Letter from the Co-Chairs
The 19th Annual International Development Conference, “The End of Development?: Why International Development Must Adapt or Fail,” held on April 12–13, 2013 on the Harvard Kennedy School campus, will explore both proven and innovative strategies to address the new development, economic, and political challenges facing the world today.
Dear Conference Participant,
The International Development Conference at Harvard Kennedy School of Government is a yearly student-organized, student-run conference dedicated to fostering a constructive dialogue between leading academics, practitioners, policy makers and students concerned with creating a better world. The Conference is hosted at the Kennedy School, the world’s leading school of public policy and home to Harvard’s Center for International Development and is a joint effort between students at Harvard and Carnegie Mellon University.
The theme of the 19th International Development Conference will be “The End of Development?” As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, international development is at a crossroads, shaped by several powerful trends that are transforming the world, the challenges facing poor countries and the field of development itself. In a new global economy, global poverty is changing from a division between countries to divisions within countries. Emerging economic powers are challenging the West’s monopoly on aid. A variety of market-driven innovations are confronting traditional development models. The importance of politics and institutions is increasingly recognized in creating effective states, but without clear solutions. And an extraordinary spread of technology and communications in the developing world has transformed the places where development practice happens.
What the field of development will look like in 10 or 20 years is unclear. What is certain is that the world of development practice, and the world around it, are changing fast. As the boundaries between traditional development, the private sector, and the public sector increasingly blur, the future of development as a meaningful category is in doubt.
The 19th Harvard Kennedy School International Development Conference will examine these forces, and the new models and new challenges that are emerging to tackle global poverty, and what the future of development looks like. It will focus on four key challenges crucial arenas that will be crucial to determining the future of development practice:
RETHINKING COLLABORATIVE GOVERNANCE: As the world moves from G8 to G80, and we contemplate development post-MDGs, how can the world find new, more effective responses to supra-national challenges such as poverty and climate change?
THE NEW ROLE OF THE STATE: How can development get better at politics and institution building? What new partnerships can be imagined to develop stable democracies and respond to economic challenges across the world?
CHANGE AT THE GRASSROOTS: Methods and practices at the ground level are being transformed as economies develop and technology spreads. What do these trends mean for the broad environment in which development takes place? What do they mean at the grassroots level and how should development practice respond?
NEW PUBLIC-PRIVATE DYNAMICS: How should traditional development organizations and models seek to integrate with new markets and profit-based models? What can the non-profit sector learn from the private sector?
We hope you can join us for an exciting conference, and look forward to seeing you.