I've spent the better part of the last [redacted] hours tooling around a cool website that anyone interested in poverty, education and community should check out. The American Human Development Project measures how we're doing on an index of "human development" indicators: health, education and income. The Project's mission is
to stimulate fact-based public debate about and political attention to human development issues in the United States and to empower people with an instrument to hold elected officials accountable for progress on issues we all care about: health, education and income.
Project creators Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis have taken indicators that are commonly used in so-called "developing" countries to measure progress, and applied them here in the U.S. There's a report you can read, and interactive maps. You can even use the Well-O-Meter to get a score of your personal human development. I recommend starting there, then going to the maps, where you can compare your score against states and even against Congressional districts.
How well does the U.S. stack up worldwide?
The U.S. ranks second among 177 countries in per-capita income but 12th on human development, according to the global Human Development Index, published annually by the United Nations Development Programme. Each of the 11 countries ahead of the U.S. has a lower per-capita income than the U.S., but all perform better on the health and knowledge dimensions.
There's much, much more, so click on over to the site. This is great information anyone can use to help make voting decisions in this election season.
It's also information we as workforce development professionals should have at hand as we create new programs and seek out funding. I'd love to see some analysis on how workforce development could help us improve our human development scores. Any thoughts?