Africa College takes part in DSA-EADI Conference
Rethinking Development in an Age of Scarcity and Uncertainty: New Values, Voices and Alliances for Increased Resilience. DSA-EADI Conference, 19-22 September 2011, York
Several members of Africa College and the wider Leeds development community attended this joint meeting of the UK Development Studies Association and the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes. As perhaps the biggest ever development studies conference, there were a large number of panels on topics such as linking research and practice, how to measure poverty, and the role of well-being and happiness as development objectives.
Several presenters talked about food security, climate change or health, and the need to acknowledge ecological limits was an underlying theme throughout the week. Sessions organised by University of Leeds colleagues included panels on governance (Gordon Crawford), gender (Ruth Pearson) and the role of business (Anne Tallontire).
Points that stood out to us included the interplay between the state and informal institutions in determining development outcomes, criticism of economic growth as the dominant development concern, and the call by the new DSA president (Geoff Wood, Bath) to bring back more Marxian analysis - with particular reference to the idea that (following David Harvey), it is impossible to be anti-poverty without being anti-wealth. This is a difficult message to sell in current times, as reflected in an Oxfam panel that noted the political impossibility of promoting any ideas of a non-growth economy.
You can read reports from some of the sessions and blogs at:
The picture shows Chloe Sutcliffe - in green volunteer T-shirt at the DSA meeting
19th October 2011