The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) – an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF) – and the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) have hosted a regional consultation meeting for the 2019 Human Development Report (HDR) in Doha.
The meeting brought together 15 researchers and leaders from various education institutions in Qatar, including QF members Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI); QF partner university Georgetown University in Qatar; and Education Above All Foundation (EAA). The meeting also included researchers and experts from the UNDP’s National Human Development team.
The one-day event took the form of a roundtable during which five main topics were discussed: preliminary findings of the 2019 HDR; inequality of levels and quality education; social and emotional learning; inequalities in stimuli during early childhood; and the intergenerational transmission of inequality.
Mr. Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE, said: “When the UNDP launched the Human Development Report and Index in 1990, it did the world a great service by emphasizing that human progress could not be measured simply in terms of production and the accumulation of material wealth. By adding education and health into the equation, the UNDP highlighted the importance of ensuring that government and society deploy their wealth constructively in the service of improving human wellbeing.
“Qatar Foundation and WISE are delighted to welcome the UNDP to this regional consultation meeting to discuss the forthcoming Human Development Report, which focuses on inequality, and to share the Education City community’s perspectives on the future direction of the important work undertaken by the Human Development Report team. We are also pleased that representatives from HBKU, EAA, QF’s partner universities, DIFI, and the World Innovation Summit for Health have joined us for this roundtable discussion.”
The meeting stressed the importance of social and education interventions aimed at reducing inequality early on in the life of a child, since, by the time a child enters primary school, the harm caused by poverty and inequalities in other areas is already severe.
Mr. Jonathan Hall, Policy Specialist at the UNDP, said: “This year’s Human Development Report will focus on inequality, and our discussions here have reaffirmed the fundamental role that education can play in reducing inequality. They have also demonstrated that inequality in access to education, even pre-school, can lead to disadvantages in many other aspects of life. Understanding this is critical to our work in helping to build a fairer world.”
The 2019 HDR is the latest in the series of global Human Development Reports. The UNDP has been publishing these reports since 1990 as independent, analytically and empirically grounded discussions of major development issues, trends, and policies such as migration, climate change, and education.