Istanbul Development Dialogues 2017: Risk and resilience

23-24 March 2017


Shocks, crises, and other risks can pose threats to development accomplishments. People who are otherwise not living in or threatened by poverty or exclusion can suddenly find themselves unable to make ends meet because of unexpected armed conflicts, natural disasters, or a socio-economic crisis.

If “inequalities” call attention to deviations from otherwise favourable average development outcomes that reduce a given individual’s prospects for benefiting from those outcomes today, then “risk” reflects the chance that individuals who benefit from favourable development outcomes today may not do so tomorrow.

Moreover, experience from natural disasters, conflicts, and other crisis situations shows that women, children, the elderly, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and members of other vulnerable groups are particularly likely to face greater risks to life and livelihoods in such situations. Effective policy and programmatic interventions—for both crisis prevention and response—need to be designed and implemented with these vulnerabilities in mind.

“Resilience” may refer to circumstances or activities that reduce the likelihood of these risk events occurring; reduce their impact when they do occur; help people to quickly recover from their impact; and can address both standard development challenges while also addressing humanitarian needs

Mission of the IDD 2017

This year’s event took place on the 23rd and 24th of March and focused on risk and resilience, notions that encouraged participants to discuss the economic, political, social and environmental shocks that are taking place across the planet, their relationship with growing global inequalities and their implications for long-term development planning.

In order to help respond to challenges related to risk and resilience, the IDD 2017:

  • Presented research, analysis, and programming developments concerning key risks to sustainable development in the region. These featured a thematic emphasis on:
  • Disaster and climate risks—including those associated with seismic dangers and water, land, and biodiversity management challenges;
  • Governance and peacebuilding risks (including those associated with large refugee movements);
  • Socio-economic shocks and instability, and poverty risks (including those associated with labour migration); and
  • Building resilience against these risks—in the state, private, and third sectors—inter alia via peace building activities, social protection reform, and disaster risk reduction policies and programming.
  • Offered concrete suggestions about aligning the regional sustainable development agenda (manifested in the Sustainable Development Goals) with agendas for resilience and disaster risk reduction (as per the Sendai Framework), climate change (COP21 Paris Agreement), and humanitarian assistance (reflecting inter alia the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit, held in Istanbul in May 2016).


  • Government partners from the region included representatives of Ministries of Emergencies, Environment, Water; Institutes of Strategic Studies; and other central and local bodies charged with disaster risk reduction, risk management, and emergency response.
  • Private sector partners included representatives of institutions engaged in the Connecting Business Initiative.
  • Civil society partners included those engaged in the follow-up to the Sendai and World Humanitarian Summits, or otherwise engaged in community-based disaster risk reduction and response.
  • Government, civil society, and international organization representatives who are advocating for social protection floors and social policy reform, as well as development and rights-based approaches to the large migration and refugee flows that the region is now experiencing.

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