SV News Alert 19 (Part1) : January – March 2015

Southern researchers debate post-2015 agenda at Istanbul (16-17 February)

Southern Voice (SV) in association with Think Tank Initiative (TTI), held the first research conference on Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals and Targets at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Sisli of Istanbul. More than 70 members of international development and research communities from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America participated in the two-day conference, which was held on 16-17 February.

Twenty papers were presented at various sessions by SV research grantees, who have reinterpreted their existing outputs or have undertaken new research on emerging post-2015 issues.  After addressing the inputs received at the conference, the authors have finalised their papers for the forthcoming SV research volume “Southern Perspectives on the Post-2015 International Development Agenda”. The volume is currently being finalised with a reputed publisher.

Findings of two collaborative projects of SV, viz.  Post-2015: Data Test: Unpacking Data Revolution at Country Level  and the European Report on Development 2014-15 were also disseminated at the conference. The future work plan and partnership programmes of SV were also discussed at the conference.


Southern experts discuss what research quality means for think tanks at TTI Exchange, Istanbul (18-20 February)

Members of the Southern Voice (SV) network participated in the second global meeting of the 43 institutions currently funded by the Think Tank Initiative (TTI), the 2015 Think Tank Initiative (TTI) Exchange held on 18-20 February 2015 at Istanbul.

The two-day event brought together 200 think tanks from around the globe, alongside policy activists and members of the international development community to deliberate upon “Research Quality: Approaches, Outreach and Impact.”

A large number of researchers from the Southern Voice network participated in the event.


Bitrina Diyamett, Karin Fernando and Carmen Ortiz join SV Steering Committee

The expansion of the Southern Voice Steering Committee is now complete, with the inclusion of the following regional members:

  • From Africa-  Bitrina Diyamett, Executive Director, Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization (STIPRO) – Tanzania;
  • From Latin America-  Carmen Ortiz, Vice President, Asociación de Investigación y Estudios Sociales (ASIES) – Guatemala; and
  • From South Asia-  Karin, Fernando, Senior Professional, Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) – Sri Lanka.

The other regional members of the committee are Dr Martin Benavides, Executive Director, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE) – Peru; Dr Khalida Ghaus, Managing Director, Social Policy and Development Centre (SDPC) – Pakistan; and Dr Ibrahima Hathie, Research Director, Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR) – Senegal.


Post-2015 Data Test: Exploring “Universality” through Canada’s Country Report

Members of SV’s collaborative research initiative, Post-2015 Data Test: Unpacking the Data Revolution at the Country Level, officiated the launch event of the Canada country report, titled Canada 2030: An Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Being a joint output of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, the report was presented by lead authors Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, and Shannon Kindornay, Adjunct Research Professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

The main objective of the report is to identify the opportunities and challenges that may arise for Canada from the implementation of a universal, country-relevant SDG framework, including those related to measuring progress.

After the launch event, an interactive panel discussion was held where participants consisted of representatives from the government, civil society and academia. André Plourde, Dean, Faculty of Public Affairs, Carleton University, moderated the panel discussion.

Members of the Southern Voice network, Dr Suwadu Sakho-Jimbira and Dr Ibrahima Hathie participated in a High Level Conference on Data Revolution in Africa, which took place on 29 March 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event was organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The SV members, who are also delegates of IPAR, Senegal, engaged in a brainstorming session with data communities on issues which include education, gender, governance, development and open data. The outcome of the discussion helped produce the African Data Consensus (ADC) document.

Given that the ADC was adopted by the joint African Union-ECA conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, there is a need to work at the country level for informing stakeholders about the ADC and getting their feedback on the key action points defined in the ADC document.

The SV members also engaged in an informal meeting with representatives from Development Initiative, Center for Democratic Development, APHRC, Hewlett Foundation, ONE Campaign and IPAR to discuss what strategy should be adopted at the country level regarding the ADC and how they could follow up.

Furthermore, the SV members presented the key findings of SV’s collaborative project, Post-2015 Data Test, and highlighted its reputation as one of the key initiatives in Africa centred on the data revolution.


Jean Mensa, Maam Suwadu Sakho-Jimbira and Ebere Uneze join “Financing the Future: Fresh Perspectives on Global Development” at Accra, Ghana (17-18 March)

SV members participated in the international conference on Financing the Future: Fresh Perspectives on Global Development, held on 17–18 March 2015 at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana. ODI and a global coalition of partners, including UNDP, CEPEI, ACET, CABRI, ESRF, DFI and the Brookings Institute hosted the conference.

High-level presenters from different parts of the world flocked to Ghana to join the event, which acted as a platform for discoursing on the recent and continued challenges facing middle–income countries. The two-day conference explored how international public finance can most effectively help to catalyse progress in development from 2015 – identifying specific contributions to the Financing for Development process and influencing key decision-makers before the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July.

Among the SV members, Ebere Uneze participated actively in the interactive “Speed-geeking” session: What should go into the FfD agreement? which was facilitated by Gideon Rabinowitz, ODI. Jean Mensa, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) – Ghana, and Maam Suwadu Sakho-Jimbira, Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR) – Senegal, were among the other SV members who attended the event.


Ali Shahbaz to speak at UN PGA’s high-level thematic debate on 04 May        

A member of the Southern Voice network, Mr. Ali Shahbaz, has been selected by the President of the UN General Assembly to serve as a panellist in the discussion on “Galvanizing support of regional and subregional organisations for the implementation of a transformative post-2015 development agenda” in the upcoming high-level thematic debate on Strengthening Cooperation between the UN & Regional & Sub-regional Organisations.

The event is scheduled to take place on 4 May 2015 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. For more information, please read the concept note here.

Shahbaz is the youth ambassador of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) – Pakistan and has represented Pakistan officially at key UN Agencies, most notably the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, Rio+20; UNEP; UNESCAP, the Office of the President of UN General Assembly; and the OWG Process for the Post-2015 Framework. He is a convener of the working group on SDGs under SDPI’s Pakistan Youth Climate Network.

Shahbaz works in three niche areas: Sustainable development; Climate Change; and Intergenerational Justice. Under these three overarching themes, he engages with various stakeholders, ranging from UN agencies to grass-root organisations, in an effort to contribute to the movement towards inclusivity.

Credible work plan and political leadership critical for SDGs – says SV’s Chair at the UN in New York (20 January)

 SV’s Chair Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya was invited by the President of the UN General Assembly to address the first session of inter-governmental negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York on 20 January 2015.

At the session, Bhattacharya urged for incorporation of aspirations of transformative changes, a credible work plan, and strong expression of political will in the upcoming international development agenda. The session was co-chaired by the co-facilitators of the negotiations Macharia Kamau, Ambassador of Kenya and David Donoghue, Ambassador of Ireland.


Inequalities within and between countries must be taken into account – says SV’s Chair at UN, New York (19 March)

SV’s Chair, Debapriya Bhattacharya, stressed on the importance of taking into account inequalities within and between countries despite critical views of the initiative from the South at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, where he was invited to address inequalities in the post-2015 agenda.

The event captioned Leaving no one behind: tackling inequalities in the post-2015 development agenda took place on 19 March 2015. It was jointly organised by the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the United Nations Foundation, and explored what specific actions should be agreed through the post-2015 and Financing for Development negotiations in order to deliver on the concept of leaving no one behind.


SV’s Chair delivers keynote at Annual Meeting of Paris21 (30 March)

The Chair of Southern Voice delivered the keynote presentation at a segment of Paris21’s Annual Meetings 2015 titled Making Countries Fit for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In his presentation, Bhattacharya highlighted the need for the international development framework to take into account the national context of developing countries.

Held at OECD, Paris on 30 March 2015, the event focused on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require responsive statistical systems with the capacity to track the development progress of countries across a much broader spectrum of development challenges.

Participants included Mr Antonio Duarte, Instituto Nacional de Estatística de Cabo Verde (INECV); Mr Guido Schmidt-Traub, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN); Mr Nicolas de Cordes, Orange, Ms Jessica Brinton, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mr Neil Fantom, World Bank.

Based on respective experiences, the panellists discussed capacity building for data revolution-driven era, lessons from the MDG exercise to ensure better monitoring and reporting for the SDGs, partnerships between the traditional and non-traditional actors at the country-level to produce more and better data, required national and international resources and funding mechanisms. The discussion also covered the roles foundations could play to help achieve sustainable development.


SV’s Chair explains Women’s Economic Empowerment in the context of the Post-2015 Agenda at Riga (02 March)

SV’s Chair, Debapriya Bhattacharya, was invited to address the international conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment and Sustainable Development – the Synthesis for Success, organised by Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The conference was held on 2 March 2015 in Riga, Latvia and brought together 260 participants from more than 40 countries, representing EU institutions, international organisations including the UN, the OECD, the International Labour Organisation, the World Bank, as well as the private sector and NGOs.

Debapriya Bhattacharya was a panellist at the third session of the conference on “strengthening the dimension of women’s economic empowerment in the post-2015 framework” along with Baroness Northover, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Cooperation, United Kingdom; Mr Martin Bille Hermann, State Secretary for Development of Denmark; Mr Andris Piebalgs, the former European Commissioner for Development, EYD2015 Goodwill Ambassador and Dr Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender, World Bank. The conference was moderated by Simon Maxwell, Senior Researcher Associate of Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

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Categories: Southern Voice Alert

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