Human Development

The human development paradigm introduced in the early 1990s sought to shift focus from national income as the only indicator of development to expanding the choices people have. The concept of human development was introduced by the United Nations Development Programme in 1990 in the first global Human Development Report. In India, this coincided with a period of rapid growth and rising inequalities, where a need was felt to reinforce the idea that people matter, and India welcomed the concept of human development. Today, India has produced the highest number of HDRs in the world. Twenty-one Indian states have released HDRs and 80 districts are preparing district-level HDRs.

Our Goals

Since 1999, in partnership with the Planning Commission and a range of other stakehoders, both nationally and at state level, UNDP has supported efforts to integrate human development into planning and action. The partnership began with an initiative to develop the capacity of state planning bodies to prepare state HDRs.more


Photo: Grassroots Consultant/UNDP India

Stories of Change

  • Gender - specific commitments need to be integrated into every budget

    Institutionalizing Human Development
    Institutionalizing Human Development

    The paradigm shift from measuring national incomes as 'development' to improving people’s lives and choices as 'human development' occurred in the 1990s. Creating an enabling environmentmore