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Development Studies for a Changing Development Context – Launching a Dialogue Laurence Simon and Susan Holcombe.

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Presentation on theme: "Development Studies for a Changing Development Context – Launching a Dialogue Laurence Simon and Susan Holcombe."— Presentation transcript:

1 Development Studies for a Changing Development Context – Launching a Dialogue Laurence Simon and Susan Holcombe

2 Thinking about a 21 st century Version of Development Studies Rationale Context – –What has changed, and –What remains static Continuing comparative advantages of international development studies What SID has been doing to keep its relevance Implementation challenges Conclusion

3 Rationale for Rethinking Development Studies Emerging alternative models for development Declining role of development assistance in some countries, and continuing importance of aid in poor countries. New or strengthened development studies programs in developing countries Attempts to standardize training for development (MDP?)

4 What has changed in the development context? Rising South - developing countries are no longer neophyte, former colonies--- increasingly actors in the world. Human resource capacities expanded. Emerging economies with different models of development; Developing country universities seeking global status Eclipsing of development aid by other factors (remittances; foreign investment, natural resource rents)

5 What has been slow to change in the development context? Conflation of development with aid. –Focus on projects and programs and getting results. –Tension in the Paris Declaration between ‘managing for results’ and ownership and participation. Articulation/integration of economic and social policies

6 Are Development Studies in the West still relevant? Diverse community Exposure to new ideas –Cosmopolitanism –Critical thinking –Confrontation with own biases and assumptions –Space to explore and try out new ideas –Interdisciplinary approaches –Bridging academia and practice

7 MA/SID – Keeping relevance Making explicit the values base of any development intervention Assuring core competencies Building a learning community Keeping a focus on implementation

8 Values/biases, often unacknowledged, influence development decisions human rights - from the political and civil to the social and economic, and that promote social and environmental justice and inclusion regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or class; governance systems based on participation and universal protection of rights; the necessity of enhancing the capabilities of all peoples to shape their own development; sustainability as an ideal that integrates physical, social, and ethical concerns and that is informed by natural and social science; and learning as an on-going process that requires continuing reflection on concepts, evidence, and values, including one’s own.

9 Identifying and assuring core competencies (10) Literacy in the history, concepts, theories and goals of sustainable development; Interdependence Systems, structures and institutions Contextual analysis and application Problem-solving Continue 

10 Core Competencies continued Evidence Scarcity and distribution Relativity Management Communications

11 Creating a Learning Community Mobilizing ±90 diverse individuals each year into a cohesive learning community –US students in a minority; challenges –Developing country nationals in the majority Challenges to functioning at highest capacity Intervening to create community

12 Paying attention to implementation Implementation matters –Faculty selection –Faculty cohesion on interdisciplinary course –Dedicated staff for student support –Inviting students to solve own problems.

13 Challenges ahead Maintaining curriculum quality; measuring performance Deciding what to include in curriculum (climate change, social entrepreneurship, research skills, advanced degrees) Deepening international partnerships Reaching students from most marginalized and impoverished communities

14 Conclusion This reflection argues that we may be at a turning point in how we think about development studies, and that the changes needed for the evolving future will require a rethinking of purpose and values, an acknowledgements of power shifts occurring and a flexibility of design. A dialogue, about where we our going with development studies programs, is a starting point

15 Thank You. November 2013

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