Book discussion about Human Development Index (HDI) 2021-2022, #4

Discussion date: December 14, 2022
Chapter 6 (Page 175-191)
Responsible: Taro MIYAUCHI



In this chapter, the methods to face to uncertainty are introduced. It is difficult to predict the emergency of uncertainty and almost impossible to avoid it perfectly. So we have to avoid the negative effects of uncertainty, and at the same time, we should grab the opportunities that emerge. Then, to accomplish them and expand human development (H.D.), authors divided into 2 phases: ① Institutions and Policies, and ② Culture aspects. ① is composed 3 types of policies; Investment, Insurance and Innovation (=3 I). ② is related to consider general values and briefs to reduce the insecurity of uncertainty. About ②, especially the 3 keywords; education, social recognition and representation, have the important roles for H.D.

(3 I)

“Investment” is the way to grow up our capabilities to face to uncertainty. In this report, 2 main methods of investment are introduced; investment to governance system and to Nature-based H.D.

First, about investment of governance system, when we invest to international scale of governance system, it is important to create the system that can encourage experimental approaches, respond quickly, utilize all relevant knowledge, and take into account the uncertainty on a global scale. Then, of course it is important to cooperate and coordinate among nations. However, there is an imbalance of power created by vested interests among nations, so we should remove them for the first time.

Second, investments to Nature-based H.D. are to pay the cost to green areas to control risk of extreme weather, to ensure water availability, and so on. All of them depend on the initiative of local communities and indigenous peoples. So if we can encourage their proactivity of participation, those approaches are not completed in community, but can solve national challenges across territories through collaboration between nations, and finally we can encourage the share of knowledge and education between countries.

Next, “Insurance” is compensation and protection for the shocks of uncertainty, so tends to be conducted after negative influence of uncertainty happens. Financial approaches are one of most useful methods as insurance, like utilizing government bonds after the uncertainty happens, giving minimum guaranteed income, etc. Except for financial approaches, methods to support human welfare are also utilized as insurance; expanding the scope of universal basic services, to not only education and health, but also housing, mental-health, and so on.

Finally, “Innovation” is mechanism looking for new approaches through creativity and iterative learning. It is introduced in some areas; peacebuilding after war, tackling misinformation, new ways of measuring H.D. And to generate innovations, iteration is one of good methods. We can generate innovation to circle the process of planning, analysis, design, implementation, and testing continuously.

(culture aspect)

It is emphasized that we need to improve the fixed social norms to be more flexible and face to uncertainty in the future. Authors mention it is important to reconsider the 3 keywords.

Firstly, education can grow up children’s skills to deal with uncertainty, because it can instill reasoning and critical thinking and open possibilities for new values and attitudes in younger generations. Through education, we should consider the well-being of next generation, teach the method to cooperate with other ones, and lead youngers to accept diversity. Secondly, to expand the scope of recognition is also important. It can lead people to accept different types of other ones. Finally, who is represented is also important. If we increase women’s representation in government parliament, it can influence policy priorities and expand aspirations for other women and girls.


First topic is “Is the system necessary to just give some money to some people like universal basic income?”. Through reading this chapter, student being responsible this part thought “sustainability” was one of the most important keywords, due to almost all policies and methods considering next generation. However, this system is not sustainable, but short-term policy. On the other hand, some people being economically challenged need minimum income to live. So we discussed this system. Some unique examples and policies were introduced from some students living in different countries, and almost all students agreed that just giving some money directly is not considering future, and it should be changed to other methods, like discount system, investing to teach some people to work and get money by themselves, etc. On the other hand, “universal basic income” is the system to give some money not only to poorer people but also all civils. So the point of discussion became difference if we focused on the system giving money to all people. To consider this system, one student said the system of earning itself can collapse, and it was not effective.

Second topic is very individual one, “Are there any insurance that you have decided to get in the future or already have?”. Some students will have “cancer insurance” for the future or have already had one. The common of these students were many of their ancestors had cancer and genetically they were more likely to have cancer in the future. It was also pointed out that there was some mandated insurance. For example, health insurance in Japan, and even in university, we have insurance related to academic research. Especially foreign students had some insurance created by scholarships, etc.