Wednesday, May 25, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Fwd: Query: HDR2011: sustaining equitable progress through inclusive green growth and development


--- On Fri, 28/1/11, Multiple Contributors <> wrote:

From: Multiple Contributors <>
Subject: RE:[ap-hdnet] Query: HDR2011: sustaining equitable progress through inclusive green growth and development
To: "Asia Pacific Regional Human Development Network" <>
Date: Friday, 28 January, 2011, 11:08 PM

Visit the Human Development Report Website

[Facilitator's Note: Please find below two responses from Ranjani K. Murthy, India and Suliana Siwatibau, Fiji. This query is being cross-posted on HDR-net, EE-net, DGP-Net, PR-net, Capacity-net, and the Asia-PacificHD-net. Send your contributions no later than 25 February in English, French or Spanish. To see the original message of this query follow the link. Teamworks users can also follow the discussion in the Human Development Space]


Ranjani K. Murthy, Researcher and Activist, India


Dear Jeni Klugman

Rise in inequalities with human development is a reality globally. Strategies adopted by communities and households for dealing with inequalities vary from rise in drug trafficking in Central America, spread of dowry to communities where it did not exist (e.g. dalits and fisherfolks in India) and spread of Maoists attacks in India and rise in crimes in South Africa. Farmers' suicides and suicides due to profit making Micro Finance Institutions in India (some of which have lent without expanding the productive base of the poorest) call urgent attention to the fact that development agencies should not travel a path were we reduce poverty by eliminating the poorest. Thankfully the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India has already begun address this issue[i], and hopefully there will be national strategies.

Climate change and environment degradation is also a reality. The burdens of both inequalities and climate change/environment degradation are disproportionately borne by those who are already marginalised like dalits, adivasis, blacks, landless households, migrants, marginal and small farmers, slum dwellers and women and girls amongst them.  

It is in this context that the Human Development Index needs to be revisited to include indicators of not just income, health and education of average population but also equities in these for the existing generation across income decile groups, sex, race/caste, location etc. and estimates of the same for future generation. The new index could be called human development and justice index, rather than just human development index.

While many of the ideas thrown by Anand and Sen, 1994 continue to be relevant, we need to revisit some ideas in the context of present day realities and to make progress in human development and justice for present and future generations.


i.      Combine the framework of individual human rights with collective rights and well being: Individual human rights cannot be violated in the name of culture (e.g. honor killing of those who marry outside their religion) or curtailment of freedom of speech in the name of national interests. At the same time, individuals, households, state, markets and supra state organisations cannot be given the right to violate collective well being of marginalized groups of present generation or the next generation. A case in point is unfettered purchase/sale of agriculture land for commercial purposes to the point that it affects food security, which in turn affects marginalized groups more than others and women/girls more than men/boys in countries where there is gender discrimination. Another case is conversion of ocean shores into tourist spots.


ii.     Reproductive freedom/rights to reproductive[ii]/sexual justice: Reproductive and sexual freedom and rights is a must. Women/men and girls/boys should have a right to decide whether and with whom to have a relationship (including sex/gender of the person), when, whether to get married, whether to have children, how many children to have, whether and what contraception to use etc. However, such freedoms cannot be extended to right to sex selection of males and sex selective abortion of females (as is being indirectly debated)[iii]. The collective well being of women/girls of present and future generation is/will get affected. Market is not a neutral institution where son preference would go away. The same applies to legalizing sex work in a country where there are inequalities. As pointed out by poor women from rural and urban areas in focus group discussions in Tamil Nadu, decriminalizing is all right, but if legalized trafficking of marginalized women/girls is bound to increase as they have to go to work and leave their daughters behind[iv].  Adopting Paulo Friere's Pedagogy of the oppressed[v], we need to stand for the voices of oppressed (after a process of conscientization), and not impose 'global prescriptions' on poor women and girls. One could always say as per one world view, sex work is work, but as outsiders we do not have a right to say 'adopt this world view'.


iii.    Beyond capitalism and communism; beyond public and private-curtail choice in health and education: Why is there growth with inequality in water, sanitation, health and education in India, Brazil, China etc? There is eviction of slum dwellers by the state on the name of beautification projects, there is segregation of colonies by the community on the grounds of race, caste, religion etc and there is segregation of women and girls within the household. There is, to use the phrase of Mandela, a subtle apartheid-state, community and male led, which has to be eliminated. There is a strong argument for putting back slum dwellers into main towns and dalit/black/Muslim hamlets into main villages and allocating the same water, health and education facility for all-publicly financed and publicly or privately provided (accredited institution). Insurance for critical illness does not work when social determinants have not been addressed. Reservations for dalits at tertiary stage do not make sense when half of them drop out before that. When there is equality on the basis of class, race, caste etc, equality on the basis of gender can be better addresses not otherwise. There is also a need to weave in issues of inter-generation sustainability into public administration, health and education curriculum.


iv.    From sectoral projects to changing rules and structures of existing institutions: As of now donors and government focus on sectoral projects when the need of the hour as pointed out by Anand and Sen, 1994 is changing social institutions to be accountable to needs of marginalized of present generation and future ones. These institutions include household, market, community and state[vi]  and also supra or inter-state institutions (World Bank, IMF, WTO etc)[vii]. There would then, for example, be government programs to work with men and boys on their attitudes towards gender equity, with traditional community leaders on caste, religion and gender norms, with collectives of marginalized so that they could reap benefits of economic growth in services and industries, with state on the concept of Dominion (as observed by Ambedkar in 1945[viii] in a Dominion the government cannot step in when constitutional government has failed to maintain law and order), with World Bank, IMF and WTO so that it is not money power that determines decisions but voices of low income and low middle income countries. The state in India has hardly emphasized on agriculture and labour intensive growth as a result of which Bangladesh performs better on many social indicators than India, though its per capita GNP is lower[ix].


v.     Human rights framework needs to be combined with frameworks to make multinational corporations, global public-private partnerships and supra state organizations accountable. As of now it is difficult to hold multinational corporations, global public private partnerships and financial/trade organizations to account. They either need to be brought under the human rights framework – that is they have to sign each and every one of the human rights instrument or mechanisms have to be created to press for their accountability[x]. There are few cases of Special Rapporteurs holding them to account.


vi.    Going back to the concept of separate electorate of Ambedkar and non-violence and Trusteeship of Gandhi in national and supra state organizations: Ambedkar in 1945 referred to the concept of separate electorate for marginalized or a system wherein the different marginalized groups could constitute a majority of the Parliament[xi]. This was vetoed by the Congress at the time of Indian independence (including by Gandhi). This concept is relevant at national level (if majorities in Parliament can be elected by marginalized groups) as well as internationally. If United Nations, World Bank, IMF and WTO were governed by this principle of separate electorate (with low income and lower middle income countries having a greater voice) the world may be a more equitable place today and in the coming generations. At the same time, Gandhi's concept of non violence and trusteeship[xii] are relevant. The concept of trusteeship entails viewing ones assets, finance and knowledge not as one's own but acting as a trustee of it for meeting one's essential needs and the rest giving it back to society. The concept of trusteeship is lacking in present society, leading to unfettered consumption and greed, and is negated by the concept of intellectual property rights. Not only the marginalized but the rich and elite are alienated from self respect[xiii], humanism and products of their labor as pointed out by Periyar from India, Paulo Friere[xiv], Brazil and Marx[xv] from Germany respectively.


If human development and justice (present generation and future ones) are to become a reality we need to revisit development paradigms urgently, and revisit measures to capture these. Social institutions have to change from a class, race, caste, gender, and other diversity lens otherwise there is a danger that there will be no justice or human development today as well as inter-generational sustainability.[xvi]  




Researcher (26 years) and Activist (7 months)


[i] Government of Andhra Pradesh, 2010, Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (regulation of money lending) Ordinance, 2010, Last accessed 25th January, 2011


[ii] Mendez, 2006, Reproductive Justice is Every Woman's Right, Last accessed January, 25th, 2007


[iii] See


[iv] Personal interviews by the author in October, November and December 2010.


[v] Paulo Freire, a.n.d. Pedagogy of the Oppressed Last accessed 25th January, 2011


[vi] Kabeer, 1995, Reversed Realities—Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1995.


[vii] Murthy and Rao, 1997, Addressing poverty: Indian NGOs and their capacity enhancement in the 1990s, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, New Delhi.


[viii] Ambedkar, 1945, The Communal Question and the Framing of the Indian Constitution, Excerpts from the Address Delivered at the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, in Penguin, 2010, Words of Freedom: ideas of a Nation B.R Ambedkar, Penguin, New Delhi.


[ix] India falls behind neighbours in health, social indicators: UN. Last accessed January 25t, 2011.


[x] Murthy, R.K, 2010, Accountability to Citizens on Gender and Health in Gender Equity in Health: The Shifting Frontiers of Evidence and Action, edited by Sen, Gita and Ostlin, P, 2010, New York/London, Routledge


[xi] Ambedkar, 1945, The Communal Question and the Framing of the Indian Constitution, Excerpts from the Address Delivered at the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, in Penguin, 2010, Words of Freedom: ideas of a Nation B.R Ambedkar, Penguin, New Delhi.


[xii] See Bakshi, Rajni, Trusteeship and how it can spawn development, March 02, 2010 Last accessed 25th January, 2011


[xiii] Self respect is dedicated to the goal of giving untouchables a sense of self worth and self respect. It taught annihilation of caste system, equality between men and women, marriage by choice and love, as well as socialist economics (Words of Freedom: Ideas of a Nation, Periyar E.V Ramasami, Penguin, 2010)


[xiv] Paulo Freire, a.n.d. Pedagogy of the Oppressed Last accessed 25th January, 2011


[xv] Shipside, S, 2010, Karl Marx's Das Capital: A modern day interpretation of an economic classic, Research press, India


[xvi] Half of the 25 women in urban slums in Chennai covered in a study by the author, allocated housing on their names by the government, had either sold them or wanted to pass their house to sons!



Suliana Siwatibau, Pacific Centre for Public Integrity, Fiji


Dear Jeni Klugman,


Thank you for the note on the Human Development Report and the comment on the increase in HDI with increase in inequality, environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and climate change. It makes me wonder if we should be promoting human development at all. What so many reports and comments on the issue seem to suggest is that we need to look at wealth/well being redistribution to promote equity rather than wealth accumulation in skewed development favouring the more powerful of society. We may need to focus more on measures of distribution rather than measures of accumulation. The flatter the structure of a society and its relationship with its natural environment the better its index should be.   


We need to look at wealth as being not only material but also spiritual and mental including consideration for happiness and peaceful co-existence with humans and with nature.


We need to envisage wealth as circulating  within a society in a way that promotes fair distribution and just rewards for effort. These have to be based on the existence of participatory governance at al levels. It may aid sustainability better if we were to look at progress in wealth redistribution  rather that progress in human development. The latter focuses on achievement of the individual and the group of individuals, while the former focuses on process to which members of a society contribute actively.


I hope that I do not offend you but only wish to raise a point of discussion in response to your kind invitation.







Original Message: Query: HDR2011: sustaining equitable progress through inclusive green growth and development


Version française | Versión en español


Dear network members


The 2010 Human Development Report recorded significant progress in the Human Development Index (HDI) during the past 40 years. If average past rates of progress continued for the next four decades, 3 out of 4 persons could live in countries with very high HDI values by 2050. However the report cautioned that we cannot assume that past rates of progress will be sustained – given evidence of worsening inequality and extensive environmental degradation and climate change, loss of biodiversity and natural resources. Current patterns of production and consumption, particularly in developed countries, pose major threats to sustainability. The 2010 report called for the articulation of a new human development economics to meet these challenges.


The 2011 report is about addressing these challenges. The Human Development Report Office is presently examining how a human development lens, which jointly considers sustainability and equity, can help to better understand the nature of the challenges, and possible solutions. We would welcome your reflections around these issues, in particular:


·         desirable features of a conceptual framework which can explore synergies between equity and sustainability both at national and global levels and across generations;

·         country-level and comparative research and policy analysis in areas of equitable/inclusive green growth , including examples and analyses of national or community-based initiatives to productively managing and using natural resources in a sustainable manner, or adapting 'green' technologies.

·         options to improve our basic dashboard of indicators relevant to sustainable Human Development

We propose to build on the insights of Anand and Sen (1994) and related literature – including relevant global, regional and national HDRs, that development is sustainable if it does not adversely affect the prospect of maintaining and improving future capabilities. The emphasis is on the need to sustain and expand capabilities, especially of those who are disadvantaged, to reduce risk of seriously adverse outcomes and to recognize that future generations should have access to choices that are qualitatively comparable to those available to current generations, but not necessarily identical.


This report will seek to add value to current debates around sustainability by adopting this human development lens, and to thereby help to inform discussions in the lead-up to Rio+20.


We anticipate coming back to the network with a related query and an outline of the report at a later stage.


We would appreciate receiving any inputs to the current query no later than 25 February.


All the best


Jeni Klugman



Human Development Report Office



Demande d'informations : RDH2011 : soutenir des progrès équitables moyennant une croissance et un développement écologistes qui soient intégrateurs


Chers membres du réseau,


Le Rapport sur le Développement Humain 2010 a constaté des progrès significatifs dans l'Indice de Développement Humain (IDH) au cours des 40 dernières années. Si le rythme moyen des progrès réalisés par le passé se maintenait pendant les quatre prochaines décennies, d'ici 2050 3 personnes sur 4 pourraient être des habitants de pays ayant des valeurs d'IDH très élevées. Le rapport a néanmoins averti que le maintien du rythme des progrès du passé n'est nullement garanti, étant donné les indications de disparités croissantes, de dégradation généralisée de l'environnement, de changement climatique, de perte de biodiversité et de ressources naturelles. Les schémas actuels de production et de consommation, surtout dans les pays développés, constituent des menaces majeures à la durabilité. Le rapport de 2010 prônait l'articulation d'une nouvelle économie du développement humain afin de faire face à ces défis.


Le rapport de 2011 porte surtout sur la façon d'aborder ces défis. Le Bureau du Rapport sur le Développement Humain est en train d'étudier comment une perspective de développement humain, tenant compte à la fois du développement et de l'équité, peut aider à mieux comprendre la nature des défis, et peut-être à trouver des solutions. Vos réflexions autour de ces problèmes seraient les bienvenues, particulièrement en ce qui concerne:


·         Les composantes souhaitables d'un cadre conceptuel apte à discerner des synergies entre équité et durabilité tant au niveau national qu'au niveau mondial, et à travers les générations ;


·         Une recherche, à la fois au niveau des pays et comparée, et une analyse des politiques dans des domaines de croissance écologiste équitable et durable, y compris des exemples et des analyses d'initiatives nationales ou communautaires visant à gérer et à utiliser de manière productive les ressources naturelles d'une façon durable, ou à adapter des technologies écologiquement saines ;


·         Des  options pour améliorer notre tableau de bord initial des indicateurs pertinents pour le développement humain durable.


Nous proposons de bâtir sur les perspectives d'Anand et Sen (1994) et sur la littérature connexe – y compris les RDH mondiaux, régionaux et nationaux – selon lesquels le développement serait durable pourvu qu'il n'ait pas d'incidence négative sur la possibilité de maintenir et d'améliorer les capacités futures. L'accent est mis sur la nécessité de préserver et d'élargir les capacités, surtout celles des plus démunis, pour réduire le risque de conséquences néfastes et pour reconnaître le droit des générations futures d'avoir accès à des choix qualitativement comparables, mais pas nécessairement identiques, à ceux dont jouissent les générations présentes.


Ce rapport cherchera à ajouter de la valeur aux débats actuels autour de la durabilité en adoptant cette perspective de développement humain, et à aider ainsi à nourrir les discussions préparatoires de Rio+20.


Nous espérons, dans une prochaine étape, nous adresser à nouveau au réseau avec une demande d'informations connexe et une ébauche du rapport.


Nous vous serions reconnaissants de nous envoyer d'éventuelles contributions portant sur la présente demande d'informations au plus tard le 25 février.


Meilleurs vœux


Jeni Klugman



Bureau du Rapport sur le Développement Humain



Solicitud de información: HDR2011: mantener un progreso justo mediante un desarrollo y un crecimiento sostenible


Estimados miembros de la red


El Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano 2010 muestra una significativa mejoría en el Índice de Desarrollo Humano (HDI) durante los últimos 40 años. Si los avances se mantuvieran al mismo ritmo en las siguientes cuatro décadas, 3 de 4 personas podrían vivir en países con valores HDI muy altos en 2050. No obstante, el informe también advierte de que no podemos asumir que se vaya a mantener el ritmo de crecimiento del pasado, debido principalmente a las evidencias sobre un empeoramiento en la desigualdad y a la extendida degradación medioambiental, al cambio climático, y a la pérdida de biodiversidad y de recursos naturales. Los patrones de producción y consumo actuales, especialmente en los países desarrollados, plantean una enorme amenaza para la sostenibilidad. Para hacer frente a estos desafíos, el Informe de 2010 ha hecho un llamamiento para que se articule una nueva economía basada en el desarrollo humano.


El informe 2011 va a profundizar en estos retos. La Oficina del informe sobre Desarrollo Humano está estudiando cómo puede ayudar el enfoque de desarrollo humano, que forman conjuntamente la sostenibilidad y la igualdad, a entender mejor la naturaleza de estos desafíos, así como a encontrar las posibles soluciones. Agradeceríamos que nos remitieran sus ideas sobre estas cuestiones, especialmente:


·         Características deseables en un marco conceptual que pueda explorar las sinergias entre la igualdad y la sostenibilidad, tanto a nivel nacional y global como inter-generacional;

·         Estudios comparativos y nacionales, y análisis de políticas en áreas como el crecimiento sostenible justo e inclusivo, con ejemplos y análisis de iniciativas comunitarias o nacionales dirigidas a gestionar productivamente y utilizar los recursos naturales de forma sostenible, o adaptación de tecnologías "verdes".

·         Opciones para mejorar nuestro panel básico de indicadores relativos al Desarrollo Humano sostenible.

Proponemos que, como punto de partida, se utilicen los planteamientos de Anand y Sen (1994) y la literatura relacionada, incluyendo IDH globales, regionales y nacionales relevantes, en los que se afirma que el desarrollo es sostenible sólo si no afecta negativamente a las perspectivas de mantener y mejorar las capacidades de las generaciones futuras. Se hace énfasis en la necesidad de mantener y ampliar capacidades, especialmente las de los grupos desfavorecidos, reducir el riesgos de obtener eventuales resultados negativos, y reconocer que las generaciones futuras deberían tener acceso a oportunidades que cualitativamente sean comparables a las que disponemos actualmente, aunque no sean necesariamente idénticas.


Este informe pretende añadir valor a los debates actuales sobre sostenibilidad, adoptando para ello este enfoque de desarrollo humano y, con ello, aportar nuestro granito de arena a los debates que nos conducirán a Rio+20.


Más adelante, acudiremos a la red con una solicitud de información al respecto y para ofrecer las líneas maestras del informe.


Agradeceríamos que nos remitan cualquier aportación en relación a esta solicitud antes del 25 de febrero.


Saludos cordiales


Jeni Klugman


Oficina del Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano


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