UNDP Nigeria launches the 2023/24 Human Development Report (HDR), titled Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining cooperation in a polarized world

March 19, 2024


ABUJA, 19 March 2024, UNDP today launched the Human Development Report 2023/2024 alongside the Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Honorable Wale Edun. Present at the launch were the Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment- Nkiruku Onyejeocha, Honourable Minister of Youth Development - Dr Jamila Bio Ibrahim, Special Advisor to the President on SDGs- HE Princess Adejoke Orelope - Adefulire and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Mohamed M.M Fall.


The 2023/24 Human Development Report (HDR), titled Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining cooperation in a polarized world, reveals a troubling trend: the rebound in the global Human Development Index (HDI) – a summary measure reflecting a country’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, education, and life expectancy – has been partial, incomplete, and unequal. 


UNDP published the first Human Development Report in 1990 with an introduction of a new Human Development Index (HDI) to measure development progress. The underlying principle of the HDI, considered radical in 1990, was very simple: national development should be measured not simply by per capita income, as had long been the practice, but also by health, educational and other important indicators.


Speaking at the launch of the 2023/2024 HDR, Honorable Minister of Finance, Mr. Wale Edun pointed out that, “This is the 34th year of the report by the UNDP, and of course, it shines a light on all of our shared challenges, opportunities as well as the pursuit of a better world. It's a text whose aim is to ''expand the richness of human life'' and it takes a robust approach to assess three areas, health, education and standard of living. We agree that when you want to measure how a country is doing, how people are faring, you must go beyond GDP per capita to get the richer measure that the Human Development Index gives you.”


Since 1990, UNDP has released the Human Development Report and Index annually, ranking all countries by health, education and living standards. In the last 3 decades, UNDP has produced more than 800 global, regional, national, and sub-national reports, and organized hundreds of workshops, conferences, and other outreach initiatives to foster human development. Human development is about expanding the richness of human life rather than simply the richness of the economy. It focuses on people and their opportunities and choices.


The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Mohamed Fall speaking during the launch noted that, “The HDR since its inception, reminds us that our shared aspirations for sustainable economic development need to go beyond just macro-economic indicators and look at people’s wellbeing as a whole. Regrettably, according to the last HDR the world recorded its first ever drop in global human development index stopping steady progress in two decades. Mr. Fall further added that, “The HDR, whose launch has brought us together today, shows that the solution to today’s challenges is within our reach and it is our duty to fulfil them and leave a better world to succeeding generations. I would like to thank my UNDP colleagues both at global level and in Nigeria for working hard to enable us to have these important discussions on human development annually.”


The HDI is projected to reach record highs in 2023 after steep declines during 2020 and 2021. But this progress is deeply uneven. Rich countries are experiencing record-high levels of human development while half of the world’s poorest countries remain below their pre-crisis level of progress. 


While presenting her remarks, the Resident Representative for UNDP Nigeria, Ms. Elsie G Attafuah mentioned that “The 2023-2024 Human Development Report (HDR) reflects on how we are all interconnected at national, continental, and global levels by our economic and digital interdependence, for example. Despite these connections, we seem to be separated and not working in unison to solve our shared development challenges. Ms. Attafuah further added that, The Report calls us to change course, otherwise the world may not recover from the decline in human progress. The repercussion of not changing course and removing the gridlock is in the additional lives that will be lost, in opportunities that will be forgone, and in feelings of despair.


The report presents ways forward that hinges on reimagining cooperation in ways that do not assume away divergent interests or opinions but work with them to deliver global public goods – where we all stand to benefit.

This report opens a new trilogy of human development reports that will explore further the layers of uncertainty identified in the latest HDR: how to address polarization (2023-24), shape our shared digital future to advance human development (2025), and marshal human aspirations to navigate the Anthropocene (2026).





Note To Editors


About UNDP:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the leading United Nations organisation fighting to end the injustices of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with a broad network of experts and partners in over 170 countries, UNDP helps nations to build integrated and lasting solutions for people and the planet.


In Nigeria, UNDP provides technical and policy development support to the Federal Government of Nigeria and supports the implementation of interventions across various thematic areas to meet the medium to long-term national development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more: https://www.undp.org/nigeria


Media Contact: 


Christabel Chanda - Ginsberg                                                                        

Public Engagement, Outreach & Partnership Lead

United Nations Development Programme Nigeria  

Tel: +2349049354441

Email: christabel.chanda-ginsberg@undp.org