The independent resource on global security

9. The Sustainable Development Goals and the challenges of relief and development in dangerous places


Overview, Gary Milante [PDF]

I. Development in dangerous places, Suyoun Jang and Gary Milante [PDF]

II. Humanitarian operations in 2015, Rachel Irwin, Suyoun Jang, Yeonju Jung, Jaeyeon Lee and Gary Milante [PDF]

III. The impact of crisis response: the Nepal earthquake, Anastasia Aladysheva and Gulzhan Asylbek kyzy [PDF]

IV. Development and human security in Afghanistan, Richard Ghiasy [PDF]

Events in 2015 made it a particularly important year for security and development. A new development agenda was enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a number of review processes took stock of what is and is not working in the field of international development. The prospects for delivering the SDGs and the concurrent challenges of providing humanitarian and development assistance in dangerous places remained matters for debate.


The SDG agenda has expanded in scope relative to that of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, 2000–15). A number of review and reform initiatives are now being recalibrated to deliver the SDG agenda. The development challenges are particularly acute for the 2.58 billion people living in dangerous places—countries with a high incidence of violent death and the source of large numbers of refugees and/or displaced persons. Dangerous places account for 36 per cent of the world’s population, but 61 per cent of the world’s poverty and 67 per cent of the children not expected to complete their secondary education in the next 15 years. The development challenges in dangerous places are also security challenges: 78 per cent of the world’s violent deaths occur in dangerous places, 98 per cent of the world’s refugees come from dangerous places and dangerous places are host to 97 per cent of the world’s internally displaced.


Humanitarian emergencies in 2015

Most of the world’s emergencies occur in dangerous places, and so the challenges of relief and development will remain interlinked throughout the 15-year timescale of the SDG agenda. A brief review of the principal humanitarian emergencies in 2015 underscores the scale and scope of humanitarian disaster and response. Nearly all such emergencies occur in dangerous places, further demonstrating how relief and security are interlinked in fragile situations.


Nepal and Afghanistan

The Nepal earthquake in 2015 encapsulates the international response to a humanitarian crisis, the effectiveness of which can now be assessed through impact evaluation. The application of impact evaluations, which are common practice in development, to humanitarian assistance should help to make responses to future disasters more efficient and effective.


The Afghan Government and international stakeholders struggled to deliver development, peace and human security for the Afghan population in 2015. Nepal and Afghanistan illustrate the challenges that states face in delivering sustainable development when fragility, violence and emergencies coincide.

Dr Gary Milante, Gulzhan Asylbek kyzy, Dr Suyoun Jang, Yeonju Jung, Richard Ghiasy and Dr Anastasia Aladysheva