SA yet to adopt appropriate human development policies: UN
KATHMANDU, Oct 10: Though South Asian countries have performed satisfactorily on key human development indicators, they still continue to suffer from concept-policy gap, something which has prevented them from bringing about real impacts on lives of their peoples, said Khalid Malik, Chief of the Human Development Report (HDR) Office, UNDP, on Wednesday.
“The gap is huge as countries in the region have not yet adopted policies that address deficits seen in institutional, knowledge and gender equality fronts,” said Malik, director of the HDR Office that publishes HDR, the flagship publication of the UNDP, every year.
He stressed on the need to break those gaps and urged the leaders, policymakers and civil society players to put in more concerted efforts in adopting right policies to better serve their people.
Khalid was speaking at a two-day regional consultation on Human Development in South Asia, which kicked off in the Capital on Wednesday. Government and civil society representatives from six South Asian countries - Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives, are participating in the meeting.
Madhu Raman Acharya, executive director of South Asia Center for Economic Policy Studies (SACEPS) admitted that the governments in the region have grossly failed to capture the spirit of human development in policies, which aims at broadening choices, opportunities and freedom of the people by placing them at the center of development.
He, however, was critical of the HDR Office as well. “The HDRs have rightly identified and diagnosed the problems of human development in the region, but its recommendations have not been foolproof. Numbers of indicators are crowded in a basket, and understanding what actually propels the human development is difficult,” said Acharya.
He stressed on the need to make changes in the report itself.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha also agreed that South Asia as a bloc must put in more serious human development efforts as it suffers from numerous challenges like inequality, exclusion, vulnerability to climate change, global slowdown and energy crisis.
He reiterated Nepal government´s commitment to foster skills, education and capacity among youth so they could be mobilized for the growth and advancement of the country.
“However, prolonged political transition has hit human development in Nepal. We hope to end the transition soon,” said Shrestha.