Arab Human Development Reports turn to digital media with launch of 2016 edition Charting new territory-improving availability and understanding of human development data

Nov 29, 2016

Beirut – Participants in the launch of the latest edition of the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched here today, were looking for printed copies of the full report. Only the executive summary of the report was available in print. Instead they were invited to use their smart phone to scan a Quick Response Code to download a new mobile App to access the digital version of the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016: Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality.

“With the focus of this AHDR on youth, we felt that we must keep pace with patterns of consuming and interacting with knowledge that are drastically changing, especially among young people” said Sophie de Caen, acting Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) in UNDP. “Digital tools can present the extensive data and rich analyses of AHDRs in a convenient manner providing users with easier access and improving interactivity and comprehension.”

People across the globe, especially the young, are increasingly getting their information, news and entertainment online. According to surveys cited in the AHDR 2016, 59 percent of youth in the Arab region get their news online, compared to 24 percent who get news from print sources.

Since 1990, UNDP has regularly published its flagship Human Development Reports (HDRs) to capture progress on human development measured by its Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI combines measures of life expectancy and health, education and knowledge, and income and standard of living to account for human well-being. As simple as it is, the HDI relies on huge data sets, which are presented in some form in the statistical annexes of HDRs.

UNDP has published print versions of its HDRs annually at global level and periodically at national and regional levels, and has made them available online for browsing and downloading through respective UNDP websites for a number of years.

The new mobile application, which UNDP launched today with the launch of its latest Arab Human Development Report, is the first such application in UNDP that employs mobile technologies to give users the convenience of direct access to all contents of human development reports from mobile phones and tablets. The App is dedicated to HDRs focusing on the Arab States region and gives bilingual access—in Arabic and English— to all six AHDRs published since 2002.
UNDP has also expanded the scope of its AHDRs’ online presence by adding new advanced tools for data analysis that allow for more tailored browsing, targeted and customised data extraction and comparisons, and sophisticated visualization of data to enhance intelligibility and comprehension.

Additionally, UNDP launched an online discussion platform to promote wide public dialogue on key issues raised in the AHDR 2016. The discussion started three weeks prior to the launch and was moderated by two members of the AHDR 2016 team. Views and ideas expressed in the pre-launch discussions fed into discussions of the topical sessions of the launch, which were livestreamed on the web allowing a wider audience to take part in the discussions through twitter interventions.

“Through this multichannel approach combining print media and a variety of digital tools we have sought to expanded the user’s interaction and engagement, with the contents of AHDRs in general and AHDR 2016 in particular,” said Adel Abdel Latif, Senior Strategic Advisor in UNDP-RBAS and AHDR coordinator.

“We hope that this approach will facilitate wider dialogue and greater sharing of ideas and views about the report and its proposals, and perhaps event inspire action on its recommendations.”

Contact information

In Amman Noeman AlSayyad | +962 6 200 3138 | +962 79 567 2901 | noeman.alsayyad@undp.org


In Beirut Mona El-Yassir | + 961 1 98 11 07 | + 961 3 24 00 36 | mona.el-yassir@undp.org


In New York Theodore Murphy | +1 212 906-5890 | +1 718 915-2097 | theodore.murphy@undp.org


Dylan Lowthian | +1 212 906 5516 | +1 646 673 6350 | dylan.lowthian@undp.org


Follow the Pre-Launch Discussion: www.arab-hdr.org/discuss
On Twitter: Hashatag: #YouthAHDR | Key handles: @UNDPArabic and @UNDPArabStates

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Arab States 
Go to UNDP Global