UN human development report 2013-Seychelles rises to 46th position


Minister Adam (second left) addressing guests and delegates (below) at the workshop on Friday

Seychelles is ranked at number 46 out of a total of 187 countries surveyed in UNDP’s human development report for 2013.

This result has come as an affirmation for many government officials that Seychelles is on the right track with regards to policy and decision-making.

The report, titled: ‘The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World’ examines the profound shift in global dynamics driven by the fast-rising new powers of the developing world and its long-term implications for human development.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income indices to rank countries into four tiers of human development.
The results were officially handed over to Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam by UNDP programme manager Roland Alcindor at a UNDP workshop on Friday afternoon at the International Conference Centre.

The flagship publication, which has been published annually since 1990, was handed out and the data discussed and analysed in both global and local contexts.
The panel at the workshop comprised member of the Electoral Commission Marie-Thérèse Purvis, secretary of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Barry Faure, former finance principal secretary Ahmed Afif, and former President of Seychelles James Mancham.

“We are very encouraged that Seychelles has now graduated into the ‘very high human development’ section,” said Minister Adam.
“We were previously in the ‘high human development’ section, so it shows the continuous progress that Seychelles has made since independence, but most notably since the year 2000.”
The minister noted that in the three priority areas identified and measured in the human development index (HDI), Seychelles has continued to perform very well.

“It’s obviously a mark of the achievements of our country,” said Minister Adam. “Seychelles has always focussed on people-centred development, and we have progressed steadily in this regard.”

The HDI is calculated using three dimensions: a long and healthy life which measures life expectancy at birth; the education index which calculates the mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling; and the standard of living which is calculated using Gross National Income per capita.

The data used in the HDI calculations were taken from the following sources: health from the World Health Organisation (WHO), education statistics from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and economic data from the World Bank.

New information included in the report this year were the inclusion of three new indices which did not affect the overall HDI ranking system, but seek to provide deeper insight into the main index.

The three new indices are the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), which is adjusted for inequalities in the delivery of the three measurement criteria in the HDI, the Gender Inequality Index (GII) which reflects inequality in achievements between men and women, and lastly the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) which analyses the percentage of the population that is multidimensionally poor.

The data for these three indices was not available for inclusion in the 2013 UNDP report, however, UNDP programme manager Roland Alcindor addressed these concerns, assuring the workshop that the UNDP is currently working with the National Bureau of Statistics in order to gather the data needed for the following year’s report.
“When data is captured, it has to be comparable across countries,” Mr Alcindor explained. “It must therefore be done in a certain format and at the time of collecting the data we were not capturing the data in the new aggregated format.

“The UNDP is continually building in additional dimensions to the report to add more value to the data, and sometimes it takes additional time to capture that data for all 187 countries. We will liaise with the New York office to try and ensure that no data is left out in the future.”

Mr Mancham rounded off the discussion by pointing out that the biggest task in moving forward was to inform citizens about the report.

“Ninety percent of the population have no understanding of what the UNDP is,” Mr Mancham said. “The information is sent out in a press release disseminated by the responsible minister, but there is no follow-up or debate, and I believe there is no point in importing a thousand copies of the report if many of us are not able to read the graphs or understand the language.

“At the basic level, we can put forward a discussion which will educate our people more and in this sense, get them to take part more in the affairs of the nation and thereby create a better society.”

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