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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

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Inclusive Data and Statistics: Human Development and Disability Indicators

Inclusive Data and Statistics: Human Development and Disability Indicators in Low- and Middle-income Countries

This study first examines to what extent household surveys and censuses in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) include disability questions and the types of questions under use. It then disaggregates human development indicators across disability status to assess the situation of persons and households with disabilities with 24 censuses and general household surveys from 21 LMICs. Findings have implications for data collection, research and policy.

Sophie Mitra is professor of economics and founding director of the Research Consortium on Disability at Fordham University in New York City. She has studied the economic impact of disability and mental illness, the effects of social protection programs, multidimensional poverty, the association between disability and poverty, the definition of disability. She is the author of Disability, Health and Human Development (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018).

Webinar: Using the Capability Approach to Conceptualise Wellbeing

Speaker: Ingrid Robeyns, Utrecht University
19th April 2021, Monday
18:30 – 20.00 BST (GMT +1) (19.30 – 21.00 CEST/GMT +2)

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/150468462221/

The capability approach is one of the many different frameworks that can be used to conceptualise well-being. This seminar will address the following questions: How does one use the capability approach to conceptualise wellbeing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the capability approach to conceptualise well-being? For which purposes is this an appropriate framework, and in which contexts should one consider using another framework? What are the consequences for the deeply inter- and multidisciplinary nature of the capability approach to its conceptualisation of wellbeing? And finally, what are some points of attention to keep in mind if one wants to use this framework not just for conceptualising well-being, but also for empirical research and policy making?

Ingrid Robeyns (Prof. dr.) is a political philosopher and economist working primarily on issues in theories of justice, the ethics of institutions and applied ethics. She holds the chair in Ethics of Institutions at The Ethics Institute at Utrecht University (the Netherlands), and directs The Fair Limits Project – funded through an ERC Consolidator Grant – which examines the distributive justice and moral permissibility of having too much personal valuable goods, and how a distributive rule should include an upper limit. Broadly, her research also includes the capability approach, social justice, institutional change in law and policy, gender studies, the ethics of autism and basic income. Her most recent book titled 'Wellbeing, Freedom and Social Justice: The Capability Approach Re-examined' (2017) is free to download from Open Book Publishers. Ingrid Robeyns served as the 8th president (2018-2020) of The Human Development and Capability Association and is elected (for life) as a member of the Netherlands Royal Academy (KNAW). She actively holds several editorial roles, as associate editor of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Basic Income Studies and is member of the editorial board of Economics and Philosophy.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/150468462221/

HDCA Undergraduate Workshop II: Exploring “worthwhile development”

For our second workshop for undergraduate students working with the capability approach, human development or development ethics.

HDCA Undergraduate Workshop II: Exploring “worthwhile development”

21st April, 2021, 1-2.30pm (UK time)

For our second workshop for undergraduate students working with the capability approach, human development or development ethics, Stacy Kosko (University of Maryland, US) will present a simulation exercise for thinking about human development ethics. This workshop is aimed primarily at undergraduates so please sign up if you are an undergraduate working with the capability approach (this event is open to undergraduate HDCA members and non-members.) If places remain a few days before we will offer to masters students in addition.

This is our second undergraduate workshop in a series of three. The next undergraduate workshop is planned for 14th July (with a presentation from Lori Keleher).

Please note there is a separate workshop series for graduate students; the next one is on the 9th June.

The HDCA strives to offer high quality free events to members and non-members worldwide and for many this is the only opportunity to engage with others on the capability approach. So, we ask you kindly:

  • Please only sign up if you are a undergraduate student working with the capability approach, human development or development ethics
  • Please do check that you are available before signing up for the workshop.
  • Please do cancel your place if you find you are no longer able to attend.

This will enable more individuals who would like to join us to be able to do so. We have found that sometimes individuals sign up but don’t show up. This is disappointing for those who have not been able to secure a place.

We look forward to welcoming you and learning together.

Caroline Sarojini Hart & Rosie Peppin Vaughan (HDCA Education Officers)

Please find below two handouts to be used in the workshop - please download these before the start of the meeting:

Thinking through the Features of Worthwhile Development -- Dam Scenario_handout

Thinking through the Features of Worthwhile Development -- Dam Scenario_map_island.

 

Capability as informational basis for work and employment politics

An opportunity for our thematic network offers is to take stock of capability theories and concepts in the field of employment and work.

One of the opportunities our thematic network offers is to take stock of capability theories and concepts in the field of employment and work. The upcoming webinar is an exercise in such stock-taking: three members of the TG will look back on a collaborative experience in a pivotal European integrated Project.

In CAPRIGHT (Resources, Rights and Capabilities: In search of social foundations for Europe, 2007-2010) 24 partners from 13 European countries shared their work on capability–related concepts to inform European labour policies – understood in a wide sense and comprising services and regulation in the fields of work, employment, vocational training and collective action. Five capability domains proved central in CAPRIGHT:

- The capability for work – at the workplace and in production,

- The capability for employment – in internal labour markets, in labour market policy and in interactions with the public employment service,

- The capability for training – both within the firm and in institutions of vocational training,

- The capability for work-life-balance – arbitrating the requirements of paid work and care work in the househould,

- The capability for voice – in all of these domains of regulation.

“Ten years after”, Peter Bartelheimer, Jean-Michel Bonvin and Bénédicte Zimmermann look back at the conceptual “takeaway” of the CAPRIGHT network and reflect on refinements and further developments in their subsequent work.

Discussants:

Peter Bartelheimer: Emeritus Senior Researcher, Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Goettingen.

Jean-Michel Bonvin: Professor at the Institut de Démographie et Socioéconomie, Univer-sité de Genève,

Bénédicte Zimmermann: Professor and Research Director, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris ; Permanent Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin.

***Note: This event will be recorded. Participants may choose to join without providing their full name and with video cameras turned off.

Book Launch: The Social Construction of Capabilities in a Tamil Village

Book Launch: The Social Construction of Capabilities in a Tamil Village
L. N. Venkataraman

Join us for a discussion about this new book, including a Q&A with Dr Rosie Peppin Vaughan. There will also be a chance for the audience to ask questions.

Is an equitable distribution of opportunities possible within a stratified social system in which caste-based socio-economic privileges are inherited and social mobility constrained? The Social Construction of Capabilities in a Tamil Village answers this question by analysing the intersections between caste, class and education, and argues that capabilities—that is, the competence or life skills one acquires through education—are socially constructed and not an inherent trait of the individual.

In the 1960s, renowned sociologist André Béteille conducted social anthropological fieldwork on caste, class and power in a south Indian village pseudonymously named Sripuram in Tamil Nadu. Revisiting the same village five decades later, this book studies caste, class and education across diverse social groups, and especially among the educated unemployed or underemployed youth. Through interviews and everyday interactions with the residents of Sripuram, the author studies the complexities of deprivations and coping strategies of the poor within their socio-economic spheres.

Exploring tensions inherent within the caste system, this intersectional perspective has broad significance for the global discourse on development on India. This book will interest sociologists, public policy analysts and development experts.

L. N. Venkataraman is a Faculty at the Department of Policy Studies in TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS). Before joining TERI SAS, he worked as an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Education in Universität Bielefeld, Germany; and, at the Centre for Development Support in the University of the Free State, South Africa. His academic works can be consulted in the Economic and Political Weekly, Development in Practice, and Indian Journal of Human Development among others.

As a university professional, he has been closely associated with various scholars; public intellectuals in India as well as abroad; and actively sharing perspectives and delivering lectures. He was a Research Fellow of the Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development (CRHED) in South Africa, and the Research School on Education and Capabilities (EduCap) in Germany.

Dr Rosie Peppin Vaughan conducts interdisciplinary research around the topics of gender, education, and global governance. Her most recent work has been on the post-2015 development agenda, and transnational advocacy on girls’ and women’s education. Her theoretical work includes using the capability approach and the concept of human development to think about gender, educational equality and social justice.

She has recently completed consultancies for a number of international organisations including Plan International, British Council, the UN Girls’ Education Initiative, and the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition.

ATTACKS ON DEMOCRACY: Challenges and Solutions With Amartya Sen

Wednesday, May 05, 2021, 4:30pm EDT

Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen joins Carl Marks Professor of International Studies Kaushik Basu for the 2021 Bartels World Affairs Lecture, hosted by Cornell’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

As the 21st century dawned, many would have said that understanding the need for democracy was the most important change in the world over the preceding 100 years. Yet in the past two decades, democracy has been treated with contempt and hostility in many parts of the world — including countries in the West (such as Hungary, Poland, and others), but also elsewhere.

Dr. Sen believes that it is important to ask why this is happening and how we should deal with it. “Some countries seem to be undergoing a big transition in this respect, and my own country, India, may be a significant example — despite its being often described as the largest democracy in the world, which in some sense it still is,” Dr. Sen said. “As someone who is dismayed by recent developments, I would like to discuss the nature of the problems we may be facing and what can be done about them.”

Dr. Sen’s talk, “Attacks on Democracy,” will kick off a discussion with Cornell faculty and students moderated by Dr. Basu. Edward Cornell Professor of Law Robert Hockett, Edward H. Meyer Professor of Economics Marco Battaglini, and Professor of Philosophy Rachana Kamtekar are among the Cornell faculty who will join Dr. Sen, Dr. Basu, and audience members, including several students, for conversation and Q&A on democratic challenges and the path forward.

Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost for International Affairs and the Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor of Global Development, and Rachel Beatty Riedl, Director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, will introduce the discussion. This event is part of the Einaudi Center’s global research theme of democratic resilience.

The Bartels World Affairs Lecture was established in 1984 to foster a broadened worldview among Cornell students, especially undergraduates. The lecture and related events are made possible by the generosity of Henry E. Bartels ’48 and Nancy Horton Bartels ’48.

Register Here: 

The use of survey data in operationalising of capability approach

The use of survey data in the operationalisation of the capability approach

The Quantitative Research methods is organising a webinar on theme - The use of survey data in the operationalisation of the capability approach. Due to the multi-dimensional and fluid nature of the capabilities approach, structured, large-sample surveys are less likely to be used to evaluate the progress of individuals on various dimensions of the capability approach. But our speakers have risen up to this challenge and share their insights about the same, from different geographies. Kate Sollis from Australian National University discusses it in context of Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) data set, Darlington Mushongera, from University of Witwatersrand analyses the Guateng City Region Observatory Quality of Life Survey, South Africa and Raffaele Ciula from Sapienza University (Rome) discusses the longitudinal survey of Bolsa Familia program at Brazil. We are excited to hear your comments on the same and look forward to a fruitful engagement for everyone.

The webinar will be moderated by HDCA fellow Prof Paul Anand, who will be sharing his insights about a similar exercise conducted on British Household Panel Survey and will involve a Q & A session at the end.

“Health justice for all: A capabilities framework for health system development in the conflict-affected context of Myanmar”

Speaker: Dr Sharon Bell, The Workshop, New Zealand

Wednesday May 12th, 2021

09:00 to 10:00 in London

13:30 to 14:30 in Delhi

20:00 to 21:00 in Wellington

The event will take place through Zoom. Please register through Eventbrite in order to receive a link to the meeting.

The Webinar: Conflict is a leading risk to development progress and fragile and conflict-affected contexts have high rates of poverty and limited access to crucial services such as healthcare.

Myanmar is such a context, facing critical shortages in its health services leading to significant health inequities for ethnic communities. Ethnic non-state armed groups have formed regimes which seek self-determination as well as to establish alternative health systems in parallel to the state system to improve the wellbeing of their people.

This webinar considers how the capability approach can be operationalised in conflict-affected contexts to better navigate the ongoing challenge of addressing health inequalities and working towards health justice for conflict-affected communities. It draws on a qualitative case study of a partnership between an international non-governmental organisation and an ethnic non-state armed group in a health workforce training programme in Shan State, Myanmar. The programme has supported the desire of the group for autonomy from the state health system and led to promising improvements in health outcomes in communities. However, it now faces further obstacles with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing disruption from the military coup in February 2021.

Speaker’s Bio: Sharon is a social science researcher and practitioner committed to wellbeing and justice. She currently manages the research programme at The Workshop, a not-for-profit research

and communications organisation based in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her PhD from Massey University (2018) explored health justice, capabilities, and health system development for communities in the conflict-affected context of Shan State, Myanmar. She maintains a keen interest in these topics and is closely following developments in Myanmar with the COVID-19 pandemic and the February 2021 coup.

We look forward to seeing you then.

Giulia, Margarita, Paul and Toon (Health and Disability Thematic Group co-ordinators)

https://hd-ca.org/thematic_group/health-and-disability

HDCA Teacher Workshop 3 – What is the future of graduate teaching of the capabilities approach?

Presenter: Sridhar Venkatapuram, King's College London
Wednesday 12th May 2021
12-13:30 UTC (13 – 14:30 BST)

In this third event in our Teacher Workshop series, Sridhar Venkatapuram will present reflections and lead discussion on: What is the future of graduate teaching of the capabilities approach?

Teaching the capabilities approach to graduate students at the Master's and PhD level requires thinking about various aspects.  In this this workshop we would like to focus on two particular aspects that seem to be relevant at this point in time.

  • What are the joys and challenges of teaching the capabilities approach at masters and Phd level?
  • What are the future prospects of better integrating the capabilities approach into graduate level curricula and doctoral research and training?

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teacher-workshop-3-what-is-the-future-of-graduate-teaching-of-the-ca-tickets-150741908105

We welcome teachers who are currently teaching on this subject to join us for this event. The workshop is open to members and non-members of the HDCA.

The HDCA strives to offer high quality free events to members and non-members worldwide and for many this is the only opportunity to engage with others on the capability approach. So, we ask you kindly:

  • Please do check that you are available before signing up for the workshop.
  • Please do cancel your place if you find you are no longer able to attend.

This will enable more individuals who would like to join us to be able to do so. We have found that sometimes individuals sign up but don’t show up. This is disappointing for those who have not been able to secure a place.

Please note, this workshop is specifically for people who are teaching about the CA at graduate level; we have other events in the following months aimed at undergraduate and graduate students.

We look forward to welcoming you and learning together.

Caroline & Rosie (HDCA Education Officers)

University Students as Storytellers

May 19, 2021
2:00 pm Johannesburg (UTC+2)

Zoom Webinar - Organized by the Participatory Methods Thematic Group
Register on Eventbrite here

In post-1994 South Africa, history continues to disfigure the social fabric and educational landscape. Slow-paced and uneven transformation, as well as challenges of power and voice, wealth, race and gender inequalities shape the day to day reality of the country. Public universities, too, face these challenges. Yet, with over 1.2 million students, universities can foster critical ways of thinking about challenging issues, enabling us to reimagine and reinvent possibilities and to co-construct knowledge. They can imagine and be the socially just society that we want to become and be spaces where the principles of Ubuntu can be mobilised and our freedoms fostered. Hence, universities have great potential to face the injustices that persist in post-apartheid South Africa, to contribute to building a democratic nation and advancing the public good, even though social justice remains elusive and universities still not sufficiently transformed.

We can make a different story of aspirations, decolonial knowledge-making and advancing justice. The struggle for social justice in the aftermath of historical violence should, we think, not simply be about opposing dehumanization but should enable creative, expansive self-actualisation. Change should involve finding ways of reclaiming our sense of being human together and moving forward. This aligns well with Steve Biko’s call for a new humanity.

This webinar, therefore, focuses on youth at one South African university as storytellers. The members of the Youth Voices team will bring different biographies and varied experiences of voice, inclusion, and marginalisation through their visual individual and collective narratives. Using Digital story-telling and Participatory Video we will explore social justice, injustices and change through students’ videos, fostering an ecology of knowledges bringing experiential knowledge from youth in South Africa and academic knowledge from our guest speakers. The webinar will be presented by the Youth Voices members themselves discussing as the authors of these narratives, their own stories, experiences and productions.

Program:

14:00 – 14:30 Introduction and project overview

14:30 – 14:45 Digital Story A Shadow of a Woman

14:45 – 15:00 Digital Story Hair Untangled

15:00 – 15:15 Participatory Video Student well-being?

15:15 – 15:30 Participatory Video Exploring a Pandemic within a Pandemic

15:30 – 16:30 Final Discussion Q &A

Presenters:

Youth Voices Members: Luvuyo Ngobeni, Natasha Kabaso, Cheri Matjila, Ntombi Nhlapo, Getrude Jana, Nontobeko Mathebula; Angel Zungu, Christiaan Botha, Nhlanhla Mgobhozi, Jeremiah Hlahla, Neliswa Emeni Tientcheu & Moroesi Talita Makape

Facilitators: Melanie Walker & Carmen Martinez-Vargas

Special Guests:

Prof. Alejandra Boni (Universidad Politecnica de Valencia)

Dr. Emily Henderson (Warwick University)

Dr. Melis Cin (Lancaster University)

Dr. Mikateko Mathebula (University of the Free State)

Dr. Aliya Khalid (Cambridge University)

Dr. Monique Kwachou (University of the Free State)

Registration: Eventbrite - Register Here

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