This year, the International Development Conference will highlight the theoretical development studies and policy research that play a predominant role in shaping development projects. When concrete, tangible policies and projects are implemented, theory and practice often fail to coincide. Development solutions and initiatives, as well as daily livelihood decisions, executed by an array of actors - from large development players to individual households - affect the lives of citizens and underdeveloped areas throughout the world. As such, critical reflections on ongoing development efforts, common consumption decisions and ingrained aspects of the world economy highlight that, while considerable victories have been attained to achieve a more just, prosperous and equitable world, attempts at reforms and aids are not without their drawbacks. 

The controversy surrounding the involvement of religious aid organizations may politicize and undermine efforts to eliminate poverty and obtain relief. Attempts to regulate small scale gold mining, while environmentally necessary, may fail to address the dilemma of gold demand in shaping the persistence of artisans gold mining. Efforts to democratize and increase the transparency of the international trade regime may succeed in incorporating sustainability as a core principal of global commerce, but tedious institutional reform may not reflect the urgency of climate change. Alongside the IDC 2017’s thematic discussions, which will explore these and more concrete development efforts through a critical lens, the conference will also host a selection of Canadian NGOs, businesses, and student researchers to showcase the diversity and innovation of new ideas and efforts shaping the development sectors today. 


Sunday, February 12 • 13:30 - 15:30
Crowding In: Responding to Poverty in Urban Slums around the World

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The unprecedented rise of global urban poverty is a pressing issue facing development scholars and practitioners alike. The deplorable conditions in crowded slums are a unique context for development practitioners, policy makers, and urban planners, with new and particular challenges to overcome. How does the urban slum context complicate or simplify development programs’ attempts to achieve development outcomes, especially as outlined in Sustainable Development Goal #11? What needs to be done to mitigate the overwhelming problems of inadequate shelter and poor sanitation in urban slums? Most importantly, how can cities in the Global South continue to develop in ways that protect its most vulnerable citizens from the conditions in urban slums that seem to only mount their poverty? These are pressing questions whose answers have far-reaching implications into the lives of billions of city dwellers worldwide.



Guo is an Associate Professor of Geography and Global Urban Studies at MSU. She is a recipient of the MSU-ISS Teaching Award in 2010. She has published over thirty articles, book chapters, and edited numerous books. Guo’s research activities focus on the dynamics, spatial manifestations... Read More →


Achilles Kallergis is a Research Scholar in the NYU Urban Expansion program. He is also a doctoral candidate in Public and Urban Policy and teaches at the Graduate Program for International Affairs at the New School University. His research interests include urbanization in the developing... Read More →


Richard Stren is Emeritus Professor of Political Science, and Senior Fellow at the Global Cities Institute. His major area of interest is comparative urban policy with a special interest in developing countries. Professor Stren is a member of the editorial advisory board of five international... Read More →

Sunday February 12, 2017 13:30 - 15:30
MW 140

Attendees (5)