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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Monthly Archives: May 2020

COVID-19 y Desarrollo Humano en América Latina: Hacia una nueva agenda de investigación, políticas y responsabilidad social

3 y 5 de junio
17:30 a 19:00 hrs (UTC-5)

El Instituto de Desarrollo Humano de América Latina en colaboración con la Dirección Académica de Responsabilidad Social - PUCP (DARS) lanza el ciclo de webinars «Covid-19 y Desarrollo Humano en América Latina: Hacia una agenda de investigación, políticas y responsabilidad social».

Este se orientará a generar discusión en torno a la relación entre #Covid19 y #desarrollohumano, en seis países de la región.

Inscripciones aquí:

CALL FOR PAPERS – Corona: Challenging Social Work

Deadline for abstracts (max 250 words): 15.6.2020
Contact: Ronald Lutz,

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed people's lives and the way they interact together in almost all nations and regions. The political reactions to this global pandemic have influenced national responses and play a significant part in the changes it has triggered. Presently, the world is experiencing political, social and economic upheavals of epic proportion, never seen or encountered since the turn of the 20th century due to COVID-19. Life as we knew it before the pandemic will never be the same and societies will have to come to terms with the threat of the virus and, above all, with its consequences such as lockdowns, social distancing and other measures. Some of its consequences are still unforeseeable, but some of its contours are beginning to show.

The virus has impacted everyone and all regions of the globe: rich and poor, north and south, but many are affected more directly, more severely and differently. For example, the virus has highly disproportionately affected the most vulnerable in society such as indigenous peoples, people with disabilities or minorities. In the United States the African-American population has experienced a much higher mortality rate because of their disadvantaged socio-economic conditions and inadequate health coverage. Borders that had begun to open up are now closing again, making the overdue humanitarian plans to resettle refugees to be postponed indefinitely. Solidarity is once again defined first and foremost on national terms, even though the virus does not stop at borders. Existing inequalities within and between countries and regions are being exacerbated, while new ones are already being created. If most societies in the North can still absorb these economic and social costs of COVID-19, to some extent, because of their considerable resources, the case will hardly be the same or even possible in the countries of the Global South. This pandemic aggravates the situation in poorer countries and at the same time increases global inequality. The social costs of the pandemic in particular challenge social policy, social development and social work, as well as social welfare measures in both the Global North and especially in the South.

However, the virus, its presence and consequences show how important it is to think beyond national boundaries. Crucially, it has now become important to emphasize the need for international solidarity and exchanges. In terms of social interaction, the lockdowns will result in other morally problematic consequences. Children in so-called "educationally disadvantaged" households or from precarious backgrounds receive less support from home in coping with so-called home schooling. Many workers in precarious circumstances or those who are self-employed, with no financial assets or resources already have their livelihoods threatened by COVID-19. Parents, especially mothers and single parents, are doubly burdened by the asymmetry in the distribution of care work, which is still present in most families. Furthermore, other groups, such as women or children in violent households, are currently experiencing additional burdens in quarantine. In the UK, the death toll of women being murdered by their partners has almost doubled. On the political level, we also see the different styles of leadership and the problems associated with authoritarian or populist governments.

This book endeavours to offer a platform for articulating, discussing and analysing these issues from both the Global South and North. It seeks to open a space for reports and analyses that deal with current developments emanating from COVID-19 and their impacts. It will also create a space for political considerations, for concepts and visions, for discussions about the relevance of local and indigenous knowledges, for reflections on the necessary anti-hegemonic and post-colonial character of international social work. It envisages that it will go beyond the current phase of the pandemic and raise the challenge to design and practice social work locally whilst thinking and networking at a more translocal, international and postcolonial level.

These intentions have two components: On the one hand, the exchange shows which problems arise in other places, what similarities and differences there are, and how the crisis and its consequences are dealt with there. Conclusions can be drawn for one's own practice of social work. These conclusions will be reflected critically in the book. On the other hand, this worldwide crisis becomes clear as a consequence of globalization, in which the countries of the Global North as a whole have the better technical resources but, through their ambivalent solidarity, continue to think and act in largely national categories. It is noticeable that the rich West in particular is struggling with certain challenges, such as a delayed reaction and lack of compliance with the measures.

Given these issues, the objectives of the contributions in the book should be:

1. To draw attention to the global impact of COVID-19 and to highlight national responses that effect the global pandemic in southern and northern countries.

2. To assess global social work and social development responses to COVID-19.

3. To discuss how nations are meeting the needs of the poor and marginalized communities in the Global South and North.

4. To examine the coping mechanisms and strategies of poor and marginalized population groups in the Global South and North.

Issues like these must be discussed more intensively on an international and public policy level. During this pandemic and beyond, social work must find an active voice, which sides with the "oppressed" (Paulo Freire) and the "damned of this earth" (Frantz Fanon) and contributes to its own decolonisation.

It is important to note that the global pandemic has revealed many challenges inherent in national, continental and supranational systems, as well asinequalities and inequities in economic and health systems in southern and northern countries. The current situation reveals, that international social work must be an "interwoven social work", which operates locally but must be part of an international network. This is one theoretical focus of the book. Networking internationally shows clearly that global solidarity, an exchange about problems and concepts, is imperative. Solidarity is already evident in existing international networks; IFSW was one of the first organisations to place positions on international solidarity and exchange. It is therefore to be expected that this book will be able to report on these cases of international solidarity and how they are helping to fight COVD-19. One of the key outcomes of this book is to generate more information on the manner in which countries around the globe have responded to COVID-19. The other outcome is to show how social workers across the globe are helping to fight COVID-19.

The current situation provides an opportunity to identify and pin-point major deficits that have existed for a long time around the world and which are currently intensifying the effects of the global pandemic. This opens a window to fundamentally question and

end the hegemony of the Global North, which is sometimes also evident in social work. Linked to this, reflecting beyond the pandemic and into the future, social work must become more political at all levels and strive to transform societies as well as global social development, economic and health systems.

We especially encourage young scholars to submit their work.

Potential contributions may include the following topics, but are not limited to: Issues and Problems

- The effects of the pandemic and (emergency) responses on marginalized groups such as indigenous populations, women, children, displaced people, migrants and refugees, the poor, etc. and their coping strategies. - the societal effects on pandemic response, e.g. mental health crises, loss of livelihood, environmental changes - the subordination of other important issues to pandemic response e.g. global health problems, poverty, global economic inequalities, trade relationships, natural disasters - Political and societal conflicts, extremism, inequalities, religious fundamentalism, mistrust in science Social Work, social development and social welfare Responses

- How social work is responding to and during the crisis and what challenges it faces (methods, practice) - Analyses of specific issues such as poverty, basic services, health care, education, violence - Social policy issues, economic issues in responding to the pandemic and social development - Significance of local and indigenous knowledges in crisis management, - the role of networking: translocal, international and postcolonial Political Strategies

- Global and local solidarity - Transformation processes, the significance of (digital) technology in our lives and social relations - International Organisations, Human Rights, Global Justice

The Editors

Maria do Carmo Gonçalves, Centro Scalabriniano des Estudos Migratorios, Brasilia, Brasil

Rebecca Gutwald, Munich School of Philosophy, Munich, Germany

Tanja Kleibl, University of Applied Science, Würzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany

Janestic Twikirize, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Ronald Lutz, University of Applied Science, Erfurt, Germany

Ndangwa Noyoo, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Deadline for abstracts (max 250 words): 15.6.2020

Contact: Ronald Lutz,

Final Deadline for chapters (max 6000 words): 31.12.2020

Abstracts and contributions have to be submitted in English

Virtual Mini-conference on Global Perspectives on COVID-19 and Sustainability Transitions

Register at:

An Initiative of the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production

May 27, 2020

 10pm Australia | 9pm Japan | 8pm China | 2pm Central Europe/South Africa | 1pm United Kingdom | 9am Rio de Janeiro | 8am North America (East) | 7am North America (Central) | 6am North America (Mountain) | 5am North America (Pacific)

***0:00 indicates the start time of the mini-conference (does not refer to a time zone)***

0:00-0:10 Introduction, Maurie Cohen

0:10-00:40 Opening Plenary | Covid-19 and sustainability transitions: a view from the grassroots, Neal Gorenflo, Founder and Executive Director, Shareable

0:40-1:00 Opportunities for local governments to advance sustainability in a post-COVID-19 world, Thomas Reuter, Amy Burnett, Jenna Lamphere, and Liga Rudzite

1:00-1:20 From “locking-down” to “locking-in”: glocal dialogues and a glimpse into changes to everyday life and social practices, Steven McGreevy and Ashley Colby

1:20-1:40 And who cares for women? The importance of care work in the time of COVID-19, Cláudia Santos, Marula Tsagkari, Felix Kwabena Donkor, Nediana Sarrasanti, Karen Smith, and Chadia Wannous

1:40-2:00 Coffee/Cocktail Break

2:00-2:20 Sustainability transitions in the Global South: introducing the network and its ongoing initiatives in the context of COVID-19 crisis, Katharina Schiller, Bipashyee Ghosh, Mark Purdon, and Adriana Marotti de Mello

2:20-2:40 Circular economy opportunities for sustainability transitions in the post-COVID-19 era, Joseph Sarkis, Paul Dewick, and Sarah Strauss

2:40-3:00 School closures and the COVID-19 pandemic: Is there a transformational potential for Education for Sustainable Development/Education for Sustainable Consumption?, Pascal Frank, Daniel Fischer, and Claire Grauer

3:00-3:30 Final Plenary

Biographies of Speakers Available Here

A Special Feature of the Mini-conference

Participants in the mini-conference are invited to share a visual representation of their hopes and inspirations, lives, or experiences of sustainability transitions in the era of COVID-19. Once you upload your images, please provide some explanatory text that identifies the location of your photograph/video and provide your name. We ask that each participant limit themselves to five submissions. Please click the following link to submit your contribution(s):

Mini-conference Organizing Committee

Magnus Bengtsson, Caroline Boules, Maurie Cohen, Ashley Colby, Paul Dewick, Felix Kwabena Donkor, Ria Lambino, Hein Mallee, Steven McGreevy, Cláudia Santos, Joseph Sarkis, Nediana Sarrasanti, Craig Starger, Emmanuella Vital, and Esthi Zipori

Organizing Committee for COVID-19 and Sustainability Transitions Initiative

Magnus Bengtsson, Maurie Cohen, Paul Dewick, Ria Lambino, Hein Mallee, Steven McGreevy, Joseph Sarkis, Patrick Schröder, and Esthi Zipori

Management Team of the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production

Magnus Bengtsson, Maurie Cohen, Charlotte Jensen, Ria Lambino, Sylvia Lorek, Hein Mallee, Steven McGreevy, and Patrick Schröder

WEBINAR – Global Access to Vaccines: the Politics of Negotiations and the Global South

Thursday, May 28
10:00 am US Eastern time



HDCA-SPONSORED WEBINAR: Capabilities and Covid-19


Tuesday, May 26, 6 PM – 8 PM UTC+01
Panelists: Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Sophie Mitra, Sridhar Venkatapuram

The Covid-19 crisis has already had devastating effects. Many have died, and it seems many more are likely to. Many others will become ill, economies have been halted, borders closed. The path forward appears difficult for both individuals and governments around the world.

For this discussion, we'll be bringing together figures from the Capability Approach field, and Fellows of the HDCA to discuss key issues, and to look at how we can understand what's taking place through a Capabilities lens.

How can we understand this in terms of Capabilities? How can a Capabilities framework help us to understand how CoVid-19 is affecting communities differently, and why? How will the Covid-19 crisis be affected by pre-existing inequalities and how will it create inequalities? During a crisis for existing economies, with ecological challenges ahead, can the Capabilities framework offer an alternative outlook as to the way forward from this crisis?

Panelist background:

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr is the Director of the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs and Professor of International Affairs at The New School. Her teaching and research have focused on human rights and development, global health, and global goal setting and governance by indicators. From 1995 to 2004, she was lead author and director of the UNDP Human Development Reports. Her recent publications include: Millennium Development Goals: Ideas, Interests and Influence (Routledge 2017); Fulfilling Social and Economic Rights (with T. Lawson-Remer and S. Randolph, Oxford 2015), winner of the American Political Science Association’s 2016 Best Book in Human Rights Scholarship and the 2019 Grawemeyer Prize for Ideas to Improve the World Order.
Fukuda-Parr contributes actively to international policy and research processes. Most recent appointments include the UN Committee on Development Policy as Vice Chair, the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines and Innovation, and Boards of Knowledge Ecology International and International Association for Feminist Economics. She directs the Independent Panel on Global Governance for Health at the University of Oslo, and also serves as Distinguished Fellow at the JICA Research Institute, Tokyo.
Sridhar Venkatapuram is based at the King's Global Health Institute, where he is Director of Global Health Education & Training. His academic training is in a range of disciplines, including International Relations (Brown University), Public Health (Harvard University), Sociology (Cambridge University) and Political Philosophy (Cambridge University). His doctoral dissertation on the philosophical argument for a moral/human right to 'the capability to be healthy' was examined and passed without corrections by Amartya Sen. It formed the basis of his first book, Health Justice: An argument from the capabilities approach, published in 2011 by Polity Press.
Sridhar has also been at the forefront of public/global practice and policy for over twenty years. He was a pioneer of the health and human rights movement as the first researcher at Human Rights Watch to examine HIV/AIDS and other health issues directly as human rights concerns (1992-1997).
He has worked with the Ford Foundation, Population Council, Open Societies Institute and Doctors of the World, amongst other organisations. At Harvard (1998-2000), he worked with the late Arjun Sengupta, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development in conceptualising its philosophical and ethical framework.
Starting at the 2012 International Association of Bioethics conference in Rotterdam, Sridhar and colleagues began exploring the ethical issues relating to justice and global ageing. Recently, the World Health Organisation relied on Sridhar’s conception of health in defining health ageing for their World Report on Ageing and Health.
Sophie Mitra is Professor in the Department of Economics, co-director of the Disability Studies Program and founding director of the Research Consortium on Disability at Fordham University. Her research interests relate to disability, health, international development and social protection. She is the author of Disability, Health and Human Development (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018).
She has studied the economic impact of disability and mental illness, multidimensional poverty, the association between disability and poverty, the definition of disability. Some of her research is interdisciplinary and uses mixed and participatory methods. She has published in many peer reviewed journals in economics and interdisciplinary journals in disability policy, public health and development studies. She is a fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association, a Fordham-Columbia research fellow and an affiliate of the Columbia China Center for Social Policy.

Registration required:

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