Innovation in the Assessment of Human Development Process

Zorro-Sanchez, Carlos (2011). "Innovation in the Assessment of Human Development Process" Paper presented at the 8th annual conference of the HDCA, 6-8 September 2011, the Hague, the Netherlands.

Measuring a complex phenomenon as human development is not an easy task. UNDP working teams and advisors have overcome many of the conceptual barriers inherent to the consideration of per capita national income as the main reference for understanding countries? development levels, as well as many of the technical and statistical barriers for analyzing development from an interdimensional point of view. These efforts have culminated with the construction of a complex family of indexes, including the Human Development Index (HDI) and the recently adopted Multidimensional Poverty Index, (MPI). These contributions have meant a substantial advance not only in the review of the different countries? situation in terms of human development, but in the comprehension of this concept and in the proposal of indicators being able to capture its nature and its expressions in real life. Nevertheless, these indexes do not search for understanding the development process but for describing the situation of relevant variables for human development. Consequently, they have to be complemented by some instruments capable to register processes leading to local and national development in the context of contemporary globalization. From this point of view, networks analysis and game theory that have already been studying different human individual and social processes, and that have proved being able to approach them from a flexible interdimensional perspective, must be considered among the most adequate instruments to capture the main features of the development process and to design politics capable to direct it through its goals. This paper explores some relevant aspects to introduce network analysis in a more systematic way, in order to improve the comprehension, the assessment and the policy concerning human development process.
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