Institute of Development Policy

HDCA Global Dialogue 2021

What type of governance to build back safer, fairer and greener?

IOB's 20th anniversary conference, which we were going to organize in September 2021 under the umbrella of a Human Development and Capability Association conference, has been postponed to September 2022.

So this year, the HDCA decided to organize an HDCA Global Dialogue 2021 instead, i.e. different regional groups are organizing their virtual events in a decentralized way, nicely brought together under one conference app. 

On 30 September, IOB will organize the closing panel on “What type of governance to build back safer, fairer and greener?”.

In this closing event of the HDCA Global Dialogue 2021, we ask the question what is needed not just to rebuild, but to build back better. What does it take to make use of the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery efforts to turn the world into a more secure, less inequitable and greener place?

Though we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the contours of an increasing number of countries’ recovery plans are taking shape and worldwide, and the recovery efforts will amount to unprecedented levels (O’Callaghan 2021). Looming in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic are the ongoing global challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and rampaging inequalities. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is the latest crisis facing the world, it will not be the last, unless humanity eases the pressures we put on the planet (UNDP, 2020). The recovery efforts may shape development paths for years to come, and the question is therefore whether they are also game-changers of the transformation we need to continue advancing human development whilst easing planetary pressures. We do in any case also see stark inequalities not only in the impacts of the pandemic and in the pace and capability to deal with it, but also in recovery spending (O’Callaghan 2021).

In view of the broad diversity in policy responses to the pandemic even taking into account inequality in available resources, COVID-19 opened a debate on the collective capabilities at play in tackling ‘wicked problems’ like a pandemic, or, for that matter, climate change or durable injustices. While some would point to the role played by multilateral organizations or state capabilities (Mazzucato et al. 2021), others would define them in the context of the interaction between states and societies (Nazneen 2019). We see these claims as welcome entries into the debate of the type of governance needed to build back safer, fairer and greener.

More information on the HDCA Global Dialogue 2021