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Summer School 2014

‘Understanding Development: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’

23-26 June 2014, University of Leeds


If you want to change the world you need to understand it. This is particularly important in the field of International Development. That is why The Centre for Global Development run its 2014 Summer School with the theme ‘Understanding Development: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’. Participants took part in the exciting four-days programme that covered key development themes and looked at them from various disciplinary angles in order to learn about and discuss how different analytical lenses shape our way of seeing ‘the problem’ and ‘the solution’ to particular development issues.

Participants who came from 4 different continents took part in interactive lectures and workshops, taught by key experts in various fields of International Development, drawn from different Departments and Faculties at the University of Leeds. Via interactions with our staff/experts and your fellow students, they deepened capabilities and skills related to critical thinking and analysis, research, group work, and communication.

Keynote Speakers

SONY DSCDr. José Manuel Roche, Head of Research at Save the Children, Monitoring equitable progress in the post2015 development goals: connecting the "Leave no one behind" and "share prosperity" principles based on a multidimensional perspective

The new post2015 sustainable development goals aim to overcome one of the main weakness of their antecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): being blind to inequality. While countries have made substantial achievements in reducing poverty and various forms of deprivation, progress has often being uneven and accompanied by raising inequalities. There is a growing consensus that from conception the new goals should promote equitable progress. The high level panel report proposed to place at the center of the new framework the "leave no one behind" principle, and ensuring that the goals focus on excluded groups so no person - regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status - is left behind. The World Bank has proposed to "boost share prosperity" by shifting from a focus on average economic growth to promoting income growth amongst the bottom 40 percent of people. These initiatives are all welcome, but we argue the new goals and its monitoring system need to go further. The framework needs a multidimensional perspective of share prosperity that ensure that no one is left behind from enjoying progress in the multiple dimensions of human wellbeing. This paper discusses the methodological challenges that such approach implies for the monitoring of the new development goals.

Short bio:

Dr José Manuel Roche is currently Head of Research at Save the Children UK. He has a Doctorate from the University of Sussex and over 20 years of research and consultancy experience in international development, poverty analysis, social inequality, human development and the capability approach. He is also currently research associate at OPHI at the Department of International Development in the University of Oxford, and is Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College in the same university. He is also Education Officer and Member of the Executive council (elected 2012-2015) of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA), coordinator of the Quantitative Research Thematic Group at the HDCA (since 2009) and research fellow at the Social Science Research Centre (CISOR) in Venezuela. He was awarded the 2007 Wiebke Kuklys Prize, and is a Chevening Alumni (2004/06). José Manuel has undertaken and overseen research on multidimensional poverty analysis, including leading the Multidimensional Poverty Index project at OPHI during 2011-2013. His research in this area includes dynamics of multidimensional poverty; global distribution of multidimensional poverty; global analysis of subnational disparities; child poverty measurement; and multidimensional poverty in Venezuela.

ruthpearsonProfessor Ruth Pearson, Emeritus Professor of International Development at the University of Leeds, It’s so hard to do development: problems and possibilities of equitable development in the 21st Century

Ruth Pearson will be drawing on her extensive experience in academia and as an activist, including the emergence of the gender and development agenda, global gender issues and the role of feminism in understanding the complexity of unequal gender relations. Ruth  is an economist has worked on a wide range of issues in different areas of the globe, including production and social reproduction, the gender and work in the global economy, gender and economic crisis, migrant workers in the global market and striking women workers in the UK. She has worked with many development agencies including DFID, EU, World Bank, UNDP and UNRISD, and also with NGOS such as Oxfam, Plan International, Practical Action, Homeworkers Worldwide, Association of Women's Rights  Development and the UK Women's Budget Group. She is an Emeritus Professor of International Development at the University of Leeds.

Key sessions

Poverty, Dr Jörg Wiegratz, School of Politics and International Studies; and Dr Gaston Yalonetzky, Leeds University Business School

This session will look at poverty from various angles. First, we will explore its drivers, characteristics and repercussions. Second, we will analyse the different perspectives with regard to poverty and poverty alleviation measures of key actors in the international development field. Third, we will consider the impact of neoliberalism on poverty in the Global South. Third, we will look at the debate surrounding international poverty comparisons. Finally, we will study the key characteristics of popular, non-state driven anti-poverty initiatives - more specifically the Making Poverty History campaign and celebrity aid.

Climate Compatible Development in rural Africa and Bottom-up Development in Urban Rio de Janeiro and Leeds: Theories, Policies, Practical Realities, Dr Susannah Sallu, School of Earth and Environment; and Professor Gary Dymski, Leeds University Business School

Susannah: Within this session we will engage critically with the concept of ‘Climate Compatible Development’ in relation to Tanzania, a country context I have been working in over many years. I will reflect on the initial findings from research that has studied the extent to which CCD policy rhetoric fits with current policy initiatives and development ideals/visions in Tanzania and then facilitate a wider discussion of these issues.

Gary: This presentation examines four approaches to bottom-up development, to understand the lessons for global North and global South alike. Through examples of the US cities in 1960s and 1970s, Bangladesh and Rio de Janeiro in 1990s and 2000s as well as Leeds today, the session will explore different bottom-up approaches to urban development.

Water scarcity and corporate social responsibility, Dr Jon Lovett, School of Geography; and Dr Anne Tallontire, School of Earth and Environment

Jon:  The challenges of water scarcity – now and in the near future
Anne:  What are the responsibilities of multinational corporations with respect to water?
Case study discussions and feedback

Human rights, social movements and power, Professor Jane Plastow, School of English; and Professor Paul Routledge

The workshop will discuss how social movements make change happen focusing on strategies and tactics, how folk (and ideas) mobilise across scale, and the perspectives of art and politics. The workshop will draw upon Jane and Paul’s research and popular engagement in South Asia.

Workshop structure- Introduction; Paul: social movements, networks and scholar-activism: occupation in Bangladesh; Jane: Theatre of the Oppressed in India: Janasanskriti; Discussion

Film showing and discussion: ‘Fellahin’


The film is directed and produced by Habib Ayeb (University of Paris VIII) and Ray Bush (POLIS, University of Leeds).

The film explores farmer responses to the 2011 uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. It does through the use of interviews with a range of small farmers and in so doing helps promote hidden voices from the political upheavals that both countries have experienced since 2011.

After the film there will be a chance to discuss its contents of the film with Ray Bush who is also writing a book on the role, character and possible future direction of small farmer agriculture in Egypt and Tunisia.