5 Jul 2005

Some progress being made in development around the region

1:46 pm on 5 July 2005

There appears to be some progress being made in development around the region.

A meeting is currently underway in Fiji to discuss development rates by using measurements like the Human Development Index which includes life expectancy, adult literacy rates and participation in education.

It also measures per capita gross domestic product or changes in living standards in a cash economy.

An independent researcher, Margaret Chung, who's an author of the last Pacific Human Development report, says there has been progress in some areas.

"Compared with the figures for 99, we've seen quite steep increases in this index, particularly for the countries that were ranked lowest in the region last time around; so Solomons, Vanuatu, PNG. And, this progress reflects quite a high level of investment in education, principally."

Literacy rates, longevity and health indicators are all improving apart from concerns over the rates of HIV/Aids.

But, there's concern over increasing levels of poverty being reported around the region.

The consultation will contribute to the 3rd Pacific Human Development Report being prepared by the Pacific Institute of Development and Governance at the University of the South Pacific.