Uganda Launch the 2021/2022 Human Development Report
October 3, 2022
Kampala, 21 September 2022: The 2021/22 Human Development Report (HDR) under the theme “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a World in Transformation” was nationally launched in Uganda by distinguished representatives of the government, development partners, United Nations, academia, and civil society organizations in an event organized jointly by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Makerere University.
The report warns that the world is lurching from crisis to crisis, trapped in a cycle of firefighting and unable to tackle the roots of the troubles that confront us. Without a sharp change of course, we may be heading towards even more deprivations and injustices. Multiple crises have halted progress, as 9 out of 10 countries have fallen backwards in human development, the HDR warns.
The latest Human Development Report argues that layers of uncertainty are stacking up and interacting to unsettle life in unprecedented ways. The last two years have had a devastating impact for billions of people around the world when crises like COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine hit back-to-back and interacted with sweeping social and economic shifts, dangerous planetary changes, and massive increases in polarization.
“Since its inception, the Human Development Report has become a flagship knowledge product,” said Ms. Elsie Attafuah, UNDP Resident Representative in Uganda. “This unique annual report has not only helped to establish a new broad definition of development, but also to evaluate the progress made and highlight key challenges using statistics. This report encourages political leaders and development practitioners around the world to keep raising our ambitions and following up on areas that need support.”
Ms. Attafuah explained that in the last 32 years, Uganda has experienced a decline in its Human Development Index value only twice (in 1992 and 2020). She highlighted that though the value of human development declined in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to strategic management of pandemic impact by the government, Uganda was able to recover its human development value in 2021 back to its 2019 levels.
To manage various uncertainties in Uganda, Ms. Attafuah stressed the relevance of the report recommendations and prioritizing the 3 I’s, namely (i) Investment in critical areas such as renewable energy and preparedness for disaster; (ii) Insurance, including social protection, to prepare societies for contingencies; and (iii) Innovation in the spheres of technology, economic and cultural systems.
“Uganda has made significant progress in human development in the last three decades” said Ms. Susan Ngongi Namondo, UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda. Ms. Namondo highlighted that between 1990 and 2021, Uganda's HDI value improved from 0.329 to 0.525 representing an increase of 59.6 percent. Uganda's life expectancy at birth also increased by 16.3 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.6 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.4 years. Meanwhile, GNI per capita in increased by about 143.2 percent.
Ms. Namondo also highlighted that despite such notable progress, Uganda's HDI value for 2021 is still at 0.525 putting the country in the low human development category and positioning Uganda at 166 out of 191 countries and territories.
Hon. Henry Musasizi, Minister of State for General Duties, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development stated “Uganda’s development strategy is set to reduce poverty rates, increase employment opportunities, mitigate effects of climate change, reduce gender disparities, and more. These all have a bearing on human development. Uganda also recently adopted the Parish Development Model which is aimed at lifting the 39% of households from subsistence to money economy.”
Associate Professor Umar Kakumba, Makerere University also stated “When you have data, then you have evidence that you can work with to make policies and to make strategic improvements to support the country and all its institutions to make the right decisions.”
For the first time in the 32 years that UNDP have been calculating the Human Development Index, which measures a nation’s health, education, and standard of living, this index has declined globally for two years in a row. Human development has fallen back to its 2016 levels, reversing much of the progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
This reversal is nearly universal as over 90 percent of countries registered a decline in their HDI score in either 2020 or 2021 and more than 40 percent declined in both years, signaling that the crisis is still deepening for many.
To learn more about the 2022 Human Development Report and UNDP’s analysis on navigating uncertain times and shaping our future in a transforming worlds, visit report.hdr.undp.org.
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