Climate Change Adaptation among Vulnerable Populations
This two-and-a-half-day conference, held at Emory University, focused on strategies to integrate climate change adaptation (CCA) into development policy and practice, with a special emphasis on health and gender. The conference supported a collaborative relationship between Emory’s School of Public Health and School of Medicine; the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health; and CARE focusing on the issues of climate change policy and adaptation in health, human security, livelihoods, gender and other areas.
The conference reviewed the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations, community-based approaches to CCA and development, and the current development and CCA policy landscape. Participants explored the concept of vulnerability and discussed vulnerability assessment; catalogued and discussed relevant tools, including vulnerability mapping, community-based risk management and insurance, and health impact assessment. They also generated a shared research, policy and practice agenda for moving forward with CCA integration and development practice with a specific focus on health and gender issues as well as tools and services for the health sector.
Rule of Law Reform and the Drug Trade: Challenges and Implications in Mexico and the U.S.
This conference explored challenges to the development of rule of law faced by Mexico and the United States and supported those working for rule of law reform in Mexico. The conference brought together eight USAID-funded partnerships involving Mexican law schools and their U.S. counterparts, along with Mexican and U.S. judges and lawyers.
The objectives of the conference were: to raise awareness about legal reforms in Mexico, the challenges they face, and regional implications; to foster collaboration between scholars in different fields, policy makers, and practitioners in relation to rule of law issues in Mexico and the US; and to provide USAID-funded law schools and their partners with an opportunity to develop strategies for supporting legal reforms through legal education.
Issues addressed in the conference included evaluating political will and institutional capacity to ensure an accountable government; the capacity of the state to protect and deliver the rights of citizens, and the state’s ability to enforce the law and provide security to its citizens. By beginning to address these issues, the outcome of the conference was developing means to secure legitimacy for governance and effective state building, necessary prerequisites for building and sustaining democracy.
Gender Based Violence Liberia
After years of conflict and now a second set of democratic elections, the West African nation of Liberia is teeming with a multiplicity of development efforts, particularly in its justice sector. Most notable of these efforts is the work being carried out by The Carter Center in the capital, Monrovia. In 2008, IDN developed a Working Group to support the work of the “Rule of Law Initiative” launched by The Carter Center in Liberia. The initiative was designed to provide capacity support to the Ministry of Justice, educate rural communities about the law, and work to harmonize traditional practices and national law.
The goal of the Working Group was two-fold. In the first phase of the Group, which met in Monrovia in March 2008, participants identified the range of practices currently in use by the state, traditional communities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to address gender-based violence (GBV). The Group then identified vital “research interventions” or areas in which Emory University faculty, Carter Center staff and other U.S. based members of the Working Group could partner with in-country Liberian colleagues to support the implementation of existing property rights and gender violence legislation. During this week of meetings in Monrovia, U.S. based members of the Working Group met with Liberian colleagues in various sectors ranging from the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia, the Women of the Traditional Leaders’ Council, the Gender Based Violence Task Force at the Ministry of Gender and Development, and faculty, staff and students from Cuttington University in Liberia.
In June 2008, IDN followed up on the results of the Working Group by convening a workshop in collaboration with the Carter Center on GBV and rule of law in Liberia, in Atlanta, Georgia. Workshop participants challenged conventional understandings of GBV, erroneous connections between culture and GBV and affirmed war as a factor in GBV in Liberia and not a cause. As a result of the workshop, participants offered three recommendations to ensure ongoing progress in addressing GBV in Liberia. Participants recommended the provision of psychosocial services to women survivors of sexual violence; the creation of programming to include men in issues related to GBV, and the development of legal aid programs.
Research Partnerships and Collaborations for Development
Cape Town, South Africa
In October 2007, IDN organized a conference in Capetown, South Africa, which brought together a group of forty-five researchers from Emory University, collaborating partners in South Africa and several other African countries, regional research institutes, and NGOs that support higher education in sub-Saharan Africa to explore the contemporary terrain of research partnerships and collaborations linked to development. Presentations explored the ethics of collaboration, the potential and pitfalls of research collaborations within and across particular fields of scholarship (law, anthropology, arts, social science, public health), and the role of institutions in supporting and encouraging collaborative research.
Key concerns raised in this conference included the political economy of research partnerships, or the financial relationships that drive what research agendas are determined and prioritized; redefining conventional definitions of “development” and shifting away from these to include non-Western approaches to development; the creation of development research networks, particularly the role of universities in such networks, to provide much needed research; and capacity-building and access to scholarly resources for researchers and students seeking to be equal partners in development networks. As a result of the conference, participants gained a fuller understanding of how a commitment to developing research partnerships, based on equitable and mutually beneficial relationships, requires expanded notions of academic productivity and scholarly achievement. IDN reiterated its commitment to a follow-up on the conference as an active participant.
Elections and Political Order: Quantitative and Formal Approaches
Emory University, November 9-10, 2012
The workshop examined the relationship between elections and force from the perspectives of both Comparative Politics and International Relations. It brought together participants working on interrelated questions such as: When political actors can resort to force in pressing their claims, when and why do they participate in elections? When do elections constrain behavior, such that they lead to political order (in the form of peace or self-enforcing democracy)? Do the answers to these questions vary for different political actors: incumbents, the military, political parties, insurgencies, citizens?
The workshop was made possible through the generous support of the Halle Institute, the Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods, and the Institute for Developing Nations
All sessions took place in the Cyprus Room in the Carter Center.
Friday, November 9
9:00 – 9:30 AM Breakfast
Welcome by Jennifer Gandhi
9:30 – 11:30 AM Session1
Paper: Adam Przeworski, New York University, “Elections and Coups, Coups and Elections”
Discussant: James Fearon, Stanford UniversityPaper: Alexandre Debs, Yale University, “Is Transparency a Force for Peace?”
Discussant: Dan Reiter, Emory University
11:30 – 12:45 PM Lunch
Speaker: David Carroll, Director, Democracy Program, Carter Center
12:45 – 2:45 PM Session 2
Paper: Susan Hyde, Yale University, “Does Information Generate Self-Enforcing Democracy? The Role of International Election Monitoring”
Discussant: John Reuter, University of Rocheste
Paper: Milan Svolik, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, “Third-Party Institutions and the Success of Democracy”
Discussant: Jeffrey Staton, Emory University
2:45 – 3:15 PM Coffee break
3:15 – 5:15 PM Session 3
Paper: Burcu Savan, University of Pittsburgh, “Defective Democratization: Prior Regimes and Civil Conflict”
Discussant: Kyle Beardsley, Emory UniversityPaper: Aila Matanock, UC-Berkeley, “Autonomous Decisions: Why Do Militant Groups Conduct Simultaneous Electoral and Armed Campaigns, and Why Does the Government Allow It?”
Discussant: Laia Balcells, Duke University
Saturday, November 10
9:00 – 9:30 AM Breakfast
9:30 – 11:30 AM Session 4
Paper: Joshua Tucker and Andrew Little, New York University, “Elections, Protest, and Alternation of Power”
Discussant: Scott Gehlbach, University of Wisconsin-MadisonPaper: Dawn Brancati, Washington University, “Pocketbook Protests: Explaining the Worldwide Emergence of Pro-democracy Protests”
Discussant: Tom Remington, Emory University
11:30 – 12:30 PM Final discussion
On April 26-27, IDN and the Emory College Program in Global Health, Culture, and Society, in cooperation with The Carter Center Malaria Control Program hosted a conference on the “Disease Elimination and Eradication in Theory and Practice: New Directions and Multidisciplinary Collaborations.” The conference brought together 30 scholars and practitioners from the social sciences, humanities, and public health to discuss disease eradication and elimination strategies and programs. Through exchanging ideas and critical engagement, participants identified key points of consensus, barriers to action, opportunities for research and collaboration related to addressing both disease-specific challenges and cross-cutting challenges faced by contemporary eradication/elimination campaigns.
The first day of the conference centered around two round-table discussions. The morning session, moderated by Dr. Peter Brown, Professor of Anthropology and Global Health at Emory University, focused on “Policies and Evaluation” and included commentaries by Dr. Rene Gerrets (Anthropology, Amsterdam School of Social Science Research), Dr. Randall Packard (Institute of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. Jesse Bump (International Health, Georgetown University). Dr. Amy Patterson, Assistant Director of The Carter Center’s Malaria Control Program, moderated the second round-table discussion on “Strategies and Systems.” Opening remarks for this second discussion were provided by Dr. William Muraskin (Urban Studies, City University of New York), Dr. Judith Justice (Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California San Francisco), Dr. Svea Closser (Anthropology and Public Health, Middlebury College), and Dr. James Webb (History, Colby College).
The second day of the conference was devoted to break-out sessions during which public health practitioners and academics worked together in small groups to develop future research agendas. The ultimate goal of the conference is for these conversations to lead to longer-term collaborations and continued dialogue between practitioners and social scientists/historians that will facilitate the development of more effective programs and engaged research agendas.
In addition to the participants mentioned above, scholars and practitioners from Emory, The Carter Center, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as The Task Force for Global Health, the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), and PATH participated in the conference.