Human development report 2014

Sustaining human progress: reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience

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Over the last decades, most countries have improved levels of human development. But progress maybe slowing as uncertainty intensifies globally. This report examines vulnerabilities that endanger human development, focusing especially on the poorest. Most threats are structural and persistent and linked with life cycle vulnerabilities. Identifying policy measures to reduce threats and increase human resilience is therefore a high priority. The report sets out synergistic proposals including universal public provisioning of basic services over the life cycle to maintain and strengthen human capabilities, full employment and social protection policies. It highlights collective action and international cooperation to address global vulnerabilities and ensure sustainable progress.

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Vulnerable people, vulnerable world

Almost everyone feels vulnerable at some point in life. But some individuals and some groups are more vulnerable than others due to varying exposure to social and economic conditions and at different stages of their life cycles, starting at birth. This Report is concerned with people facing the possibility of major deterioration in their circumstances as a result of adverse events. The interest is in examining how individual and social characteristics condition the impacts that people feel in response to persistent shocks and risks more generally. By focusing on enduring and systemic vulnerability, we then ask who is vulnerable and why. This leads us to examine some of the critical underlying factors that generate these impacts.

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