Vicky Alejandra Saravia Lopez speaks about her work in Bolivia, her experiences at the GDN 2009 conference, and her paper on “Is the Environmental Kuznets Curve in Latin America and the Caribbean a Fact?”


As part of the GDN 10th Annual Conference, we are ‘blipping’ some participants, especially from developing countries, asking them their perspective on the main theme of the event, the relation between natural resources and development, and how this relates to research priorities.

These are not interviews, rather short 1 to 2 minutes video clips were we try to capture some impressions from the different delegates attending the conference. See the first videos at

We’ll be adding some more blips as the conference unfolds.

John Asafu-Adjaye, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, shares his comments on the Climate Change workshop at the 2009 Global Development Network Conference, Kuwait, February 2009. He has some thoughts on the research agenda needed to inform the negotiating process, including what needs to happen for the developing countries to be enticed to participate. He mentions how, to date a majority of emissions have come from “developed” countries, but in the future the majority will come from currently “developing” countries, such as China and India.

At the GDN today there were presentations by three finalists for the Japanese Award for ‘Most Innovative Development Project’ for 2009. The award is granted to the institution whose project “embodies a fresh approach to an important development need and holds great promise for benefiting the poor in developing and transition countries.”

Three three finalists this year are:

* Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB)
ANSAB is committed to biodiversity conservation and economic developement in Nepal through community-based enterprise oriented solutions, typically the development of non-timber forest products and markets.

Here’s a video interview with ANSAB’s Bhishma Prasad Subedi about their work in Nepal:

* The South African Social Investment Exchange (SASIX)
SASIX makes carefully selected social development projects in South Africa available as investment opportunities with a social return.

Here’s a video interview with Carol Tappenden:

* Colegio Virtual Iberoamericano
This no cost, totally online high school in Ecuador has around 1200 students in 42 communities, both rural and urban-marginal, and provides these youth with access to computers and a curriculum to complete their high school degree.

Each of the three are doing very interesting and innovative work – it was fun to hear their presentations and their answering the tough questions from the audience.

Lyn Squire, the first President of the GDN, shares some of his thoughts on the ten-year growth of the GDN and its future opportunities. I interviewed him on February 2, 2009, on the first day of the 10th Anniversary Conference of the GDN.

Atrium in AFESD Building

Atrium in AFESD Building

The Global Development Network’s 10th Anniversary Conference kicked off today in Kuwait at the lovely facilities of our host, Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development (AFESD).

If you can’t be here, you can get some of the flavor of the event by following online.  The conference agenda and information about many of the participants is available in the conference’s social networking website.  I particularly like the map of where participants are from – truly an international event.  You can follow comments from some of the sessions via twitter.    GDN is posting photos from the event on Flickr.

If you are attending the event or want to comment from elsewhere, make sure to take your contribution with the conference tag – gdnet09.

Justin Lin speaking at Global Development Network 2009

Justin Lin speaking at Global Development Network 2009

World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin was the keynote speaker in the opening session of the Global Development Network’s 10th Anniversary Conference in Kuwait City today. Lin suggested that a long run, stable, oil price of about $70/barrel would create incentives for investment in renewable energy sources, maintain incentives for continued investment in oil, and protect poor countries from sudden surges in price.  He explained that very high oil prices (over $70/barrel) and uncertainty over future prices could accelerate development of highly polluting synthetic fuels until, at least, there are stronger international agreements in place to curb carbon emissions.

Lin also called for research into the possibility of insuring poor, oil-consuming countries against price shocks and argued that action was called for to create a price mechanism to prevent a potential climate change “tipping point”.

The panel was chaired by Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico.  It included opening remarks by H.E. Mohammed Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kuwait and Abdlatif Al-Hamad, Director-General and Chairm of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD).  AFESD is hosting the conference in their facility in Kuwait City.

Tomorrow morning, Tuesday will be the official start of the Global Development Network 10th Annual Conference here in Kuwait City.

Chris Wolz and Dave Witzel are here helping the GND to extend the event to the web – with this Crowdvine social networking site, and blogging and twittering.

More than 1/3 of the attending participants have set up profiles on the GDN Kuwait conference site here and we hope others will in the next days  – to enable connecting between peers before, during, and after the event!

The agenda for Tuesday starts at 9 AM with workshops on Migration, Climate Change, and Governance.

And as important as the formal sessions will be the between event meetings and networking – important for the GDN in building the capacity of research/policy organizations in the developing world. Already on our arrival in Kuwait and our hotel we have met people arriving for the GDN from Togo, UK and elsewhere.

After arriving this evening, Dave and I (Chris) walked about the waterfront with CGD’s Lawrence MacDonald and enjoyed a sea-side meal of hummus, hamour (fish), chicken kabobs – delicious.

More news tomorrow.


The Global Development Network’s 10th Annual Conference on “Natural Resources and Development” will be hosted by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) at their headquarters in Kuwait City, Kuwait from February 3 – 5, 2009.

The event will feature eminent academics, policy makers and members of multilateral development organizations. Four plenary sessions have been scheduled, entitled, ‘Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?’; ‘The Political Economy of Natural Resources’; ‘The Challenge of Sustainable Development’; and ‘The Wealth of Nations: Revenue and Fiscal Management of Natural Resources.’

The conference organizers are also offering a set of online services that are intended to:

  • connect interested professionals who are unable to attend the conference in person with attendees and materials,
  • help attendees find each other and prioritize their time, and
  • document and capture some of the knowledge and experiences being shared at the event.

To participate in these online services, members of the public and conference attendees can:

Please tag any materials you post about the confernece with gdnet09 so other people can more easily find them.

On the conference site ( you can meet other participants (whether they’re planning to attend or not) and get conference information.  Here’s how to get started!