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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

From its establishment, people and human development have been at the center of the UN’s development work, more clearly than at the World Bank and the IMF that have had a narrower economic focus. This chapter provides clear definitions of human development, drawing on UNDP’s Human Development Report, illustrating the approach with such issues as gender, human security, globalization, and human rights as well as the Human Development Index (HDI). A brief overview of the UN’s development leadership and operational work shows a wide field and is now focused on the SDGs (2016–2030) and formerly on the MDGs (2000–2015). UN expenditures are modest in comparison with funding for the World Bank and the IMF, but arguably more effective. There could be benefits in closer and more balanced collaboration between these global organizations, providing there is learning.

Keywords: human development, gender, human security, globalization, human rights, UNDP, World Bank, IMF, MDGs, SDGs

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