Bringing about economic development for the people and focusing on freedoms and choices as goals of this development is the main objective of the Human Development Report introduced in 1990. Since then four composite indices for human development have been developed, namely the Human Development Index, the Human Poverty Index, the Gender Empowerment Measure and the Gender-related Development Index. Each Report focuses on a topical theme in development debate, offering policy recommendations and in-depth analysis. The messages of the reports and the tools for their implementation have been embraced by people worldwide, resulting in the national human development reports publications in over 120 nations. Presented to the Executive Board in 2000, United Nations Development Program is a business plan that confirms the National Human Development Reports' status as major pillars of the program's policy and analytical work. These reports were designed with the aim of raising public awareness and triggering actions on critical human development concerns. They also make significant contributions to strengthening analytical capacity, and form a vehicle for realization of the goals set at the Millennium Summit.
The corporate policy forms backbone of the Human Development Report Toolkit for National and Regional HDR Teams. It outlines six broad principles characterizing NHDRs' excellence, including National Ownership, Independence of Analysis, Participatory and Inclusive Preparation Process, Quality of Analysis, Flexibility and Creativity in Presentation and Sustained Follow-Up. The corporate policy addresses each of these principles in chapter that consist of a discussion of key strategies and concepts, examples of good practices from the HDR experiences, minimum standards for achievement and other relevant information that may be helpful to the HDR team. The goal of this corporate policy is to provide the organizational framework to promote policy relevance and quality of the NHDRs. It affirms basic principles characterizing successful and effective NHDRs and identifies actions necessary for ensuring the highest level of performance.
Within this context, the specific objectives of the corporate policy can be defined as following: to establish corporate standards for analysis, content, participation and dissemination of best practices; to mobilize broader substantive support, enhanced capacities and additional resources for NHDR processes; and to establish appropriate links between the NHDR analyses and UN UNDP system. Since publishing the first National Human Development Report in 1992 in Bangladesh, the number of such reports has grown dramatically, with nearly 350 NHDRs being published in 135 countries worldwide. They are national not only because of being country-based, but also because they are
seen as culminations of inclusive consultations which help build consensus among national stakeholders. As for the NHDRs publication, it is the center piece of the dynamic process which involves extensive dissemination and advocacy and participatory preparation.