Conference brings together participatory democracy researchers
Apr 27, 2012
Researchers from around the world will come to UTSC this
month and begin to build a collaborative network for research into
fostering citizen engagement and pro-poor social change.
workshop, called Collaboration for Research on Democracy
(CORD), will bring 15 experienced researchers from Brazil,
Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, India, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
It will be hosted by UTSC’s international development studies
the attending researchers have helped build a movement toward
participatory development through a previous research network called
the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and
Accountability, says Leslie Chan, the UTSC international studies
lecturer who helped organize the workshop.
“One of the key concepts is this whole notion of
participation in development,” Chan says. “In the past
development has always been driven from the top. The idea is that for
development to be effective it has to be driven from the
the participants will be researchers from the Institute of Development
Studies located at the University of Sussex, which is a pioneer in
development studies. Others include the Brazilian Center for Analysis
and Planning (CEBRAP) and the BRAC Development Institute in
Co-organizer Bettina von Lieres, a political science
professor at University of Toronto Mississauga, says that the workshop
is intended to lay the groundwork for multi-country collaborations
which will bring together researchers interested in policy, research
and advocacy in participatory development.
“We're hoping to launch a long-term global research
organization that will sustain itself financially in the long-term.
One of the issues of funding these big types of collaborations is
long-term sustainable funding mechanisms,” she says.
main topic will be creation of a web-based portal that will make
organization and collaboration easier, Chan says. The portal will
include social media tools designed to make it easier for partners to
work together and share research.
workshop will be held May 21-23.