09.06.2009. The first regional Human Development Report for Bashkortostan launched in Ufa
On 9 June, the first Regional Human Development Report for the Republic of Baskortostan of the Russian Federation was launched in the capital city of Ufa. UNDP sponsored the production of the Report the same as the preparation, with the support of the Russian Government, of 12 National Human Development Reports since 1995. Experts from Moscow State University, involved in the production of national reports, provided consultations to authors of the Regional Report.
One way or another, but regional analysis has been present in all National Human Development Reports. For example, the 2006/2007 Report was dedicated to human development in Russia’s regions. However, significant regional disparities made it clear that a deeper analysis can only be conducted in a form of focused regional Human Development Reports.
The Republic of Bashkortostan has been one of the top ten regions in the Russian Regional Human Development Index (HDI) rating measured on the basis of life expectancy, education, and income of the population (Bashkortostan HDI is 0,805 in National Human Development Report 2008), and has pioneered the production of a HDR of its own.
The Report is based on official statistics data as well as the results of sociological surveys conducted in the republic by the Centre for Social and Political Research of the Academy of Sciences of Bashkortostan. It presents a comprehensive analysis of Human Development in the republic and a set of policy recommendations. Special attention is paid to the problems of formation and use of monetary income of the population, to the analysis of the demographic development, education environment, and gender issues. In addition to topics, which are traditional for human development reports, it contains the analysis of innovative development, and social and culture potential of the republic.
In his opening speech, Frode Mauring, UNDP Resident Representative, who came to Ufa to participate in the presentation, underlined the uniqueness of the Bashkortostan Report as “a pilot, the first regional report, which opens new opportunities for the republic.” He expressed hope that it will raise interest in other regions and expand the geography of the reports, as well as help mainstream Human Development as a decision-making tool.
The production of the report was the first step in a broader cooperation envisaged by an agreement between UNDP and the Government of the Republic of Bushkortostan, which was signed earlier in the day. The agreement is aimed at sustainable social and economic development of the republic, and according to Frode Mauring, “may be considered to be the first comprehensive agreement of the kind.” It covers a wide specter of activities from working on a socio-economic development concept and strategy of the region to implementing concrete pilot projects.
UNDP Resident Representative had a possibility to discuss social and economic situation in the republic and prospects of cooperation during the meeting with Murtaza Rakhimov, President of Bashkortostan. “A lot is being done to develop social and spiritual spheres: we are building schools, hospitals, sports facilities, etc. Over half of our expenses go to these purposes,” President Rakhimov said. Frode Mauring responded that the starting point for Bashkortostan is better than in many other places and that it is better to maintain the strong position than to leave problems unresolved.
While on his first visit to one of the regions of the Russian Federation upon arrival in Russia in May, Frode Mauring addressed the Conference of Ethnic Youth Organisations of Bashkortostan. “I was impressed to learn that there are about 130 ethnic groups living in Bashkortostan; that children are taught in 14 languages; that there are various churches coexisting,” he said. “The fact that all these people live in peace side by side can be attributed to the attitudes of young people.” In addition, Mr Mauring underlined the role of young people in resolution of priority global and national problems, such as climate change, demographic crisis and others.
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