President Bio Improves Human Development

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Sierra Leone has moved three places upwards on the 2019 UNDP Human Development Index (HDI). In 2018 the country was ranked 184 out of 189 countries and in 2019 ranked 181.

Human Capital Development has been the hallmark of the New Direction Government led by President Julius Maada Bio. The President invested 21% of the country’s budget to education which he feels is the bedrock of his human capital development drive.

Speaking on the ranking, the country’s Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray said the improvement clearly explains President Julius Maada Bio’s commitment to human development. He said the ranking speaks to the result of their administration to better manage the state and its resources as promised during campaigns in 2018.

He said the fruits will continue to bear with their disciplined leadership and love for Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans.

The HDI was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. The HDI can also be used to question national policy choices, asking how two countries with the same level of GNI per capita can end up with different human development outcomes. These contrasts can stimulate debate about government policy priorities.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.

The health dimension is assessed by life expectancy at birth, the education dimension is measured by mean of years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and more and expected years of schooling for children of school entering age. The standard of living dimension is measured by gross national income per capita. The HDI uses the logarithm of income, to reflect the diminishing importance of income with increasing GNI. The scores for the three HDI dimension indices are then aggregated into a composite index using geometric mean. Refer to Technical notes for more details.

The HDI simplifies and captures only part of what human development entails. It does not reflect on inequalities, poverty, human security, empowerment, etc. The HDRO offers the other composite indices as broader proxy on some of the key issues of human development, inequality, gender disparity and poverty.

A fuller picture of a country’s level of human development requires analysis of other indicators and information presented in the statistical annex of the report.