Maintaining human development requires reducing risks and building resilience

30 Jul 2014 

Vientiane –The 2014 Human Development Report titled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience” shows that the overall global trend in human development is positive, including in the Lao PDR. However, persistent vulnerability threatens human development worldwide, and unless the risk is systematically addressed, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable.



The 2014 Human Development Report, published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was presented today by His Excellency Dr. Bounthavy Sisouphanthong, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment and Ms. Azusa Kubota, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. at a ceremony held in the ICTC in Vientiane to mark the national report launch in Lao PDR.

“The Government of Lao PDR has been always putting people in the center of our development policy, and the human development report has provided a status update and formed a baseline for our policy issuance”, said H.E. Dr. Bounthavy Sisouphanthong.

Between 1980 and 2013 Lao PDR’s Human Development Index (HDI) value increased 67.5 percent; an average annual increase of about 1.57 percent. The progress was fastest in the 1990s but has since showed a slowdown. While life expectancy and standards of living continue to increase, the education sector has not been able to keep the same pace and will essentially require improvement.

The Report offers a fresh perspective on looking at vulnerability and capability to manage the risk though a human development lens. It discusses what makes people vulnerable, and proposes ways to strengthen resilience. Real progress on human development requires not only improving the choices available for the population in terms of health, education and income but also securing these gains so that people don’t fall back into poverty if setbacks occur, the report stresses. Crises such as natural disasters threaten progress.

Speaking at the launch event, Ms. Azusa Kubota said “Continuing progress is not guaranteed unless the shocks are reduced, and the capacities of people to cope are improved. The call for getting to zero poverty should be extended to staying at zero poverty and progress needs to be maintained in other areas”.

Human Development is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive and creative lives. It is about expanding the choices people have so that they can lead lives that they value.

The Human Development Index is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent living standard.

Lao PDR’s 2014 Human Development highlights:

  • Lao PDR sits in the medium human development category, ranking 139 out of 187 countries and territories in the world. The average HDI for countries in the medium human development group is 0.614 and 0.703 for countries in East Asia and the Pacific region.
  • Lao PDR’s HDI for 2013 is 0.569, which increased from 0.565 in 2012. However, when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to 0.430, a loss of 24.5 percent due to inequality. This is a similar rate of loss to the other countries in the medium human development grouping, but higher than the average for the countries in the region.

The global Human Development Reports are published annually with National Human Development Reports produced every four to five years.

See full report:

Read Report Summary:

Contact Information
Ms. Latsany Phakdisoth at UNDP: Tel: 021 267 737, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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