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Human Development Report, 2014

Published date 2015-01-21
Author United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
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From the document:

Traditionally, the concept of vulnerability is used to describe exposure to risk and risk management, including insuring against shocks and diversifying assets and income. This Report takes a broader approach, emphasizing the close links between reducing vulnerability and advancing human development.

We introduce the concept of human vulnerability to describe the prospects of eroding people’s capabilities and choices. Looking at vulnerability through a human development lens, we draw attention to the risk of future deterioration in individual, community and national circumstances and achievements, and we put forward policies and other measures to prepare against threats and make human development progress more robust going forward...

This Report makes the case that the sustained enhancement of individuals’ and societies’ capabilities is necessary to reduce these persistent vulnerabilities—many of them structural and many of them tied to the life cycle. Progress has to be about fostering resilient human development. There is much debate about the meaning of resilience, but our emphasis is on human resilience—ensuring that people’s choices are robust, now and in the future, and enabling people to cope and adjust to adverse events (chapter 1).

Institutions, structures and norms can either enhance or diminish human resilience. State policies and community support networks can empower people to overcome threats when and where they may arise, whereas horizontal inequality may diminish the coping capabilities of particular groups.

This Report explores the types of policies and institutional reforms that can build resilience into the fabrics of societies, particularly for excluded groups and at sensitive times during the life cycle. It examines universal measures that can redress discrimination and focuses on the need for collective action to resolve vulnerability that stems from unresponsive national institutions and the shortcomings of global governance.