Sixth Sustainable Development Conference
11-13 December 2003, Holiday Inn, Islamabad
Sustainable Development Bridging the Research/Policy
Gaps in Southern Contexts
This Conference seeks to problematize knowledge
production processes/research in relation to policies in the South.
As there are gaps between policy and research at multiple levels,
it will raise questions such as: who are the knowledge producers?
Who raises the demands for knowledge production? What are the sites
of knowledge production? Who uses such knowledge? Who benefits from
new knowledge? What are the lessons learnt? And how can we bridge
Specifically, the Conference will focus on the
problematique of knowledge production about southern contexts in
the South. It will explore policy/research gaps in two directions:
in some places policy needs to be fed by better research while in
others, policy needs to take better account of existing solid research.
It will focus on the ways and means for translating this knowledge
into effective policy initiatives locally, nationally, regionally
and internationally by identifying the multiple gaps between research
and policies in different sectors.
The Conference seeks to bring together theorists,
researchers, creative thinkers, writers, activists, policy makers,
academicians to debate bridging the real and imagined gaps. How
can the research we produce in third world contexts be translated
into effective policy for sustainable development (SD)? Is SD only
a question of reorienting the research/policy connections? Or, is
it about claiming and putting value into the fragmented and disparate
work that speaks to and about the third world?
These questions will be tackled at several inter-related
levels: in purely third world contexts; in terms of the relationship
with first world institutions; and, within and between third world
The Conference will address three themes.
- Concepts and approaches: How
can concrete situations be addressed in a transdisciplinary manner?
How can the specialized research be translated into effective
- Contexts and issues: Can
specific contexts and issues be related to general trends and
patterns? Can these trends and patterns identify the existing
- Findings and recommendations:
What are the lessons learnt and how to bridge the policy-research
The Conference will be multi and transdisciplinary
in order to open up new ways of seeing, which may lead to effective
strategies for overcoming the gaps we presently face in policy making.
The Conference will investigate critical
policy issues ranging from the status of social sciences to issues
of migration and urbanization, food security, employment, governance,
gender, violence, poverty, the WTO regime and trade, renewable energy,
and conflict. It will highlight the cross-cutting linkages between
such diverse themes and the increasingly complex demands upon the
policy arena to respond to these issues quickly and effectively.