Friday, July 10, 2009

Plenary: Strategies and Opportunities in a Shifting Policy Environment

Global Political Openings for ABCD
Brian Hanson, Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, Northwestern University, USA
Brian Hanson directs the Global Engagement Summer Institute, which is a summer study abroad program based on ABCD and related approaches.  As a Political Scientist, he teaches on international political economy, globalization and the changing role of the state.  His presentation provides a broad overview of the “big ideas” that have had major global influence over the past 60 years and the current political openings for an approach like ABCD to influence the next paradigm of political thinking.
 


Vietnam: Farmers and Agriculture - Problems and Solutions
Dang Kim Son, Institute of Policy and Strategy of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam
Dr. Son is an agricultural specialist, having published two books on farming systems research, one book on agriculture and industrialization in Vietnam and a book entitled 3 Mechanisms: The Market, The State and The Community, application for Vietnam. His presentation discusses the current problems facing smallholder farmers and the role of a centralized state in transforming the agricultural sector into a commercially-viable farm economy through the use of labour training, market integration, technology and mechanization. He also contrasts the difference in agricultural models that are available in Vietnam today to those of the early industrialized countries in light of environmental issues.
 
Legal Empowerment as Assets
Naresh Singh, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada
Prior to his current posting at CIDA, Naresh Singh was Executive Director of the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor.  From 1996 to 2001, he was a Principal Advisor on Poverty and Sustainable Livelihoods at the Bureau for Development Policy at the UNDP and he is known worldwide for his advocacy work on this model. In his presentation, Naresh contextualizes the difference in access to institutional assets in “developed” versus “developing” countries, including property rights, criminal justice systems, identity and labour rights and business laws.
The Role of Provincial Policies on Community Organizing
Chris Bryant, Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development, Canada
Chris Bryant chairs the Senior Officials Group, which is responsible for the implementation of the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. He also led the team that put together the provincial Community Development Policy. His presentation highlights the innovative policies that the provincial government has put in place to foster partnerships between community and government and that have opened the space and provided incentives for citizens to take action on locally-defined opportunities.