Thursday April 16, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM EDT
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The Grand Hall 
238 Thompson St
NYU Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life
5th Floor
New York, NY 10012



NYU Development Research Institute

Development without Freedom?

Justice, Human Rights, and Foreign Aid in Africa

You are invited to join DRI, the Bard College Human Rights Project, and the Rift Valley Institute at the conference on Thursday, April 16th, 2015 at the NYU Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life.

The international community, mainly the OECD countries, have been providing project-specific foreign aid, investment and general budget support to the governments of African countries. This funding helped improve many development indicators on the continent, yet fundamental values of freedom and democracy that the giving nations profess are often dismissed. Government forces have imprisoned, tortured, exiled, and even taken the lives of their critics. In rural areas across Africa, people have been displaced, making way for development projects that often fail to bring promised benefits.

What are the consequences of these rights abuses for long-term development in Africa? What is the role of development agencies and foreign investors in ensuring that recipient governments make progress on human rights and justice? The conference will explore research findings on these questions and feature dissenting voices that do not often receive a hearing in international development forums.

Conference Agenda:

8:30am: Registration and Coffee

9:00am: Yaw Nyarko, NYU, Introduction

9:05am: Helen Epstein, Bard College and NYU, "Human Rights Problems in International Development Programs," Overview of Conference Aims
Session 1: Moderator - Yaw Nyarko, NYU

9:15am: David Pred, Inclusive Development International, "Aiding and Abetting: How the World Bank Enabled Mass Forced Population Transfers in Ethiopia and Evaded Accountability"
9:45am: Frehiywot Samuel, "Not What They Wanted to Hear: A Supreme Court Judge Investigates Post-Election Violence in Ethiopia"
10:15am: Q&A with David Pred and Frehiywot Samuel

10:30am: Coffee Break
Session 2: Moderator - Helen Epstein, Bard College and NYU

10:45am: Soleyana Shimeles Gebremichael, Zone 9 Blogging Group, Ethiopia, "The Cost of Exercising Rights and Bringing Alternative Narration, The Case of Zone 9 Bloggers"

11:15am: Stefan Dercon, University of Oxford, "Barking Hyenas, Roaring Lions and Predatory Tigerfish: Aid in Troublesome Places"

11:45am: Q&A with Soleyana Shimeles Gebremichael and Stefan Dercon
12:00pm: Lunch
Session 3: Moderator - William Easterly, NYU

1:30pm: Jean Ensminger, California Institute of Technology, "Aid Fraud: A Kenyan Case Study"

2:00pm: Godber Tumushabe, Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies, "The Tragedy of Aid in Quasi-Democracies: Case Study of the Peace, Reconciliation and Development Program in Northern Uganda"

2:30pm: Q&A with Jean Ensminger and Godber Tumushabe

2:45pm: Coffee Break
Session 4: Moderator - John Ryle, Rift Valley Institute

3:00pm: Mareike Schomerus, London School of Economics and Political Science, "The Betrayal of 'South Sudan': Could Development Work without Imagining the State?

3:30pm: Hugh Roberts, "South Sudan: A Dream Deferred"

4:00pm: Q&A with Mareike Schomerus and Hugh Roberts


Funding is generously provided by the John Templeton Foundation. Breakfast and lunch will be served.