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From Human Development to Human Security Attempting to craft a HS Index of the Humanosphere . . and a good process for stakeholders . . David A. Hastings They said an HSI “couldn’t be done.”

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From Human Development to Human SecurityAttempting to craft a HS Index of the Humanosphere . . and a good process for stakeholders . .

David A. Hastings

They said an HSI “couldn’t be done.”

But (with deep gratitude to some people here) a prototype has been made and published.

  • The Human Development Index: a review
  • Improving on the HDI
    • A more geographically complete HDI (ESCAP WP/09/02)
    • An equality-adjusted HDI (ESCAP WP/09/03)
  • Introducing: The Human Security Index (WP/09/03)
    • Concepts – describing humanospheric security (economically, environmentally, socially sustainably secure)
    • Sources of data – how to find and select?
    • Formulating an HSI (ESCAP WP/09/03)
    • Mapping the HSI in Asia-Pacific
  • What can be done to improve the HSI?
  • What can various stakeholders do?
the human development index an overview
The Human Development Index: An overview
  • Before 1990: Human Development = GDP Per capita
  • UNDP Human Development Report 1990 – present
    • The idea promoted by UNDP was that human development extends beyond mere money, to education, health, and other factors that make people comfortable in their society. But in 1990 data were limited. So:
    • GDP per capita (adjusted for purchase prices in each country)
      • Current global range ~ $667 - $60,000
    • “A long and healthy life”: Life expectancy at Birth (~37 – 83 yrs)
    • “Education”: basic literacy rate (~23% - ~100%) [plus school enrollment]
  • Example: Viet Nam
    • $3071 GDP PC PPP | 72.9 yrs | 92.4%  HDI .733 => ~ middle-range
    • In previous years: .590 (1985), .620 (1990), .672 (1995), .711 (2000)
      • E.g. fairly rapid since 1985 compared to countries with similar HDI values.
  • Similar: Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Indonesia, Syria
  • Highest: Iceland, Norway, Australia, Canada, Ireland => ~.960
  • Lowest: Sierra Leone (.336), Burkina Faso (.370), Guinea Bissau & Niger (.374), Mali (.380)
on the inputs to the hdi
On the inputs to the HDI
  • Education – Enhance LIT? Remove school enrollment (a process, not an outcome) & enhance LIT
  • Health – Healthy/raw life expectancy at birth?
  • Income – GDP PC PPP? Adjusted by GINI? Median income PC PPP?
  • Three HDIs for USA states:
  • American HDI - rescaled
  • “UN-Harmonized HDI
  • Median income (not GDP)
  • GDP – into whose pockets? How to adjust for what gets into the “common person’s” pocket?
  • GINI or Median income – which is easier to enumerate accurately?
  • Figure=>
  • 3 formulations of HDI for USA states




<=JP=83 yrs=.958

<=VN=72 yrs=.783





<= JP=.973

<= VN=.752

the human development index issues
The Human Development Index: Issues
  • The HDI is used extensively 
    • With each annual release come reports on how “our” country did. Did it go up? Did its rank improve? Etc.
  • The HDI has received many positive comments 
    • Countries with low income but “good” literacy or life expectancy get better attention.
    • Thus => “richness is not only money”
  • But – the HDI has received some concerns 
    • Only 182 countries are covered by UNDP
      • In a separate exercise, ESCAP WP/09/02 extended the HDI to 230+ economies for greater global completeness.
    • Is development, perhaps, also a sense of security and inclusiveness? Can we do better than HDI? In 1994 UNDP described “human security.” Are we ready to try characterizing this? => I think, yes. If we draft an index, we can take the next steps in discussing (and maybe improving) human security.
  • This talk reflects on a Human Security Index => (WP/09/03) – but how best to move forward?
toward a human security index a1
Toward a Human Security Index (A1)
  • UNDP’s 1994 Human Development Report introduces Human Security as a concept.
    • Freedom from want (income, basic social services [education, health, peace], value [fairness to all peoples])
    • Freedom from fear [people-centric vs. personality-centric services]
    • Beyond material issues – dignity and self-worth, inclusiveness, social harmony & balance.
    • The HDRO proposed that the UN monitor the H.S. situation in the world.
      • Unfortunately, some may see this as an institution trying to create a mandate for itself.
      • Comment – should there be a single point of failure in such process? Or should the UN & other stakeholders share (and even compete against each other in) such process – to help and hold accountable all monitors.
  • (Khun Surin) Pitsuwan (ASEAN S.-G.) has noted that HS is an old concept – from Locke, Rousseau, etc. and that, indeed, HS is the reason for the State in the first place. (
toward a human security index a2
Toward a Human Security Index (A2)
  • Some have said that an HSI cannot be developed.
    • We cannot agree on a meaning.
    • Data are lacking.
  • But what if we tried?
    • Interesting and valuable (and some likely agenda-laden) data/indicators are available on several topics.
    • If we try, maybe it would be like an early aeroplane – eventually we might make something that can fly (and also make it environmentally friendly).
  • Can we describe Human Security in a globally harmonized manner?
    • What indices have already been developed, which we could use?
      • Minimal influence of politics or region – maximum on social inclusiveness and harmony and governance & empowerment of people.
    • Can we also support component innovators/curators – toward improved results?
  • ESCAP WP/09/03 attempted this in two steps:
    • Equitability/Inclusiveness Enhanced HDI
    • Human Security Index
  • Is there a better way? (see next slide for humanosphere context)
toward a human security index a3 http humanosphere cseas kyoto u ac jp
Toward a Human Security Index (A3)
  • Context: On the Humanosphere – where humans live
    • Economic: People and supportive institutions are capitalized adequately (with respect to monetary costs, including adequate support for the environment and society).
    • Environmental: The environment is sustainable (e.g. not un-sustainably impacted by financial interests or society {e.g. population pressures}).
    • Social: The social fabric of the Humanosphere is positive. Inequality is minimal {and is positive diversity, rather than negative situations imposed on people}
  • Sustainable and Creative Humanosphere => a synergy of Economic, Environmental, and Social. None of these components can fail. All of them:
    • MUST => survive(sustainable?)
    • HOPEFULLY => prosper (creative?)
  • How to move ahead in all 3 arenas (economic, environmental, social)
    • Without letting any arena become a failure?
    • Without letting any arena become too unequal?
    • While making progress for everyone (and they can agree while being informed, and blending self and social interests harmoniously)?
1 equitability inclusiveness enhanced hdi 1
1. Equitability/Inclusiveness Enhanced HDI (1)
  • Like the HDI, uses GDP per capita, literacy, life expectancy
  • Unlike the HDI, uses “raw” number – plus “equitability” of treatment in each of these factors
  • Income
    • Raw = GDP per capita, adjusted for prices (“purchasing power parity”)
    • Equitability = GINI coefficient of income inequality (from the United Nations University WIDER project) (range 0-1 perfect – bad) (real range .2 Iceland - .7 Zimbabwe)
  • Education & Life Expectancy
    • Raw – “adult literacy” & “life expectancy at birth”
    • Equitability – WEF survey on equality of access to education / healthcare by people “rich or poor”
  • The values are then calculated as for the HDI. Each value is scaled (imagine a contrast enhancement in RS) between 0 and 1.000. The 6 values (3 raw & 3 equitability) are averaged.
1 equitability inclusiveness enhanced hdi 2
1. Equitability/Inclusiveness Enhanced HDI (2)
  • Some computed values.
    • country income|eq literacy|eq lifeExp|eq HDI|eq Enh.HDI
    • $|.xxx %|.xxx yrs|.xxx .xxx|.xxx .xxx
    • #1 Iceland $37169|.998 99|.957 81|.986 .971|.980 .976
    • #12 Japan $33553|.770 99|.786 83|.814 .973|.790 .882
    • #13 Slovakia $19257|.884 99|.914 75|.743 .900|.847 .874
    • #17 Singapore $44928|.515 93|.800 80|.800 .959|.705 .832
    • #35 Bulgaria $10491|.777 98|.557 73|.357 .855|.564 .709
    • #36 USA $45020|.380 97|.457 78|.514 .953|.450 .702
    • #40 Malaysia $12944|.459 90|.514 73|.500 .839|.460 .665
    • #48 VietNam $ 2753|.669 92|.414 72|.314 .752|.466 .609
    • #49 Argentina $13737|.395 97|.343 76|.257 .879|.332 .605
    • #51 Thailand $ 8215|.430 94|.357 71|.357 .815|.381 .598
    • #56 Chile $13373|.291 96|.257 78|.257 .888|.268 .578
    • #60 Phil’ines $ 3960|.478 94|.257 70|.257 .768|.331 .549
    • #74 Nigeria $ 1775|.457 70|.243 63|.257 .511|.319 .415
    • #75 Zimbabwe $ 813|.081 90|.257 41|.257 .504|.198 .351
Socially Inclusive Human Development Index (3) Basic HDI usually exceeds Enhanced HDIMany Asian-Pacific societies do relatively well

A thought: if HDI exceeds equitability/inclusiveness, is this because HDI gets HDI attention but equitability/inclusiveness does not? Thus, should equitability/inclusiveness get more attention?

Or does it mean that equitability/inclusiveness index should be rescaled to increase its value?

Less equal >

< more equal

Basic HDI – Equitability Enhanced HDI


V = TH

V = VN

V = JP

2 toward a human security index b1
2. Toward a Human Security Index (B1)
  • What indicators could help describe human security?
    • Diversity Index: Gender Gap Index: (best~Sweden~.8146 VN~.6889 JP~.6455 worst~Yemen~.4510)
    • Peace Index:
      • Global Peace Index (freedom from “attack” abroad & home) (best~Iceland~1.18/4 JP=1.36/4 VN~1.72/4 US~2.23/4 MY~2.59/4 worst~Iraq~3.51/4)
      • World Prison Population Index (best~iceland~40/10,000 JP~62/10,000 VN~105/10,000 RU~611/10,000 worst~USA~738/10,000)
    • Environmental Index: Environmental Sustainability/Performance Indices & greenhouse gas emissions per capita
    • Corruption Control Index: World Bank – minimum of “illegal” of “legal” corruption.
    • Information Empowerment Index:
      • Connection Index (fixed & mobile phones; Internet)
      • Press Freedom Index
  • Average the factors above => “Social Fabric Index” (SFI)
  • Average the Social Fabric & Human Development Index(?) => Human Security Index
toward a human security index b2
Toward a Human Security Index (B2)

Diversity Index: Gender Gap Index: (best~Sweden~.8146 VN~.6889 JP~.6455 worst~Yemen~.4510) (what could be crafted to better cover the range of diversity issues?)

  • WEF gender Gap Index (2009 133 countries) – usually male/female ratios
    • Educational attainment (literacy rate; primary, secondary, tertiary school enrollment; infant mortality; fertility rate ages 15-19)
    • Political empowerment (women in parliament; ministerial level; #years with women as head of state)
    • Health and survival (sex ratio of births; healthy life expectancy)
    • Economic Participation and Opportunity (labour force, wage equality, earned income, legislators-managers, professionals)
  • UNDP-HDRO Gender-Related Development Index (2009 182 countries)
    • Life expectancy at birth ratio; adult literacy rate ratio, educational enrollment ratio, earned income ratio
  • UNDP-HDRO Gender Empowerment Measure (part of HDR – 2009 182 countries)
    • Seats in parliament held by women; female legislators, senior officials or managers; professional & technical worker %; income ratio; % women in ministerial positions; first year for a woman in parliament; year women received right to vote – to stand for election)
  • UNESCO Gender Parity Index
    • Primary, secondary, tertiary school enrollment ratio
  • Needed?
    • Indicators of racial, ethnic, religious, age, “disability” inclusiveness
  • CIA World Factbook - Median ages, age structure (0-14, 15-64, 65+ years old brackets), Sex ratio (in the same 3 age brackets), infant mortality rate, life expectancy at birth, literacy rate, school life expectancy
  • World Bank Gender Stats - % women in managerial post,
  • Other data (indicator(s) & sources) which could be used to enhance this component?
toward a human security index b3
Toward a Human Security Index (B3)

Peace Index:

  • Global Peace Index (freedom from “attack” abroad & home) (2009 – 144 countries)
  • World Prison Population List (2009 – 218 countries)
  • World Pre-trial / Remand Imprisonment List (2008 194 countries)

Other existing indicators

  • Economic freedom in the world index ( 2009 141 countries)
  • Failed states index (“fund for peace” & Foreign Policy magazine 2009 177 countries)
  • Political Terror Scale (Prof. Mark Gibney – UNCA) averages Amnesty International and US State Department indicators (2008 185 countries)
  • Freedom in the world index (Freedom House)

Other desired indicators

  • Household peacefulness (lack of domestic violence or intimidation) [VERY difficult to craft, except possibly on a 1-10 scale by a focus group – would that be worthwhile?]
    • This is considered a peacefulness issue here, not a gender/diversity issue – but others may feel differently . . . (anyway, a moot point until data become available for assessment and possible use).
  • Community peacefulness (some of this might be considered under diversity index harmony . .)
  • Peacefulness at national levels (beyond, or more refined than the Global Peace Index and the World Prison/Pre-trial/Remand lists?)
toward a human security index b4
Toward a Human Security Index (B4)

Corruption Control Index:

  • Correction of Corruption Index (World Bank 1996-2008 – 211 countries)
  • Legal Corruption Index (World Bank Institute – 2004 – 104 countries)

Other existing indicators

  • Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (incl in WB correction of corruption)

Environment Index:

  • Environmental Sustainability/Performance Indexes (averaged – but there are issues)
  • List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per caputa (adjusted for land cover change)

Other existing indicators

  • Environmental Vulnerability Index (SOPAC, UNEP, others) 142 countries (& 93 partials)
  • Ecological footprint
  • Happy Planet Index (IUCN – New Economics Foundation) 173 countries 2006; 143 in 2009 (life satisfaction, life expectancy, ecological footprint)

Other desired indicators

  • ?
toward a human security index b5
Toward a Human Security Index (B5)

Information Empowerment Index:

  • Connection Index (Hastings) => (% wired phones & % mobile phones)/2 + % Internet users
  • Press Freedom Index (Reporteurs Sans Frontieres, 2002-2009) 175 countries

Other existing indicators

  • Digital Access Index (ITU)
  • Digital Opportunity Index (ITU)

Other desired indicators

  • Press effectiveness index
  • Information quality index (web hits/links index – adjusted for type of Website?)
  • Others – newspaper readership, broadcast news?, how many people obrain news from external sources (to get past intentional or circumstantial censorship/bias)?
toward a human security index b6
Toward a Human Security Index (B6)

Crafting indicator components (diversity, peace, environment, etc.):

  • In some cases, direct data (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions) are useful.
  • In some cases, carefully compiled opinions (WEF EOS do you think that educational opportunity is equal in country X for rich or poor?) may be useful.
  • In some cases, existing thematic indicators (Global Peace Index, Environmental Sustainability Index) may be useful.
    • Even though all of these could be improved (can we help them?)

But some data/indicators are missing:

  • Diversity w.r.t. race, ethnicity, age, religion, etc.
  • Press effectiveness in uncovering anti-HS activities, and in helping to empower people.
  • Perhaps better indicators of gender security, environmental security, etc.

Creating other desired indicators - methodologies

  • Some indicators could be edited by educated, careful groups – that could make themselves expert in a subject.
  • Example #1: WEF Executive Opinion Survey – equality of access to education & health care.
  • Example #2: Conservation International workshop participants make decision-support datasets / maps.
  • Example #3: FOSS and FODI (free and open data & information, e.g. Wikipedia and research which it can cite) development efforts.

Is there an opportunity for the academic community in this regard…?


<= JP=973

<= VN=.752


<= JP = .697

<= VN = .516





TH=.652 =>


in the usa some data of interest
In the USA – some data of interest

< 19%

< 30%

Source: Census-SAHIE


Health Coverage by race / ethnicity

in the usa some data of interest26
In the USA – some data of interest

Adult Obesity

Life Expectancy at Birth (males)

Decline in LE 1983-99 (females)

Food insecurity

Human Development Index

People below the poverty threshold

Tropical storms 1947-2007

environmental aspects of hs29
Environmental Aspects of HS
  • How to better spatially represent disaster vulnerability – as a component of HSI? (any/all types of disasters – environmental, socio-economic, governance)
humansecurityindex org
  • How to enhance the HSI effort?
  • – begun at Osaka-cu
  • A working platform for discussion
    • WordPress for blog and Web page creation/discussion
    • Wiki for collaborative writing/documentation
    • Explanation of the process
      • Links to (and discussions on) candidate sources (TBD)
      • Plans for OpenLayers maps
      • Possibility for posting candidate indicators for people to experiment with? (later, if someone is available/interested in doing such)
      • Hopefully, attention and support for good efforts may flow
  • How to strengthen the economic aspect of the HSI?
  • How to strengthen the environmental aspect of HSI?
  • How to strengthen the social aspect of the HSI?
  • What is the relevance of the HDI to the HSI?
    • How to use it, because of its popularity?
  • Should inequality (e.g. GINI) be added to the HSI?
  • Should the Social Fabric Index (with inequality added) become the HSI? Or should it merely be the social aspect of the HSI (with economic and environmental fabrics to complement the social fabric)?
  • There are many details on selection and formulation of an HSI that could benefit from further attention.
  • Should there be further discussion on such issues?
    • How & where?
      • Conferences? UNU? UN-BKK? Kansai? Elsewhere?
  • It is possible to enhance the HDI
  • Since UNDP’s first HDI in 1990, many useful indicators have been developed
    • Gender equality, Peace, environmental safety, protection from corruption (e.g. greater fairness for everyone), and information empowerment may be a good start.
  • Is it possible to do better?Yes, certainly
    • Each indicator can be studied and improved
    • Additional thinking on indicators will bring good ideas
    • Wider discussions will bring better ideas on “globally harmonized” concepts on Human Security.
what could the un do
What could the UN do?

The H.S.I was crafted by a UN staff member (though on his own time) in Asia, in consultation with many others, including UN staff over coffee. is physically located in the region, and is a cooperative effort among several of my off-hours professional network in the region.

VietNam appears interested in pursuing the concept of how to craft an appropriate H.S.I and use it to help strategize development.

Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, S-G of ASEAN, was a member of the UN Commission on Human Security. He has spoken on regional cooperation toward H.S.

There seems to be some seeds and soil for growing something here. Is there water & other nurturing ingredients?

what can the academic community do
What can the academic community do?

The H.S.I is a continuing research and development effort. is physically located at a university in the region, and is a cooperative effort among several of my off-hours professional network in the region.

Several indicators are R & D efforts of academic institutions and NGOs.

At least one country is interested in the idea of a HIS – to enrich analysis, discussion, and strategic planning for development.

There is great opportunity for enrichment from new people getting involved as they wish – in the spirit of FOSS (in this case, Free and Open Ideas and Knowledge).

what can governments do
What can governments do?

The H.S.I is an effort to describe situations. is physically located at a university in the region, and is intended to be a supportive collaboration among any interested stakeholders.

The goal is philosophical and cultural inclusiveness.

How can the H.S.I help governments?. We hope to be able to make it more useful to help governments strategize development.

Governments can ignore the H.S.I if they do not see a usefulness – or they can adapt it for their services to their peoples. Most governments have censuses and other knowledge gathering efforts that can help in their creating their own internal H.S.I. They have leaders who can design and use their own H.S.I to help strategize development. Again – hopefully, we can all find ways to improve the H.S.I and its use.