CIDT staff contribute to the debate on opening up development

12 August 2019
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Nine CIDT staff members participated in the annual Conference of the Development Studies Association (DSA), hosted by the Open University (OU) in Milton Keynes, UK from 19-21 June 2019. The conference brought together a large number of academics, practitioners and students of international development from different affiliations, backgrounds and interests; from around the world.

The selected theme of the DSA conference for 2019 ‘Opening up Development’ was chosen to draw attention to the changes happening in the global political economy, and new trends in development intervention and activism.  CIDT made a rich contribution in various sessions and panels within this conference context especially in bringing a practitioner perspective to the fore.

CIDT staff convened two conference panels at the conference. Dr Aurelian Mbzibain and Richard Nyirenda’s panel on ‘Opening up natural resource governance’ (photos above), explored factors affecting multi-stakeholder participation in natural resource governance processes and drew lessons learned from widening this participation in developing countries. Dr Mbzibain and Teodyl Nkuintchua Tchoudjen, CIDT associate, presented a paper on the dynamics of environmental NGOs and State relations in the field of forest and wildlife monitoring in the Congo Basin. Laurence Wete Nkouguep Epouse Soh, CIDT associate, shared her perspectives on independent monitoring of forests and mines in the Congo Basin and Dani Baur, CIDT research assistant presented a paper on the role of indigenous roles in forest governance.

A second CIDT panel (photos above) was convened by Dr Rachel Slater and Ella Haruna. Entitled ‘How do we know it works?’, the panel explored methods for evaluating the impact of capacity strengthening in international development. It aimed to reconsider the ways in which development practitioners measure impact of capacity strengthening programmes. The panel included papers from Ella Haruna on assessing capacity strengthening outcomes from a practitioner perspective, and Rachel Roland, who introduced the ’70:20:10′ model for impact evaluation in organisational capacity building in international development agencies.

Dr Rachel Slater, CIDT’s Professor of International Development presented a paper on drivers of social protection in Nepal, in the context of the repeated natural disasters and their impact on policy choices of the Nepalese federal government in the field of social protection. Sarah Thomas shared her exploration of civil society through the eyes of its activists, and the link between donor-driven discourse on the role of civil society and the de-politicisation of issues it works on.

Professor Philip Dearden, CIDT Head of Centre, participated in the roundtable discussion on the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), to draw lessons from various efforts to implement them. You can view his recent blog reporting on this and his DSA presentation.