Pakistan National Human Development Report on Inequality

Pakistan National Human Development Report on Inequality

April 6, 2021

The three Ps of inequality: Power, People, and Policy

The National Human Development Reports (NHDRs) are UNDP’s flagship publication, combining research, data, and policy recommendations to explore and elaborate on themes of human development. This human development approach places people, instead of the economy, at the centre of development. Fundamentally, it is about advancing human well-being by creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential, exercise their own choices, and lead productive, safe, and content lives.

Since the first national Human Development Reports (NHDRs) were released in 1992, local editorial teams in 135 countries have produced over 700 NHDRs with UNDP’s support. These reports bring a human development perspective to national policy concerns through local consultations and research. National HDRs have covered key development issues ranging from climate change to youth employment, to inequalities driven by gender or ethnicity. This is Pakistan’s third National Human Development Report. The first, in 2003, was on the topic of Poverty, Growth, and Governance, and the second, in 2017, focused on Unleashing the Potential of a Young Pakistan.

The Pakistan NHDR 2020 is titled ‘The three Ps of inequality: Power, People, and Policy’. These foundational concepts are strongly intertwined with the theme of inequality, and form the main thrust of the NHDR 2020.

·       Power refers to privileged groups that make use of loopholes, networks, and policies for their benefit.

·       People refers to the deeply embedded belief systems that encourage bias against social identities like race, gender, religion, or caste, among others.

·       Policy speaks to the systems and strategies that are either ineffective, or at odds with the principles of social justice.

The report focuses not only on inequality of income, but also on inequality of opportunity in terms of access to services, work with dignity, accessibility, and more. The report has undertaken exhaustive statistical analysis at national and provincial levels, and includes new inequality indices for child development, youth, labour and gender. Qualitative research, through focus groups with marginalized communities, has also been undertaken, and the NHDR 2020 Inequality Perception Survey conducted. The NHDR 2020 has been guided by a diverse panel of Advisory Council members, including policy makers, development practitioners, academics, and UN representatives.