Named session titles
Click on a session title below to read the description.
A feminist aid policy for Aotearoa?
Twenty-five years on from the Beijing Platform for Action, feminist foreign policies, or variations thereof, have been emerging across the globe in various states of progression (eg Sweden, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Luxembourg).
But do these approaches go far enough in challenging the deeply rooted inequalities within the global aid ecosystem, a product of centuries of empire-building, deeply embedded in masculinized, neoliberal Western constructs? Is the feminist label simply ‘crafty sloganeering’ or a glossy ‘feminism of convenience’ which masks wider systemic inequalities and injustice?
How does this global discourse resonate within Aotearoa, and Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa? Is it possible to weave together Te Tiriti-based approaches to foreign policy and feminist principles to challenge current paradigms and bring about the kind of transformational change feminism sets out to embrace? This session will explore these questions in greater detail, drawing on the insights and perspectives of a diverse panel.
Achieving Social Justice and Human Rights through Tourism – Fact, Fluid or Fiction?
Session organiser: Associate Professor Anne Hardy
Can Seng Ooi
Studies into international development are often built upon idealised notions of progressive outcomes while maintaining social justice and the protection of human rights (Cole & Eriksson, 2010). However, international development praxis suggests that results are benign at best (Easterly, 2006). Like Amartya Sen’s (2009) theorising of justice, Jamal (2019) has described social justice as a difficult to define, multi-faceted concept, but one which is underpinned by the notion of freedom and equality and the protection of human rights. Tourism has been lauded as an industry that can play a major role in international development (Cheer & Peel, 2011) and an industry that offers many positive opportunities for the attainment of social justice and respect of human rights (Schelhorn, 2010; Sin, Oakes & Mostafanezhad, 2015; Cole & Morgan, 2010; Higgins-Desbiolles, 2008). As such, tourism receives considerable attention in development planning and is linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Hughes & Scheyvens, 2016). At the same time, tourism has been critiqued for its uneven focus on economic and environmental dimensions, while neglecting the social domain (Vorobjovas-Pinta & Hardy, 2020) and overlooking social justice and human rights (Shelley, Ooi and Denny, 2020). For example, whether tourism can contribute to poverty alleviation or not is contested (Scheyvens, 2012; Rajotte & Crocombe, 1980) and its negative impacts impossible to ignore (Cheer, 2020).
This session will tackle these conflicting issues head-on. Specifically, this session will explore, critique and highlight both the attainment and challenges that pertain to securing social justice and human rights in tourism.
Addressing the inequality in the academic knowledge production between the researchers in the Global North and in the South Pacific
Session organiser: Ramona Boodoosingh and
Masami Tsujita Levi
The catchphrase “Development matters” has been no more important than in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the independent island states in the Pacific region have succeeded in holding the pandemic at bay through stringent entry requirements. However, many of them have had to rely on New Zealand, Australia or the USA for testing and research on treatment and vaccines due to the lack of capacity in-country. This has also been the case around conducting academic research in the Pacific. The lack of resources constrains the ability of in-country researchers to undertake activities imperative to the production of academic knowledge, which include initiating research projects, participating in international conferences, and publishing articles. Consequently, the knowledge about the Pacific Islands has been produced disproportionately by researchers from resource-rich institutions in the Global North.
However, since COVID-19 precautions have put 90 percent of the world’s academic institutions under lockdown, researchers regardless of their localities have experienced similar constraints on mobility and access to resources. This shared experience has simultaneously created increased opportunities for researchers in developing countries in the Pacific and elsewhere. Increased open access to journal articles and e-books, as well as an option of online participation in seminars and conferences, have reduced the inequality in academic knowledge production and dissemination to some degree. It is uncertain if these changes will remain post COVID-19 or if the challenges faced by the Global South researchers will return.
This session addresses the impact of these COVID-19 induced changes and examines whether they have the potential to reduce inequality in the academic knowledge production process between the Global North and the South.
Confessions of a Development Practitioner
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
In this session, practitioners come together and share their stories of success and failure. The aim is to create a safe space, where our challenges of ‘doing development’ in the real world can be openly shared and discussed (and hopefully share a few laughs in the process).
Decoloniality in Development Studies in Aotearoa: engaging race, gender, sexuality, indigeneity
Recent debates in social sciences globally and in Aotearoa, have heightened the need to directly addressing decoloniality in knowledge-making in development studies. Enduring processes of racism, sexism and other forms of social injustice in Aotearoa are regularly revealed in development studies. The imperative to decolonise knowledge was made palpable in Aotearoa with the publication in 1999 of Linda Tuhiwai Smiths book Decolonising Methodologies. By drawing attention to research as a colonising practice of long standing, it offered robust analytical possibilities for transforming deeply embedded unequal power relations in knowledge making. Two decades later, it is timely to ask to what extent has knowledge-making in development studies in Aotearoa, responded to this imperative. Exactly what kinds of transformations have been made in the decolonisation of knowledge-making in development studies in Aotearoa? Contributions in this session speak to this problematic, addressing concepts of transindigeneity, sex-gender systems, intersectional inequalities and the white gaze, and examine the contours of decoloniality in development studies in Aotearoa.
Decolonising Research Talanoa: Building synergies across Oceania
Maria Borovnik, Litea Meo-Sewabu
Invited panellists in this session will reflect on the nature of current research in Oceania, and highlight work being done on decolonising research. This talanoa session is a continuation of discussions that rose from a recent webinar by Professor John Overton, which was titled ‘Palagi Paralysis: Researching in Oceania’. Commentators on social media and in the audience of this seminar from both inside and outside Oceania have resonated with the seminar theme and voiced discomfort with the dominance of ‘Palagi’ researchers in Oceania overall. Criticised is the use of language and wording, and a tendency to generalise, overpower, and amplify an outsider voice over indigenous voices. These practices tend to emphasise a continuation of colonial mindsets and structures. Yet, there have also been suggestions and hopes that research can be an exchange process, done with sensitivity, openness and collaboratively – together, by looking truthfully at the colonial remainders, and by continuing to reflect on the post-colonial aspects within research in Oceania.
Diverse and regenerative economies
COVID-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in communities dependent on narrow development models such as over-reliance on tourism. The impacts have fallen unevenly across different groups and subsectors. There is now a need to challenge the ‘norm’ and foster diverse economic practices that would enhance resilient communities, reconsider development models and develop regenerative economic options that address individual and community flourishing, reducing risk, vulnerabilities and recovery. The diverse economies framework envisages the co-existence of capitalist, alternative capitalist and non-capitalist practices and provides a pathway to more resilient and regenerative economic practices.
This session explores positive approaches to reimagining or recreating economic activities, with a focus on marginalised groups in peripheral communities and in regenerative economies in urban/rural regions.
Fostering a method of hope in development
Session organisers: Alice Beban & Vicky Walters
Hope is foundational to development; hope that things can be better is what keeps most of us getting up in the morning. But this time of uncertainty—when global climate change, pandemics and financial crises call into question the future of humanity itself—leads us to question where hope might be found.
In this interactive workshop, we invite participants to consider what a critical politics of hope might look like, and how we as development practitioners, researchers, policymakers and theorists can foster a ‘method of hope’ in our work that is attuned to our own and others’ hopeful imaginaries and practices, in all their tensions and ambiguities. We draw from a long tradition of theories of hope, inspired by what Bloch calls the anticipatory consciousness of the ‘not‐yet‐become’; that is, hope as a possibility rather than blind optimism. Development practitioners are often caricatured as the naive newbie or the field-weary cynic; one blinded by a ‘cruel optimism’ that breeds unreflective complacency; the other overcome by a critical pessimism that encourages passivity.
In this workshop, we will use reflective exercises and facilitated discussion to explore how we can locate and practice a method of hope in development.
Gender and emergencies: Stories of gender inclusive responses to Covid in crisis situations
Session organiser: Darren Brunk
The panel will present a series of stories from NZ NGO-supported programming from around the Pacific and beyond, sharing examples of how Covid responses in crisis situations are integrating women’s voice and leadership in the response. Following the stories, we will mine the stories in a participatory roundtable for some generalisable lessons and good practice pointers that can inform Covid responses in the Pacific, and beyond.
Geopolitics and international development cooperation
International development cooperation, whether it be aid, trade or migration, has always been imbued with geopolitical aspirations and battles. The present is no different, but the coronavirus has seen an interesting turn, given China’s use of softer forms of aid through medical assistance and equipment, compared to their usual heavy focus on infrastructure. In the Pacific, the past years have seen a flourishing of renewed attention to the region, ostensibly due to a concern regarding the expansion of China’s influence. Australia had the ‘Pacific Step-up’, Britain the ‘Pacific Uplift’ and New Zealand the ‘Pacific Reset’, while France, Japan and the United States have all renewed their engagement with countries in the region. The implications this has for the quality of international development cooperation efforts, and development achievements, in the region are profound.
This panel will discuss the geopolitics of international development cooperation, with a focus on the Pacific region, and draw-out conclusions for how to account for these in policy-making and programming.
Health security has taken central stage in discussions of global development inlight of the impacts of COVID-19. All around the world countries have been confronted with major challenges in terms of protecting their people’s health in the face of the pandemic, and this has notably exposed vast inequalities in health security around the world. The reality is that the poor and marginalized are most vulnerable in the face of such threats to human wellbeing. A challenge for development agencies and governments is to envisage ways of building more resilience into health systems into the future. This is particularly pertinent in the South Pacific region where it is challenging for governments to serve the needs of geographically dispersed populations.
In this session speakers will confront these issues, reflecting on the COVID-19 response in various contexts as well as considering useful development strategies that can be supported by various actors to ensure the health and wellbeing of people in the global south, in particular.
Interrogating Partnership in the Changing Governance of Development between the Global North and South
Jesse Hession Grayman &
The power relationships between the Global South and North have attracted attention in the development sphere for decades. To overcome power imbalances in these relationships, development discourse has encouraged NGOs in the Global North to promote local participation, ownership, and empowerment with the intention to facilitate “change” in the Global South. This is based on the norm that allows the Global North to point out issues of the Global South as faults thereby establishing justifications for intervention. More recently, policymakers and practitioners in INGOs utilize the narrative of “partnership” to resolve persistent power imbalances between the Global South and North. A governmentality framework reveals that discourses of participation, empowerment, and also partnership are grounded in neoliberal logics, thus further entrenching the Global North’s governance over the Global South.
This session will critically engage with the notion of social change in international aid relationships. We encourage speakers whose work interrogates efforts in the Global North to “change” the Global South, including through narratives and practices of partnership. This panel aligns with the overall theme “should we abandon the development project?” by examinating “development” as a governing tool used on populations in the Global South. Instead of discussing development projects per se, this panel invites presenters to critically examine the politics and power dynamics underlying development projects.
Localisation of development
Api Movono &
While the discussion has been alive for some time, the closure of borders to stop the coronavirus spreading has raised the concept of ‘localisation’ an even more pressing issue to advance action on. Most recently, ‘localisation’ was made prominent in the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, but it is a long-term issue for international development cooperation work, closely related to questions of sustainability and ownership. In New Zealand the debate centres predominantly on international NGOs, but the question is not only relevant to these organisational forms. The question of localisation is also relevant for consultants, the private sector, academia, and other development actors. The underpinning principle is to channel aid to ‘local’ actors, organisations and institutions rather than use external, international actors. But this is a complex practice requiring significant attention to context, especially cultural, political and economic incentives. Localisation has both advantages and disadvantages. What is most important is to select the best approach for the situation at hand and the desired goals. The challenge for international development cooperation actors in New Zealand – donors, INGOs, the private sector, consultants, and others, is just how do to this.
Mobility Justice, Climate Change, and Planned Relocation
Internal and transnational climate migration is expected to rise in the Asia-Pacific region where climatic hazards and sea-level rise are threatening coastal areas and low-lying islands. Large-scale migration in response to sudden-onset climate-related disasters and slow-onset environmental degradation and sea-level rise could place increased pressure on livelihoods, public health systems, infrastructure, and social services. Moving to a new place can also have severe psychosocial and cultural implications for climate migrants, even when it involves processes of voluntary and planned relocation.
The session aims to address the following questions: When, where and under what conditions can migration be attributed to climate change? Which forms of climate-associated mobilities (voluntary vs forced, pre-emptive vs reactive, short- vs long-term, internal vs cross-border, spontaneous vs planned) have been documented for which types of climate-related hazards (slow- versus rapid-onset events)? What are the psychosocial, cultural and economic impacts of climate-associated migration on people on the move, on host communities and societies, and on those left behind? How are evolving planned relocation guidelines in Pacific countries implemented at the local level? Who counts as a ‘climate migrant’ today, domestically and internationally, and what is their legal status? Which groups are able to move and who remains trapped in poverty and immobility? How can the evolving concepts of ‘mobility justice’ and ‘uneven mobilities’ inform current and future policy debates around climate mobilities in the Asia-Pacific?
Resource and land grabbing in the Global South
The pursuit of economic growth and ‘development’ more broadly, has long fed widespread resource and land grabbing activities in the Pacific, a process that has often failed to deliver said ‘development’ outcomes. In fact, such activities have often coincided with the marginalisation of local communities, long-term destruction of the environment, and increased poverty levels.
Speakers in this session will critically reflect on the state of extractive industries in the Pacific, the impact of such activities on the region’s development, and to explore political, social and environmental alternatives arising from contemporary scholarships and practices.
Responding to COVID-19 in the Pacific: Doing development differently
Although the Pacific has so far escaped the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19, closed borders and restrictions on travel have caused severe economic disruption through loss of tourism, reduced remittances and trade flows, higher unemployment and increasing hardship and poverty. Development gains made over the last few decades could be lost, with vulnerable and marginalised communities likely most affected. The impacts of COVID-19 represents both challenges and opportunities, and will require us to think differently about how we operate and engage with others, and how best to respond to the needs of the region without overburdening our partners.
In this session, speakers will explore the following types of questions: What will development assistance look like in a post-COVID environment? How much support will there be for sector wide budget support vs community programmes? What does this mean for meeting the SDGs and supporting vulnerable and marginalised communities? What opportunities exist for greater localisation and adaptive practices? How do we measure success and from whose perspective? What changes will and should endure?
Sport for development
Session organiser: Rochelle Stewart-Withers and Jeremy Hapeta
At the turn of the century, Nelson Mandela proclaimed ‘Sport has the power to change the World” (Mandela, 2000). Across the globe organisations across a variety of fields and especially international development, have since committed to the idea that sport can be used to meet social policy, peace-making and social justice agendas and goals (Rossi & Jeans, 2016: 483). This movement has been labelled Sport-for-Development and Peace, plus-Sport, or simply Sport for Development (SFD). Much is promised (Collison, Darnell, Giulianotti, & Howe, 2018). Yet, while 20 years of dedicated SFD theorising, research and practice have seen significant growth and sophistication, Indigenous voices within SFD theorisation, policy and practice are under-represented; almost absent (Hapeta, Stewart-Withers & Palmer). This is despite Indigenous populations – including those in Aotearoa and the South Pacific – often being targeted by SFD initiatives.
This session recognises that Indigenous scholarship remains politically marginalised in many disciplines, firstly, due to a lack of acceptance and understanding of other ways of knowing and secondly, knowledge production and sharing. Thus, we concur with Spaaij et. al. (2018) that it is imperative “SFD researchers develop a heightened awareness of what types of knowledge are dominating in SFD and what types of perspectives and understandings are being privileged, as well as better understand their limitation, bias, and partialities” (p. 34). In arguing that Indigenous voices matter, dedicated sessions can create space for the often-silenced Indigenous scholars and participants’ voices to be heard (Spaaij et al., 2018). This session seeks to therefore consider Indigenous concepts and theoretical understandings which are embodied in SFD research and practices. The session includes examples of positive SFD practice with Indigenous communities, but it also looks to probe, deconstruct and contest current SFD discourse, providing a more nuanced understanding of the SFD space.
SDGs: Opportunties and challenges
Dr. Samantha Leonard
In 2015, the United Nations declared the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals as “the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a universal commitment to action to protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Recognising the pledge to ‘Leave No One Behind’, countries have committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind.
Across the globe, the 2030 Agenda poses significant challenges and obstacles, compelling collaboration and stronger relationships. The presentations in this session confront important opportunities and challenges faced in implementing the SDGs. Both academics and practitioners share their own experiences, stories or research as we discuss successes gained and challenges faced in the race towards reaching the 2030 targets.
The Heart of Indigenous Tourism
Bronwyn Hutchison & Api Movono
This session is dedicated to the memory of the late Johnny Edmonds (executive director of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance) to recognise and honour his contributions to Indigenous tourism globally. We acknowledge his central role in the foundation of the New Zealand Maori Tourism Board and WINTA and the tireless work he undertook to promote the well-being of Indigenous peoples by advancing Indigenous human rights through tourism. For Johnny, tourism provided an opportunity for Indigenous self-determination and was a vehicle for Indigenous peoples to share and implement their world views. Recognising the importance of reciprocity and sharing the learnings from Johnny, this session examines what is at the heart of Indigenous tourism.
Globally, there is increasing recognition of the importance of Indigenous culture, knowledge and values for informing sustainable development pathways. Yet for too long, Indigeneity has taken a back seat to the expectations and wants of the tourism industry and tourists, obscuring societal and cultural elements that influence resilience. In this session, it will take centre stage.
Contributors will cover issues such as:
• How do Indigenous worldviews influence Indigenous tourism?
• What is the relevance of a rights-based approach to Indigenous tourism?
• What have been the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous tourism?
• How can we re-imagine tourism post-COVID-19 so that it benefits both people and planet, drawing inspiration from Indigenous voices and values?
Tourism sector resilience and realities in times of crisis
Heidi van der Watt
The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on tourism, exposing inequalities and dependencies. It has triggered wide-spread debates about the potential for tourism to be rebuilt with a focus on sustainable development, with many destinations and businesses crafting strategies and plans underpinned by hopeful visions for post-COVID tourism. However, tourism for development is reliant on a private sector that is often an oblivious participant, simply attempting to make a living within the neoliberal economic paradigm.
In this session, presenters will compare contrasting perspectives of sector responses to previous crises, such as the Global Economic Crisis, SARS outbreak, Cape Town water crisis, etc. Did responses lead to more sustainable tourism practices that contribute to achieving the SDGs in the long run, or do economic realities constrain the realisation of tourism for development? The session will also debate measures of success that should be applied to tourism for development in a post-COVID future.
What is the future of volunteering for development?
Session organiser: Mary Curnow
Stephen Goodman (TBC)
Johanna Thomas- Maude
While there could have been an expectation that volunteering for development would evolve over time, the significant global impact of COVID-19 has necessitated an immediate rethink about how development might be delivered. This discussion will focus on the future of volunteering for development, and its continued relevance and practicality as a mechanism for development assistance, particularly in light of the challenges created by COVID-19 and long term climate change.
With the closure of borders, over stretched health systems, failing economies, and increasing reservations among people to connect globally, is international volunteering still relevant as a mechanism for development assistance?
This session will explore a range of issues from a policy, delivery, and theoretical perspective and consider what genuine volunteering for development could look like in this new era. The questions examined will include:
Do developing countries still want international volunteers to be part of development solutions and resourcing?
• How does the desire for greater self-determination by recipient countries change the volunteering for development model?
• Is international volunteering still relevant as a tool for development?
• How does volunteering for development remain relevant and practical in a world with restricted travel?
• How do you sustain international volunteering within a climate threatened environment?
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