district plans from a human development perspective, capacity development of functionaries on human development challenges, gender sensitization in planning, advocacy on the findings of state and district HDRs and strengthening statistical systems.

In 2011, UNDP and the Planning Commission announced a new partnership that builds on India's globally acclaimed work on human development by strengthening analysis on inequalities, enabling availability of better data to monitor progress on human development indicators and building the capacity of stakeholders to undertake and act on human development analyses. The US$ 5.5 million partnership till 2017 will focus on helping states reach the next level in human development translating analysis into policy action.