Development That Works – Lunchtime Remarks by Dean Virginia Sapiro and Professor John R. Harris


April 15, 2011

Dean Virginia Sapiro (BU College of Arts and Sciences), Prof. John Harris (Economics) and members of the audience during the lunch session at the 'Development that Works' conference.
Dean Virginia Sapiro (BU College of Arts and Sciences), Prof. John Harris (Economics) and members of the audience during the lunch session at the 'Development that Works' conference.

More than 100 people participated in The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future’s annual conference on Thursday, March 31 called Development That Works held at the Boston University School of Management conference center.

The all-day conference was organized by the Pardee Center in collaboration with the Boston University Global Development program. Members of the organizing committee for the conference, who also served as session chairs, included Prof. Kevin Gallagher (International Relations), Prof. Dilip Mookherjee (Economics), Prof. Jonathon Simon (Center for Global Health and Development) and Prof. Adil Najam (Pardee Center). The conference had kicked off with a reception for panelists the previous evening.

The conference included a special lunchtime program which included an address by Dean Virginia Sapiro, the Dean of the Boston University College of Arts and Sciences and a tribute recognition of BU Economics Professor John R. Harris, a development economist whose landmark 1970 paper on migration, unemployment and development was recently selected as one of the Top 20 papers published by the American Economic Review in the past 100 years.

In her address, BU Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Virginia Sapiro highlighted the importance of this conference, and the work of the Pardee Center as examples of cross-disciplinary collaboration and research. In introducing Prof. Harris, she said “This is a great honor and recognizes [Prof. Harris’s] work in economics as amongst the very best in the field, and seminal in its impact in development economics.” Prof. Harris then spoke about how that work came about, its policy impact, and its continuing relevance including to the discussions at the conference.

The four panels at the Development that Works conference featured thirteen leading scholars and practitioners who discussed their work related to various aspects of development based on examples and experiences from around the world. From global development policy programs by agencies such as The World Bank to local programs delivering education, health and poverty alleviation services to rural villages in Africa and Asia, the speakers highlighted the challenges of creating programs that achieve the intended results and can be sustained over time. Lively question-and-answer sessions followed each panel discussion, providing an opportunity for the many development scholars, practitioner and students in the audience to interact with the presenters.

The Twitter feed for the event is available here. A conference report will be published by the Pardee Center later this year, and videos of the entire event will be available soon on the Pardee Center Multimedia page. A report of the reception for panelists held the previous evening is available here. A report of the conference published in The Daily Free Press is available here.