[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
#178: Haiti and Human Development (fwd)
From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>
The United States Development Programme (UNDP)
just published its "Human Development Report 1999."
The concept of human development is much deeper than
can be captured by any composite index or even a detailed
set of statistical indicators.
Yet to monitor progress in human development, a simple tool
is needed. Thus, the Human Development Index (HDI)
has been constructed every year since 1990 to measure
average achievements in basic human development in one
simple composite index and to produce a ranking of countries.
HDI reflects achievements in the most basic human capabilities:
leading a long life, being knowledgeable and enjoying a decent
standard of living. Three variables have been chosen to represent
those dimensions: life expectancy, educational attainment and
With normalization of the values of the variables that make up
the HDI, its value ranges from 0 to 1. The closer to 1 a country's HDI is,
the better off the country is.
The HDI for selected countries (listed alphabetically) as well as their
rank based on the HDI follow:
COUNTRY HDI (1997) RANK out of 174 countries
Canada 0.932 1
Cuba 0.765 58
Dominican Republic 0.726 88
Guyana 0.701 99
Haiti 0.430 152
India 0.545 132
Jamaica 0.734 82
Nigeria 0.456 146
Sierra Leone 0.254 174 Last
Haiti's position improved somewhat from 1998 to 1999 due in large
part to the deterioration that has occurred in the 22 African countries
rank lower than Haiti.
For Haiti, the key factors from which its HDI is calculated are:
1) Life expectancy at birth: 53.7 years (1997)
2) Adult literacy rate: 45.8% (1997)
3) Combined first, second and third level gross enrollment ratio: 24 %
4) Real GDP per capita: 1,270 PPP$ (purchasing power parity basis, 1997)
What can be done to improve Haiti's HDI?
It would appear that items 1 and 2 can be improved in short order.
In the case of item 1, the key is the high rate of infant mortality at
currently 92 deaths per 1000 live births. In Cuba next door, the rate is 7.
Let us hope that with Cuban assistance, Haiti will be able to reduce its
to a more civilized level.
As for adult literacy, let us hope that by 2004 the rate will be increased
at least 90%.
This will require the launching in short order of a massive literacy drive.
To help it with this endeavor, the Government of Haiti (GOH) might invite
UNDP -- as have done 100 countries to date -- to help it assess thoroughly
Haiti's Human Development needs.
Is this asking too much of the GOH?