ISLAMABAD – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)Pakistan launched its National Human Development Report (NHDR) – Unleashing the potential of a Young Pakistan.
This report seeks to understand Pakistan’s human development challenges and opportunities from the prism of youth. It focuses on how to improve human development outcomes – by empowering young people, addressing the root causes of the obstacles they face, and by proposing innovative ways to surmount these challenges.
Offering first-rate analysis and evidence-based policy recommendations, this Report looks at three key drivers of youth empowerment: quality education, gainful employment and meaningful engagement. Authored by Dr. Adil Najam, Dean, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, and Dr Faisal Bari, Associate Professor of Economics, at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), the Pakistan NHDR accentuates the critical role youth’s quality education, gainful employment, and meaningful engagement can play in securing human development progress in the country.
This report relies on the Human Development Index (HDI) as the measure of overall achievement, emphasising three main aspects of a nation’s polity: people, opportunities and choices.
The report focuses on youth primarily because Pakistan currently has the largest generation of young people ever recorded in its history. 64 percent of the total population is below the age of 30, and 29 percent is between the ages of 15-29 years. It is currently one of the youngest countries in the world and the second youngest in the South Asian region after Afghanistan.
Ahsan Iqbal, the Minister for Interior and Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms said, “It is essential to include young people at all levels of decision-making, because voice and participation are a key part of the human development approach and important for long term policy-making.”
Neil Buhne, the UN Resident Coordinator said,“Never have the opportunities for social, economic and political progress been so great. Nor have the challenges facing us ever been more pressing. Being aware of this opportunity, the United Nations in line with the Government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025, has prioritized working with youth as a key pillar of our work across the board.”
Dr, Adil Najam, Lead Author of the NHDR said, “The future of Pakistan – one way or the other – will be determined by those who are between 15 and 29 years of age today. The single most useful thing that the rest of us can do is to create meaningful opportunities in education, employment and engagement that can empower our young to unleash their potential.”
This Nationally-owned report, is formulated under the advice of an Advisory Council with members represented by major political parties, the government and intellectuals.Through its intensely inclusive and participatory process, the Pakistan NHDR 2017 has reached out to nearly 130,000 individuals across the country, 90% of whom where youth, making it essentially a Report “by the youth, for the youth”.-Online