Taking stock of the HDR experience in Eastern and Southern Africa

Feb 22, 2016

Jon Hall, head of the UNDP NHDR Unit, HDR Office in New York, makes a presentation at the workshop that pulled together experts from Eastern and Southern African countries all of whom have been or will be involved in the development of national human development reports either as contributors, collaborators, or coordinators

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supported by the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), organized a four-day regional workshop in Dar es Salaam aimed at enhancing the national human development reporting process throughout different countries in the East and Southern Africa region.

Themed “Making an Impact on Human Development Reporting” it ran from 16 to 19 February and brought together about 40 delegates from a host of countries including Eritrea, South Sudan, Namibia and Tanzania.

The objective was to provide participants all of whom have been or will be involved in the development of national human development reports either as contributors, collaborators, or coordinators an opportunity to strengthen their perspectives on the human development approach and learn best practices from each other.

It covered the measurement of human development, selecting and developing a theme, assuring multi-stakeholder ownership, quality and independence, and how the report will make an impact to the society. By doing so, participants were expected to collectively develop strategies for translating Human Development Report (HDR) messages into country programmes and policies.

In brief remarks, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Alvaro Rodriguez, said indeed the HDRs had contributed to move the frontiers of human development concepts across the globe. Too often though, there was a lacuna in the cross-country sharing and collective exploration of critical issues and strategies for human development reporting and using reports to influence policy and country programmes, he added.

“There is much that we can learn from each other and that the world can learn from Africa in enhancing and influencing policy through the human development approach to development. And these lessons can help all of us serve our partners at central and local level better,” he said.

Also speaking at the regional workshop, Dr. Tausi Kida, Executive Director, ESRF, a Tanzanian think thank which is an implementing partner for the Tanzania Human Development Report (THDR), further commented that besides sharing experiences, the workshop provided a forum to identify how best to utilize HDRs as a tool for policy debates that place human development at the forefront of the political agenda across the various countries.

Since the publication of the first global Human Development Report in 1990, HDRs have grown to spread over four broad coverage ranges. Nesting between the global and the national HDRs are the multi-country regional HDRs for identified geographic regions, which address issues that cut across national boundaries in a specific region and provide opportunities to policy makers, advocacy groups and civil society to take up supra national issues based on well researched information.

In addition to Dr. Kida, the workshop was facilitated by Jon Hall, head of the UNDP NHDR Unit, HDR Office in New York and Rogers Dhliwayo, Economics Advisor, UNDP Tanzania.

 

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