Team of authors: Nikolai Genov (Editor)
Anna Mantarova, Dimitrina Dimitrova, Gancho Ganchev, Georgi Bogdanov, Georgi Shopov, Goran Bankov,
Ivan Nikiforov, Iskra Beleva, Kiril Gatev, Maria Kadinova, Mariana Zaharieva, Minko Minkov, Petko Evrev,
Rossen Rozenov, Stefan Ivanov, Stoicho Motev, Tanya Cholakova, Yordan Hristoskov, Zhivko Nedev, Zlatka
Baicho Panev, Kiril Kertikov, Zhana Ilieva
For almost fifty years, Bulgarian society has been
guided by principles which hardly changed over time. Then,
all of the sudden, the introduction of democratic institu-
tions and market economy shattered the foundations of
socio-economic life of the country. The radical changes
caused disorientation among large segments of the popu-
lation which was not prepared for them.
The magnitude of the changes was not anticipated in
the international community as well. As a result, the ob-
jective of creating an environment which provides equal
opportunities for all is far from being met. New disparities
appeared, old ones increased.
Against this background the Human Development Re-
port. Bulgaria 1996 is a genuine attempt to contribute to the
development of a policy dialogue in the country. The report
aims at identifying the most vulnerable groups in Bulgarian
society as well as the areas which need most urgent atten-
tion. The views set forth in the report have emerged from
the candid and professional analysis of an eminent team
working under the guidance of Prof. Nikolai Genov.
The process of preparing the report is just as impor-
tant as the report itself. The preliminary findings have been
presented and discussed at several workshops open to the
public. The team of authors greatly benefited from the
open exchange of ideas there.
The findings of the report indicate that the main chal-
lenge to Bulgarian society is the development of the hu-
man capacity to cope with a rapidly evolving social trans-
formation. The major task is to formulate and implement
policies which will create an enabling environment of sus-
tainable human development.
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT ! BULGARIA 1996
After the profound changes of the last
few years, Bulgarian society is painfully and
slowly entering a period of stabilization.
Positive processes are taking shape in the
economy. Political confrontation is getting
less acute. Tendencies in culture are be-
coming clearer. However, the complicated
problems facing the country are more trans-
parent today as well.
This experience strengthens the view
that the national human resources are the
key factor for the success of the current
transformation. Their development and re-
alization are at the same time condition and
goal of the reforms. That is why the United
Nations Development Programmess ini-
tiative to prepare annual reports on human
development in Bulgaria is not just timely.
It manifests the profound understanding
that a sustainable development worldwide
is possible only if there is a sustainable
development of individual countries.
Among other things, this means develop-
ment of people, development for people
and with peoples participation.
Following the broad interest elicited
by the first national Human Development
Report Bulgaria 1995, the UNDP has sup-
ported a team of independent experts in
preparing a second annual study. The 1996
report is characterized by both continuity
of topics and major changes in the direc-
tion of analysis. Special attention is devoted
to the regional specifics of the conditions
for human development.
The authors are well aware that they
analyze problems vital for the country and
for every citizen; that many of these prob-
lems evolve rapidly and the risk of analy-
sis and recommended solutions is substan-
tial; that, given the countrys present situa-
tion, there are no commonly shared views
of the desirable state of man and national
Herein lies the genuine scientific and
civic challenge, however. The authors have
tried to present as objectively as possible
the major problems facing the country at
present and in the foreseeable future. Their
efforts were backed by many individuals and
organizations. Yet the choice of topics, the
style of analysis, conclusions and recommen-
dations are the sole responsibility of the
authors and do not commit international or
national institutions. The publication is
aimed at promoting a competent and con-
structive dialogue on current trends in Bul-
garian society and how to steer them.
Professor Nikolai Genov, Dr. sc.
National Coordinator of the project
Human Development Report.