Customizing Human Development Data for Ministerial Decision-making

Today more than ever, Ministers are challenged to maintain progress in health, education and economic growth in the face of severely depleted fiscal reserves. Data is critical to guiding ministerial decision-making as they try to optimize available budget.

With the help of a group of current and former Ministers, the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program last October launched a Dashboard on Human Development for Economic Progress, whose primary aim is to provide an overarching cross-sectoral picture of the essential importance of human development to economic progress and future development prospects. Ministers have found the Dashboard to be a useful resource in monitoring the implementation of their strategies and benchmarking their progress against other countries.

Building on the value of the cross-sectoral Dashboard, the Harvard Ministerial Program is now launching a complementary set of customized country-specific Human Development Scorecards. The Scorecards present the curated Dashboard data combined with World Bank Human Capital Index components, select Sustainable Development Goal indicators, and select Afrobarometer survey responses. Ministers’ progress is constantly being evaluated by stakeholders and thus, understanding where their country stands with regards to critical data, key international indices, and citizen perceptions, is a foundational step to baselining progress or minimizing backsliding. Each Scorecard will also include brief data analysis to guide further data exploration and to help identify areas for cross-sectoral collaboration and synergy across Ministries.

While the Dashboard is available to all Harvard Ministerial countries online, the complementary Scorecard set will be primarily developed for the incoming 2021 cohort of Harvard Ministers.