The Society for International Development (SID), a global association of development professionals committed to inclusive, fair, and sustainable economic and social development, is holding its triennial World Congress in 2011 in Washington, D.C. The Congress will be hosted by SID’s Washington D.C. Chapter, whose mission is to advance equitable development by bringing diverse constituencies together to debate critical ideas, policies, and practices that will shape our global future. Scheduled for July 29-31, 2011, this unique event will focus on the theme, “Our Common Challenge: A World Moving toward a Sustainable Future” and is expected to attract over 1,000 development practitioners from around the world. Two full days of sessions, including keynote speeches, panel debates, and small-group discussions, will focus on critical topics.
It has been just 50 years since Barbara Ward wrote her seminal book on development The Rich Nations, The Poor Nations, and the Society for International Development was launched. SID World Congress 2011 participants will take this opportunity to look back on the history of global development and, using the lessons of experience, to consider what past efforts imply for the development agenda today. Participants will then be challenged to look forward: to discuss issues essential to defining a sustainable future and to explore—and perhaps agree on—alternative pathways for addressing these issues. By building on the rich, collective experience of SID members worldwide, the Congress can contribute to increasing the effectiveness of development efforts in coming decades.
Issues will include, among others: economic progress, empowerment, and inclusiveness; science and technology for sustainable development; human security and sustainable human development; gender equality; metrics and accountability; governance, citizenship, participation and new social contracts; and the shifting roles of the state, markets, and civil society.
Over three days, attendees will hear from senior leaders from the Obama Administration, political leaders from developing countries, senior leaders from multilateral and bilateral donor agencies and organizations, business leaders and small business owners, non-governmental organizations, civil society representatives and participants in other major development-oriented networks such as The World Economic Forum and The World Social Forum.
There will be opportunities for small group discussions through workshops, networking, and chapter-led discussions. Table-top discussions are being planned during the lunch periods.
Every effort is being made to assure that the program process includes significant Congress outcomes. Discussions will center on a defined, desired outcome relevant to policy-makers and practitioners. Discussion and debate participants will be engaged both before and after the presentations to assure this outcome is met.
The Congress presentations and conclusions will feed into several follow-up editions of the SID journal Development.
Policy findings and conclusions will be circulated to heads of donor agencies and development banks, as well as private sector leaders.