ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi’s first Human Development Report (HDR) will be rolled out by the end of this year.
The report, which is being launched by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Abu Dhabi in co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will offer recommendations to raise the level of human development in the Emirate.
It will focus on five major issues, including data and statistical indicators, economic growth and its implications on social aspects, demography, education and labour related issues, the Emirates news agency WAM reported on Sunday.
According to Dr Elissar Sarrouh, UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative to the UAE, citizens are the most concerned stratum in the process of achieving sustainable development.
“Based on international experience, and Arab human development reports, taking into account the varying characteristics of citizens and non-citizens in the GCC countries in general and UAE in particular, it was agreed to adopt two approaches as far as this HDR report is concerned: First, this report is to be considered as one of a series of reports to be prepared once every two or three years, so that development issues would be addressed later as per the priority accorded to them. Secondly, the different indicators will be calculated and the characteristics of population as citizens and non-citizens and total population will be addressed,” she explained.
Dr Sarrouh noted that indicators of quality of life are not confined only to wealth and employment opportunities, but also the physical environment, health, education, social life and entertainment.
She added that it is important for the report to come out with findings and recommendations to help strengthen the process of human development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, through in-depth and objective study of the demographic characteristics of citizens and non-citizens in the Emirate.
Mohammed Omar Abdullah, undersecretary of the DED and chairman of the Higher Committee of the HDR, noted that the first HDR for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi would help the government in achieving a set of general envisioned objectives, such as adopting new policies to further raise living standards, enhance social progress, set up leading and innovative indicators for human development, and rationalise national investments
to address the key aspects of sustainable development.
The first part of the HDR statistical indicators will lay emphasis on the HDI Human Development Index with regards to the three categories of constitution population, namely, citizens and non-citizens and the total population, pointed out Rashid Al Zaabi, acting executive director of planning and studies division, the director of the HDR Project.
The second chapter, ‘economic growth and its social impact,’ will focus on areas of economic growth in all sectors and their role in achieving growth rates on the social level whereas the third chapter ‘demographic realities’ addresses issues of fertility, death and birth, marriage, divorce, immigration and other related issues.
He explained that fourth part of the report on ‘education characteristics,’ intends to highlight the educational issues in terms of rates of enrollment in the various stages of education and dropout rates, with emphasis on quality of education. Part five, ‘properties of labour force” will shed light on rates of unemployment and the distribution by professions and economic activity, focusing in particular on employment and problems of Emiratisation of the labour force.
He noted in this regard that the project team is currently working on the preparation of research, data collection, analysis and writing.
Dr Sarrouh, meanwhile, noted that there is global consensus on the need to develop a more inclusive vision of progress that takes into account social, environmental and economic indicators, rather than focusing mainly on the economic indicators, which undoubtedly constitute an important criterion of economic activity, but is not enough to be the only criterion for the progress of the nation or the general standard of living for citizens.
“The Human Development Reports, which began to be released by UNDP since 1990, aim at putting humans back in the heart of the development process, with a focus on human well-being as an important goal of development,” she elaborated.
She explained that the Higher Committee for the HDR has set organisational and administrative arrangements, taking into account the aims of the report to “provide specific recommendations to raise the level of human development in the Emirate,” adding that the committee members include all human development concerned entities in the Emirate: the Secretariat of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; Abu Dhabi Education Council; Health Authority- Abu Dhabi; Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council; Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development; the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi; the Western Region Development Council; the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, as well as the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.