INGEV is creating a digital map of SMEs!

INGEV TAM (Social Research Center) has just launched a study that will regularly measure SMEs’ current digital capacities and their priority needs. The study aims to create a digital map of SMEs by including Syrian businesses and local companies.

“SME Digital Monitor” will measure the current digital capacity of SMEs in a wide range from financial applications used by companies to data storage methods, online marketing applications, to information management systems.

Within the scope of the research, the perspectives of SMEs on the digitalization process, the areas where they most need digitalization, and the supports they want to receive to accelerate their digitalization processes will also be taken into consideration.

The research, which will create a digital map of SMEs, aims to collect data regularly and transfer the results as an index and thus follow the periodic developments and trends in the digital transformation of SMEs of different sizes in Turkey.

For more detailed information on the research:

“Friend” Project by INGEV Volunteers

Friend project, “Arkadaş” in Turkish, is a social cohesion project that improves the Turkish speaking practice of Syrians who have already stepped into the business world.

Within the project framework, while bringing together those who want to improve their Turkish, we meet in online “language rooms” and talk in Turkish on various topics with volunteers from the host community. We are especially careful in highlighting business topics in our conversations.

Thus, we have the chance to practice Turkish and get to know each other better with weekly online activities, which are entirely voluntary, without a teacher-student relationship.

The project improves the Turkish speaking practice of Syrians on the one hand and enables new friendships.

To become an INGEV volunteer, “To support and benefit from the “Friend” project, all you need to do is to fill out the registration form:  (Click on the Link)

Fifth Season: Climate Policies of Turkey

“Are we changing?” platform held its first event online on the World Climate day


With the joint initiative of Habitat Association, INGEV, and TEPAV, “Are We Changing?”, which creates awareness for individual and institutional change in response to climate change and highlights the steps taken in this field. Platform’s first event, the webinar titled “Fifth Season: Turkey Climate Policies,” was held online on May 15, 2021.

The webinar started with the opening speeches of Habitat Association Chairman Sezai Hazır, İNGEV President Vural Çakır, and TEPAV Director Güven Sak.

In his speech, Mr. Hazır pointed out that humanity’s new order after the Industrial Revolution radically changed the global climate compared to previous periods. He also stated that human-induced crises, especially the climate crisis, are deeply felt.

Hazır: “Climate change concerns not only the creatures in nature but also human beings. The process of temporary and permanent relocation due to environmental changes creates the concept of “Environmental Refugees,” The necessity of displacement of people due to the effects of global climate change creates the concept of “Climate Refugees.”

Vural Çakır, President of İNGEV, started his speech by emphasizing that projects against nature are damaging nature beyond measure and negatively affect low-income people.

Çakır: “We need to live a life in harmony with the environment to prevent this and developed countries are primarily responsible for this climate crisis and that this change should not turn into a mechanism that stops and also contains developing countries. The new growth understanding combined with digitalization can be realized with a compulsory and expensive process, especially for countries and companies trying to adapt to the Green Transformation. First and foremost, adapting SMEs to green transformation should be one of the urgent plans ahead.”

TEPAV Director Güven Sak highlighted that climate change is at the center of the world agenda and that we are now at the stage of doing instead of talking.

Sak: “Recovery after COVID-19 will be accompanied by a non-carbon-based growth and related technological renewal process. Yet it is imperative to ensure fair competition, fair transformation, and a fair transition environment between countries, companies, regions, and individuals. Turkey should ratify the Paris Climate Agreement as soon as possible because the Paris agreement is the constitution of this new world. Based on this agreement, a declaration of intent to reduce carbon emissions based on a new economic program should be formed as soon as possible.”

Following the opening speeches, the event continued with a presentation on “World Climate Agenda and Turkey” by Bengisu Özenç, Director of the Sustainable Economy and Finance Research Association (SEFIA).

Özenç stated that the Paris agreement prioritizes limiting the increase in the average temperature up to 1.5 degrees. Underlining that Turkey does not have a long-term low-carbon strategy, Özenç emphasized that such a strategy should form the basis of the development plan.

Following the presentation, a panel titled “Economic Transformation of Climate Policies in Turkey” was held. TURKONFED Economics Advisor Assoc. Dr. Nazlı Karamollaoğlu, UNDP Turkey Climate Change and Environment Portfolio Manager Nuri Özbağdatlı and European Climate Action Network (CAN – E) Turkey Climate and Energy Policies Coordinator Özlem Katısöz were amongst the panelists.

Nazlı Karamollaoğlu, TURKONFED: “A critical transformation process has been initiated within the scope of the European green consensus. The carbon regulation mechanism will seriously affect economic relations, and that this mechanism can be used as a growth strategy, not an obstacle. The metal industry, cement, and electricity sectors are at the forefront, and that SMEs, who are the suppliers of these companies, will have to change their systems.”

She also stated that the Paris agreement should be followed at the macro level in adaptation to the green economy and that employment policies should be regulated.

Nuri Özbağdatlı, UNDP: “The policy development process regarding climate change should be done towards reducing inequalities. Climate change is an issue of inequality, and that deep poverty has emerged with the climate crisis. SMEs are one of the groups that will be most affected economically, and that an approach should be developed for them.”

Özlem Katısöz, CAN-E: ” All energy policies of Turkey are now coal-centered and that its exit from coal is yet possible. When the necessary data were examined, Turkey could get out of coal within ten years and that new form of employment should be created by transforming this sector. Countries such as Turkey, which lack strategy, should first intend.”

Click on the link to watch the event (Only in Turkish)

Localizing Human Development: HDI-M and HDI-D Book Published

INGEV is celebrating the e-book release of its Human Development performance evaluation. The book details human development levels of both the District and Metropolitan levels across nine categories. One of the most important features of the book is that it also includes a model for establishing a more methodical connection from the Sustainable Development perspective.

This truly pioneering work, the “Localizing Human Development” finds global relevancy extending past the Turkish context, and the book includes many visionary perspectives and contributions from esteemed academics. This e-book was prepared by Prof. Murat Şeker and features an additional piece written by INGEV President Vural Çakır discussing the interrelation between Human Development and Sustainable Development.

You can find the book here. (Only in Turkish)

Fighting Inequalities in the Anthropocene

A follow-up meeting on the 2020 UNDP Human Development Report “The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene” was aired via live streaming on the INGEV’s social initiative Vibio TV Youtube Channel on March 17th.

Under the theme “From the INGEV Perspective: Social Inclusion and the Struggle Against Inequality in the Anthropocene,” the event follows the global release of the report on December 15 of last year. The report was launched in Turkey as a cooperative effort by UNDP Turkey, the Habitat Association, INGEV, and the Turkish Economic Policy Research Foundation (TEPAV).

INGEV President Vural Çakır: “Combating inequalities has become a survival issue. The income group of a baby’s family becomes a very influential factor in the inequalities that he or she may have to struggle with throughout his/her life.”

UNDP Private Sector Programme Manager Hansın Doğan: “There is not a single country that has achieved very high human development without exerting great pressure on the planet. We must support all countries to reach a high level of human development “that does not cost” to the earth. We are the generation that should bring about change.”

LOSC Lille and Turkish National Team Player Yusuf Yazıcı: “Despite the magnitude of the problems in the world, everything is in our hands. Without harming our planet, we can reduce inequalities and develop at the same time. If we want, we can achieve it!”

Published by the UNDP since 1990, the 30th annual issue of the Human Development Report “The Frontier Ahead: Human Development and Anthropocene” issued a call to all of humanity to come together in creating a new way forward for the future development of our world.

In this new geological age that we have labeled the Anthropocene, or the Age of Humanity, humans are consciously shaping the planet. Our actions are directly leading to the destruction of our world, through climate change, the acidification of our oceans, the pollution of our air and water, the degradation of our soil, and the loss of biodiversity. A quarter of the remaining species on our planet are now facing extinction, some of which are predicted to completely disappear within the next few decades.

The UNDP’s 2020 report places the focus on rebalancing the relationship between humans and nature, emphasizing the need to find long-lasting solutions for improving human life. The report brings up important questions, such as how will human development change in this new era and how can we find a new way to expand human freedoms, choices, and action, while at the same time removing the pressures on our planet?

Focusing on these issues, the report provides evidence that the recovery from this unprecedented pandemic can be both environmentally and socially sustainable.

Please click on the link to watch the follow-up event

A Research on the Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions Toward Syrian Refugees in Turkey


22 March 2021

The power of interaction: Our attitudes turn more positive as we get to know each other.

The results of the Human Development Monitor Research Study, conducted by INGEV TAM in cooperation with ISTANBUL BILGI UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF COMMUNICATION, emphasized the importance of interpersonal interactions and getting to know each other when it comes to reducing the sense of tension and misinformation towards Syrians in Turkey.

The study indicates that the relationship between members of the local community and Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey is rather tense but the tension is on a downward trend in comparison to previous survey periods. It is thought that Covid-19 pandemic is also a factor in this trend as it pushed other social issues to the back of people’s minds. The study also revealed that, although local community members have a lot of misinformation about the benefits provided to the Syrians in Turkey, this level of misinformation is decreasing. Another important finding had to do with differences between those who have a Syrian acquaintance and those who don’t. Those who know at least one Syrian person tend to possess more positive attitudes towards Syrians in general in comparison to those who do not know any Syrian individuals at all.

Covid-19 Pushes the Refugee Issue to the Back of our Mind

The last period of the ongoing research study was completed in November-December of 2020. According to the findings, the tension between Syrian refugees and the host community has steadily improved since the first time the survey was conducted in July 2019. The social tension rate was 55% in the first period of the research, it decreased to 48% in the second period (March 2020) and to 32% in the last period (November 2020).

The rate of parents who do not want their children to befriend a Syrian under temporary protection decreased from 51% in the first period to 44% in the last period of the study.

It’s also possible to say that since Turkey’s opening of border crossings to Syrians on 28 February 2020, political discourse has influenced the perception of harmony in society.

On the other hand, Covid-19 has also become a hot topic in Turkey like in the rest of the world. One factor for the decrease in sense of tension could be the emergence of the pandemic. The perception of tension towards Syrians under temporary protection loomed comparatively less in people’s minds throughout the second half of 2020. As a result, the sense of tension that was previously visible in our social perceptions remained in the background and tended to show a quantitative decline in the survey.

Another result that showed a significant difference and improvement compared to the first period was the society’s approach to Syrians under temporary protection. The rate of those who consider Turkey embracing people under forced migration to be an exemplary humanitarian stance has increased from 40% (in the first period) to 62% (in the last period.)

Those Who Have a Syrian Acquaintance Are More Positive

One of the critical findings of the study is that the perception towards Syrians under temporary protection shows significant variation between those who have Syrian acquaintances and those who do not.

One issue where those who know at least one Syrian person and those who do not differ from each other is the rate of agreement with the statement “Syrians should be ensured to return to Syria as soon as possible”. 68% of those who have a Syrian acquaintance agreed with this statement while the rate was 77% for those who don’t.

The percentage of those who agree with the statement “Our country’s embracing of refugees is an exemplary humanitarian stance” is also higher among those who have a Syrian acquaintance (66% to 58%).

Those who have a Syrian acquaintance agree with the statement “We should make a greater effort to help Syrians adapt to our country” at a higher rate as well (37% to 25%).

Compared to the previous period, the rate of agreement with misconceptions about Syrians under temporary protection shows a general decrease among the host community. The most widely believed misconception regarding Syrian refugees is the belief that Syrians receive salaries from the Government. 54% of the public states that they agree with this statement. Although this aid is provided by means of the Turkish Red Crescent and public banks; it comes from the EU’s Social Cohesion Assistance fund, and only refugees who are registered and meet the relevant conditions can benefit from this assistance.

The most critical decline in misconceptions occurred in the perception that “Syrians can enter the university they want without an exam”. While 60% of the society agreed with this statement in March 2020, in November 2020 this rate decreased to 39%. In fact, foreign students who want to study at a state university can only make a selection according to their score by taking the “Foreign Students Exam” while private universities apply their own exams for foreign students.

The least commonly held misconception is the belief that “Syrians do not pay for water, electricity and natural gas.” Compared to the previous period, the proportion of people holding this belief decreased from 43% to 26%. The truth is that Syrians are not subject to a different practice than the host community.

Like many other studies, this study supports the importance of interaction and getting to know each other in order to reduce the feeling of tension in the society. In order to minimize the negative effects of misinformation about Syrians, many official institutions continue their struggle against such misinformation and according to the results of the research, this struggle progresses with positive results.


Contact: INGEV- 0216 540 50 21

INGEV TAM (Social Research Center):

The study was carried out between 22 October – 20 November 2020 through computer assisted telephone interviewing method in a total of 26 cities (Turkey Representation) according to TSI Statistical Territorial Units Classification Unit 2. 1774 interviews were conducted within the scope of the study. The margin of error of the research is ± 2.3%.

Remote Learning Exacerbates Inequalities?

The success of the distance education system depends on digital access and parental attention.

Digital inequalities are preventing society from fully embracing distance learning, concludes a recent Human Development Monitoring Research report conducted by INGEV-TAM in collaboration with Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Communications.

The report found that lack of digital access is the most prominent factor in preventing students from being able to participate in distance learning programs. Due to socio-economic barriers, students may not have access to necessary technological devices or internet connection to be able to successfully complete their classwork.

Lack of digital literacy observed in the parents of students has emerged as another barrier in students’ access to distance education. As the constant presence of students at home places important, and at times overwhelming, responsibility on parents to take on the role of teacher in face-to-face education, the issue of digital literacy becomes more relevant.

Altogether, these report findings point to how the underlying inequalities in society have led to varying levels of digital access and literacy within different segments of the society.

We are hesitant about distance education, and we think that this type of education by itself is not enough.

The percentage of those in Turkey who state that they trust the distance education system is 39%. Only 23% of the population thinks that this system alone is sufficient without at least partial and supplementary integration of face-to-face classes.


50% of the public supports restarting face-to-face education. Although society is reluctant to put its trust in distance education, 52% still think that after the pandemic face-to-face education should also be supplemented with distance education. On the other hand, the rate of those who think distance education should continue even after the pandemic is only 12%.


Distance education has increased inequality.

72% of the society thinks that not all students have the necessary digital access for effective distance education. This is the most critical barrier to distance education perceived by the Turkish population. 67% thinks not all parents have the knowledge to help their children access and use the distance education system. As a result, 66% of the society agrees that distance education system causes inequality among students. 63% believes that public school students are more disadvantaged compared to private school students when it comes to distance education.




This perception of inequality is manifested by the following perceptions;

  • 64% states that students who receive distance education will have lower exam success;
  • 53% is concerned that employers will be less likely to prefer young people who graduate from the university through distance education.


With distance education, parents have been given significant additional responsibilities.

Distance education requires parents to be significantly involved and devote more time to the education process. 85% of the society agree that the student’s success in distance education depends on parent-teacher cooperation. 81% believe that this system requires parents to pay more attention to their children. 62% think that the distance education system creates an additional burden, especially for parents working from home.

53% of the people believe that it is the mother’s responsibility to follow the student’s distance education at home.



In distance education, students cannot be motivated and socialize as much as they should.

66% of society believes that students cannot be motivated for their lessons in the distance education system. 62% states that students cannot socialize as much as they should; 63% thinks distance education is not enough for personality development. 57% believes that this system prevents the active participation of students.

It is wrong to reduce teachers’ salaries in the distance education system.

While 70% of the society finds it wrong to reduce teachers’ salaries during the distance education period, 38% think teachers are not even paid the wages they deserve during this period. On the other hand, 62% of the society states that most teachers need technical support in developing digital course content. 40% of them believes that teachers’ work intensity has increased.

The research was carried out between 8 November to 10 December 2020 according to regions identified by Turkstat Statistical Regional Unit Classifications Level 2 with a computer-assisted telephone interviewing method to ensure the Turkey representation. 1754 interviews were conducted within the scope of the study. The margin of error of the research is ± 2.3%.

Important Notice:

Please contact Can Çakır for further information –

Tel: +90 216 540 50 21

Renewed INGEV ESC Webpage Provides Further Benefits to Users

The website of INGEV Entrepreneurship Support Center (ESC), Turkey’s first and only center providing support to disadvantaged entrepreneurs, has been updated. A collection of trainings and informational notes prepared by INGEV consultants in both Turkish and Arabic have been made available for free in order to assist SMEs in growing their businesses.

Some of the topics you can expect to find on the newly renovated website include:

  • Effective presentation techniques
  • Trainings on how to meet different needs of digitalized business life
  • How to grow from the “birth stage” of your business idea and determine the company and partnership type that best suits your business model
  • Data bank that will be a reference source for positioning your brand, business development and marketing
  • Practical information for your company to pay its taxes and SSI debts on time.

Click here to visit the website…

Business Development Center Makes Significant Contribution to Economy in Şanlıurfa

In line with INGEV’s mission to support the development of the economy and trade in Şanlıurfa, the Şanlıurfa Business Development Center continues to provide training and consultancy services to SMEs in the city despite the pandemic. During the online opening event of the center, managers and leaders of INGEV, DRC and the Şanlıurfa Chamber of Industry and Commerce came together to share their thoughts on how the business development center will contribute to the development of Şanlıurfa’s economy and employment:

INGEV President Vural Çakır “Şanlıurfa is one of the cities where social cohesion can be measured best in our country. It is critical that both the host and the refugee population possess professional skills and have access to adequate living conditions and sources of sustainable income in both the short- and long-term.

Halil Ibrahim Peltek, President of Şanlıurfa Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“Training qualified personnel with the aim of developing entrepreneurship and employment is top priority for Urfa. Between 2018-2020, 1864 companies were founded in Urfa, which is much higher than the national average. We hope that this will have a lasting positive effect on social cohesion.”

Danish Refugee Council / Dansk Flygtningehjælp Laila Zulkaphil: “Our aim as DRC is to offer a good life for displaced peoples, and for this reason we recognize the importance of Şanlıurfa. We are working to create 53 new start-ups this year in the city.”

INGEV Şanlıurfa Business Development Center has provided entrepreneurship and SME capacity building training to more than 300 beneficiaries so far, and will continue to provide its services with company establishment, legal assistance, consultancy, and networking. These grants and programs aiming to bring new companies into the Şanlıurfa and Kilis business ecosystems are being provided in cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council (the DRC) with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Cooperation and Development and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We completed the first Incubation Program with the participation of 21 entrepreneurs in the Sanliurfa Business Development Center within the scope of our project aimed at improving the capacities of the entrepreneurs living in Sanliurfa and bringing new companies to the Sanliurfa economic ecosystem. 10 entrepreneurs had a chance to get a grant with the detailed and prolonged evaluation of our committee consists of the representatives of INGEV, DRC, and Harran University.

What Training programs will be available in the next term?

The new application period for the Incubation and Small Grant Program was opened in February, with new program training beginning in March. At least 50 people are expected to participate in the current two-month training program, and the training sessions are set to continue into the next period as well for SME owners and employees located in Şanlıurfa and Kilis.

Very High Human Development Districts Announced

During an online conference held by INGEV on January 29th, the results of the 2020 Human Development Index-Districts (HDI-D) were officially announced, with the mayors of the districts who achieved “Very High Human Development” receiving awards. The HDI-D is prepared yearly by INGEV in support of encouraging human development at the district level.

The opening speech of the meeting was given by INGEV President Vural Çakır. Prior to the start of the awards ceremony, Istanbul Policy Center Director Prof. Turkey Fuat Keyman alongside UNDP Turkey UNDP Assistant Resident Representative (Programme) Seher Alacacı Arıner discussed the topic “New Localism and the Vision of Human Development.”

INGEV President Vural Çakır: “While creating 2020 Human Development Index – Districts, we focused on the categories that are effective in determining the roles of local governments.”

IPC Director Prof. Fuat Keyman: “Under New Locality, three are three points that can be carefully evaluated and considered as a suggestion: 1) A City with Virtue 2) A City in Digital Transformation 3) A City with a City Management Coalition.”

UNDP Turkey Assistant Resident Representative (Programme) Seher Alacacı Arıner: “The 2020 Human Development Report analyzes the coexistence of human beings and our planet, which is the defining issue of our age.”

The coordinator of the HDI-D, Prof.  Murat Şeker also gave a presentation explaining the HDI-D working system before announcing the results.

Please click on the link to watch the HDI-D event

About HDI-D (Human Development Index – Districts) Study:

The Human Development Index has been published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) at the country level since 1990. The Human Development Index, considering the income per capita, life expectancy at birth, literacy, and schooling rates, aims to measure human development with education and health data and compare countries.

The importance of local governments and micro applications for human development is increasing

The Human Development Index aims to guide human development at the local level. In today’s world, where localization is increasing, local policy tools that affect human development are also diversifying. The effective use of data-based management tools by local governments on a micro-scale and their support by other stakeholders, especially central governments, increase life quality. İNGEV cares about manageable variables that can affect daily life.

HDI-D 2020 Report and Index covers 188 districts.

Human Development Index – Districts 2020 report, called HDI-D, included all districts within the metropolitan borders and 188 districts with the highest population. Municipalities that did not publish the 2019 Activity Report and/or did not share it with İNGEV were excluded from the report.

HDI-D Index has developed in the 2020 Study, HDI-2020 consists of 9 Sub-Indices and 81 Indicators.

HDI-D development areas were determined within the framework of the results of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) harmonization study carried out with UCLG-MEWA and the results of HDI-Advisory Board. Apart from the sub-indexes of Governance and Transparency, Social Inclusion, Economic Status, Education, Health, Social Life, Environmental Performance to the HDI-D model, which consists of components for social, economic and environmental factors at district level, in the 2020 study, Gender Equality and Transportation and Accessibility Indices are also added. The number of indices increased to 9, the number of indicators increased to 81, and data for 121 indicators were collected.

Along with the detailed examination of municipality activity reports, analysis of central statistics, analysis of the municipality website, and social media accounts, the 2020 report has also expanded the “secret citizen” study and applied to municipalities with “secret citizen” scenarios in a total of 21 issues. Their response levels are also included in the index.

The results are categorized into four main regions: There are 34 districts in the Very High Human Development Zone.

In the HDI-D Index, districts are gathered in 4 main clusters as Very High Human Development, High Human Development, Medium Human Development and Low Human Development. There are 34 districts in the Very High Human Development region in the 2020 report. The districts in the 2020 Very High Human Development Zone (Green Zone) are:

In addition to the Total Human Development Index, there are nine sub-indexes in the study:

In addition to the Human Development Index, which constitutes the total results in the HDI-D 2020 Index, 9 sub-indices are important in guiding local government activities. These sub-indices comprise of Governance and Transparency, Social Inclusion, Economic Status, Education, Health, Social Life, Environmental Performance, Transport and Accessibility and Gender Equality.

The top 5 districts in these indices are as follows:

According to HDI-D 2020 results, the areas where the green zone is least represented are social inclusion, social life, and environmental performance. When the scores of the leading districts at the sub-index level are analyzed, it is seen that the lowest score is in the social inclusion area. According to their average scores in sub-indices, municipalities need to improve in social inclusion, environmental performance, and gender equality.

The enrichment of the number of variables and the districts’ performance led to a change in the District rankings compared to last year.

A team of experts manages the project.
With the general support of INGEV President Vural Çakır, Director for Istanbul University Center for Urban Policy Research, Professor Murat Şeker carries out the report writing. In the project team, İNGEV experts took part in statistical analysis.