Project Management


Entries in influencer (2)


You Heard It Here First: Influencing Perspectives on the Global South | 24 June 2014



In 2013, UNDP launched its yearly global human development report ( The theme was the “Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”. For those who have been following our e-newsletter Development Challenges, South-South Solutions, or, been reading our magazine Southern Innovator, this will not come as a surprise. Both the e-newsletter and the magazine have consistently championed a new perspective on the global South and have shown through solid evidence that a fundamental shift is underway in the world. Both publications have been influential in shifting perspectives and priorities, and most importantly, in drawing attention to the plentiful abundance of innovators: all part of a global innovation culture. As can be seen below, the seeds of the HDR can be found in the first issue of Southern Innovator, launched in 2011.

The cover for the 2013 Global Human Development Report and its theme “The Rise of the South”.

SI Prototypes

In 1997, I was the Managing Editor for Mongolia’s first national human development report. The challenge was to deliver a report that reflected the new thinking on poverty expressed in the 1997 global human development report – that it was possible to apply human know-how to eradicate poverty within a generation – and to communicate the story of Mongolia’s turbulent transition years in a way that placed the people at the centre of the narrative, and to do it during a major economic crisis. The team decided to take a sharply different approach to the design of the report, placing the photograph of a child on the cover and using children’s illustrations throughout the report. It showed that human development is not just a series of charts and statistics, but is about making life better for the country’s large youth population. The cover also had a minor adjustment to how the title is presented, discarding the staccato breaking up of the words human and development, to run them side by side as “Human Development”. A subtle change but one that was picked up by the global human development report in its future editions. The report also chose to use its design and printing as a spur to improve the publishing industry in Mongolia. Devastated by the economic crisis, the domestic printing companies lacked the resources and skills to publish to modern standards. Working with a Mongolian publishing company, the large print run of the report (20,000 copies) was able to transform the company’s fortunes, enabling them to purchase new computers and equipment.

Human Development Report Mongolia 1997.
Human Development Report 1997 The 1997 global human development report and the 2013 human development report.




© David South Consulting 2017


Southern Innovator: The Next Phase | 2 August 2013



So much has been accomplished in the first phase of developing Southern Innovator magazine. It has reached out around the world to uncover a thriving global innovation culture comprising many pioneers and innovators. Three issues were printed and distributed across the globe from 2011 to 2012: a total of 15,000 print copies. A fourth issue is ready on the theme of cities and urbanization and awaits funding to clear so it can be printed.

The magazine uses an eye-pleasing design and layout developed in its design studio in Iceland. Experts in public design and cross-cultural communications work on each issue. A further two issues will be completed in 2013 and they will cover the themes of waste and recycling (Issue 5) and science, technology and innovation (Issue 6).

The magazine is currently seeking partners to help with the costs of printing and distributing the magazine. There are also opportunities for the right partner to support the magazine’s brand with tools that can help our readers. Stay tuned for more news on the magazine’s development!

Action Plan 2013Background Paper 2013

© David South Consulting 2017