Bangladesh moves up a notch in Human Development Index

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 12:07, Dec 11, 2019 | Updated : 12:08, Dec 11, 2019

Bangladesh has moved up one notch in the United Nations Human Development Index or HDI in 2018 ranking 135th out of 189 countries.
A Human Development Report published by the UNDP on Monday (Dec 9), placed Bangladesh in Medium Development countries.
Bangladesh improved five notches since 2013 with HDI of 0.614 with 72.3 years of life expectancy at birth, 11.2 years of expected schooling and 4,057 PPP dollars GNI per capita.
Bangladesh, however, still ranks fifth among South Asian nations in terms of with Sri Lanka at 71, the Maldives at 104, India at 129, and Bhutan at 134. Nepal has been placed at 147, Pakistan 152, and Afghanistan at 170.
Norway continued to top the HDI 2019 list, while Niger remained at the bottom.
A composite index, the HDI assesses progress in three basic dimensions of human development -- health as measured by life expectancy at birth, knowledge measured by mean years of education, and standard of living measured by per capita gross national income.
Movements in HDI are driven by changes in health, education and income.
The life expectancy at birth rate of female in Bangladesh was 74.3 and male was 70.6 in the Gender Inequality Index.
According to the report the expected schooling year of female is 11.6 and male at 10.8 while the estimated GNI per capita of women stood at 2,373 PPP dollars and men at 5,701 PPP dollars.
Bangladesh’s HDI value increased 58.3 percent increasing from 0.388 to 0.614 between 1990 and 2018. Moreover, life expectancy at birth increased by 14.1 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.2 years and expected years of schooling increased by 5.6 years and GNI per capita increased by about 198.7 percent.
The 2018 HDI of 0.614 is below the average of 0.634 for countries in the medium human development group and below the average of 0.642 for countries in South Asia.
In Bangladesh and 10 other countries — with a wide range of health systems and incomes — governments used an incremental approach to create and expand their universal health coverage programmes, according to the report.
The process typically began by providing health insurance to civil servants and formal sector workers. Next was expanding coverage to poor and vulnerable people, which required a strong political commitment, the report says.
The 2019 HDR titled “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st Century,” says that just as the gap in basic living standards is narrowing for millions of people, the necessities to thrive have evolved.
“Different triggers are bringing people onto the streets -- the cost of a train ticket, the price of petrol, demands for political freedoms, the pursuit of fairness and justice,” UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, said.
According to the report, a new generation of inequalities is opening up, around education, and around technology and climate change -- two seismic shifts that, unchecked, could trigger a ‘new great divergence’ in society of the kind not seen since the Industrial Revolution.
In countries with very high human development, for example, subscriptions to fixed broadband are growing 15 times faster and the proportion of adults with tertiary education is growing more than six times faster than in countries with low human development, the report says.
The UN said in a statement that Steiner added “crucially”: “This is the new face of inequality, and as this Human Development Report sets out, inequality is not beyond solutions.”
UNDP research shows that in 2018, 20 percent of human development progress was lost due to the unequal distribution of education, health and living standards.
The 2019 HDR recommends revamping policies in the areas of education, productivity and public spending for improvement in human development.