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In 1990, the United Nations Development Programme published its first Human Development Report (HDR) in which the Human Development Index (HDI) was introduced as a tool to measure the status of human development of member states. For more than a quarter-century, the United Nations Development Programme has been publishing the HDR at global, regional, national, and subnational levels. This essay provides a brief overview of the emergence of HDI, its philosophical underpinnings, conceptual limitations, practical challenges, and evolution, and what it means for children.

The concept of human development has been considered as an alternative to the conventional theories of economics that defined development through the gross domestic product and gross national product. Therefore, the concept of human development is viewed as instrumental in changing the ...

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