Human Development Approach and Human Development Index
The human development approach places people, instead of the economy, at the center of development. Human development is about helping people expand the richness of their lives by providing them with more freedom, opportunities, and choices. Fundamentally, it is about advancing human well-being by creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential, choose their exercise their own choice, and lead productive, creative, and happy lives. The human development approach was spearheaded by Pakistani economist Dr. Mahbub Ul Haq, inspired by Amartya Sen's work on human capabilities. Sen's work concerns people's ability to 'be' and 'do' the things that they desire.
In 1990, Dr. Mahbub Ul Haq produced the first Human Development Report that featured a Human Development Index (HDI). This was to complement, and eventually replace, the standard and dominant usage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to measure the well-being of a country. Measures of national income say much about how rich the economy is, but are largely silent on how rich the lives of its people are: hence the wealth of a nation is a poor proxy for the quality of life that individuals are able to enjoy. Thereby, Human Development Index (HDI) was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. HDI is now used as tool to measure achievements in three dimensions of human development: education, health and standard of living; where each dimension of the HDI is further divided into indicators. However, it can also be used to generate debate on national policy choices, asking how two countries with the same level of GNI per capita can end up with different human development outcomes.For more details on the HDI see: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi