Global concerns about inequalities are growing, and for good reason. High and growing inequalities are increasingly understood to undermine prospects for sustainable development through a multitude of channels.

Inequality isn’t new; what is new is the attention it’s getting, particularly in terms of exploring possibilities for moving from rhetoric to policy responses.

However, global narratives on inequalities and how best to address them have not yet fully connected with the transition and developing economies of Europe and Central Asia.*

This is partly because of the region’s post-socialist heritage, which left relatively equal (compared to other developing countries) distributions of income, relatively broad access to social services, and relatively small gender disparities.

Unfortunately, there are worrying signs that these advantages are being lost—and that problems of inequality and vulnerability are growing and converging with those of other regions.

The Istanbul Development Dialogues (2016): #TalkInequality — will be held on 9-10 February, 2016.

The event will gather leading experts on inequalities and the post-2015 development agenda, both in this region and globally and explore recent development in research and analysis on inequalities and programming to address them in the region.

* Reference is to the programme countries/territories whose development aspirations are supported by UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS. These are: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo (as per UNSCR 1244 (1999)), Kyrgyzstan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Check out the presentations from 2015

Istanbul Development Dialogues (2016): #TalkInequality—Programme



8.30 – 9.00 Registration
9.00 – 9.15 Welcoming remarks
• Moderator: Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky, Manager, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub
• Ms. Cihan Sultanoğlu, Director, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS
9.15 – 11.00 Introductory session—“Setting the stage”

    • Moderator: Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky
    • Presentations and panel discussion (Davos style):

o Mr. Ben Slay, Senior Advisor, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS, “UNDP’s Regional Human Development Report on Inequalities—An Overview”
o Ms. Ipek Ilkkaracan, Istanbul Technical University, “Caring Labour as a Systemic Source of Inequalities and Purple Economy as a Solution”
o Mr. Richard Filcak, Slovak Academy of Sciences, “Roma Exclusion and Environmental Justice”
o Ms. Meryem Aslan, Oxfam-Turkey, “The Richest 1%—What does this mean for Turkey?”

  • Questions, answers, discussion
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 – 13.00 Labour markets, gender inequalities, and social protection

    • Moderator: Ms. Louisa Vinton, UN Resident Coordinator, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
    • Presenters:

o Ms. Sheila Marnie, Programme Advisor, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub
o Ms. Bharati Sadasivam, Gender Team Leader, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

  • Discussant: Gordana Matković, Director, Social Policy Studies, Centre for Liberal-Democratic Studies, Belgrade
  • Commentary and discussion
13.00 – 14.00 Catered lunch
14.00 – 15.30 Inequalities, natural capital, indicators, and measurement

    • Moderator: Ms. Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator, Moldova
    • Presenters:

o Ms. Rodica Nicoara, Deputy Minister of Economy, Moldova, “Moldova’s experience with measuring inequalities”
o Mr. Sergey Khrushchev, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Belarus
o Mr. Edin Šabanović, Assistant Director, Agency of Statistics, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Spatial inequalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina”
o Ms. Elena Kukharevich, Deputy Head, Belarusian Statistics Committee, ““Nationalization of Sustainable Development Goals for Belarus”Ms. Vania Etropolska, UNECE Statistical Division, “Towards measurement of SDGs”
o Mr. Mihail Peleah, Green Economy and Employment Specialist, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

    • Discussants:

o Mr. George Bouma, Regional Sustainable Development Team Leader, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub
o Others (TBC)

15.30 – 16.30 Inequalities and health

    • Moderator: Mr. Alexander Avanessov, UN Resident Coordinator, Kyrgyz Republic
    • Presenters:

o Mr. John Macauley, HIV, health and development analyst, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, “Programmatic and policy frameworks to address health equity (SDGs, Health 2020)”
o Ms. Ruth Bell, Senior Research Fellow, University College London, “The SEEDs of health”
o Mr. Zlatko Nikoloski, Research fellow, London School of Economics, “Determinants of self-perceived health and inequities”

  • Commentary and discussion
16.30 – 16.45 Coffee break
16.45 – 17.45 Inequalities and inclusive governance

    • Moderator: Mr. Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator, Uzbekistan
    • Presenter: Ms. Shelley Inglis, UNDP governance and peacebuilding regional cluster leader
    • Commentators:

o Mr. Arbi Mazniku, Deputy Mayor, Tirana
o Ms. Sonja Lokar, Executive Director, CEE Network for Gender Issues, Ljubljana

  • Discussion
17.45 – 18.00 Day 1 conclusions

  • Moderator: Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky
  • Speaker: Mr. Ben Slay
19:00 Reception


9.00 – 10.30 Open Forum—Partners’ presentations

  • Moderator: Mr. Ben Slay
  • Presenters:
    o Ms. Michaela Bergman, Chief Counsellor for Social Issues, EBRD
    o Ms. Gabriele Kohler, Women in Europe for a Common Future
    o Mr. Žarko Šunderić, Director, Centre for Social Policy—Serbia
    o Ms. Sonja Lokar, Executive Director, CEE Network for Gender Issues
    o Ms. Ketevan Vashakidze, President, Europe Foundation
    o Ms. Nigina Abaszadeh, Regional Gender Advisor, UNFPA
    o Others (TBC)
  • Commentary and discussion
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 – 13.00 • Labour markets, gender inequalities, and social protection
• Inequalities, natural capital, indicators, and measurement
• Inequalities and health
• Inequalities and inclusive governance
13.00 – 14.00 Catered lunch
14.00 – 15.00 Report back from corners

    • Moderator: Ben Slay
    • Labour markets, gender inequalities, and social protection:

o Presenters: Bharati Sadasivam, Sheila Marnie
o Discussion

    • Inequalities, natural capital, indicators, and measurement:

o Presenters: George Bouma, Mihail Peleah
o Discussion

    • Inequalities and health:

o Presenter: John Macauley
o Discussion

    • Inclusive governance:

o Presenter: Shelley Inglis
o Discussion

  • Commentary and discussion
15.00 – 15.15 Coffee break
15.15 – 17.00 Country case studies and programmatic follow up

  • Moderator: Mr. Ben Slay
  • Presenters:
    o Berna Bayazit, UNDP-Turkey, “Gender, income inequalities, and regional disparities”
    o Envesa Hodzic-Kovac, UNDP-BiH, “Spatial disparities in Bosnia and Herzegovina”
    o Dumitru Vasilescu, UNDP-Moldova, “Urban inequality and poverty in Moldova”
    o Elmira Shishkaraeva and Nuria Choibaeva, UNDP- Kyrgyz Republic, “Gender inequality and political participation in the Kyrgyz Republic”
    o Leyla Fathi, UNDP-Azerbaijan, “Promoting Rural Women’s Participation in Socio-economic Life”
    o Others (TBC)
17.00 Concluding remarks: Mr. Ben Slay