The End of Development? Why international development must adapt or fail


Work­shops pro­vide a more inter­ac­tive, hands-on space for par­tic­i­pants to learn how to use new and rel­e­vant devel­op­ment tools and strate­gies. This year, the IDC is proud to present 4 dynamic work­shop options, described below. Please note: work­shops will run in par­al­lel to a Case Com­pe­ti­tion pre­sented in part­ner­ship with Carnegie Mel­lon University.

Work­shop #1: Human­i­tar­ian Aid Work­shop: Respond­ing to a Com­plex Human­i­tar­ian Cri­sis in a Devel­op­ment Con­text (max 24 participants)


At 7 PM May 24th 2014, Cyclone Tetris hits the small nation of Gro­ma­tia. 140,000 peo­ple are killed and 70,000 peo­ple are miss­ing. In a sim­u­lated emer­gency meet­ing between national author­i­ties and inter­na­tional actors, we will explore some of the chal­lenges of respond­ing to a sud­den, large scale emer­gency in a com­plex devel­op­ment con­text. Up to 9 teams will be around the nego­ti­at­ing table, seek­ing to gain influ­ence for their par­tic­u­lar points of view.

What do we do to help? How do we meet the chal­lenges of com­pet­ing inter­ests, scarcity of human and mate­r­ial resources? How do we deliver assis­tance in a region where both the national gov­ern­ment and resis­tance armies gov­ern ter­ri­tory, in an active con­flict zone? The sim­u­la­tion will be led by Dr. Parveen Par­mar, from the Har­vard Human­i­tar­ian Initiative.

Dr. Parveen Par­mar | Work­shop Facilitator

Dr. Parveen Par­mar is the Asso­ciate Direc­tor of the Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal Inter­na­tional Emer­gency Med­i­cine Fel­low­ship and holds a Mas­ters in Pub­lic Health from the Har­vard School of Pub­lic Health. She has con­ducted worked on health, human rights, and human­i­tar­ian issues in Liberia, Ethiopia, Bhutan, India, Cameroon, Burma, and Thai­land, and served as health coor­di­na­tor for flood response in Pak­istan in 2010. She is a grad­u­ate of Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, received her med­ical degree from North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity, and com­pleted her emer­gency med­i­cine res­i­dency and served as chief res­i­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les / Olive View UCLA Emer­gency Med­i­cine Res­i­dency Pro­gram. Dr. Par­mar co-authored PHR’s report Life Under the Junta: Evi­dence of Crimes Against Human­ity in Burma’s Chin State ( She has also worked with Physi­cians for Human Rights on human rights issues faced by Burmese Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. (

Work­shop #2: The Chang­ing Role of Non-Profits in Address­ing Devel­op­ment Chal­lenges (max 26 participants)

On 24th Novem­ber 2012 there was a fire out­break at the Tazreen Fash­ions fac­tory in Bangladesh, which killed 112 employ­ees. This case study will explore the roles of Inter­na­tional NGOs (INGOs), Local NGOs, Social Enter­prises and Social Move­ments in address­ing the devel­op­ment chal­lenges inher­ent in the global gar­ment indus­try. Par­tic­i­pants will work in advi­sory groups to con­sider causes and develop response rec­om­men­da­tions. The Direc­tor of the Hauser Cen­ter for Non-Profit Orga­ni­za­tions will lead the inter­ac­tive analy­sis of the com­ple­men­tary and con­flict­ing roles that dif­fer­ent types of orga­ni­za­tions can play in address­ing devel­op­ment challenges.


Aviva Luz Argote | Work­shop Facilitator


Aviva Luz Argote serves as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Hauser Cen­ter for Non­profit Orga­ni­za­tions at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity. In this capac­ity, she over­sees project devel­op­ment, man­ages staff, and teams with fac­ulty to design and teach cut­ting edge cur­ricu­lum.  Aviva’s pro­fes­sional path has included work in civic edu­ca­tion, lead­er­ship devel­op­ment, finan­cial admin­is­tra­tion, and local food sys­tems.  Her pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence includes work with the Coro New York Lead­er­ship Cen­ter, the Rand Cor­po­ra­tion, Los Ange­les County Super­vi­sor Glo­ria Molina, the Har­vard Uni­ver­sity bud­get office, and the Com­mu­nity for Edu­ca­tion Foun­da­tion.  A native of New York City, Aviva holds an MPA from the Har­vard Kennedy School and a BA from Pomona College.  

Work­shop #3: Big Data for Devel­op­ment: Har­ness­ing the power of real-time infor­ma­tion for a 21st-century approach to agile global development

Deci­sion mak­ers work­ing to pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties are con­fronting a new chal­lenge: in today’s increas­ingly con­nected world, socioe­co­nomic crises emerge and spread around the globe almost with the speed of nat­ural dis­as­ters. At a time when our need for pol­icy agility has never been greater, we have found that our 20th-century tools for track­ing devel­op­ment can­not keep up.

New ini­tia­tives to har­ness the power of real-time infor­ma­tion, often dubbed “Big Data for Devel­op­ment,” rep­re­sent a new oppor­tu­nity to help pro­tect the vul­ner­a­ble through inno­va­tion. The Big Data for Devel­op­ment work­shop explores how emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies and new sources of data can allow Pol­i­cy­mak­ers to stay ahead of fast-moving crises.

Work­shop par­tic­i­pants will be intro­duced to Big Data’s ana­lytic meth­ods and frame­works as applied to inter­na­tional devel­op­ment and cri­sis resilience, along with their appli­ca­tion to actual cases like pre­dict­ing the geospa­tial spread of cholera after the Hait­ian earth­quake through SMS sen­ti­ment analy­sis, track­ing real-time food price infla­tion in Indone­sia with Twit­ter, and mon­i­tor­ing poverty lev­els in real time cell phone min­utes pur­chas­ing trends in Rwanda and Kenya. Atten­dees will also have the oppor­tu­nity to play the role of pol­i­cy­mak­ers direct­ing a big data analy­sis group in a devel­op­ing country’s gov­ern­ment, set­ting pri­or­i­ties and choos­ing ana­lytic tools to effec­tively address their cit­i­zens’ most press­ing chal­lenges.

The sim­u­la­tion will be led by John Vrakas and Luis Capelo.

John Vrakas | Work­shop Facilitator

John Vrakas was awarded a MPA and Robert Sea­mans Fel­low­ship in Tech­nol­ogy and Pub­lic Pol­icy from the Har­vard Kennedy School, and an M.S. in laser engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­sity of Rochester. His focus on Lead­er­ship in Tech­nol­ogy and Inno­va­tion for Devel­op­ment has led to research on mobile tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment solu­tions and the appli­ca­tion of net­work sci­ence and com­plex sys­tems to macro­eco­nomic devel­op­ment strate­gies. His recently pub­lished work includes ‘From Dis­in­te­gra­tion to 3G: how Rwan­dan Lead­er­ship is Dri­ving Devel­op­ment through Inno­va­tion’, and ‘The Poten­tial of Leapfrog Tech­nol­ogy Adop­tion in Africa’, a strat­egy for poverty reduc­tion through tech-based devel­op­ment, pro­duced for the Global Impact Invest­ment Net­work (GIIN). He is a co-founder of the Middle-Eastern Cen­ter for Lead­er­ship & Social Inno­va­tion based in Birzeit, Pales­tin­ian Territories.

Luis Capelo | Panelist

Luis Capelo is a Mas­ter in Pub­lic Pol­icy can­di­date at the Har­vard Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, where he focused on policy-making on Big Data, advanced ana­lyt­ics and human­i­tar­ian tech­nol­ogy. Since 2012, Luis has been actively work­ing with the Dig­i­tal Human­i­tar­ian Net­work, a project to cre­ate an umbrella orga­ni­za­tion that assists Vol­un­teer and Tech­ni­cal Com­mu­ni­ties to have a greater impact on human­i­tar­ian response. He has also worked for the Satel­lite Sen­tinel Project at the Har­vard Human­i­tar­ian Ini­tia­tive and the Office for the Coor­di­na­tion of Human­i­tar­ian Affairs where he co-wrote (together with Natalie Chang) the Guid­ance Doc­u­ment for Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Vol­un­teer and Tech­ni­cal Communities.

Leora Falk | Panelist

Leora Falk is grad­u­at­ing from the Kennedy School MPP pro­gram in May. Her cap­stone project focused on best prac­tices for jour­nal­ists to use data to write solutions-oriented news sto­ries. She spent last sum­mer work­ing at the State Depart­ment work­ing on cli­mate change adap­ta­tion projects. Prior to the Kennedy School, she worked as a jour­nal­ist, writ­ing about cli­mate change for BNA Daily Envi­ron­ment Report (Now Bloomberg BNA). She has also writ­ten for The Chicago Tri­bune, The Jerusalem Post, and the now-defunct New York Sun. She has a B.A. from Barnard College.

Work­shop #4: The End of Devel­op­ment? Rec­om­men­da­tions on the Post-2015 Agenda

The fight against extreme poverty has made great progress under the Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals (MDGs) since they were agreed at a UN Sum­mit in 2000 with a tar­get date of 2015. How­ever, with more than one bil­lion peo­ple con­tin­u­ing to live in extreme poverty, and less than 1,000 days to meet 2015 dead­line, the scale and urgency of the chal­lenge towards end­ing extreme poverty in all its forms remains unprece­dented. The IDC offers a plat­form for par­tic­i­pants to advance the post-2015 devel­op­ment debate ahead of the UN High-Level Meet­ing on MDGs in Sep­tem­ber. Engag­ing dynamic and engaged decision-makers, prac­ti­tion­ers and stu­dents, the 90-minute work­shop will eval­u­ate the MDGs and address salient issues for shap­ing a work­able and com­pre­hen­sive frame­work of action for the post-2015 devel­op­ment agenda.

Eric Werker | Moderator

Eric Werker is Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor in the Busi­ness, Gov­ern­ment, and the Inter­na­tional Econ­omy Unit and a Mar­vin Bower Fel­low at Har­vard Busi­ness School. His research explores the polit­i­cal econ­omy, macro­eco­nom­ics, and busi­ness envi­ron­ments of emerg­ing and fron­tier economies, par­tic­u­larly in Africa.

Pro­fes­sor Werker has writ­ten on frag­ile states, for­eign aid, for­eign invest­ment, non-governmental orga­ni­za­tions, con­flict, and gov­er­nance. His work has been fea­tured in the Finan­cial Times, Wash­ing­ton Post, BBC, NPR, and pub­li­ca­tions across the devel­op­ing world.

Out­side of acad­e­mia, Werker is the Lead Aca­d­e­mic for the Inter­na­tional Growth Centre’s pro­gram in Liberia and eco­nomic advi­sor to the Pres­i­dent of Liberia. He has worked with the US Government’s Mil­len­nium Chal­lenge Cor­po­ra­tion on for­eign aid projects and with the NGO Con­ser­va­tion Inter­na­tional on low-carbon devel­op­ment. He serves on the Advi­sory Group of the Cen­ter for Global Devel­op­ment, is a Fel­low at Har­vard Kennedy School’s Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment, and has worked with cor­po­ra­tions and non­prof­its on their deci­sions and activ­i­ties in emerg­ing markets.

Steven Kauf­mann | Panelist

Steven M. Kauf­mann is the Chief of Staff at the Mil­len­nium Chal­lenge Cor­po­ra­tion. As Chief of Staff, Mr. Kauf­mann serves as the lead advi­sor to the agency’s Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer, pro­vid­ing guid­ance and lead­er­ship on cor­po­rate strat­egy, oper­a­tions, and pol­icy mat­ters. The Chief of Staff sup­ports the CEO’s man­age­ment of the agency’s admin­is­tra­tive and pro­gram issues and ensures that the CEO’s vision and pri­or­i­ties are imple­mented in all aspects of MCC’s oper­a­tions. The Chief of Staff also super­vises staff in the Office of the CEO. 

Prior to join­ing MCC, Mr. Kauf­mann was a lit­i­ga­tion part­ner at the inter­na­tional law firm of Mor­ri­son & Foer­ster, LLP. Mr. Kauf­mann prac­ticed law for twenty-five years, focus­ing on com­plex com­mer­cial dis­putes and work­ing exten­sively on class actions, antitrust cases, secu­ri­ties lit­i­ga­tion and employ­ment mat­ters. Mr. Kauf­mann served as the chair of the firm’s Global Lit­i­ga­tion Depart­ment for three years, over­see­ing over 500 attor­neys and an exten­sive sup­port staff in 14 cities around the world. As Lit­i­ga­tion Depart­ment Chair, Mr. Kauf­mann was one of a hand­ful of attor­neys at the firm respon­si­ble for devel­op­ing and exe­cut­ing on the over­all strate­gic direc­tion for the enter­prise. He also served as man­ag­ing part­ner of Mor­ri­son & Foerster’s Den­ver, Col­orado office for almost 7 years. 

Before law school, Mr. Kauf­mann worked for the con­sult­ing firm of ICF, Inc., where he under­took eco­nomic analy­sis of energy mar­kets and related envi­ron­men­tal issues. Upon grad­u­a­tion from law school, Mr. Kauf­mann served as a law clerk to Hon. John L. Kane of the United States Dis­trict Court for the Dis­trict of Col­orado. 

Mr. Kauf­mann received his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, with high hon­ors from Wes­leyan Uni­ver­sity in 1980, and received his J.D., cum laude, from the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan in 1984, where he was a mem­ber of the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Jour­nal of Law Reform. Mr. Kauf­mann is a fifth-generation Col­oradan. He pre­vi­ously served on a num­ber of boards of direc­tors, includ­ing the boards of National Jew­ish Health, the Col­orado Lawyer’s Com­mit­tee, and the Col­orado “I Have a Dream” Foundation.

Steve Radelet | Panelist

Steve Radelet is the Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor in the Prac­tice of Devel­op­ment at George­town Uni­ver­sity and for­mer Chief Econ­o­mist for USAID. He has served as Senior Adviser for Devel­op­ment to Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton and Deputy Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury for Africa, the Mid­dle East, and Asia.

His work focuses on eco­nomic growth, poverty reduc­tion, for­eign aid, and debt, pri­mar­ily in Africa and Asia. Pro­fes­sor Radelet has exten­sive expe­ri­ence as a pol­icy maker in the U.S. Gov­ern­ment, as an adviser to devel­op­ing coun­try lead­ers; and as a researcher, teacher and writer. He cur­rently serves as an eco­nomic adviser to the Pres­i­dents of Liberia and Malawi. He holds an MPP and PhD from HKS.

Andy Rat­cliffe | Panelist

Andy Rat­cliffe is Direc­tor of Strat­egy and Devel­op­ment for the Tony Blair Africa Gov­er­nance Ini­tia­tive (AGI). AGI works with African lead­ers to build the capac­ity of their gov­ern­ments to deliver their devel­op­ment pri­or­i­ties ( Their work focuses on the abil­ity of the cen­tre of gov­ern­ment –par­tic­u­larly the Pres­i­dent or Prime Minister’s Office –to man­age imple­men­ta­tion from the cen­tre.

They work at both the polit­i­cal level through Tony Blair and other expe­ri­enced polit­i­cal lead­ers, and prac­ti­cally with teams of imple­men­ta­tion sys­tems experts based in each of their part­ner gov­ern­ments. AGI cur­rently works in seven coun­tries –Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nige­ria, South Sudan, and Malawi. 

Andy leads AGI’s inter­nal learn­ing pro­gramme to iden­tify and share the lessons from their work. He pre­vi­ously ran AGI’s pro­gramme in Rwanda, where he worked in Pres­i­dent Kagame’s Strat­egy and Pol­icy Unit; and before that worked in the cen­tre of the UK gov­ern­ment as a Senior Pol­icy Adviser for Edu­ca­tion in the Prime Minister’s Strat­egy Unit. Before enter­ing gov­ern­ment Andy was an aca­d­e­mic at the Uni­ver­sity of Oxford focus­ing on def­i­n­i­tions and mea­sures of poverty in the UK and Africa (for more infor­ma­tion

Nikhil Seth | Panelist

Nikhil Seth is cur­rently the Direc­tor of the Divi­sion for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment, Depart­ment of Eco­nomic and Social Affairs (DESA) and he was also Head of the Rio+20 Sec­re­tariat. As Head of the Rio+20 Sec­re­tariat, he spear­headed the prepa­ra­tions for the UNCSD Con­fer­ence in Rio. Dur­ing his career with the United Nations since 1993, Mr. Seth has served as Spe­cial Assis­tant and Chief of Office to the Under-Secretary-General for Eco­nomic and Social Affairs, as Sec­re­tary of the Eco­nomic and Social Coun­cil (ECOSOC) and the Sec­ond Com­mit­tee of the Gen­eral Assem­bly, and, most recently, as Direc­tor of the DESA Office for ECOSOC Sup­port and Coor­di­na­tion (OESC), where he guided the ECOSOC’s work in imple­ment­ing sev­eral new key man­dates, includ­ing its Annual Min­is­te­r­ial Review and Devel­op­ment Coop­er­a­tion Forum.

Prior to join­ing the United Nations, Mr. Seth served in the Indian diplo­matic ser­vice, where his diplo­matic assign­ments included Geneva, DRC, Cen­tral African Repub­lic, Gabon and Equa­to­r­ial Guinea, as well as the Per­ma­nent Mis­sion of India, New York.