Press release

Seychelles standard of living increases although position in UN HDI decreases: Changes in methodological approaches explains shift says Minister Laporte

July 25, 2014

Minister for Finance Trade and Investment, Pierre Laporte and Roland Alcindor Programme Manager for Mauritius and Seychelles at the United Nations Development Program held a joint press conference today at the Ministry of Finance explaining the new parameters used in assessing global rankings of countries following the 2014 launch of the Human Development Report in Tokyo, Japan yesterday.

In this years Human Development Index, Seychelles ranks 71st globally and maintains a ‘high level’ of human development.  In last year’s rankings Seychelles was 70th.  Minister Laporte stressed that the one-position downgrade was attributed to the new methodology used by the United Nations Development Program in evaluating individual countries.

“Although we have gone down in the index we must not view this as failure because our standard of living has increased since 2012. We have dropped in the rankings because of the methodology of classification and not because of our absolute results that have been very good ” said the Minister.

Minister Laporte stressed Seychelles’ position is also a reflection of poorly collected data and implementation by various United Nations organisations namely; UNESCO and the WHO; data which was made available by the Seychelles government and never incorporated in the report. The Ministers noted that if these anomalies were rectified Seychelles would feature significantly higher in the index.

Mr Alcindor noted that this years Human Development Report entitled “sustaining human progress: reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience’ highlights the need for both promoting people’s choices and protecting human development achievements. It takes the view that vulnerability threatens human development and, unless it is systematically addressed, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable.

“In order for the index to remain robust, a change of methodology was required to better reflect current realities” stated Mr Alcindor.  He further said that “before 1990, development was purely measured on the basis of income per capita, which is a skewed concept. As we look to the post 2015 agenda we need to attain the ‘zero to zero’ ideal which benefits the most vulnerable in our societies”

Minister Laporte noted that a cause for concern was Seychelles’ drop in the ‘Expected years of Schooling’ parameter; decreasing from thirteen years to eleven.

“Now is not a time for excuses, we need to ensure that the right information is added to the report and that problems in the educational sector are addressed accordingly stated the Minister. He further added that even if Seychelles featured first overall in the index it would continue to strive to improve to better the lives of the Seychellois people.