Reviewing HDR 2019 at Jamaica's launch event are: Takeshi Takano, Resident Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Tijani Christian, HDR Launch Moderator; Matthew McHayle, University of the West Indies student and Model U.N. Delegate; Richard kelly, UNDP Programmes Specialist. [Photo credit: JIS]



  •  Global Launch reveals Jamaica’s HDI improving, but reduced 16.7% on Inequality-adjusted index

[Kingston, 13 December 2019]: The December 9th launch of UNDP’s Human Development Report 2019 will go next level in 2020y when tertiary students stage HDR In-depth under the guidance of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) of the University of the West Indies.

SALISES and UWI students are joining forces with UNDP to explore the Report, stimulate discussions and advance solutions to address inequalities – a main theme of the 2019 HDR.

In announcing the January event, UWI Mona student Matthew McHayle stated, “Our HDR In-depth will be one day of exploration of the HDR’s development indices on Jamaica and other countries in the Caribbean. We want to take time to study the data and to discuss the best ways that our nations can advance development fairly and equitably without leaving anyone behind.”

McHayle said, “we consider our January HDR In-depth an excellent platform to contribute meaningfully to the ongoing discussion on sustainable development and growth. The HDR provides the evidence we need to make a start. As we students get ready to advance plans for this event in partnership with SALISES and UNDP we are confident that we can make a difference and that our voices will be heard.”

In welcoming the 2019 Report’s focus on highlighting inequalities, UNDP Resident Representative, Denise Antonio, in remarks delivered on her behalf by UNDP Programme Specialist, Richard Kelly noted that “UNDP has matured its approach to development measurement and assessment through the HDR’s 2019 theme, ‘Beyond Income, Beyond Averages, Beyond Today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st century’. “Even when the numbers appear to be positive, more and more we are witnessing a rise in discontentment around the globe as people perceive a heightened level of unfairness in their societies and more than often the root cause is inequality. The depth of this inequality must be assessed beyond basic data that traditionally informs policies.” she said.

“For this reason, I implore all of us, government, development partners, non-government organizations, private sector and citizens to look beyond income, beyond averages and beyond today so that together we can find effective and sustainable solutions aligned to the context of Jamaica’s Vision 2030,” she urged.

In his multimedia presentation on Jamaica’s findings, UNDP’s Richard Kelly disclosed the following highlight’s on Jamaica’s 2019 HDR performance:

Jamaica’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2018 is 0.726— which puts the country in the high human development category—positioning it at 96 out of 189 countries and territories. The rank is shared with Venezuela.

Jamaica’s 2018 HDI of 0.726 is below the average of 0.750 for countries in the high human development group and below the average of 0.759 for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. From Latin America and the Caribbean, countries which are close to Jamaica in 2018 HDI rank and to some extent in population size are Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago, which have HDIs ranked 89 and 63 respectively.

When Jamaica’s HDI value is discounted for inequality on the Inequality Human Development Index (IHDI) Jamaica’s HDI falls to 0.604, a loss of 16.7 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices. Other countries in the region scored higher losses due to inequality, such as Dominican Republic with losses due to inequality of 21.5 percent. The average loss due to inequality for high HDI countries is 17.9 percent and for Latin America and the Caribbean it is 22.3 percent. The Human inequality coefficient for Jamaica is equal to 15.9 percent.

The 2019 Human Development Report presents the 2018 HDI (values and ranks) for 189 countries and UN-recognized territories, along with the IHDI for 150 countries, the GDI for 166 countries, the GII for 162 countries, and the MPI for 101 countries.

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.   

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