Leap in HDI

Leap in HDI Leap in HDI

I ran has climbed up 6 steps in the United Nations 2015 Human Development Report since last year, announced Gary Lewis, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Iran on Wednesday.

He made the statement during an official ceremony to highlight the results of the United Nations Development Program’s latest report on human development indices (HDI) in Iran held at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), the Tehran-based foreign policy think tank of Foreign Ministry. Deputy for legal and international affairs of the ministry Abbas Araghchi was present, IRNA reported.

The 2015 report entitled “Work for Human Development” examines the intrinsic relationship between work and human development. It explains that work, which is a broader concept than jobs or employment, can be a means of contributing to the public good, reducing inequality, securing livelihoods and empowering individuals.

In addition, work that involves caring for others or voluntarism builds social cohesion and strengthens bonds within families and communities, all as essential aspects of human development.

“According to the report, the Islamic Republic’s HDI value for 2014 is 0.766, which puts the country in the ‘high human development category’, positioning it at 69 out of 188 countries and territories,” said Lewis while briefing participants on the results of the report.

“This marks Iran’s greatest improvement yet over a period of eight years.”

  Three Basic Dimensions

The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living.

A long and healthy life is measured by life expectancy. Knowledge level is measured by mean years of education among the adult population, which is the average number of years of education received in a life-time by people aged 25 years and older; and access to learning and knowledge by expected years of schooling for children of school-entry age, which is the total number of years of schooling a child of school-entry age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrolment rates stay the same throughout the child’s life.

Standard of living is measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita expressed in constant 2011 international dollars converted using purchasing power parity (PPP) rates.

To ensure as much cross-country comparability as possible, the HDI is based primarily on international data from the United Nations Population Division (the life expectancy data), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics (the mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling data) and the World Bank (the GNI per capita data).

The HDI values and ranks in this year’s report are not comparable to those in past reports because of a number of revisions to the component indicators. To allow for assessment of progress in HDIs, the 2015 report includes recalculated HDIs from 1990 to 2014 using consistent series of data.

  Marked Improvement

According to the report, Iran ranked 75 among 187 countries in 2014, and 76 in 2013. Over the 1990-2014 period, the HDI improved from 0.567 to 0.766, indicating a 35% increase in the indicator. Between 1990 and 2014, Iran’s HDI value increased from 0.567 to 0.766, an increase of 35% or an average annual increase of about 1.26%. The rank is shared with Costa Rica.

Life expectancy has increased by 21.3 years from 54.1 in 1980 to 75.4 in 2014. Mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling have increased each by 5.9 years as well to 8.2 and 15.1 in 2014. Over the same period, the GNI per capita increased by 52.9% from 10,100 per year in 1980 to 15,440 in 2014.

Iran HDI in 2014 was higher than the average of 0.744 for countries placed in the high development category, and well ahead of 0.607 for countries of southern Asia. Life expectancy at birth and expected years of schooling for men (74.3 and 15.2 years) and women (77.4, and 15 years) were higher than the global average of 72.8 and 13.8 years. Meanwhile, mean years of schooling for women was (7.7 years) and men (8.6 years) with the global average fixed at 8.5 years.

“In spite of the developments, there is always room to grow, particularly in the area of gender equity and empowering women,” Lewis said. “Iran’s sustainable development goals are far more ambitious than ever before, and we hope the country makes use not only of its own previous experiences, but also of development experiences across the globe.”

Iran ranks 114 among the 188 countries in the 2015 report’s gender inequality, a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievement between women and men in three dimensions of reproductive health, empowerment and the labor market.

Lewis said the UNDP is ready to support the Iranian government not only in achieving the goals of the upcoming five-year economic development plan (2016-21), but also in reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2030).

He also referred to a new joint program between Iran and the UN in November 2015 that will support Iran in programs concerning four major areas of environment, health and hygiene, resistance economy, and the fight against drugs. Fighting AIDS/HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis are among other areas of cooperation.

In 2013, Iran was the second nation preceded by South Korea that managed to remarkably improve its HDI over a 22-year period (1980-2012), Lewis noted.