/Human development in an age of uncertainty

Human development in an age of uncertainty

Key idea: To turn new uncertainties into opportunities, we must unleash people’s creative and cooperative potential. 

Original author and publication date: Pedro Conceição (Brookings) – November 4, 2022

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: “We must double down on human development.” What a nice challenge!

From the article:   

New dimensions of uncertainty are emerging. Lives are being unsettled around the world. To turn new uncertainties into opportunities, we must unleash people’s creative and cooperative potential. We must double down on human development. That is the conclusion of the recently launched 2021-22 Human Development Report titled “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping Our Future in a Transforming World.”

Lives are being unsettled in many ways. For the first time ever, the global human development index (HDI) went in reverse—for two years straight. Nearly nine out of ten countries saw a drop in their HDI values in the 2020-2021 period, far exceeding the declines in the wake of the global financial crisis —or at any time since the HDI was first released.

While most high-income countries were able to recover in 2021, a majority of countries with low and medium HDI values experienced ongoing declines last year.

Data at the individual level tells us that the forces at work are deeper than COVID-19 or shifts in the HDI, which, however powerful an indicator it is, measures only a subset of human development. UNDP’s 2022 Special Report on Human Security found that more than six in seven people worldwide felt insecure. Feelings of insecurity are on the rise even in countries with the highest levels of HDI. At least a decade in the making, it is a trend that paralleled improvements in the HDI and other conventional measures of wellbeing. Likewise, reported stress levels—the feeling of being overwhelmed by what the world is throwing at us—have been increasing across all education levels.

What is going on? How does the wide-angle lens of human development help us understand and respond to this apparent paradox of progress with insecurity?

Read here the complete article