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A Review of Conceptual and Measurement Innovations in National and Regional Human Development Reports, 1998-2009


  • Amie Gaye

    () (Human Development Report Office. United Nations Development Programme)

  • Shreyasi Jha

    () (Human Development Report Office. United Nations Development Programme)


This paper presents the results from an analysis of sub-national, national and regional human development reports nominated for the Human Development Awards between 1998 and 2009 to highlight conceptual and measurement innovations in human development. Through a careful selection process, nearly 70 reports were identified for this study of which this paper describes innovations in 38 reports along five categories: (a) creating a new measure of human development; (b) using new data source; (c) creating a disaggregated measure of human development; (d) using a new methodology; and (e) adapting the existing measure of human development by adding/modifying an existing dimension. The objective of this paper is to analyze the innovations in the national and regional reports from the perspective of their statistical soundness as well as feasibility of their application at the global level in preparation for the twentieth anniversary issue of the Global HDR in 2010. The study concludes that a majority of the conceptual and measurement innovations in the national and regional reports are highly context driven and therefore, may not be feasible at the global level. Data requirements also limit feasibility of conceptual innovations at the global level. However, there are several interesting and novel ideas that can potentially be replicated at the global level with slight modifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Amie Gaye & Shreyasi Jha, 2010. "A Review of Conceptual and Measurement Innovations in National and Regional Human Development Reports, 1998-2009," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-21, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2010-21

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    Cited by:

    1. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2013. "A Cross-country Causal Panorama of Human Development and Sustainability," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 235-251, May.
    2. Rita Silva & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes, 2014. "A Regional Development Index for Portugal," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 1055-1085, September.

    More about this item


    Human development; innovations; measurement; disaggregation;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines

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