16 September 2011

DSA York: Time to Reimagine Development?

This week IDS released a report (Time to Reimagine Development?) on how the global crises of the past 4 years have:

* affected people's lives on the ground
* challenged our core assumptions about development
* surfaced new ideas (or given life to old ones) about how sustainable development can be promoted

The report draws on about 20 case studies from the private sector, civil society, government, NGOs, faith based groups, students, and donors to try to address these questions.

The overview paper (which is free to download) suggests some core assumptions need to be challenged, including:

* complexity is always too complex to deal with
* the nation state is becoming less relevant
* wellbeing is too fluffy to operationalise
* resilience is a somewhat negative aspiration
* inequality is not something to fret too much over
* the present brand of economics is the best we have got
* civil society is well suited to responding to these crises

These are some of these issues will be discussed at the EADI-DSA Conference in York next week.

There are too many panels, working groups and study groups to tell you about (the schedule runs to 50 pages!), but the overall theme is around rethinking development in an age of scarcity and uncertainty: what are the new values, voices and alliances we need for increased resilience? Keynotes include Ravi Kanbur, Sabina Alkire, Mario Giampietro and Richard Jolly and there will be close to 1000 participants.

See you there.

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