Human Development in India: Analysis to Action

31 Oct 2010


The document illustrates the impact of UNDP-Planning Commission partnership in mainstreaming human development in government policies and planning. It also highlights successful strategies and constraints reported by the states in achieving sustainable human development.

The human development (HD) story of India is unique in its kind. Through the preparati on of not only nati onal, but also sub-nati onal Human Development Reports (HDR), India has decentralised and integrated the human development concept into its development agenda at nati onal, State, as well as district and municipality level. More sub-nati onal HDRs have been produced in India than in any other country. More HDRs have been produced in India than the total number of Global HDRs. A disti ncti ve feature of the HDR preparati on process is the fi rm State ownership, and multi -stakeholder partnerships. This has enabled policy dialogue on crucial HD issues.

This document describes the human development story of India, and aims at illustrati ng the policy impact of preparing Human Development Reports, and how central HD concepts can go beyond the reports through various HD acti viti es and contribute to sustainable policy impact in a country from a human development perspective.

The document begins with a general introducti on to the human development approach and HDRs, followed by a presentati on of how the HD concept and HDRs have been translated and evolved in the Indian context. The second secti on presents the Planning Commission – United Nati ons Development Programme (UNDP) partnership on promoti ng human development at the State and district level through the preparati on of State Human Development Reports (SHDR) and its follow-up for strengthening State planning processes including preparati on of District Human Development Reports (DHDR)1. In the third secti on, the policy impact of HDRs are traced from the acti viti es carried out under the projects, with parti cular emphasis on the Strengthening State Plans for Human Development (SSPHD) project.2 The fourth and concluding secti on summarises the policy impact of HDRs in India, highlighti ng successful strategies for achieving sustainable HD and policy impact as well as constraints reported by States. The document ends with suggesti ons for taking the GOIUNDP cooperati on forward to the next level for deepening and further integrati ng human development and enhancing HD policy impact in India.