Human Development in Pakistan:
UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) represents human progress in one indicator that combines information on people’s health, education and income.
|Pakistan's Human Development Growth Rate By Decades. Source: HDR 2018|
Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update. The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index focusing on three basic dimensions of human development: the ability to lead a long and healthy life, measured by life expectancy at birth; the ability to acquire knowledge, measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling; and the ability to achieve a decent standard of living, measured by gross national income per capita.
Not only has Pakistan's economy slowed since 2008 but its progress in education sector has seen a dramatic slowdown. Data shows that Pakistan's literacy and enrollment rates are not rising in spite of significantly increased education spending over the last several years. Education budgets at federal and provincial levels have seen double digit increase of 17.5% a year on average since 2010. And yet, school enrollment and literacy rate have remained essentially flat during this period. This lack of progress in education stands in sharp contrast to the significant improvements in outcomes seen from increase education spending during Musharraf years in 2001-2008. Why is it?
Is the money not being spent honestly and wisely? Is the education budget being used by the ruling politicians to create teacher jobs solely for political patronage? Are the teachers not showing up for work? Is the money being siphoned off by bureaucrats and politicians by hiring "ghost teachers" in "ghost schools"? Let's try and examine the data and the causes of lack of tangible results from education spending.
Pakistan Education Budget:
The total money budgeted for education by the governments at the federal and provincial levels has increased from Rs. 304 billion in 2010-11 to Rs. 790 billion in 2016-17, representing an average of 17.5% increase per year since 2010.
Education and Literacy Rates:
Pakistan's net primary enrollment rose from 42% in 2001-2002 to 57% in 2008-9 during Musharraf years. It has been essentially flat at 57% since 2009 under PPP and PML(N) governments.
|Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16|
Similarly, the literacy rate for Pakistan 10 years or older rose from 45% in 2001-2002 to 56% in 2007-2008 during Musharraf years. It has increased just 4% to 60% since 2009-2010 under PPP and PML(N) governments.
|Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16|
Four Levels of Development:
The extensive data compilation and research by Professor Hans Rosling of Sweden has shown that the binary categorization of nations into developed and developing is no longer useful. Instead, he has proposed using 4 levels of development based on health and wealth indicators, a proposal that has now been accepted by the United Nations and the World Bank. Here's how Rosling and the United Nations define these 4 levels:
1. Level 1: One billion people live on level 1. This is what we think of as extreme poverty. If you’re on level 1, you survive on less than $2 a day and get around by walking barefoot. Your food is cooked over an open fire, and you spend most of your day traveling to fetch water. At night, you and your children sleep on a dirt floor.
2. Level 2: Three billion people live on level 2, between $2 and $8 a day. Level 2 means that you can buy shoes and maybe a bike, so it doesn’t take so long to get water. Your kids go to school instead of working all day. Dinner is made over a gas stove, and your family sleeps on mattresses instead of the floor.
Level 3: Two billion people live on level 3, between $8 and $32 a day. You have running water and a fridge in your home. You can also afford a motorbike to make getting around easier. Some of your kids start (and even finish) high school.
Level 4: One billion people live on level 4. If you spend more than $32 a day, you’re on level 4. You have at least a high school education and can probably afford to buy a car and take a vacation once in a while.
Imran Khan's Ambitious Agenda:
Imran Khan laid out his agenda in his first speech to the nation after taking the office of the prime minister. It was more like a fireside chat in which he spoke directly to the people to explain his priorities that emphasize education, health care and human development. These are the keys to leading Pakistan from level 2 to level 3. In order to pursue his priorities, Mr. Khan needs to first address the more urgent economic crisis which he acknowledged. Pakistan needs to deal with excessive public debt and pay for the necessary imports to move forward. He must also deal with financial corruption and mismanagement to free up the resources for his ambitious agenda of economic and human development of the nation.
Mr. Khan will almost certainly face stiff opposition from the status quo forces which stand to lose from the changes he seeks. They will fight to preserve their patronage networks and their power and privilege. They will try to bring down his coalition government with all they have got. They might even threaten his personal safety and security.
Professor Hans Rosling has compiled extensive socioeconomic data and done serious research to understand how nations develop. He has shared his work in "Factfulness" that he co-wrote with his son Ola Rosling and daughter Anna Rosling Ronnlund. Here's an except on democracy and development from Factfulness:
"This is risky but I am going to argue it anyway. I strongly believe that liberal democracy is the best way to run a country. People like me, who believe this, are often tempted to argue that democracy leads to, or its even a requirement for, other good things, like peace, social progress, health improvement, and economic growth. But here's the thing, and it is hard to accept: the evidence does not support this stance.
Most countries that make great economic and social progress are not democracies. South Korea moved from Level 1 to Level 3 faster than any other country had ever done (without finding oil), all the time as a military dictatorship. Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy.
Anyone who claims that democracy is a necessity for economic growth and health improvements will risk getting contradicted by reality. It's better to argue for democracy as a goal in itself instead of as a superior means to other goals we like."
Pakistan saw average annual HDI (Human Development Index) growth rate of 1.08% in 1990-2000, 1.57% in 2000-2010 and 0.95% in 2010-2017, according to Human Development Indices and Indicators 2018 Statistical Update. The fastest growth in Pakistan human development was seen in 2000-2010, a decade dominated by President Musharraf's rule, according to the latest Human Development Report 2018. Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan has laid out an ambitious agenda that could accelerate Pakistan's human development progress to take his country from level 2 to level 3 of socioeconomic development. It is achievable but the odds are against him because he faces stiff opposition from the status quo forces. The powerful dynastic duopoly of PPP and PMLN still dominates Pakistan's Senate whose support will be required for major reforms. The research by Professor Hans Rosling shows: "Of the ten countries with the fastest economic growth, nine of them score low on democracy." It's also supported by Pakistan's economic history where pace of development has consistently been faster under military governments than during civilian democratic rule. Can Prime Minister Imran Khan's leadership change the course of history and deliver faster human progress under democratic rule? Let's wait and see.
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Who are the controllers of democratically elected leaders of Pakistan? When democratically elected leaders transfer illegal money out of country, where does this money ends up? When army takes over why west imposes sanctions on Pakistan and why British led commonwealth removes Pakistan from commonwealth?
West has its interest in democracy within Pakistan and wider world but not in the development of those countries. By providing safe tax heavens and sanctuary to Pakistan's criminals west can utilise Pakistani money and keep influence through the democratically elected leaders. However when army takes over this is very difficult for west to bribe them, because system becomes like one party of China, soviet Russia or like Iran, other wise know as regimes. West is using democracy as a tool to steal money from countries like Pakistan and India.
Democracy will never do any good for Pakistan, unless democratically elected leaders behave like president Putin. Army is best solution for Pakistan, I support them. Let's see what can Imran Khan do for Pakistan, Its's too early to judge him. If he can improve the governance then he should be in power for more then one term. Otherwise no chance that all the indicators will ever improve. Country now is hoping alot from Imran Khan, so he should be given chance for the whole of elected term.
Three #infants die every two minutes in #India due to lack of #hygiene and #sanitation: UNIGME http://toi.in/XZB7na/a24gk via @timesofindia
Three infants die every two minutes on an average in India due to lack of access to water, sanitation, proper nutrition or basic health services, according to a report by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNIGME).
About 8,02,000 infant deaths were reported in India in 2017, the lowest in five years, but the infant death numbers still remained the highest in the world, followed by China at 3,30,000, according to the report.
Dr Gagan Gupta, Chief of Health at the
World Health Organization
, however, said India is making good progress in combatting reasons leading to infant deaths through a number of government-led initiatives.
"It has to be taken into consideration that India has a birth rate of 25 million every year and the number of infant deaths have come down and is lowest in five years. This is also the first time that the number of deaths under five is equal to number of births. The next step would be reducing the number of deaths," he said.
"About 18 per cent of children born globally are from India," he added.
The main reasons behind infant deaths remain to be lack of access to water, sanitation, proper nutrition or basic health services, Gupta said.
Infant deaths were reported highest in the world in India, followed by Nigeria at 4,66,000, Pakistan 3,30,000 and Democratic Republic of Congo 2,33,000 (DRC), the report said.
The UNIGME report said 6,05,000 neonatal deaths were reported in India in 2017, while the number of deaths among children aged 5-14 was 1,52,000.
"India continues to show impressive decline in child deaths, with its share of global under-five deaths for the first time equalling its share of childbirths," Yasmin Ali Haque, Representative, UNICEF India, said.
"The efforts for improving institutional delivery, along with countrywide scale up of special newborn care units and strengthening of routine immunisation, have been instrumental towards this," she said.
The number of infant deaths has come down from 8.67 lakh in 2016 to 8.02 lakh in 2017.
In 2016, India's infant mortality rate was 44 per 1,000 live births.
In 2017, sex-specific under-five mortality rate was 39 in 1,000 live births for male and 40 in 1,000 live births for females.
"Even more heartening is the fourfold decline in the gender gap in survival of the girl child over the last five years," Haque said.
The investment on ensuring holistic nutrition under the POSHAN campaign and national commitment to make India open defecation-free by 2019 are steps that will help in accelerating progress further, she added.
According to the report, an estimated 6.3 million children aged below 15 died in 2017, or 1 every 5 seconds, mostly of preventable causes, according to new mortality estimates released by Unicef, WHO, the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group.
A vast majority of these deaths -- 5.4 million -- occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths.
"Without urgent action, 56 million children under five will die from now until 2030 - half of them newborns," said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy.
"We have made remarkable progress to save children since 1990, but millions are still dying because of who they are and where they are born. With simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines, we can change that reality for every child," she said.
Globally, in 2017, half of all deaths under five years of age took place in sub-Saharan Africa, and another 30 per cent in Southern Asia. In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 13 children died before their fifth birthday. In high-income countries, that number was 1 in 185.
Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016
Prof Stephen S Lim, PhD
Rachel L Updike, BA
Alexander S Kaldjian, MSc
Ryan M Barber, BS
Krycia Cowling, PhD
Hunter York, BA
In 2016, Finland had the highest level of expected human capital of 28·4 health, education, and learning-adjusted expected years lived between age 20 and 64 years (95% uncertainty interval 27·5–29·2); Niger had the lowest expected human capital of less than 1·6 years (0·98–2·6). In 2016, 44 countries had already achieved more than 20 years of expected human capital; 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Of 195 countries, the ten most populous countries in 2016 for expected human capital were ranked: China at 44, India at 158, USA at 27, Indonesia at 131, Brazil at 71, Pakistan at 164, Nigeria at 171, Bangladesh at 161, Russia at 49, and Mexico at 104. Assessment of change in expected human capital from 1990 to 2016 shows marked variation from less than 2 years of progress in 18 countries to more than 5 years of progress in 35 countries. Larger improvements in expected human capital appear to be associated with faster economic growth. The top quartile of countries in terms of absolute change in human capital from 1990 to 2016 had a median annualised growth in gross domestic product of 2·60% (IQR 1·85–3·69) compared with 1·45% (0·18–2·19) for countries in the bottom quartile.
Despite 25 years of progress in many dimensions of human capital, in 2016 these levels were not universally high (Figure 2, Figure 3). The top five countries were unchanged from 1990 except for the replacement of Canada with Taiwan (province of China). In 2016, all countries in western Europe, and many in central and eastern Europe, had more than 20 years of expected human capital, as did South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan (province of China), Turkey, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. Despite improvements, 24 countries in 2016 continued to have expected human capital below 5 years, with the five lowest-ranked countries being Niger (1·6 years; 95% UI 0·98–2·6), South Sudan (2·0 years; 1·2–3·0), Chad (2·7 years; 1·7–3·2), Burkina Faso (2·8 years; 1·8–4·2), and Mali (2·8 years; 2·0–3·8).
Human capital refers to the attributes of a population that, along with physical capital such as buildings, equipment, and other tangible assets, contribute to economic productivity.1 Human capital is characterised as the aggregate levels of education, training, skills, and health in a population,2 affecting the rate at which technologies can be developed, adopted, and employed to increase productivity.3 The World Bank has brought new attention to this topic through its recently introduced Human Capital Project,4 which aims to “understand the link between investing in people and economic growth, and to accelerate financing for human capital investments.” A basic input needed for this aim to be fulfilled is an internationally comparable index of human capital, which currently does not exist. This study seeks to fill this global measurement gap.3
Although evidence supports human capital as a driver of growth, the World Bank has argued that investments in human capital are too low in low-income and middle-income countries.5 Much of the World Bank's investments focus on physical rather than human capital.5 Only 1·5% of the World Bank International Development Association concessional grants are for health and 1·9% are for education.6 As countries graduate to borrowing from the non-concessional International Bank for Reconstruction and Development framework, the shares for health increase to 4·2% and to 5·2% for education.6 A focus on building physical assets might also be driven by time horizons; such projects can yield returns sooner than investing in children's health and education, and the political process in many nations might reward short-run returns.6
Neil Buhne Updated November 08, 2018
As measured by the Human Development Index, people’s lives have improved in Pakistan, with the HDI increasing from 0.404 in 1990 to 0.562 in 2018. This is a rate higher than average for developing countries.
While Pakistan progressed from a “low human development country” in 1990 to a “medium human development country” today, the rate of progress is slower than in other countries in South Asia, eg Nepal, which has overtaken Pakistan, jumping to 149th place.
The critical dimensions measured in the HDI are health, education and income. Regarding income, Pakistan is ahead of its neighbours: its per capita Gross National Income of $5,311 is among the highest in South Asia. But on measures of education and health, Pakistan is lagging.
For instance, Pakistan’s expected years of schooling of 8.6 years is lower than India’s 12.3 years. Similarly, Pakistan’s average life expectancy at birth is 66.6 years, which is below Bangladesh’s 72.8 years.
There are many reasons for its slow progress in human development.
First, Pakistan doesn’t spend sufficient public resources on education and health. Among regional countries, Nepal has the highest public expenditure on health at 6 per cent of GDP. India’s recent low expenditure on health at 1.4pc is still higher than Pakistan’s 0.9pc.
Similarly, Nepal has on average spent more than 3.5pc of GDP on education. Pakistan’s public expenditure on education stands at 2.2pc — higher than Bangladesh’s but lower than both Nepal’s and India’s.
But it is not just the amount spent that impacts human development, it is also quality. While infrastructure investments are essential to national development, for investments to improve people’s education and health, there must be well-managed schools and hospitals with skilled, motivated staff. This is where Pakistan lags.
Another challenge that stands out is population growth. The 2017 census shows an annual growth of 2.4pc, significantly above the earlier believed rate of 1.9pc. Nepal’s population growth rate is 1.1pc, India’s 1.2pc and Bangladesh’s 1.1pc. This means that for Pakistan to increase its share of people with access to education and health services, it has to move faster than its neighbours. It also means there are unsustainable strains on scarce resources such as water when Pakistan also has to adapt to the rapid effects of climate change.
The importance of educating girls in the Newly Merged Districts (Ex FATA) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the Newly Merged Districts (NMDs) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) formerly known as Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan—are moving toward normalization. The Talibanization period has ended and the Pakistani military has largely cleared violent extremism from this area (see Box 1 for details on the history of the NMDs). At this historic time for this war-torn area, to bring it on par with the rest of the country, it is highly important to focus on the gender aspects of the NMDs’ policies and their implementation. This is especially urgent given that traditionally, this area has operated as a patriarchy. There should be immediate attention to gender equity in two sectors that are fundamental for development and where the NMDs’ reform program will roll out: health and education
The Directorate of Education (DoE), housed in the FATA Secretariat, developed a five-year comprehensive Education Sector Plan (ESP) for the NMDs—a planning document that was based on the 2009 National Education Policy. While developing the ESP, the FATA Secretariat identified barriers to education, taking into account input from teachers, head teachers, and government officials. However, it appears that most of the barriers identified are applicable to both boys and girls, despite the fact that more girls don’t attend school. The few gender-specific barriers mentioned are distance from school and related security concerns, parents’ reluctance to send girls to school, and other cultural issues. However, the ESP lacks specifics about which cultural or environmental aspects and parental perceptions stop families from sending their daughters to school. Furthermore, under the ESP’s section on “Gender Issues,” the only issue identified is the shortage of women staff in the DoE. Without a deeper understanding of the problem, it will be difficult to devise a plan that can address the core reasons for the low participation of girls in education.
Most importantly, the ESP’s macro-level performance indicator list does not include indicators that measure quality of education and gender equity. Without relevant and adequate indicators, it will be hard to measure the progress in achieving gender equity.
Unicef education chief on the International Day of Education
According to government estimates, 40pc of all Pakistani children are out of school, 49pc of all girls and 40pc of boys are currently out of school.
The number of out-of-school children becomes higher at middle and secondary school levels. So very few children in Pakistan have an opportunity to complete matric and FA/F Sc.
However, Pakistan has managed to, on a gradual and continuous basis, reduce the total number of out-of-school children, which is a significant achievement considering the population growth.
This means that primary school education expansion has not only kept up with population growth but has gone beyond it.
For a country such as Pakistan, where population growth rates are high, the challenge is not only bringing existing out-of-school children into the education system, but each year there are greater numbers of children who need to be enrolled into primary school.
In the last three years that I have been in Pakistan, I have observed that there is a lot more attention and discussion on the number of out-of-school children, and education has emerged on top of policy agendas.
Efforts by successive provincial and federal governments, who have prioritised out-of-school children, have resulted in significant achievements.
The new government, in its national education policy framework has similarly identified the provision of equitable access to education as the top priority which is encouraging.
Accelerated learning programmes are also very important in countries such as Pakistan, where a large number of Pakistani children have never attended school, but are beyond the age where they can be enrolled in primary schools.
This is high on the new government’s agenda as well and we are heartened by this. All provinces are working on this model, and there are alternative programmes looking at how technology can support accelerated learning programmes.
In Punjab, there is a specific department to address these programmes. In Balochistan and Sindh, the provincial governments are making greater financial allocations which is very reassuring.
We are working with all governments to make multi-year sector plans because these are budgeted for and Unicef is providing technical support for this.
Quality of education is equally important. Across the world, 617 million children and adolescents who do attend school cannot read or do basic math. This also a serious issue in Pakistan.
The World Bank’s latest research shows that, on average, a Pakistani child will go to school for 8.8 years, but in terms of learning, it only translates to 4.8 years.
This is a significant gap, even in comparison to other countries in South Asia, so a lot needs to be done.
Many countries are struggling to find ways to improve the quality of education in public schools. However, there are some approaches which do work.
For example, in Punjab, there have been some good experiences with the provision of scripted lessons, which support teachers in delivering lessons. This means that rather than reliance on training, scripted lessons followed by monitoring can ensure that the students are really learning.
The PDHS (Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey) 2017-18 documents a decrease in infant and under-five-years-of-age child mortality showing there have been some improvements in the health system.
Infant mortality was recorded at 62 deaths per 1,000 live births, down from 74% in the last survey of 2012-13. The under-five mortality rate was recorded at 74 deaths per 1,000 live births, down from 89 previously.
The neonatal mortality rate has also decreased in the past five years, from 55 to 42 deaths per 1,000 live births.
The survey shows that 69% of children born in the past five years were delivered by skilled care providers. This is up from the 52 per cent recorded in the 2012-13 survey.
It further noted that 66% of all births took place in a health facility, as compared to 48% five years ago.
Urban women were far more likely to benefit from skilled delivery care than rural women with 84% of births to urban mothers assisted by a skilled provider. Moreover, 81% of babies were delivered in a health facility.
This was 63%and 59% respectively for women in rural areas.
Vaccine coverage rates increased over the past five years from 54% to 66% of the country.
Punjab had the highest coverage rate of 80% followed by AJK at 75%, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) at 68%, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) at 57 per cent, K-P at 55 per cent, Sindh at 49%, Balochistan at 29% and the erstwhile FATA at 30%.
Balochistan had a marked improvement over the past five years from only 16 per cent of children receiving all basic vaccinations.
Though considerable improvement was made in the indicator, PIPS Deputy Project Director Dr Aysha Sheraz said that the World Health Organisation demands that all children be vaccinated against diseases.
Contrary to the recommendation that children under the age of six months be exclusively breastfed, only 48% of the infants aged six months and below were exclusively breastfed while seven per cent were not breastfed at all.
This, however, was an improvement over the past five years when 38% of children under six months of age were exclusively breastfed while 45% of children were taking breast milk plus supplementary liquids and complementary foods.
Stunted and Wasted
The survey indicated that the nutritional status of children in Pakistan has improved over the last five years.
The percentage of stunted children declined from 45 per cent in 2012-13 to 38% in the 2017-18 survey.
A similar downward trend, from 30% to 23%, was observed for underweight children over the same period.
Children who are wasted also declined from 11% to seven%. Children who are obese remained at three% over this period.
If fertility were to remain constant at current levels, a woman from Pakistan would bear an average of 3.6 children in her lifetime.
The report noted that fertility was higher amongst rural women than among urban women with rural women giving birth to about one more child on average during their reproductive years than urban women.
Malnutrition major cause of fatalities among children
However, the report noted that there has been a steady decline in fertility rates over time. From 5.4 births per woman as reported in the 1990-91 PDHS to 3.6 births per woman in the 2017-18 PDHS — a drop of about two births per woman in almost three decades. However, the decline is minimal in the recent period with 3.8 births per woman recorded in the 2012-13 survey.
Punjab has the lowest fertility rate of 3.4%, Sindh is 3.6, K-P and Balochistan are at four each, ICT at three, formerly Fata areas at 4.8, AJK at 3.7, and at G-B 4.8.
Use of contraceptives has remained stagnant over the past 5 years (34% in the 2017-18 PDHS and 35% in the 2012-13 PDHS). Seventeen per cent of currently married women has an unmet need for family planning services. Moreover, 34%of married women are currently using a contraceptive method.
#Pakistan's rank falls from 151 to 152 among 189 nations on human development index. #UNDP gave Pakistan a score of 0.560 that ranks Pakistan as the 2nd last country among Medium Human development countries. #HDI https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/581472-pakistan
Pakistan continues to remain among the medium human development countries with its position falling from 151 to 152, according to the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The UNDP’s Human Development Report (HDR) “Beyond Income, Beyond Averages, Beyond Today: Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century” which was launched on Monday in Colombia, gave Pakistan a score of 0.560.
The score puts Pakistan as the second last country among the Medium Human development countries. Solomon Islands is the only country behind Pakistan in the category.
The HDI classifications are based on HDI fixed cutoff points. Countries falling under the cutoff points of less than 0.550 are categorised as low human development, while medium human development are categorised within the range of 0.550–0.699. Scores of 0.700–0.799 is for high human development and 0.800 or greater for very high human development.
According to the data, Pakistan’s life expectancy stands at 67; while the expected years of schooling was at 8.5 years, with the mean years of schooling standing at 5.2. The country’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita was $5,190, the data showed.
However, the trend from 1990 till 2018 showed that Pakistan had steadily improved from being a low human development country to a medium development country.
When the report was first published in 1990, Pakistan scored 0.404. The latest report gave the country a score of 0.560, an overall increase in the score by 1.17 per cent.
The human development approach was developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub Ul Haq and was further improved by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s work on human capabilities. The HDI was created to emphasise that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone.
According to a press release issued by UNDP Pakistan, the report talks about the importance of addressing the different kinds of inequalities in the world today. The report measures the countries’ progress beyond just economic growth, with the ultimate aim of unlocking people’s full potential.
The report analyzes inequality in three steps: beyond income, beyond averages, and beyond today.
“Inequalities exist at all levels of society, starting from the level of the household. As an example, over 22 per cent of under-five children in South Asia experience nutritional inequality at home – where one child in the household is malnourished while a sibling is not,” the statement said.
The report has highlighted that over a third of Pakistani children under the age of five experience such “intra-household inequality”.
Speaking on the release of the report, Resident Representative of UNDP Pakistan Ignacio Artaza stated, “The HDR shows us that inequality is not ‘natural’ or inevitable. However, governments, civil societies, and ordinary citizens need to work together and translate words into concrete actions to ensure that people all over the world can live their lives to their fullest potential”.
Human Development Report 2019
Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century
Briefing note for countries on the 2019 Human Development Report
Pakistan’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.560 (India 0.647)— which put the country in the medium human development
category—positioning it at 152 (India 129) out of 189 countries and territories.
The GDI is calculated for 166 countries. The 2018 female HDI value for Pakistan is 0.464 (India 0.574) in contrast with
0.622 (India 0.692) for males, resulting in a GDI value of 0.747, placing it into Group 5. In comparison, GDI values for
Bangladesh and India are 0.895 and 0.829 respectively (see Table D).
Between 1990 and 2018, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.404 to 0.560, an increase of 38.6 percent.
Table A reviews Pakistan’s progress in each of the HDI indicators. Between 1990 and 2018, Pakistan’s life
expectancy at birth increased by 7.0 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.9 years and expected
years of schooling increased by 3.8 years. Pakistan’s GNI per capita increased by about 62.4 percent
between 1990 and 2018.
Pakistan’s HDI for 2018 is 0.560. However, when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to
0.386, a loss of 31.1 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices. Bangladesh
and India show losses due to inequality of 24.3 percent and 26.3 percent respectively. The average loss due
to inequality for medium HDI countries is 25.9 percent and for South Asia it is 25.9 percent. The Human
inequality coefficient for Pakistan is equal to 30.2 percent (see Table C).
The most recent survey data that were publicly available for Pakistan’s MPI estimation refer to 2017/2018.
In Pakistan, 38.3 percent (India 27.9 percent) of the population (75,520 thousand people) are multidimensionally poor while an
additional 12.9 percent (India 19.37 percent) are classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty (25,454 thousand people).
The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in Pakistan, which is the average deprivation score experienced by
people in multidimensional poverty, is 51.7 percent. The MPI, which is the share of the population that is
multidimensionally poor, adjusted by the intensity of the deprivations, is 0.198. Bangladesh and India have
MPIs of 0.198 and 0.123 respectively.
India’s HDI value and rank
India’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.647— which put the country in the medium human development category—
positioning it at 129 out of 189 countries and territories.
Between 1990 and 2018, India’s HDI value increased from 0.431 to 0.647, an increase of 50.0 percent. Table
A reviews India’s progress in each of the HDI indicators. Between 1990 and 2018, India’s life expectancy
at birth increased by 11.6 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.5 years and expected years of
schooling increased by 4.7 years. India’s GNI per capita increased by about 262.9 percent between 1990
The GDI is calculated for 166 countries. The 2018 female HDI value for India is 0.574 in contrast with 0.692
for males, resulting in a GDI value of 0.829, placing it into Group 5. In comparison, GDI values for
Bangladesh and Pakistan are 0.895 and 0.747 respectively (see Table D).
The most recent survey data that were publicly available for India’s MPI estimation refer to 2015/2016. In
India, 27.9 percent of the population (373,735 thousand people) are multidimensionally poor while an
additional 19.3 percent are classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty (258,002 thousand people).
The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in India, which is the average deprivation score experienced by people
in multidimensional poverty, is 43.9 percent. The MPI, which is the share of the population that is
multidimensionally poor, adjusted by the intensity of the deprivations, is 0.123. Bangladesh and Pakistan
have MPIs of 0.198 and 0.198 respectively.
Human Development Report 2020
The Next Frontier:
Human Development and the Anthropocene
Briefing note for countries on the 2020 Human Development Report
My reading: Deep in the report in table F they show the extreme income poverty of 3.9% in Pakistan, the lowest in South Asia region. Income poverty in India is 21.2% and Bangladesh 14.8%. The average for South Asia is 18.2%.
Pakistan’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.557— which put the country in the medium human development
category—positioning it at 154 out of 189 countries and territories.
Between 1990 and 2019, Pakistan’s HDI value increased from 0.402 to 0.557, an increase of 38.6 percent.
Table A reviews Pakistan’s progress in each of the HDI indicators. Between 1990 and 2019, Pakistan’s
life expectancy at birth increased by 7.2 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.9 years and
expected years of schooling increased by 3.7 years. Pakistan’s GNI per capita increased by about 64.1
percent between 1990 and 2019.
The 2010 Human Development Report introduced the MPI, which identifies multiple overlapping
deprivations suffered by individuals in 3 dimensions: health, education and standard of living. The health
and education dimensions are based on two indicators each, while standard of living is based on six
indicators. All the indicators needed to construct the MPI for a country are taken from the same
household survey. The indicators are weighted to create a deprivation score, and the deprivation scores
are computed for each individual in the survey. A deprivation score of 33.3 percent (one-third of the
weighted indicators) is used to distinguish between the poor and nonpoor. If the deprivation score is
33.3 percent or greater, the household (and everyone in it) is classified as multidimensionally poor.
Individuals with a deprivation score greater than or equal to 20 percent but less than 33.3 percent are
classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty. Finally, individuals with a deprivation score greater
than or equal to 50 percent live in severe multidimensional poverty.
Since 2018, HDRO and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative jointly produce and
publish the MPI estimates. The latest release from July 2020 covers 107 developing countries (countries
that lack survey data that allow for the calculation of the MPI are not included): ‘Charting pathways out
of multidimensional poverty: Achieving the SDGs’ (also available in French and Spanish). Definitions of
deprivations in each indicator, as well as methodology of the MPI are given in Technical note 5.
Continuing with the practice from the previous years, HDRO is making public the statistical programs
used in the calculation of the 2020 MPI for a large selection of countries (see
The most recent survey data that were publicly available for Pakistan’s MPI estimation refer to
2017/2018. In Pakistan, 38.3 percent of the population (81,352 thousand people) are multidimensionally
poor while an additional 12.9 percent are classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty (27,419
thousand people). The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in Pakistan, which is the average deprivation
score experienced by people in multidimensional poverty, is 51.7 percent. The MPI, which is the share
of the population that is multidimensionally poor, adjusted by the intensity of the deprivations, is 0.198.
Bangladesh and India have MPIs of 0.104 and 0.123, respectively.
World set back by 5 years on development indices
India falls from 131 to 132 mainly on back of 2.5 years reduction in life expectancy
BD forges ahead from 140 to 129
Pakistan falls from 154 to 161- in low HDI category now
The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. Pakistan's HDI value for 2021 is 0.544— which put the country in the Low human development category—positioning it at 161 out of 191 countries and territories.
Between 1990 and 2021, Pakistan's HDI value changed from 0.400 to 0.544, an change of 36.0 percent.
Between 1990 and 2021, Pakistan's life expectancy at birth changed by 6.0 years, mean years of schooling changed by 2.2 years and expected years of schooling changed by 4.0 years. Pakistan's GNI per capita changed by about 62.7 percent between 1990 and 2021.
Pakistan has dropped seven places in the Human Development Index, ranking 161 out of 192 countries in the 2021-2022 HDI, according to the UNDP report released on Thursday.
In the previous year, Pakistan had stood at 154 out of 189 countries.
As per the report, Pakistan’s life expectancy at birth is 66.1 years and expected years of schooling are 8. The country’s gross per capita national income is $4,624. The report has identified that different climate shocks are affecting world order, pushing back the growth that was achieved in the past few years. While doing so, it has categorised the floods in Pakistan as “an example of the climate shocks seen around the world.”
Switzerland leads the way on the latest HDI while Norway and Iceland enjoy second and third positions. Among the nine South Asian countries -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka -- only Pakistan and Afghanistan (180th position) are in the low human development category.
Bhutan (127), Bangladesh (129), India (132) and Nepal (143) are in the medium human development category. And crisis-riddled Sri Lanka has managed to improve its position by 9 points, reaching the 73rd position on the index, finding itself in the high human development category. Iran is three positions behind at 76; the next is Maldives at the 90th position.
The report, titled ‘Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World’ has found out that around 90 per cent of countries have seen “reversals in human development” in the year of the survey, pointing to a world stuck in a never-ending cycle of crisis after crisis, causing global disruptions. Per the report, the two major factors responsible for these disruptions were the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
The Human Development Index is a measure of countries’ standard of living, health and education. This is the first time in the last 30 years that human development in a majority of countries has gone in reverse for two consecutive years.
This has pushed human development to its 2016 levels, a huge blow to the progress made on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were meant to be completed by 2030. For the year 2021, the UN had projected an HDI value of 0.75 -- the actual value has come out to be 0.732.
The report adds that the world is in a “new uncertainty complex”. Such uncertainty is created by the two years of Covid-19 which saw a series of the lethal waves of the virus.
Even though the world took quick steps to defeat the virus, the report notes, and developed vaccines to counter the threats, unequal distribution of the vaccines has created more problems in a number of low-income countries.
The pandemic-induced lockdowns and school closures also took a toll on people’s mental wellbeing across the world. The report has found out that mental distress among male minority groups in the UK saw the largest increase, and men from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan were the most affected by the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
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