You are the Global Development Network: Spread the Word!

In this final message from the 11th Annual Global Development Conference, GDN’s President and Chief Economist challenge you to take forward the debates that we heard in Prague. We do not want it to be ‘just another conference’, but the beginning of an ongoing dialogue that leads to consensus, and action.

So, we need to know ‘How was it for you?’ Please take three minutes to tell us:

  1. What was the main message that you have taken away from the conference? For example, watch Boris Vujcic on You-Tube talking about his personal ‘take-away’ messages.
  2. Who have you told? Please tell us two people you have told about the conference (and their institutions, if relevant) and where you plan to communicate the messages of the conference in the future.

From this we will produce a network map of the conference to show its reach.


Communiqué: 11th Annual Global Development Conference Delivers Key Messages on Economic and Regional Integration

There is no learning without dialogue, and no action without reasonable consensus. This assumption was put to the test over the course of the recent 11th Annual Global Development Conference, Prague. The event was framed by one central question – Regional and Economic Integration: Quo Vadis? The 450 participants from around the world attending the event had their own distinct views on exactly where regional and economic integration is going. It is these views we wanted – and the world needs – to hear.

The financial crisis that has rocked the global economy has had, and continues to have, dangerous repercussions for international development. Read more of this post

Global Financial Governance: Quo Vadis?

The final Roundtable Session of the GDN conference discussed Global Financial Governance, and revealed a range of views and perspectives on the causes of the recent crisis, and some consensus on what needs to be done to avoid – or at least mitigate the worse effects of – the next one.

Ernesto Zedillo, Chair of GDN and Director of Yale Center for the Study of Globalisation, made the simple case for new forms of global governance. He said “We have more intense globalisation, more interdependence and therefore we need more global governance.” He said that the initial impetus for such reform during the 1990s, catalysed in part by the late Willy Brandt’s book ‘Our Global Neighbourhood’, had gone nowhere.

Read more of this post

Regionalism provides solidarity for Islanders

Wood Uti Salele from the Oceania Development Network (ODN) chaired the parallel session. ‘Regionalism on Service Delivery in Pacific Island States; Emerging Issues’ discussed the recent changes in approaches to Pacific regionalism and their impact on service delivery at household, district, national and Pacific-wide levels.

The session included a paper by Claire Slatter from the School of Social Sciences, University of the South Pacific in Fiji, titled ‘Reclaiming Pacific Island Regionalism: Women’s Voices’. Slatter approached the issue from a critical perspective focusing on easing capacity constraints for governments through increases in the provision of services and new pacific regionalism. Read more of this post

Assessing Participatory Development: Reflections from the World Bank

GDN 2010 Conference: Parellel sessionParticipation has become a ‘buzz’ word strongly associated with varying forms of governance. In the development field participatory approaches to decision-making have emerged in part as a consequence of governments’ failure to get funds and services to the most poor and vulnerable. Participation through community engagement attempts to place the emphasis on ‘the people on the ground’, the poor and vulnerable who are often excluded from the process of identifying their own needs.

The session ‘Participatory Development: Assessing the Evidence on Policy and Practice’ offered representatives from the World Bank’s Development Research Group and associated scholars the opportunity to discuss the current ‘state of play’ in terms of participatory approaches and how they are assessed. The topic was framed by the World Bank’s policy research report entitled Localising Development: Challenges of Policy and Practice. Read more of this post

Trans-continental research demands improved institutional infrastructure

African and Latin American research collaboration is identifying the differential role of institution and market forces in explaining the contrasting economic results of countries with similar commodity abundance.

Olusanya Ajakaiye, director of research at the African Economic Research Consortium in Kenya chaired the parallel session which featured projects on Oil Institutions in Nigeria and Colombia; the role of Copper on Chilean and Zambian economies and Impacts of higher food prices in Argentina and Malawi.

Co-chair, Mauricio Cárdenas, director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution said “This is one of the first projects to create synergy between the two regions.” Read more of this post

Development on the Move Reveals the Devil in the Detail

Language is very revealing. Phil Woolas, Hon. Minister of State for Borders and Immigration, said that Britain’s ‘screwed up’ attitude to international migration was revealed by the way people talk about it. “Think about it: we emigrate to Australia but we retire to Spain. Overseas people in our country are immigrants but when we go to theirs, we’re expatriates. We see people from France as visitors but from further afield as immigrants.”

Minister Woolas was attending the Special Session on GDN’s global research project ‘Development on the Move: Measuring and Optimising Migration’s Economic and Social Impacts‘, on the second day of the conference. He said that migration was the ‘second hottest issue’ in the forthcoming General Election, and he wanted to ‘explain why we got it wrong, and recalibrate the policy’. Read more of this post

Look How Far We’ve Come

A Roundtable on regional responses to the crisis revealed surprising optimism about the state of play in 2010 from panellists representing sub-Sahara Africa, central and eastern Europe, Latin America, the Arab States and East Asia. Regional responses varied greatly. The session was chaired by Andrew Steer, Director General, Policy and Research, DFID.

Africa was hit hard. It suffered more than other regions of the world yet the response has been more positive than ever before. Ernest Aryeetey from the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institute said “[African] policies are better managed and finance institutions are better structured which lead to better containment of these shocks.” Read more of this post

Awards and Medals!

GDN 2010 Conference: Awards and Medals WinnersWinners of the GDN Conference Awards have been announced. In a ceremony held last night at the impressive Czernin Palace, GDN’s President Gerardo della Paolera, presented the awards to eleven researchers. The winners were:

The Japanese Award for the Most innovative Development Project went to:

How do you Know if People are Happy?

How do you measure wellbeing and happiness? And why would economists be interested in the answer? Francois Bourguignon, Head of the European Development Research Network (EUDN) talked about the challenges of measuring social and welfare progress at a session entitled ‘How Do we Measure Development?’ on the second day of the GDN conference.

Current measures of assessing development, such as GDN and the Human Development Index (HDI), do not adequately reflect a person’s social and welfare progress. But finding alternatives is not easy. Bourguignon explained in his talk that the road to more nuanced measures is paved with complexity and methodological challenges. Read more of this post