Marc-André Franche, UNDP’s Country Director for Pakistan, is departing from Pakistan leaving the Pakistan National Human Development Report 2016 (PKNHDR) in the middle of nowhere.
Franche, who is serving in Pakistan since 2013, was supposed to leave by the end of 2016. But, he tweeted on Wednesday (July 13) that he is quitting his current job.
Sources claimed that Franche’s sudden departure would badly affect the PNHDR which is under process since November 2014 and was initially planned for launch in 2015. After more than a year’s delay, UNDP is now planning to launch the PNHDR in October this year.
Moreover, the sources disclosed that it is being speculated in UNDP that the launch of the report would face a further delay due to the country director’s departure.
A media coordinator of UNDP, while confirming the report of Franche’s departure, said that “Marc-André Franche is leaving UNDP Pakistan in August 2016. He will be taking on a new job in September as chief of the UN Peacebuilding Fund at the UN Headquarters”.
Regarding the PNHDR, she said that “the Pakistan National Human Development Report is scheduled to be released in October 2016 and will go ahead as planned.”
PNDHR has been one of the most important projects, initiated by Franche.
Although many economists out-rightly reject the approach and methodology being adopted in the National Human Development Report, it is widely considered to be the best indicator to assess the human development in a country.
According to the UNDP, “Human Development approach since its inception has served as the best method for articulating the objectives of development and improving people’s well-being. This approach is more about expanding the standard of human life, as compare to old approaches to development that concentrated on improving the standard of economy only.” The development of people is the main indicator being adopted in NHDR to analyse the overall economic growth of the country.
The central focal point, in the report, is the development of youth as it “looks at the role of youth as a critical force for enhancing human development. With 64 per cent of Pakistan’s population below the age of 30, the report focuses on the significant opportunity for improving human development posed by investing in young people’s quality education, gainful employment and meaningful engagement.”
The report is of vital importance as it is being followed by almost all the international governmental and non-governmental organizations. Even the government and the political leadership consider the report to be extremely important as the advisory council of NHDR includes Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal and Marvi Memon, the chair of Media Broadcasting Subcommittee and deputy chair of the Subcommittee on Defence and Internal and Foreign Affairs, along with Asad Umer of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Bushra Gauhar from the Awami National Party and Jan Achakzai of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl.