National Human Development report on employment

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on Thursday, launched the drafting of the latest Mozambique National Human Development Report (NHDR), which should be published by next March.

The UNDP has been publishing annual Global Human Development Reports since 1990. Because economic growth is an insufficient indicator for development, the UNDP also designed a Human Development Index, built out of three factors – life expectancy at birth, educational attainment (measured by the illiteracy rate, and gross primary, secondary and tertiary enrolment), and GDP per capita.

The UNDP has encouraged countries to write their own National Human Development Reports, and Mozambique has been doing this since 1998, but not with the annual frequency initially desired.

The last Mozambican NHDR was published in 2008, and took as its theme the role of information and communications technologies in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The report now planned will concentrate on “Employment and Decent Work”.

Speaking at the Thursday ceremony, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mozambique, Jennifer Topping, said that the 2012 NHDR will offer a comprehensive analytical framework on the current state of employment in Mozambique, and the trends and prospects.

The UNDP hoped that this analytical framework will “stimulate national debate on employment, and help in the formulation of more adequate policies and strategies, as well as programmes that promote decent and productive jobs for all”.

“The regular production of these reports, and their position at the centre of UNDP actions”, Topping said, “responds to the challenges of development seen in the human perspective, and not just from the paradigm of economic growth. From the UNDP perspective, Human Development consists in creating a favourable environment where individuals can enjoy a long, healthy and creative life”.

Human development, she added, “has to do with the possibility of individuals living a life according to their own choices, and with the provision of instruments and opportunities so that they can make those choices”.

Although the UNDP sponsors and finances the NHDR (to the tune of 100,000 US dollars), it hands over responsibility for producing the report to an independent group of experts – chosen via the Centre for Policy Analysis of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM).

A Consultative Group of academics and figures from civil society will be set up under the chairmanship of Brazao Mazula, a former Vice-Chancellor of the UEM. The Group pledges to work in a “participatory and inclusive manner”.

Speaking at the Thursday meeting, Mazula stressed that development is about more then GDP growth rates, and “implies much more than the simple accumulation of financial resources and assets”.

“Growth in itself does not tell the whole story”, he said. “Countries with the most rapid growth rates are not necessarily those that achieve the greatest gains in human development”.

Post published in: Africa News

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