Author Archives: gc2014

Civil Society Sustainability in a Polycentric World: New Roles, Challenges and Responsibilities

By Albert Arhin

Why this panel?
This INTRAC-convened panel which is one of the sessions of the 14th EADI General Conference, taking place in Bonn from 23-26 June 2014, was aimed to provide space for debate with academics, practitioners and policy-makers to explore theoretical implications, to identify research gaps and opportunities, and to consider capacity building needs of civil society organizations in light of their changing roles and responsibilities in a rapidly changing world. The panel focused on how civil society organizations can enhance both their sustainability and their legitimacy in the face of rapid global change.

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Conservation, Environmental Justice and Cooperation in Developing Countries

By Adrian Martin

Adrian Martin, University of East Anglia, introduced the work of the Global Environmental Justice group at UEA, identifying some of the links to the conference theme and to the links between the session papers. In particular, current global processes of resource use and commodification are resulting in struggles over environmental justice around the world, for example over access to water, land and sinks. These are local, place bound struggles but are also connected at other scales via the broader processes of accumulation that shape new commodity frontiers, and the connections between struggles evident in mobilisations for environmental justice. Continue reading

Sustainable Development, Vulnerability and Resilience

By Stefano Moncada

Mark SiuSue, Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University presented on “Land Reform in Chin State Myanmar: Prospects for Pro-Poor Land Reform When Caught between Old and New Institutions”. As part of Myanmar’s recent reintegration into the global economy, Myanmar passed the Farmland Law in 2012– legislation key to creating a formal land market. The presentation discussed the case of the Chin State, where customary land tenure compete with private land tenure codified in the new land laws. The question at heart is the degree to which national land reform will lead to pro-poor land tenure security. Continue reading

Sustaining or hindering resilience strategies? The role of Middle Classes I

By Claudio Cecci

The first session organised by the EADI Working Group on Sustainable Development, Vulnerability and Resilience, has been organised in two separate debates. The first one is the prestentation of the paper “Official Development Assistance for Adaptive Capacity – The Effect of Training in Informal Urban Settlements in Ethiopia” by Stefano Moncada (presenter), Hilary Bambrick, and Marie Briguglio. The second has focused on future activities of the WG.

Stefano Moncada has emphasised the widespread acceptance in the literature that changes in climate will severely affect developing countries and the enhancement of adaptive capacity has been widely identified as an essential policy response. However, there is still a high degree of uncertainty as to what the determinants of adaptive capacity are at the local level, and which development interventions are capable of enhancing it. Continue reading

Report from the plenary session I: Middle Classes as Development Actors in a Polycentric World

bucarBy Dr. Maja Bučar

The main focus of the conference as well as of the introductory panel is the role of middle classes of both, developed and developing world in development, especially in addressing the main challenges of polycentric world. Is it possible to mobilise middle class to address jointly the issues of rising inequality as well as responsibility for the sustainable “green” development? What kind of development actors are the middle class citizens across the world? Where can their pattern of behaviour take the world? How to mobilise middle classes of the fast growing economies/ regions to become development actors?

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Extending Global Citizenship – Policy Orientated Panel

By Michelle van Geffen

Kees Biekart opened this panel discussion and pointed out that the session would dwell upon what different perspectives existed on how to strengthen global citizenship, whether they differed and how we could learn from one another.

Huib Huyse (from HIVA) starts off by illustrating the shift of development support. We used to consider ‘passive support for development policies’ to be the indicator of citizen involvement with the world. Hence, support for traditional donation/donor relations. Here we see consensus with the second speaker Edith van Ewijk. Both argue the agenda has been broadened. Huib argues one of the main aspects of global citizenship is whether the public also has a critically outlook of aid activity and appreciates the other related concepts like the environmental sustainable aspects as part of the agenda. Edith however shifts the focus towards behaviour and attitude of citizens to be a determinate of global citizenship. Which interventions do already exist within this framework, and what can we learn from them? Continue reading

The Polycentricity of Climate Change Adaptation: Translations between International Conferences and Local Development Projects

ArnallBy Alex Arnall

Bonn, Germany, is one of the main global centres for north-south development relations, particularly for climate change. The aim of this session was to explore how the idea of climate change passes from the arena of international negotiations, down to the local level (and vice versa), and is interpreted by development actors working at the ‘coalface’ of adaptation projects, with a particular focus on Africa. It was not the intention of the session to question the phenomenon of climate change per se, which is acknowledged as a serious challenge for humankind, but rather to examine how climate change adaptation it is being put into practice by governments and development agencies, and to explore what the politics and outcomes of these processes are.

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It’s about capabilities, not products

By Annemarie van de Vijsel

In the opening lecture of the 14th General Conference of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), Professor of International Development at the UK’s Open University Raphael Kaplinsky addressed the challenges of achieving economic inclusiveness.

Kaplinsky admitted that participating in the global economy certainly brings benefits to countries, as the division of labour increases productivity and trade in comparative advantages provides the potential for mutual gain. But, as he already suggested at the start of his lecture, that is not always the case. Not all countries are able to make good use of these opportunities. Continue reading

Press Release – Responsible Development in a Polycentric World


Bonn, 12 June 2014

Responsible Development in a Polycentric World: Inequality, Citizenship and the Middle Classes

International Conference: 23 – 26 June 2014, Bonn, Germany

The end of the Millennium Development Goals and introduction of a new global development framework next year, takes place in a world where emerging economies experience unprecedented economic growth yet global challenges such as rising inequality and environmental concerns persist. These concerns raise questions for future development and environmental policies. The role of the middle classes as both development actors and citizens will be examined. Continue reading