What Type of Govervance to Build Back Safer, Fairer and Greener?

HDCA Global Dialogue 2021 Closing Panel Session on 30 September 2021

In the closing event of the HDCA Global Dialogue, 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 worldwide, and the recovery efforts will amount to unprecedented levels (O’Callaghan et al. 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 et al. 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 et al. 2019). We see these claims as welcome entries into the debate of the type of governance needed to build back safer, fairer and greener.


  • Rainer Kattel (Speaker) IIPP, University College London
  • Brian O’Callaghan (Speaker) Global Recovery Observatory
  • Pedro Conceição (Speaker) UN-Human Development Report Office
  • Thuli Madonsela (Speaker) World Justice Project, Stellenbosch University
  • Marcela Meléndez (Speaker) UNDP – Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Nadia Molenaers (Moderator) Institute of Development Policy, UAntwerp

Related event


HDCA Global Dialogue 2021

online conference
20-30 September 2021

HDCA is delighted to announce the HDCA Global Dialogue 2021 taking place 20-30 September 2021 entirely online using the Whova event platform. A special programme of events, the HDCA Global Dialogue 2021, will include keynote speakers, panel and roundtable discussions, workshops and informal meetings and networking sessions. The programme has been organized by the eight HDCA Regional Networks. Attendance at all events in the HDCA Global Dialogue 2021 is free and open to both HDCA members and non-members.

Date & Time

Thursday 30 September 2021
2.00 – 4.00 p.m. UTC+2
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Online via Whova.
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Free entrance.
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Koningstraat 2
B-2000 Antwerpen
Tel. +32 (0)3 265 49 60

Voorlopige locatie tijdens de renovatiewerken:
Blindestraat 14, 2000 Antwerpen