The paper revisits the human development framework and anchors it in an interpretation of the capability approach that helps in delineating economic and social policy pathways to desirable outcomes.
Deepak Nayyar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India; Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South, United States Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA.
Rajeev Malhotra, Professor, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Economic and social policies of governments could improve or worsen the wellbeing of people, so that their impact on human development could be positive or negative. This article discusses the role, as well as the scope, of public policies for human development in the contemporary developing and industrialised worlds, buffeted by frequent global and local economic crises, including a health pandemic of unprecedented proportions, where mainstream economic policies have often been detrimental, rather than conducive, to advancing human wellbeing.
The paper revisits the human development framework and anchors it in an interpretation of the capability approach that helps in delineating economic and social policy pathways to desirable outcomes. It argues that this is essential for an effective operationalisation of the approach to human development. Building on that, it explores the nature of economic and social policies that might constitute an appropriate policy-mix for advancing human development.
In doing so, it recognises that, while human development problems in poor and rich countries are similar, the choices, sequencing and prioritisation of policies will inevitably be determined by the country-context and government-objectives. Given the context, it suggests that the framework of SDGs at the national level could enable a focus on human development objectives in the policy design and strategic response of countries.
Published in: Journal of Human Development and Capabilities
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