The Human Development Index is the measure of a country’s development widely used around the world. It is a composite of the measures covering different aspects of human life, used to compare different countries. The annual report on Regional Human Development for 2016 in Eastern Europe, Turkey and Central Asia has been recently published, covering a wide variety of topics such as the labor market, gender gaps, health, sustainable human development, and matters of inclusive governance. Inequality and human development in Georgia and the region was the topic of discussion at a workshop organized by the local office of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and hosted by ISET on April 11th.
Georgia is a top performer of the human development index (HDI) across the region, except for Russia. However, there are still a lot of improvements to be made to reach the levels of top performers such as Norway and Switzerland. Some of the key challenges for Georgia seem to be income and labour market inequality, while there is mixed evidence on inequality among genders. The main recommendation of the UNDP is to strengthen social institutions, minimize income inequalities and strengthen the capacity of the National Statistics Office to ensure deeper research and a better understanding of the challenges.
The workshop consisted of a presentation of global and regional human development reports (2016) from UNDP’s senior advisor Ben Slay, and a presentation from ISET’s Florian Bierman on inequalities in Georgia covering issues of access and quality of education. The workshop was concluded with a panel discussion participated by Mr. Olivier Burki, Regional Director of Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus, Ms Nino Javakhadze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Nino Zambakhidze, Chairman of Georgian Farmers Association, Ms Irina Khantadze, Chairman, Coalition Education for All, NS Shobi Sharp, Deputy UNDP Resident Representative UNDP Georgia. The panel discussion was moderated by the President of ISET, Eric Livny.