Human Development Report 2015

Factory workers in Haïti. Photo: UNDP in Haiti.Rapid globalization, technological revolution, demographic transitions and many other factors are creating new opportunities, but also pose risks. Photo: UNDP in Haiti

Work, not just jobs or employment, is crucial for human progress: Of the world’s 7.3 billion people, 3.2 billion are in jobs, and many others engage in unpaid care, creative and voluntary work as well as other activities or prepare themselves as future workers.

The 2015 Human Development Report ‘Work for Human Development’ examines the links, both positive and negative, between work and human development in a rapidly changing world of work. Fast globalization, technological revolution, demographic transitions and many other factors are creating new opportunities, but also posing risks. The report examines how the benefits of this new world of work are not equally distributed, generating winners and losers.

The report argues for a broader notion of work, one that goes beyond the jobs framework, to confront both persistent challenges such as human deprivations, inequalities, unsustainability, and gender imbalances in paid and unpaid work – as well as emerging ones –erosion of jobs, skills gaps, climate change and others. It concludes with a series of policy recommendations on how to enhance human progress through promotion of workers’ rights and broader access to social protection.

The 2015 Human Development Report ‘Work for Human Development’ will be launched on 14 December 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at 11 am Addis Ababa/ 3 am New York.

 

Our Perspectives

  • Human development means realizing the full potential of every life
    Mar 21, 2017

    Human development is all about human freedoms: freedom to realize the full potential of every human life, not just of a few, nor of most, but of all lives in every corner of the world—now and in the future. Such universalism gives the human development approach its uniqueness. However, the principle of universalism is one thing; translating it into practice is another. Over the past quarter-century there has been impressive progress on many fronts in human development, with people living longer, more people rising out of extreme poverty and fewer people being malnourished. Human development has enriched human lives—but unfortunately not all to the same extent, and even worse, not every life. It is thus not by chance but by choice that world leaders in 2015 committed to a development journey that leaves no one out—a central premise of the 2030 Agenda. Mirroring that universal aspiration, it is timely that the 2016 Human Development Report is devoted to the theme of human development for everyone. The Report begins by using a broad brush to paint a picture of the challenges the world faces and the hopes humanity has for a better future. Some challenges are lingering (deprivations), some are deepening (inequalities) and some are emerging (violent extremism), but most are mutually reinforcing. Whatever their nature or reach, these challenges have an impact on people’s well-being in both present and future generations.

  • Challenges and opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017
    Mar 10, 2017

    Latin America and the Caribbean have made notable progress on development in recent decades. By 2015, the region had met most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a historical feat, especially with regard to poverty reduction, access to safe drinking water and primary education. From 2002 to 2013, close to 72 million people left poverty and some 94 million rose to the middle class. Even so, inequality continues to be a characteristic of the region. Latin America and the Caribbean are home to 10 of the world’s 15 most unequal countries. According to our Human Development Report for the region, 220 million people (38 percent, almost two in every five Latin Americans) are economically vulnerable today. Officially they are not poor, but neither have they managed to make it to the middle class. Among these, 25 to 30 million are at risk of falling back into poverty.

  • Caribbean: Rethinking progress in the sustainable development era
    Sep 21, 2016

    Caribbean countries make a special case for development. The high and increasing exposure to hazards, combined with very open and trade-dependent economies with limited diversification and competitiveness portray a structurally and environmentally vulnerable region, composed, in the most part, of middle income countries. As these countries start implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we are calling for a new notion of progress. Our UN Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report for the Caribbean titled “Multidimensional Progress: human resilience beyond income”, launched this week in Barbados with top regional authorities makes the case for a new generation of public policies to boost resilience and increase gains in the economic, social and environmental fronts, including peace and justice. For the Caribbean this “multidimensional progress” entails not only adapting to shocks. It means breaking through structural obstacles that hinder growth and people’s well-being—beyond the traditional measurements of living above or below a poverty line. Nothing that reduces the rights of people and communities or threatens the environment can be considered progress. This holistic approach is crucial, especially for the Caribbean.

  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Looking beyond income to build on recent progress
    Jun 16, 2016

    The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean experienced historic economic and social transformation in recent years. This has led to a considerable reduction in poverty and inequality and to advances in closing gender, labour and education gaps. These achievements are the result of a favourable economic environment as well as proactive social inclusion policies. Despite this, 25 million to 30 million people risk falling back into poverty—a third of those who left poverty from 2003 to 2013. The most vulnerable are the newly employed, women and workers in the informal sectors of the economy. Many face social exclusion that cannot be resolved with higher income, such as discrimination due to ethnic or racial group, skin colour, sexual identity, migrant status or disability.