The future of the human capital in Ukraine

19 Jun 2014

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Why is enhancing of human capital is important for Ukraine?  What is the current status and quality of human potential in Ukraine? What should be done for human development and sustainable economic growth?

These are just a few questions discussed during the panel discussion on Human capital and human development by the renowned experts, government officials, journalists and representatives of academia and business.

Among the key speakers, there were  Pavlo Sheremeta, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine; Inita Pauloviča,  Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Ukraine; Olena Makarova, Deputy Director of the Institute of Demography and Social Studies of the National Academy of Sciences Ukraine; Anna Vakhitova, Professor of the Kiev School of Economics, Margarita Korotkova, Human Resource Director at Milkiland company, Igor Shumylo, Advisor to the President of the Kyiv School of Economics.

“Human Capital is  of the main priorities for the Ministry of economy. Improving human capital is key for improving efficiency of the functioning of the state”- emphasized Pavlo Sheremeta, Minister of Economy of Ukraine.

"The key for the future of any country and any institution lies in the talent, skills and capabilities of its people. With talent shortages projected to become more severe in much of the developed and developing world, it will be imperative to turn attention to how these shortages can be met in the short term and prevented in the long term. For the individual, as well as for societies and economies as a whole, investing in human capital is critical; even more so in the context of shifting population dynamics and limited resources", - noted Inita Pauloviča, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

The discussion was followed by the hands-on training for the media during which over 40 national and regional journalists were able to enhance their knowledge on human development and human capital.

“This knowledge would be especially relevant in light of the upcoming launch of the Human Development Report 2014. It is critically important to ensure that Ukrainian journalists are educated and well-prepared to ask tough questions and write in-depth analytical articles on challenges and opportunities for human development in Ukraine”- emphasized Oleksiy Pogorelov, director of the Ukrainian Association of Press Publishers.

According to the World Economic Forum, in 2013, Ukraine came 63rd in the ranking of all countries with a human capital score of – 0.124.  Pillar 1 (Education) and pillar 2 (Health & wellness) registered positive scores (0.316 and 0.078 respectively) whereas pillar 3 and pillar 4 showed low rankings (67 and 96 respectively) with negative scores (-0.166 and -0.725) respectively. According to the WEF report, significant improvements need to be achieved by Ukraine in: quality of education; healthy life style;  country capacity to attract and retain talent;  capacity for innovation;  employees training; state of cluster development; costs of doing business; intellectual property protection and property rights; social mobility.

Human capital is directly related to human development and when there is human development, the qualitative and quantitative progress of a nation is inevitable. A strategic vision of global human development has been forming in the framework of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Post-2015 refers to a process led by the United Nations that aims to help define the future development framework that will succeed the UN Millennium Development Goals. National consultations on Post-2015 have been under way in 88 countries. The consultations generated inputs into global policy-making from individuals and groups through meetings and conferences, online discussions, and larger public debates. In addition, eleven thematic consultations were conducted around the world in areas such as inequalities, health, education, growth and employment, environmental sustainability, governance, conflict and fragility, population dynamics, hunger, food and nutrition security, energy, and water.

In Ukraine the national consultations to define the Post-2015 Development Agenda were held in early 2013. They involved more than 25,000 people, and about 11,000 Ukrainians participated in the MY World global survey. 

Based on the findings from the national consultation and experts’ opinions, Ukrainian society has identified the following post-2015 development priorities: equal opportunities and social justice; open and transparent authorities; efficient health care; decent work; a modern economy; a healthy environment; accessible and high-quality education; and a developed infrastructure. The first steps aimed at enhancing human development in Ukraine should reflect the expectation of civil society in these directions.