Named sessions [not open for abstracts]

Advocacy in Aid: The role of advocacy in climate-related aid in the wider Pacific

Session organiser: Darren Brunk


This workshop will examine the role of policy in the Pacific’s response to climate breakdown. Participants from MFAT as well as from civil society organisations in the Pacific will examine gaps in current approaches that may be exacerbating poverty and inequality, and explore examples whereby aid and advocacy have been translated into meaningful policy change.
Since significant donor climate finance commitments were made under the Paris Accord: an estimated $12 – $16 billion USD of development assistance is being provided to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. But what policies are in place to ensure these significant funds reduce, rather than exacerbate, poverty and inequality? Climate-focused programmes and projects are embedded in a policy environment that determines community objectives that prioritises which projects are undertaken, where and how resources are allotted and spent, and who benefits from the results. Establishing the right policy environment in developing countries is a key component in ensuring that climate activities reduce rather than worsen existing inequalities, and effectively contribute to poverty reduction.

The Pacific boasts a positive and well-formed regional policy framework through which countries can tackle climate breakdown in a just and inclusive manner, such as the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP). However, the extent to which national and local governments understand, interpret and align their own policies with these aspirational guidelines, and indeed adhere to the good policies they have in place, is a question of accountability. Effective community and citizen engagement is a critical component to building and enforcing the policies that can lead to a just response to climate breakdown.

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.

Launching the Handbook of Diverse Economies: inventory as ethical intervention

Session organiser:
Kelly Dombroski


This session involves presentations from a range of authors who have contributed to the Handbook of Diverse Economies. Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.

Strengthening everyday peace formation in development contexts

Session organiser:
Dr Vicki-Ann Ware and A/Prof Anthony Ware


Increasingly, development practitioners need to address issues of conflict in order to help communities generate sustainable, positive outcomes. And yet as a sector, there is limited understanding of conflict transformation skills needed to effectively connect development and peacebuilding work. A promising concept recently development by Prof Roger MacGinty (Durham University UK) is everyday peace. This posits that some behaviours traditionally seen as negative in conflict settings are actually positive moves towards a tentative peace that allows people to go about their daily lives. Yet this concept has yet to be operationalised. We propose a workshop to explore the theory of everyday peace, and then to demonstrate the ways in which we are seeking to operationalise this within the context of the Rakhine-Rohingya conflict in Myanmar.

This will be a facilitated workshop with practice exercises from the researchers’ work in Myanmar.