The lack of political commitment, not of financial resources, is often the
real cause of human neglect. This is the main conclusion of Human Development
Report 1991- the second in a series of annual reports on the subject. The
Report points to an enormous potential for restructuring of both national
budgets and international aid allocations in favour of human development.
But the plea for greater allocative efficiency and more effective spending
does not mean indifference to the need for economic growth, or for increased
resource mobilization. On the contrary. The Report's position is that a more
efficient and effective public sector will help strengthen the private role in
human development. And the best argument for additional resources is that the
existing funds are well spent.
Just as economic growth is necessary for human development, human development
is critical to economic growth. This two-way link must be at the heart of any
enlightened policy action.
The 1990 Report argued that the developing countries have the resources to
meet many of their development goals. This Report takes the debate a stage
further by showing the potential for restructuring national budgets and foreign
assistance to meet human needs.
The Report suggests that:
- High levels of human development tend to be achieved with the framework of
high levels of human freedom;
- The main task is to invest in people, liberating their initiative;
- The human expenditure ratio should become one of the principle guides to
public spending policy;
- Restructuring for human development is likely only with a workable
political strategy; and
- If we can mobilize the political base for action, the future of human
development is secure.