Monday, November 15, 2010

Global Human Development Report 2010 Launch

Kenya being the seat of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was among the countries that were launching the Global Human Development Report 2010 on November 4, 2010. The GHDR 2010 launch were taking place simultaneously around the world with the main launch  going down at the seat of United Nations (UN) in New York City (NYC). The main launch was graced by the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen since this HDR was celebrating 20years since inception as an alternative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of annual growth.
Global Human Development Report 2010 cover
Kenya’s Launch was historic in a way because it was held in a University. This was the first launch of a United Nation’s Report at an institution of higher learning. This was after successful launch of a book (Delivering Aid Differently) by the lead Economist at World Bank, Kenya Mr. Wolfgang Fengler.

The following were some of the highlights that I picked at the launch;

The launch began at 1630hrs and the Master of Ceremony was the charismatic George Outa from the Prime Minister’s office, communication department. After the pleasantries from the University which was represented by Prof. Mbeche (Principal CHSS) at the launch, the programme kicked off.  

Mr. Aeneas C. Chuma, UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Kenya and UNDP Resident Representative was first on the podium. Mr. Chuma an Economist with a specialty in Macro-Economics talked briefly about Human Development Reports in Kenya. He talked in passing about the introduction of new measures i.e. HDI & GDI and how such indices went beyond measuring the traditional measures of poverty.
He stressed that HDR seek to know how people can live life to fullest by inquiring on aspects such as education, employment and health.
He also pointed out that Africa’s main problems are week institutions and political instability.

Next the Video below was screened (mind you with some technicalities!)

Dr. Tegegnework Gettu who is UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Africa took the podium.
He pointed out Human Development Reports were Flagship projects of UNDP and this being the 20th anniversary it was time to celebrate, to reflect and also to be humble.
He also asked what have we learned aver the 20 years-Give people more choice and freedom

Prof Hose a consultant from head office but from Venezuela had been flown in just for the launch to explain to us about this report.
The Prof. took pride at being at the University and took us through the report. The cover we learnt were Worldwide Trends in the Human Development Index from 1970-2010.
The report also focuses on the evolution of HD over 40 years (which give different insights) especially on Human Development. It was also clear from the report HD has increased over time except for three nations (Zimbabwe, DR Congo being some of them)
Some of the new things in the report are 3 new indexes i.e. Inequality Adjusted Index, Gender Inequality Index and Multidimensional Poverty Index.
What we should think beyond 2010?
  1. Take contact seriously
  2. Think Principles first
  3. Shift global Policies & Governance
He concluded that People are the real wealth of nations.

Mr. Peter Kenneth who was guest of honour gave his prepared speech and afterwards officially launched the report

The vote of thanks was given by a representative from Sweden (SIDA). She did point out that the year 2000 report was the most radical i.e Human Rights and Development.

The launch came to a close at quarter to seven.


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