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Last year’s inaugural Arab Human Development Report was by any standard a phenomenon. As the more than one million copies downloaded off the Internet so far testifies, its groundbreaking analysis of the region’s development challenges catalysed an unprecedented wave of debate and discussion in both Arab countries and the wider world. Even that understates its true impact: measured by the fierce arguments it continues to provoke from coffee houses to television talkshows to parliaments and beyond it is clear why Time magazine cited it as the most important publication of 2002. The reason for this impact is simple but important. As a pioneering and provocative study produced by a team of Arab scholars, policy analysts and practitioners at a time of enormous economic, social and political ferment its central messages -- that reform is necessary and if it is to be successful and sustainable then change has to come from within -- carried unique authority. The United Nations Development Programme is proud to have sponsored it.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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