Human Development Dialogue starts in Turkey

01 Aug 2008


A website for  Human Development Dialogue supported by the United Nations and World Bank in Turkey has been recently launched.

New Horizons - The Human Development Dialogue is an initiative that aims to facilitate dialogue on human development and complement ongoing activities that are already taking place in many cities around Turkey.

The website of the Human Development Dialogue provides general information on the human development dialogue but more importantly it also provides information on the events that are taking place. Through this website, it is also possible to access the presentations (and videos) of world renowned speakers on human development.

So far in Turkey, three seminars organized by UNDP and the World Bank took place in the context of the Human Development Dialogue. The first seminar given by Professor Paul Gertler who is a Professor in Economics at the University of California at Berkeley took place on 15 May 2008 in Ankara and was hosted by the Middle East Technical University Social Policy Programme.

Gertler delivered a speech on impact evaluation to inform social and human development policy design in which he emphasized the importance of impact evaluation for improving and sustaining policies. Gertler strengthened his presentation with a number of examples on how impact evaluation has influenced policy making in significant ways in several countries. Gertler also touched upon conditional cash transfer program in Mexico and the early child development and social decentralization in Argentina and provided evidence on how impact evaluations can contribute to sustainable pro-poor policies.

The second seminar that took place on 20 May 2008 in Istanbul with the support of the Education Reform Initiative under the Sabancı University Policy Center hosted Professor Nicholas Barr from London School of Economics. Barr took up issues of financing tertiary education to promote quality and wide participation. Professor Barr shared international experiences on financing university fees, student loans and higher education finance reforms. Professor Barr also emphasized the role of the government in regulating the higher education “market”.

The final seminar held at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara on 25 June 2008 hosted Dr. Francisco Ferreira from the World Bank who made a presentation on the inequality of opportunity and economic development. Ferreira discussed how external circumstances such as family, background, gender and birthplace, influence opportunities and how taking into consideration the “inequality of opportunity” perspective can affect poverty reduction policies.