Tag: Human Development Report


Breathing Life into Numbers

Measure of America authors, Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis will be giving a talk at Philanthropy New York Forum entitled Breathing Life into Numbers: Introducing a Human Index for Funders

Date: April 10, 2012
Time: 8:45 am – 10:00 am
Location: Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, NYC

The America Human Development Index used by our friends at Measure of America has helped garner support for people-centered policies. It reflects the distribution of well-being and opportunity in America by bringing together health, education, and earnings indicators into a single number.

Join Measure of America Co-Directors Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis, and those with a keen interest in using the Index to address the challenges facing ordinary Americans, as we examine a new way to understand well-being and access to opportunity in America today.


How the Index can be utilized to gain a better understanding of the root causes of socio-economic disparities.

How opportunity is distributed in America and which groups are surging ahead while others face the greatest risks.

What tangible steps can be taken, in today’s tight fiscal climate, to build an infrastructure of opportunity that serves a new generation of Americans.”

Registration: Philanthropy New York Members Register Here (Free)
Non-Members please email register@philanthrophynewyork.org. A staff member will contact you regarding payment for $100 fee.


Acknowledging The Great Divide

We were delighted to see President Obama touch on a theme that is near and dear to Humantific in his address to the nation last night from Osawatomie, Kansas. That theme, the continuing existence of what is being framed today as “The Great Divide,” seems to be re-arriving in mainstream consciousness in the United States.

For us it has been and is the central theme of an ongoing project that we have been privileged to participate in: the ground-breaking, social sensemaking book series entitled The Measure of America. Authored by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, The Measure of America began in 2008 as a book series but soon became a significant social change movement. The series has had a tremendous impact on bringing clarity to many dimensions of The Great Divide discussions. The 2010-2011 edition: The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience reveals how Americans stack up in health, education, and income.

Of course, many of us will recognize that the topic of inequality is not a particularly new one for this country. It is just that many of the issues remain largely outside mainstream media coverage and unresolved. The Measure of America series has been instrumental in changing that picture. All of a sudden, in 2011, everyone seems to be interested in subject of The Great Divide! Woooooo Hoooooo!

Of course understanding the “Divide” and acknowledging that it exists is not the same as repairing it. We remain optimistic that growing acknowledgement and broader discussion of The Great Divide will go a long way towards realizing much needed societal change.

See more from The Measure of America series:


A Portrait of California Launching Soon

Humantific has partnered with authors Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis once again to produce the next chapter in the Measure of America Series: A Portrait of California. This is the first special report follow-up to The Measure of America: American Human Development Report 2010–2011, published by NYU Press.

This report ranks California’s major racial and ethnic groups, women and men, 233 neighborhood and county groups defined by the Census Bureau, and the state’s major metro areas in terms of well-being and access to opportunity. The report also presents the “Five Californias” to represent the starkly different realities that coexist in the state today.

Three launch events are scheduled across the state. Registration is open for a limited time:

Tuesday, May 17 – Sacramento

Wednesday, May 18 – Los Angeles

Friday, May 20 – San Francisco

For more information on The Measure of America, visit measureofamerica.org.


Measure of America Featured on NPR

Long time Humantific collaborator Sarah Burd-Sharps coauthor of
The Measure of America 2010-2011
was interviewed by Carrie Feibel last week on NPR.

Sarah talks about measuring human happiness, etc.

“…in Texas, 1 in 5 adults does not have a high school diploma. So that’s one area of severe challenge.”

“What studies have found is that Latino kids in both states in fact, TX and CA, are disproportionately being schooled in schools that are large, that are overcroweded and that are low in resources. And drop-out rates are very high.”

Listen to the NPR interview here:
Houston Public Radio | Texas Lags in Measure of “Human Development”

To see more data about the human development index and use the interactive maps,
visit MeasureofAmerica.org

What is the American Human Development Project?
Part of the Social Science Research Council, The American Human Development Project is a non-partisan initiative to stimulate fact-based public debate about issues of well being in the United States. Our approach and index are modeled on the United Nations Human Development Reports and include components Americans care deeply about: health, education, and income.


Measure of America 2010-2011

The second volume in the series, The Measure of America 2010-2011, Mapping Risks and Resilience is being published November 10, 2010 by New York University Press.

Authored by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps of the American Human Development Project, with visual sensemaking by Humantific | UnderstandingLab, the new color-coded, 320 page volume explains how opportunity is distributed in America. Measure of America and Humantific have partnered for more than six years on this series of  important social sensemking publications created to inform much needed societal change and inspire other project initiatives.

“Are we falling behind other affluent democracies? Which groups are surging ahead and which face the greatest risks?  Which congressional districts enjoy the highest—and lowest—levels of well-being?”

In the big picture sense what is being modeld here is how to move from intuitive ponderings towards more robust, data and information driven change-making.

Get Ready to be surprised AGAIN!

“The Measure of America 2010-2011 shines a spotlight on risks to progress and opportunity, and identifies tested approaches to fostering resilience among different groups: Who is most at risk for obesity? How can workers secure better footholds in the job market? How important is early childhood education? This report provides the tools necessary to build upon past policy successes, protect the progress made over the last half century from emerging risks, and develop an infrastructure of opportunity that can serve a new generation of Americans.”

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University says: “Bravo to the American Human Devlopment Team for another breakthrough volume. The Measure of America 2010-2011 could not be more timely.”

You can preorder The Measure of America 2010-2011 today on Amazon.

See more on the Amercan Human Development Project web site.

What is the Amercan Human Development Project?

Part of the Social Science Research Council, The American Human Development Project is a non-partisan initiative to stimulate fact-based public debate about issues of well being in the United States. The Social Science Research Council research informs and influences public conversation and policy debates.

See more here: The American Human Development Project

What is Humantific | UnderstandingLab?

Humantific is a pioneer in the realm of SenseMaking for ChangeMaking. The UnderstandingLab team within Humantific works with social and organizational change making leaders to explain complex, fuzzy situations, wicked problems, strategies, challenges, opportunities, eco systems, processes, perspectives, business models, social change models and all kinds of solution paths that help prepare for ChangeMaking.

To find out more send an email to engage (at) humantific (dot) com


A Century Apart Launches

Humantific continues our ongoing collaboration with authors Sarah Burd-Sharps, Kristen Lewis and the American Human Development Project team. Just published: A Century Apart: New Measures of Well-Being for U.S. Racial and Ethnic Groups.

“Our national conversation about race tends to take place in black and white, yet the greatest disparities in human well-being to be found in the U.S. are between Asian Americans in New Jersey and Native Americans in South Dakota. An entire century of human progress separates the worst-off from the best-off groups within the U.S., according to the latest update of the American Human Development (HD) Index.”


Download the Report

About the American Human Development Project
The American Human Development Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit initiative of the Social Science Research Council working to stimulate fact-based public debate about and political attention to issues that affect people’s well-being and access to opportunity. A hallmark of this work is the American Human Development Index, a measure that paints a portrait of Americans today and empowers communities with a tool to track progress in areas we all care about: health, education, and standard of living. This Index is based on the well-honed international Human Development Index, published annually by the United Nations. The Project is made possible through the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Lincy Foundation.


Executive Summary Portrait of Louisiana

For those interested in the just published Portrait of Louisiana and the role of social sensemaking in driving social change an executive summary is now available in PDF form.

For more information on the Measure of America initiative go here:


A Portrait of Louisiana Launches

Launched Sept 17 / A Portrait of LOUISIANA: Louisiana Human Development Report 2009

A Portrait of LOUISIANA uses a well-honed international approach to assess progress, opportunity, and human well-being across the state – with some surprising results.

Louisiana ranks 49th among U.S. states and Washington, D.C. on the American Human Development Index, with wide disparities within the state. This new study examines disparities by parish, race, and gender in Louisiana, and calls for action to address the acute human vulnerability that persists today, four years after Hurricane Katrina.

The report is commissioned by Oxfam America and the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, with funding from Oxfam America and the Foundation for the Mid South.

Project Team:

Authors: Sarah Burd-Sharps, Kristen Lewis, Eduardo Borges Martins

Visual SenseMaking & Design: Humantific

Publisher: The Social Science Research Council

See more on the American Human Development Project site.

To order your (free) hard copy of A Portrait of LOUISIANA, contact:

Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation
T: 225-383-1672
E: info@louisianahelp.org


Portrait of Louisiana

Continuing to build on the success of The Measure of America, Humantific is again collaborating with American Human Development Project authors Sarah Burd-Sharps, Kristen Lewis, Eduardo Borges Martins and Oxfam America to create a new specialized Human Development Report, this time focused on Louisiana. Based on apples-to-apples data the report series has been conceived as an extendable, adaptable Social SenseMaking platform that inspires, informs and drives social change in the United States.

The original Measure of America report that was jointly published by Columbia University Press and the Social Science Research Council in July 2008 has already become a significant change force referenced by many community leaders, news organizations and on hundreds of blogs around the world. Each report is utilized locally by citizens and community leaders to help drive meaningful social change. We continue to see rising awareness that Social SenseMaking plays a key role in Social Transformation. Portrait of Louisiana will be published this summer. If you would like to be notified when Portrait of Louisiana is published send an email to us here: projects (at) humantific (dot) com.

You can also page through the Mississippi Report here:

Go here to download the Mississippi Report for free from the OXFAM site.

To read about the original Measure of America report go here:

First “American Human Development Report” Introduces New Measurement of Americans’ Well-being

See more background on the Social Science Research Council site.


Mississippi Portrait Launches

This week, A Portrait of Mississippi: Mississippi Human Development Report 2009 was launched in Jackson, Mississippi. It is the first special project follow up to The Measure of America: American Human Development Report 2008–2009, published in 2008 by Columbia University Press.

Mississippi ranks last among U.S. states on the American Human Development Index. This Social SenseMaking Study examines disparities by county, race, and gender. Enormous challenges exist in Mississippi that we hope to bring increased attention and understanding to.

Commissioned by the Mississippi State Conference NAACP and funded by Oxfam America, A Portrait of Mississippi was undertaken by the American Human Development Project team and Humantific.

The Measure of America and A Portrait of Mississippi were both designed to be evidence-based catalysts for societal change in the United States.

Recent News:

Driving Change in Mississippi

New Report Finds Health and Income Disparities Among Mississippians

Why Boys Fail – Life as a black male in Mississippi…

Study: Life span of black males in Miss. shorter

‘Portrait of Mississippi’ shows disparities

An ugly portrait


Oxfam America