Thursday, 4 April 2013

What Happened at the Global Forum on Development 2013?

The Wikiprogress team covered the OECD’s Global Forum on Development on 4-5 April 2013 in Paris. The GFD was the first in a series of three annual forums in preparation for the post-2015 world. It hosted a number of globally renowned speakers including Olusegun Obasanjo (Former President of Nigeria), Sabina Alkire (Director, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative [OPHI]) and Duncan Green, author of the Poverty to Power Blog and Oxfam’s Senior Strategic Adviser. This blog will provide a brief synopsis of the forum and a run down of the different sessions that will take place. See the full list of speakers here.

Watch the video broadcast of the 2013!

The emerging middle class is increasingly comparing itself to the living standards in the more affluent part of the world.  Many remain vulnerable, however, to a range of economic factors, such as unemployment, sickness and old age that could move them back to destitution. There also are still large numbers of people in poverty in middle-income countries.  In light of the new economic world we live in, the 2013 Global Forum on Development (GFD) is designed to promote a better understanding of what the shifting dynamics of poverty mean for the poverty reduction policies to be pursued by governments, international organisations and others in the post-2015 world.

Here is a summary of the different sessions of the two days.

Day 1 – Thursday 4 April

13:00 - Welcome Remarks and Keynote Speeches

The GFD opened with keynote speeches on the importance of and challenges to developing a set of policies based on a holistic approach to poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and inclusive growth.

See the background paper on poverty reduction, here.

14:15  - Session 1: The Poverty Challenge – Global Trends, Uncertainties, and National Policy Frameworks

Two high-level panels of policy makers and experts from different countries, regions and organisations presented their views on the key changes and trends that will influence their future efforts to reduce poverty.

See the background paper on "The Next Global Development Agenda - Ending Poverty, Promoting Sustainability", here.

Day 2 – Friday April

9:15 Session 2: Beyond poverty reduction: The challenge of social cohesion in developing countries

Members of the panel discussed what should be the priorities of a renewed social cohesion agenda.

See the background paper on the discussion, here.

11:45 - Lunch Time Presentation: Post 2015: Effective Partnerships for Development in a Changing World

The authors of the European Report on Development 2013 (ERD 2013) offered a preview of some of the findings of the report, which aims to contribute to the debate on the post-2015 development agenda.

14:00 - Session 3: Innovative approaches to measuring poverty, well-being and progress, and implications for statistical capacity development

The session addressed measuring well-being and progress in developing countries and statistical capacity development in an emerging post-2015 development agenda – see background paper here.

Panel 3.1: Measuring well-being and progress in developing countries

The notion of well-being figures prominently in recent OECD work on measuring progress “Beyond GDP”.  It is understood as a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon, encompassing a range of economic and non-economic outcomes that impact people’s lives. The OECD’s Better Life Initiative, launched in 2011, is based on a framework involving 11 dimensions and featuring both average achievements and inequalities, both objective conditions and people’s own aspirations, both conditions today and tomorrow (i.e. sustainability).  This framework is made operational through a set of indicators to benchmark countries’ performance and monitor progress.


See the background paper, here.


  • Mr. Khalid Soudi, Observatoire des Conditions de Vie de la Population, Haut Commissariat au Plan, Morocco (Download PPT)
  • Mr. Allister McGregor, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), United Kingdom
  • Mr. Gerardo Leyva Parra, Deputy Director General for Research, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), Mexico  

15:15 - Final Session: Taking the Agenda Forward: Topics for further action and Forum conclusion

This session provided a summary of the forum and the key steps that need to be taken over the coming years.

Perhaps the most important insight about poverty over the past twenty years is the confirmation that the vision of the UN Millennium Declaration – of creating an environment conducive to the elimination of poverty – is achievable. These global forums, held from 2013 through 2015, will focus on what this will mean, for all those working toward this vision, in the context of the post-2015 world.

You can still follow discussions at  #OECDgfd and on the Wikiprogress, Wikigender and Wikichild twitter feeds.

Watch the video broadcast of the Forum, here.

The Wikiprogress Team

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