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Evaluation of the Contribution of UNDP Global and Regional Human Development Reports to the Public Policy Process

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The Evaluation of the Contribution of UNDP Global and Regional Human Development Reports (HDRs) to the Public Policy Process is an independent thematic evaluation conducted by the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2014. It assesses the contribution of global and regional HDRs to public policy and policy discourse from 2004 to 2013. This is the first independent evaluation of the global and regional HDRs, so the evaluation also considers the way that HDRs progressed from 1990 to 2003. UNDP’s Executive Board approved this evaluation, taking particular note of the HDRs’ important advocacy role in promoting the human development perspective in development policy and planning. In addition to accountability and learning objectives, the evaluation focuses attention on the public policy and pedagogical value of these flagship UNDP knowledge products

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Introduction

In 1990, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the first global Human Development Report (HDR). Since then, 23 global HDRs have been produced. These reports have sought to raise awareness and generate debate on a range of public policy issues and concerns. A 1994 General Assembly resolution observed that the Human Development Report is the result of an independent intellectual exercise that is separate and distinct from other UNDP activities. Following this, in 2003, a second General Assembly resolution further recognized the HDRs as “an important tool for raising awareness about human development around the world.” UNDP started to produce regional HDRs in 1994 and has since produced 33 regional and subregional reports. Over US$130 million has been spent on global, regional and subregional HDRs produced since 2004.

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