National Human Development Report Advisory Board Meeting

18 Aug 2014

Remarks by
Kamal Malhotra
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Turkey
UNDP Resident Representative, Turkey

Four Seasons Hotel, Istanbul


  • Distinguished participants; let me start by thanking all of you for accepting our invitation, to become members of the Advisory Board or the Technical Team for Turkey’s next Human Development Report on inclusive growth. Your contributions to this process will be extremely important.
  • After a morning session of very lively and interesting discussions, allow me now to invite you to a discussion on the concept note and other aspects of the proposed National Human development Report. By now all of you should have received the draft concept note that UNDP prepared and reached agreement on with the Ministry of Development. Today our objective is to solicit the Advisory Board’s views on the draft concept note so that it can be finalized as soon as possible.
  • Before we begin the meeting, let me briefly summarise the process through which we will be preparing the NHDR, and some quality considerations that we will need to take into account.
  • Most of you already know that UNDP has prepared and published its global Human Development Report since 1990. The global HDR is our flagship product. Each global HDR has a different theme, and aims at raising global awareness on a certain dimension of human development. For instance, last year’s HDR was titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World; this year’s HDR on the other hand focuses on “Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience”. I will be launching this with the Minister of Development, in cooperation with TEPAV, in Ankara on 3 September while we will also have a subsequent launch event in Istanbul in cooperation with the Rector of Bogazici University and Ayşe Buğra on September 4. All of you are invited and welcome to attend one or even both of these launch events!
  • In addition to the global HDRs, UNDP has also prepared and published HDRs at regional, national and local levels. These reports are independently prepared and owned by regional or national teams. Over 700 human development reports have been prepared at national, regional and local levels from 135 countries over the last two decades.
  • Turkey has been preparing NHDRs since 1992 with the last one published in 2008 on Youth. Since then Turkey has not published an NHDR.
  • As I mentioned this morning, the Ministry of Development (MOD) and UNDP agreed to produce Turkey’s next NHDR on Inclusive Growth (IG), because it was agreed that this issue is highly critical and relevant to Turkey’s current and future development agenda.
  • NHDRs have a strategic importance in terms of contributing to policies that take into account national priorities.
  • There are several important issues that I wish to highlight regarding the way an NHDR is prepared. In order to be credible all NHDRs are produced by an independent technical team with oversight from an independent advisory board. I am very pleased that most members of both are here today.
  • All NHDRs should comply with four core standards:
- National ownership: meaning that the Reports are country-based, country-owned and country driven. It is important that the reports are prepared primarily through national expertise, which is clearly possible in Turkey, considering the level of expertise available.
 
- Integrity and quality of analysis: The reports should rely on impartial and robust analyses on various dimensions of human development, to be able to confidently inform policy makers.
 
- Stakeholder engagement and inclusive preparation: While it is important that the government is fully engaged in the preparation of reports, through provision of relevant information and providing inputs without necessarily clearing them, it is equally important that other actors including civil society, academia, media, and other relevant actors are engaged and contribute to the process.
 
- Ensuring an impact: The ultimate goal of Human Development Reports is to create an environment for policy reform and inform policy making towards a clear human development impact and positive transformational change. Therefore the ways the messages are conveyed, as well as sustained advocacy and follow-up are all critical to ensure this impact.
 
  • As such, the role of Advisory Board members, who are all competent experts and academics, is extremely critical in ensuring the credibility and quality of the report.
  • As the Resident Representative of UNDP, I will convene and chair the Advisory Board meetings.
  • As the concept note clearly states, the NHDR will focus on income and non-income dimensions of growth.
  • Non-income or social dimensions of inclusive growth should follow a rights-based approach, whereas the dynamics of economic growth and structural transformation of the economy should be discussed on the income side.  
  • We have tried to ensure that the composition of the Advisory Board and the Technical Team reflect as many as these different dimensions as possible. We hope we have succeeded because the success and integrity of this report will depend very much on all of you!
  • With this meeting we are starting an 18-month journey which will culminate in the publication, launch and hopefully wide dissemination and policy influence of Turkey’s next NHDR. I wish all of you a fruitful discussion and now will give the floor to Prof. Taymaz the leader of the technical team who will facilitate the discussion.