UNDP honours Frances Stewart with human development award

Oct 26, 2009

Country reports from Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia and Turkey receive awards for excellence in policy proposals and innovation, Swaziland report receives special recognition

Busan, South Korea — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) honoured outstanding contributions to work on advancing human development at a ceremony held here today.

This year’s Mahbub ul Haq Award was presented to Professor Frances Stewart of the United Kingdom for her lifetime achievements in promoting human development. Stewart – a leading development economist at Oxford University – has been one of the key figures associated with human development since the Human Development Report was first published in 1990.

The Mahbub ul Haq Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to furthering the understanding and progress of human development. The award was created to honour Mahbub ul Haq (1934-1998), who pioneered the human development approach and founded the global Human Development Report.

“Frances Stewart’s continuous encouragement and support to Human Development Reports since their inception is greatly admired and appreciated,” said Jeni Klugman, Human Development Report Office Director, who presented the award. “Her contributions to developing, teaching and promoting the conceptual, empirical and policy foundations of human development have been truly remarkable, and very influential around the world.”

Jeni Klugman, Director, Human Development Report Office (left) presents the Mahbub ul Haq Award to Prof. Frances Stewart, University of Oxford
(Photo: UNDP)
Stewart joined previous Mahbub ul Haq Award winners, who include Fernando Cardoso, former President of Brazil (2002), Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (2005) and Sheila Watt-Cloutier, arctic community activist (2007).

“For the first time the Human Development Awards ceremony take place abroad, and I am honoured that the host country is Korea,” Dr. Insill Yi, Commissioner of Statistics Korea, said at the opening ceremony. “I believe this is a great opportunity to raise global awareness about the importance of the Human Development Reports.”

Also, today, human development reports from Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia and Turkey received awards in recognition of their excellence. The UNDP’s Human Development Awards are given every two years and recognize the contributions of national and regional reports to improve development policies and practices.

The report "The Other Frontier-Alternative Uses of Natural Resources in Bolivia, 2008," won the Excellence in Policy Analysis Award for its encouragement of an alternative model for Bolivian economic development based on high labour and environmental standards.

The subnational Colombian report titled "On the path to an inclusive and peaceful Valle del Cauca" won the Excellence in Participation and Inclusiveness in Report Preparation Award for its comprehensive consultations with a range of stakeholders in the Valle del Cauca district, including political organizations, universities, the corporate sector and civil society organizations.

The report "Youth in Turkey" won the Excellence in Influencing National Policy Debate Award. After generating large media attention, the report led to the creation of a youth non-governmental organization platform and the government’s first policy for youth issues.

The Excellence in Innovation in Measurement Award was given to the report "Social Inclusion in Bosnia and Herzegovina," and won for developing a new statistical measure of the relationships between social inclusion and development opportunities.

In addition to the above-mentioned countries, Swaziland’s report "HIV/AIDS and Culture" received a special recognition for its inclusive process, which drew on experiences from the government, civil society organizations and traditional Swazi groups to capture the role of culture in containing the spread of HIV and AIDS and mitigating its impacts.

Contact Information

Wynne Boelt, +1 212 906 3668, wynne.boelt@undp.org
Rachel Sorrentino, +1 212 906 3674, rachel.sorrentino@undpaffiliates.org
Carolina Azevedo, +1 212 906 6127, carolina.azevedo@undp.org
Isabelle Minn, + 82 11 720 03 52, minisabelle@yahoo.com

For more information about the 2009 National Human Development Awards:

For more information about Frances Stewart:

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