April 2010 Archives



Thursday, April 1st   •   12:45 - 2:00 p.m.

in the Wilkins Room (#215)

Humphrey Center


Alnoor S. Ebrahim, Harvard Business School, focuses on issues facing nonprofit and civil society organizations. He heads a global team studying how nonprofits create systemic change by influencing national policies on poverty, and works with nonprofits on the challenges of organizational learning in urban poverty contexts.


 Alnoor will speak about a project that examines the efforts of civil society organizations to influence national policy dialogues in six countries of the global South, including India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bolivia, South Africa, and Uganda.


 Sponsored by the Humphrey Institute's Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center through a generous gift from Susan and Bert Gross, and by IPID (International Perspectives in International Development).

First Ever IPID Student Speaker Series!

University of Minnesota Student Conference on International Development

View presentations online:

Part 1 (Kelly Ramer, Taqee Khaled, Jennifer Simmelink): https://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill2/download.php?file=69305

Part 2 (Rachel Garaghty): https://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill2/download.php?file=69360

Part 3 (Jaime Jenkinson): https://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill2/download.php?file=69482

When: April 23, 2010

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota

The Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Development (IPID) Student Group will host a student speaker series on April 23rd, 2010. The theme for the event will be, "Have the Millennium Development Goals Failed, Or Have We?" Five short presentations from graduate students from across the University have been selected (see paper topics below); each will present a 20-30 minute summary of a research topic. After all speakers have made their presentations, there will be a break for refreshments followed by a moderated panel session for closing comments and Q&A to conclude the day. The day's events will be recorded on CD, and speakers' comments may be published on IPID's website in electronic form. Refreshments will be provided.

Paper 1: "The Whole Village Project: Measuring Progress Toward Millennium Development Goals in Rural Tanzania"

Jennifer_Simmelink.pngJennifer Simmelink, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota


More than a quarter of Tanzania's land has been set aside for conservation purposes, yet population growth, continuing poverty and drought, and rising HIV/AIDS infection rates place increased pressure on the availability and sustainability of natural resources. Tanzania is working to meet Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty and sustaining natural resources through aid development projects. As of yet, there exist few mechanisms for evaluating the efficacy of aid development projects over time in rural villages in Tanzania. In addition, villages themselves rarely have access to evaluation data and, consequently, have little voice in the creation and management of development projects.

The Whole Village Project is a collaborative project between the University of Minnesota and Savannas Forever Tanzania, a Tanzanian non-profit organization. The long-term vision of WVP is to create a longitudinal database that aid agencies, non-profits, villagers, university faculty, and others can use to evaluate the progress and effects of aid development projects on rural villages in Tanzania. This paper will present preliminary results from baseline surveys in 14 villages throughout rural Tanzania and make suggestions for future work towards MDG goals.



Paper 2: "Epidemiologic Transition: Do the Millennium Development Goals ignore key changes in global disease distribution?"


Taqee_Khaled.pngTaqee Khaled, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota


Despite public health's central role in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), epidemiologic perspectives on MDGs are not easily uncovered in literature. The salient failure of MDGs to recognize "epidemiologic transition" (ET) from acute to chronic disease in low- and middle-income countries' (LMIC) health profiles is a critical omission. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for roughly 35 million deaths (60% of global mortality), with 80% of these occurring in LMIC, at significantly younger ages than in rich nations. Prominently, 70% and 80% of global mortality attributable to cancer and cardiovascular disease, respectively, occur in LMIC. MDG focus on acute disease, thus, comes at the expense of rising NCDs. Whether the MDGs have failed (or been failed by us) depends upon our perception of their purpose and the metrics we use to assess our actions and achievements. Nonetheless, the validity of their aim to improve uniformity of global quality of life remains unassailable. Rather than wait for the year 2015, continuing along an infectious disease-biased plan, the Annual Ministerial Review of the MDGs should recognize and incorporate the formidable challenge of ET in LMIC. Also, current promotion of results-based financing of MDGs should be designed with extreme care, if at all, in order to avoid unintended effects of incentivizing LMIC neglect of NCD burden from ET.



Paper 3: "Achieving greater international security through the Millennium Development Goals: Stabilizing Weak and Failing States"


Kelly_Ramer.pngKelly Ramer, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota


Development and International Security: Weak and failing states are among the greatest threats to international security as they are fertile ground for activities ranging from terrorism to human trafficking. A common thread amongst these states is their very low level of development, which compounds the issues of weak governance and lack of security. It is not simply a question of moral obligation for highly industrialized nations to assist such states in achieving development goals, but an international security imperative. Achieving the millennium development goals would be the most direct path to sustainable security through out the globe. The failing of world leaders and institutions to successfully implement the steps necessary to achieving the goals, endangers not just those suffering from extreme poverty but our collective global security. Failing states are often characterized by the low level of services that they can afford to offer their citizens; this inflames fragile situations of human security which fosters political instability. By seeking avenues to gender equity, universal education, global partnerships, and other millennium development goals, weak and failing states could build foundations for a stronger future, which will bring more security to us all.  My talk would include a discussion of relevant issues and recommendations from a U.S. perspective.



Paper 4: "Rights, Inclusion, and Empowerment: Achieving the MDGs through the Participation of People with Disabilities"

Powerpoint: Rights, Inclusion, and Empowerment.pptx


Rachel_Garaghty.pngRachel Garaghty, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota


Three foci of the MDGs--development and poverty eradication, human rights, and protecting the vulnerable--are directly related to the challenges that people with disabilities worldwide face in achieving dignified, meaningful lives.  According to the World Bank, people with disabilities, who account for 10% or more of the global population, are often among the poorest of the poor.  Yet, nowhere in the original eight MDGs, the targets to achieve these goals, or the indicators for their achievement is disability even mentioned.  Since 2001 when the MDGs were adopted and, even more so since 2006 when the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the UN General Assembly, the importance of people with disabilities in poverty-eradication strategies has earned increasing recognition.  This paper tracks the development of international awareness of the relationship between poverty and disability and examines the changing context in which people with disabilities are involved in poverty eradication efforts.  Using the framework of functioning and capabilities developed by Amartya Sen, I will also argue how rights-based, inclusion-oriented strategies for ending poverty among people with disabilities promote achievement of the MDGs.



Paper 5: "Implications for Migrant Women from Countries at High-Risk for Honor Crime as an Indicator of Younger Ages of Marriage: A Statistical Case Study of (One Country) to Investigate the International State of Violence against Women"

Powerpoint: IPID Presentation Jenkinson.ppt


Jaime_Lynn_Jenkinson.pngJaime Lynn Jenkinson, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs & School of Public Health, University of Minnesota


Human rights abuses committed against women in the name of "family honor" are called "honor crimes". The primary focus of this paper will be to investigate one factor in particular that is said to have an influence on the occurrence of honor crime: migration.  Like all human behavior, honor crimes are shaped by poverty and location, government policies, and institutional discourses, which can either combat or promote violence against women.  A change of location, in this sense, can either increase or decrease the likelihood of victimization.  However, the scope of this project will only cover the extent that certain conditions typical to honor crime environments might motivate migration. 


As women are more vulnerable in countries that offer them less protection under customary law and cultural practice, they are also more likely to have less control of their lives within this type of environment. This project will assume that the age of marriage is a reliable indicator of the control women exercise over their own lives, and subsequently utilize the assumption that the younger a woman is at the age of marriage, the more likely it is that the marriage was forced.  The project will further assume that although females capable of migration might superficially appear as possessing more control over their lives, that these females may be fleeing risk territory, increasing the possibility of reduced personal control. Finally, since "child marriage", or marriage under the age of 15, is also typical of the same countries that are at high-risk for honor crime, it may also serve as a motivator of migration, and therefore proves worthy an investigation of high-risk countries of origin as a predictor of younger ages of first marriages.  The hypothesis of this research is that migrant woman from high-risk countries are more likely to have married at a younger age.


The Millennium Development Goals (MGD), particularly goal (3) to promote gender equality and empower women and goal (5) improve maternal health, relate to this topic in that the gap between countries at high-risk for honor crime compared to countries at low-risk continues to widen rather than narrow in relation to the progress of the MDG.  However, this phenomenon is complicated by migration, which could threaten women in even the most developed nations.  To be successful, the MGD would need to implement strategies that not only monitor countries with a robust history of honor crime, but also educate women within these states of the unacceptable nature of these crimes. 




Development Reconsidered with Carol Lancaster

Audio file now available!



·         When: April 12, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

·         Where: Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

·         Hosted by Dean J. Brian Atwood



·         When: April 13, 2010, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

·         Where: Room 325, Education Sciences Building, University of Minnesota

Carol Lancaster is Interim Dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is also a professor of politics in the School of Foreign Service with a joint appointment in the Department of Government. Dr. Lancaster has published numerous books and articles on the politics of foreign aid, the politics of development and development in Africa. Her newest book, George Bush's Foreign Aid: Transformation or Chaos? was published by the Center for Global Development, Washington, DC in 2008. She has been a Carnegie Fellow and a recipient of a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. She has also been a Congressional Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow and a visiting fellow at the Institute for International Economics, the Overseas Development Council and (currently) the Center for Global Development. Dr. Lancaster had an extensive career in government. She was the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development from 1993 to 1996. She worked at the U.S. State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1980-81 and for the Policy Planning Staff from 1977-80.


Reading Materials for Discussion

Redefining Foreign Aid--Carol Lancaster


Foreign Aid--Carol Lancaster


Journal on Ethics and International Affairs (Book review co-authored by Lancaster)


PRISM Article--Dean J. Brian Atwood


Hierarchy of Needs in International Development (March 10, 2010)

Discussion Leader: Lang Yang (Kate)

March 10, 2010 at the Minnesota Population Center


Priority setting in international development has triggered heated discussion. Using cost-benefit analysis, some economists provide us with "the list of importance" (See TED Talk: Bjorn Lomborg sets global priorities at:

Others advocate for structural change in game rules in the international arena (See Walden
Bello: the Virtues of Deglobalization at: http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_virtues_of_deglobalization)

Direct financial package is criticized as the hotbed for corruption while technological assistance is confronted with security and intellectual property concern. Infrastructure building and direct investment stay strictly within the economic area, while ideological preconditions and democracy cultivation are highly weighed in other cases.

The application of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs) in the priority setting process is open to discussion. Nevertheless, with increased awareness of local needs and anti-paternalism in international development, talking to people from developing countries offers us a precious chance of collective decision making.

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