This study utilises a number of UNDP indices (the Human Development Index, the Gender-related Development Index, and the Human Poverty Index) to examine human progress in selected South Asian countries. It identifies the better and worse performers within the region, assesses whether their performance has been consistent over time, and deduces any broad policy implications. Within South Asia, Sri Lanka shows relatively better performance while Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan substantially lag behind. Notwithstanding the improvements over time, even the best performers in the region are at best 'average' compared to developing country standards. We emphasise the magnitude of the existing deprivations and the need to take corrective and preventive policy measures.