The Human Security Index: An Update and a New Release

David Hastings
unpublished
Human Security Index Version 2.0 has been released. Version one was released in 2008. Since then an improved conceptual framework and development process have evolved. Version 2 encompasses over 230 countries. Human Security Indices have been prototyped for the USA and a developing country, to assess the feasibility of more community-level HSIs. http://www.HumanSecurityIndex.org has been established for presenting and discussing HSI-relevant issues. This document is sourced on that Website. The
more » ... n that Website. The HSI aims to characterize the security of an individual or group at home, in one's village, country, and the Earth. Is everyone treated well, not unduly deprived of education/knowledge and a healthy and peaceful life? The HSI aims to support existing and future developers of well-intentioned indicators which may be used by development analysts/strategists/implementers, by emphasizing outcomes rather than modalities. The HSI is now conceptually framed in a trinity of economic, environmental, and social fabric. The Economic Fabric Index attempts to characterize financial resources, including protection from financial catastrophe, for everyone. The Environmental Fabric Index blends risk of environmental disasters, environmentally healthy living conditions, environmental sustainability and governance. The Social Fabric Index blends diversity, education and information empowerment, food security, governance, health, and peacefulness. All this is a work-in-progress, with additional input datasets being evolved. The HSI is also framed with the goal of avoiding, so much as possible, a cultural (e.g. east-west) or philosophical (north-south or left-right) bias. Of course, there is only one guarantee regarding socioeconomic or environmental data: they are imperfect. Similarly, there is likely to be intentional or unwitting bias. Thus the HSI does not perfectly meet its goal of non-bias-but this should also be a subject of discussion-aimed at improved pursuit of the target, framework, and goal of the HSI. People of diverse socioeconomic and political viewpoints have engaged with the HSI-and agree that such a tool can be valuable for researchers and decision-makers. Maps on each major component, and of the composite Human Security Index itself, indicate some situations which might initially be unexpected. They suggest that a HSI is a potentially valuable complement or replacement of traditional reportage like GDP or the HDI, for deeper understanding of the situations of people and communities. This paper summarizes issues, process, and results. It also summarizes the production and release of a "classic" HDI, produced in the spirit of the original HDI (prior to its design changes in 2010) covering the same 232 countries, which accompanies the HSI database. Annex A maps sample input data, sub-components (such as health), the three component Fabric Indices (economic, environmental, and social), and HSI V2.
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