ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund – International Development Conference on vulnerability

A two-day high profile International Development conference around the over-arching theme of Vulnerability and Resilience will be hosted by the Leeds Social Sciences Institute and Centre for Global Development.

Why vulnerability?

The theme of vulnerability speaks to a wide number of disciplines. It permits a holistic look at international development challenges, ranging from the structural obstacles to a reduction in vulnerability, looking at political and social problems, to the more technical aspects reducing particular vulnerabilities, for example, in situations of food scarcity, energy shortages, or technological gaps.

The focus on vulnerability allows scholars to concentrate on the outcomes of vulnerability, as well as the processes by which vulnerability can be reduced, to facilitate progress in global development and poverty reduction.

The conference will bring together academics, policy-makers, practitioners, private sector, civil society as well as regional and international organisations to explore the role of interdisciplinary research in advancing the sustainable development goals.

This event has three main objectives:

  1. Raising awareness – providing participants with an opportunity to hear from academics with a strong track record of conducting research in developing countries
  2. Capacity building – engaging social scientists who have not worked in the international development field to engage with the demands of global challenge research to help build new capacity in this area
  3. Exploring new connections and strengthening existing relationships with external partners, particularly in low-middle income countries

Our intention is to deliver the conference around significant themes and to provide a forum through the conference to debate current issues and explore new collaborations.

Programme

DAY ONE (Wednesday 23 November)

9:30     Registration
10:00 Welcome – Professor Adam Crawford, Director, Leeds Social Sciences Institute
Introduction – Professor Caroline Dyer, Co-Director, Centre for Global Development
10:20 Opening Keynote Presentations on Vulnerability and Resilience (Chair Professor Caroline Dyer)

  • Juma Assiago, Coordinator of the Safer Cities Programme of the United Centre for Human Settlements UN Habitat
  • Professor Andrew Dougill, Dean of Faculty of Environment & Professor of Environmental Sustainability University of Leeds
11:20 Break
11:35 Research Showcase – Communicable Diseases Health Service Delivery (COMDIS) – Professor James Newell, Professor of International Public Health, Leeds Institute for Health Sciences
12:00 Official Development Assistance in Practice: Lessons Learnt – Dr Anne Tallontire, Senior Lecturer: Business, Environment & Corporate Responsibility, Faculty of Environment
12:30 LUNCH
13:30 Exploring New Connections – insights from external partners on pressing future challenges and opportunities around:urban public health (academic lead: Dr Helen Elsey)

  • Dr Blessing Mberu, Head of Urbanization and Wellbeing, African Population and Health Research Centre, Kenya
  • Dr Ng Chiu Wan, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia
  • John Anampiu, Assistant Director of Population (Monitoring and Evaluation), Kenya’s National Council for Population and Development

inequalities (academic lead: Professor Caroline Dyer)

  • Emily Echessa, Deputy Head of Education, Save the Children UK
  • Purna Shrestha, Global Research and Advocacy Advisor (Education), VSO International
 15:00  BREAK
 15:30  Exploring New Connections – insights from external partners on pressing future challenges and opportunities around:urban security and justice (academic lead: Dr Polly Wilding)

  • Juma Assiago, Coordinator of the Safer Cities Programme of the United Centre for Human Settlements UN Habitat
  • Markus Gottsbacher, Senior Program Specialist at International Development Research Centre

migration (academic lead: Dr Gabriella Alberti / Dr Lou Waite)

  • Tony Bunyan, Statewatch
  • Yasemin Somuncu, Senior Specialist – Center for Energy, Environment and Economy, Özyeğin University
  • Janet Munakamwe, African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand
 17:00  Networking
 18:00  CLOSE

 DAY TWO (Thursday 24 November)

9:15  Registration
9:30  Welcome
9:40 Opening Keynote Presentations: ODA and Impact (Chair: Dr Polly Wilding)

  • Dr Paul Meller, Head of Strategy, Economic and Social Research Council
10:15 Official Development Assistance in practice –building successful partnerships (Chair: Dr Polly Wilding, School of Politics and International Studies)

  • Dr Ng Chiu Wan , Equity in Asia-Pacific Health Systems (EQUITAP)
  • Dr Blessing Mberu,Head of Urbanization and Wellbeing, African Population and Health Research Centre, Kenya
  • Anthonia James, Communicable Diseases Health Service Delivery (COMDIS)
11:00 BREAK
11:30 Exploring New Connections (part one)– Parallel Breakout Sessions

  • Urban/ public health
  • Inequalities
  • Migration
  • Security and justice
12:30  LUNCH
13:30 Exploring new connections (part two) – Parallel Breakout Sessions

  • Urban/ public health
  • Inequalities
  • Migration
  • Security and justice
14:45 Summary of global challenges and opportunities & closing remarks– Plenary Session

  • (TBC), Department for International Development
  • Professor Caroline Dyer, Co-Director, Centre for Global Development
15:30 CLOSE

 Background

On 1 January 2016, the UN officially launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty.

As part of a revised approach to “UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest” the Department for International Development (DfID) and HRM Treasury have announced the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion fund to advance the SDGs and support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries through:

  • challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
  • strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries
  • providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

The conference has been designed around the RCUK and ESRC GCRF and UK Aid’s strategic priorities with the specific aim of exploring and reviewing the contribution of social science research to promote economic growth and the welfare of developing countries.

Registration for this event is now closed.