Development Centre

Workshop: 'Equality, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development', Helsinki, 1-2 December 2009


Workshop organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the OECD Development Centre

Equality, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development


Helsinki, Finland

1-2 December 2009




The details of this event are also available in Finnish.


BackgroundObjectivesStructurePresentationsAdditional InformationContact





A number of developing countries have achieved impressive rates of growth in the last few years, yet this growth has often been accompanied by rising inequality. This is not an inconsequential side-effect: social inequality could ultimately jeopardise growth and undermine progress towards sustainable development.

The social equality dimension of sustainable development has not received as much attention as the ecological and economic dimensions, but it is equally important.


Gender equality is an important component of overall social equality. Gender equality has received increasing attention in recent years, and has been made a key policy priority by many international organisations and governments alike. As one of the eight Millennium Development Goals, it is closely linked with progress in development, and policy makers recognise its immense importance, both as the realisation of a fundamental human right and in stimulating economic growth.




The workshop will provide a forum to discuss equality issues, with a particular focus on gender, within the development policy debate.


It will engage with policy-makers from developing countries and donor-countries, development practitioners and consultants, the research community, think tanks and NGOs.


Participants can expect to:
• enhance their understanding of the multiple dimensions of equality,  and gender equality in particular;
• gain information on the latest trends and statistics on social inequality and gender inequality;
• develop practical tools to recognise unequal structures and implement equality in their work.

The ultimate objective of the workshop is to encourage participants to reflect on how to promote social and gender equality in development work.




The workshop will take place over two days and will cover a number of sessions. While some of these sessions will cover social equality more broadly, other sessions will focus in particular on gender equality.


The first day entitled sustainable societies will be split into two sessions:

• The morning session will answer the questions 'Does inequality matter? What do we know about it? Can we do something about it? Should we?'.
• The afternoon session, 'What can we do? Transforming knowledge into practice' will build on the theory and knowledge discussed in the morning session and focus on policy dialogue. The afternoon session will include a Policy Panel.


The second day will have greater participant involvement and will focus exclusively on the policy options and project management tools that can be used to tackle gender inequalities.




Day 1: Morning session: Sustainable societies: Does inequality matter? What do we know about it?


Presentation 1: Inequality: Why should we care and what can we do about it? by Johannes Jütting

Presentation 2: Multi-Dimensional Inequality: Measurement, Interpretation, Policy Issues by Stefan Klasen

Presentation 3: Equality and Inequality or Inclusion and Exclusion by Meryem Aslan

Presentation 4: Development planning and equality in Kenya: opportunities and challenges by Katherine Muoki


Day 1: Afternoon session: What can we do? Transforming knowledge into practice


Session 1: Presentation on Mainstreaming gender in development cooperation: strategies and tools by Benedetta Magri-Short


Day 2: Morning session: Implementing equality in your work


Presentation 1: The evidence from SIGI: gender and social institutions by Johannes Jütting


Day 2: Afternoon session: Tackling gender inequalities: policy options in different country settings


Presentation 2: Tackling gender issues; policy perspective from different country settings by Regina Karega


Summing up


Sponsorship and Organisation


The workshop is jointly organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the OECD Development Centre.




To register for this event please contact Anna Huovila by 25 November 2009.


This event is free of charge.




For further information about the OECD Development Centre's work in this field please contact Johannes Jütting: