According to the Human development report (HDR) 2015, governments must act speedily to ensure that none of their citizens are left out on the fast changing world of work. This means that fast technological progress, deepening globalisation, aging societies and environmental challenges are rapidly transforming what work means today and how it is performed.
The report perceives that this new world of work presents great opportunities for some, but also profound challenges for others. HDR was released in December 2015 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The report, titled ‘Work for Human Development’, calls for equitable and decent work for all. In doing so, it encourages governments to look beyond jobs to consider the many kinds of work, such as unpaid care, voluntary, or creative work that are important for human development. The report suggests that only by taking such a broad view can the benefits of work be truly harnessed for sustainable development.
With better health and education outcomes and reductions in extreme poverty, 2 billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years, the report says. Yet in order to secure these gains and galvanize progress, a stronger focus on decent work is needed.
In sub-Saharan Africa for instance, greater inclusion of women and youth in work will spur human development. According to the report, since 2000, Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced the fastest annual growth rates in the Human Development Index (HDI) among all regions - growing at an annual rate of 1.7 percent between 2000 and 2010 and 0.9 percent between 2010 and 2014.
However, sub-Saharan Africa has also 500 million of people living in multidimensional poverty, that is three of every five in the region. In addition, gains in human development, especially in health and education, are more unevenly distributed than in any other region in the world, as recorded by the Inequality-adjusted HDI. Sub-Saharan Africa is facing a high cohort of young people due to population growth. HDR therefore perceives that addressing low literacy rates and building skills can help young people secure work opportunities.