Rethinking Collaborative Governance
The New Role of the State
Change at the Grassroots
New Public-Private Dynamics
Panel 1 — Development and Local Ownership
All development projects are designed to benefit a given population — defined as “disadvantaged”, “at risk”, or “vulnerable”. These beneficiaries make the large figures of “high-impact” projects and populate the homepages of advocacy campaigns. However when it comes to governance, the picture is quite different — they are sometimes consulted, rarely participate, and almost never decide. How can development projects genuinely include the populations they strive for in decision-making? What lessons can we learn from community-based approaches? How can technology help to reduce constraints?
Panel 2 — BRICS Abroad
Representing a quarter of the global GDP, the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — have begun to provide significant amounts of foreign aid to other developing countries, particularly those in Africa. With assistance from traditional donors such as the US and Western Europe decreasing in real terms in 2011, emerging BRICS donors offer countries more opportunities to finance much-needed development. However, there is a rising concern over this type of funding as it typically comes in the absence of domestic frameworks for accountability on international engagements. This shift has heightened worries on this model’s potential to undercut international standards and encourage unsustainable policies, governments, and debt. Are these worries over-rated considering that some foreign aid is better than none at all? This panel will explore whether the BRICS present an alternative and competing model of involvement and foreign assistance to that of traditional donors and whether this aid is more, less, or equally effective in improving standards of living for recipients.
Panel 3 — Climate and Development
Twenty years of negotiation under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have produced little measurable progress reducing greenhouse gas emissions or enabling the most vulnerable to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The world urgently needs new approaches to international climate and development cooperation that think beyond the Kyoto Protocol’s top-down, legally-binding structure. This panel will bring together leading climate and development researchers and policymakers in a dialogue about building and sustaining momentum toward low-carbon and resilient development through action by non-state actors, including development institutions, local governments, and the private sector.
Panel 1 — The Future of National Resource Companies
In a time of economic uncertainty, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have reemerged as powerful players in shaping the economies of many developing nations, and in shaping the global economy as a whole. This is especially true in the extractive industries, where national resource companies (NRCs) play an immense role in the economic and political landscape of resource-rich nations. This is also a time when many changes are occurring in SOEs, including NRCs, around the globe. Increasingly, NRCs are undergoing partial privatizations in order to bring in outside capital from private investors. They are expanding their horizons and expanding beyond national boundaries, in a trend of increasing globalization. As state-sponsored capitalism continues to present an ever growing challenge to traditional capitalist models, and NRCs continue play an important role in national economies and in the global economy, it is crucial that we examine the best practices which must be implemented, and reforms which must be made, in order to maximize the value of these enterprises for all stakeholders.
Panel 2 — China and the Next Development Path
Since the beginning of the Reform and Opening up process in 1978, China has experienced a tremendous transformation from a sleeping giant to the second-largest economic power in the world. During the process of creating a massive market economy and capacity, China lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty, accounting for more than 75% of poverty reduction in the developing world, and created a burgeoning middle class. However, the country is now facing increasing difficulties when she progresses onto the next stage of development. National poverty alleviation measures have triggered a shift from the issue of regional poverty to structural poverty between the inland and coastal areas, as well as within the urban cities: rapid economic growth has been loaded with challenges, including rapid urbanization and labor migration, demographic pressures related to an aging population and persisting pressure on establishing a functioning social welfare system. This panel discusses what policy measures are required to address these challenges and help China achieve a sustainable growth? And what lessons does the Chinese experience offer about the process of creating this massive structure for economic growth, and how other major emerging countries can tackle their own challenges?
Panel 3 — Keeping the Promise: Rethinking the Role of Government
Across the world, fast changing economic and political conditions are pitting states in a race between public aspirations and their ability to deliver, especially on the jobs and services agendas. Adaptation and change are often hampered by capacity gaps, established power structures, and an inability to innovate. As a result, many governments around the world are at risk of getting trapped in a cycle of weak performance and weak ability to change. This panel will review recent experiences in Africa (with a focus on post conflict countries), the Middle East (with a focus on the “uprising countries”), and Europe (with a focus on the crisis and the periphery countries). In each case, it will evaluate the challenges ahead on the twin agenda of jobs and services, ask what new models of the state are more adapted to country circumstances. And discuss innovative interventions that can be more effective to free governments from this trap?
Panel 1 — Financial Services to the Poor
An estimated 78 percent of the world’s poorest do not have a bank account and operate within the cash economy. As the development world gears itself to provide financial services to this group, the current tools and mechanisms have to be adapted as well. Where microfinance once meant the provision of small scale loans, its meaning has now evolved to include savings, insurance, and other forms of financial services. This panel will explore these new financial services in a multidimensional way; by ascertaining the needs of the financially excluded, discussing new products and services, and determining the effectiveness of these services through empirical evidence.
Panel 2 — Harnessing Youth Energy for Development
Developing countries and countries in crisis (like Spain or Greece today), have often 40 to 60% of youth unemployment. Some young people drop school early, and even university graduates can take up to 5 or 6 years to find their first job. This is a humanitarian disaster, and can induce instability and violence in some countries (demonstrations, but also criminality, or political instability). Yet, those youth are a tremendous asset for their countries, if we manage to give them opportunities to serve and prove their skills and will to contribute to the development of their communities.
Panel 3 — Challenges and Opportunities to Advance Health and Development at the Grassroots
Improving the health and well-being of people living in underserved communities is integral to promoting the end of development. In this panel session, guest speakers will discuss challenges and opportunities in developing innovative grassroots health initiatives and promoting civic engagement and community development. Panelists will share insights on marketing and advancing health at the grassroots level in the face of limited resources, conflict, crisis, and other difficult local circumstances. They will discuss work on developing and scaling successful health interventions that target improving reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health; combating communicable and non-communicable diseases; and enhancing peoples’ quality of life and ownership over health at the local level.
Panel 1 — Business Innovation for Social and Economic Development
Innovation is one of the key drivers for private companies to live long-term. Innovation can take the shape of new products, new systems or new business models. With the increased role of Business in the social arena and development, Innovation can also be an amazing tool to address social issues and further countries’ development. A lot of companies have tried to develop Innovations that could for example help address malnutrition, improve health access or increase living standards of populations. This Panel aims to address what are some of the key Innovation examples (products, distribution, systems…) that businesses or public-private partnerships have put in place and that have allowed to significantly create a social improvement and helped countries’ development.
Panel 2 — Big Data and Development
Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — and over 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. The availability of data on human behavior is quickly changing how decisions are made in the public sector and in development contexts. This panel will discuss how Big Data is expected to affect the future of public policy and how can policy makers leverage it in achieving development goals?
Panel 3 — U.S. Private Sector and Development
Today more than ever, the future of sustainable development is being linked to the emergence of a vibrant private sector in developing countries. As this aspect of development gains greater and greater attention, governments and development practitioners will be increasingly challenged to look at policies that enable the risk takers of the world, and countries and foreign investors will be benefiting from such a paradigm shift. Taking the example of the US foreign investor, how are they able to be a catalyst for local private sector development and what policies or programs have been put in place to support them? What is the role of the US business as a development actor?