The Future is Now: Innovative Responses to Global Adversity
Development and international collaboration efforts cannot be halted all together due to COVID-19 or global adversity which begs the question of how to approach effective integral human development in an ever-changing global environment. New solutions are often driven by unavoidable barriers or set-backs, and we often see impressive innovations in times of crisis. In this case, flexibility, adaptability and resilience are key in moving forward and working towards the Sustainable Development Goals. There is a contagious energy as new realms of communication and collaboration provide glimmers of hope for progress in international development. In a time with added fear, isolation and global strife, social connectedness is crucial for human empathy and solidarity. From the bottom up, integration and accompaniment must be fueled by a commitment to innovation as the only way forward.
In light of COVID-19, this year we will be inviting students from the University of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s and Holy Cross to present in person should they feel comfortable. All other undergraduate students will be invited to present virtually via Zoom.
Annie Foley - Conference Cochair
Annie is a junior from Wilmette, IL studying Anthropology and Global Affairs with a concentration in International Development Studies. She is especially interested in studying the intersection of religion and health and has done so extensively throughout her time at Notre Dame. As a first year, Annie received a grant from the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement to study how women’s experiences of antenatal care differ based on their religious affiliation in Pune, India. She has continued to study religion as a social force in South and Central Asia through the Kroc Institute’s Madrasa Discourses program. Separately, Annie works with Dr. Tracy Kijewsiki-Correa analyzing the role of religious belief in post-disaster structural resiliency as a Kellogg International Scholar. In her free time, Annie loves to run and be outdoors. She hopes to combine her interests into a career in public service advocating for greater integration of peace and development initiatives in U.S. foreign policy. Annie cannot wait to get started on this work of translating research into advocacy through HDC 2021!
Emily Meara - Conference Cochair
Emily is a rising senior from Boston, MA majoring in Spanish and Pre-Health, interested in attending medical school in the future. She is especially passionate about languages, health care delivery and the social determinants of health. She spent a summer in rural Chiapas, Mexico with Compañeros en Salud working to help transform the local hospital to a district level hospital with surgical capability. She also performs research with Professor Steve Reifenberg through the Kellogg International Scholars Program on the concept of accompaniment and its nuanced meaning in various languages. She also studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico where she stayed with an incredible host family, shadowed in the public hospital and learned to surf! Outside of school, she loves to run, travel and spend time with friends. She is so excited to be a part of HDC 2021 and is looking forward to working with all of you.
Stella Cho, Logistics Co-chair:
Stella Eunseo Cho is a junior and Stamps Scholar majoring in Neuroscience and Spanish, with a minor in the Glynn Family Honors Program. She grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles in sunny Southern California, and did not understand (or fully appreciate!) the four seasons before coming to South Bend. This year, she's been given the opportunity to serve as the Human Development Conference Logistics Committee Co-Chair, and on campus, she is also involved in the Notre Dame Folk Choir, Asian American Association leadership board, and undergraduate research for Dr. Cody Smith's zebrafish lab. Outside of campus, she dedicates herself to volunteering at the local Elkhart General Hospital and Cardinal Nursing Home. In her free time, she enjoys writing music, reading, trying new foods, traveling, and spending quality time with friends!
Meghan Howat, Liaisons Co-chair:
Meghan Howat is a senior Economics and Spanish student from Joliet, Illinois. This past summer, she worked as a research assistant in the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program in Washington, DC, and she is continuing research in the region this year at the Keough School of Global Affairs, looking at taxation in developing economies. Meghan presented a photograph taken during her time studying in Santiago, Chile in Fall 2019 at last year’s HDC and is ecstatic to be back working with the conference this year!
Isabelle Lukau, Photo Contest Co-chair:
Isabelle Lukau is a junior from Phoenix , Arizona studying Biochemistry with a minor in International Development Studies. She is a member of the Kellogg International Scholar’s Program, Balfour Hesburgh Scholars program and the Fighting Irish Scholars Program. Through the International Scholar’s program, Isabelle worked with Professor Mariana Candido on research about Benguela, Angola while under Portuguese colonial rule. She now works with Professor Kay on research about making healthcare more accessible to underserved and rural areas. Isabelle’s primary research interest is global health as it relates to the African Diaspora.
Trevor Lwere: Abstracts Co-chair:
Trevor is a junior from Kampala, Uganda. He is an Economics major with a supplementary major in Global Affairs (African Studies) and a minor in Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE). Trevor is also a graduate of the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, a Glynn family Honors scholar, and a member of the Kellogg International Scholars Program (ISP). As a member of ISP, Trevor works with Professor Jaimie Bleck on research about Youth & Politics in the Sahel region of Africa. He has conducted independent research in South Africa where he studied the evolving relationship between youth and political parties. He has also done independent research on the effect of market structure on the farm gate prices of coffee in Kenya and Uganda. As Abstracts Committee Co-chair, Trevor hopes to contribute to the creation of intellectually rigorous, meaningfully engaging and richly diverse content for the conference that will challenge conference participants to develop new conceptions of human development that build on past progress and launch the stage for a new, innovative and imaginative future in pursuit of dignity for all.
María Luisa Paúl, Marketing Co-chair:
María Luisa is a senior majoring in Political Science and Economics, with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Hailing from Venezuela, she witnessed the unfolding of her country’s political, economic and social crisis. This experience inspired María Luisa to understand the mechanisms of her country’s democratic erosion — a passion she was able to pursue through the Kellogg Institute’s International Scholars Program, where she assists Professor Michael Coppedge in investigating Venezuela’s efforts to export the Bolivarian model throughout Latin America. For the past two consecutive summers, María Luisa has worked at the Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald as a newsroom intern. This summer, she received second place in the Florida Society of News Editors’ 2020 Journalism Contest in the News Reporting (Spanish Language) category for “La nueva y peligrosa ruta de los emigrantes venezolanos,” an enterprise story about Venezuelan asylum seekers at the United States-Mexico border. After graduation, María Luisa hopes to pursue a career in journalism — one that will enable her to shed light on global issues by combining investigative reporting with social media strategies.
Maria Teel, Abstracts Co-chair:
Maria Teel is a junior student at Notre Dame studying Political Science, French, and International Development Studies. On campus, she conducts education research in the International Education Research Lab and supports development projects as a program assistant at the Pulte Institute for Global Development. She also has experience in social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship consulting through summer internships with the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders and the South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program. Her primary area of research interest is education. She is currently in the early stages of planning a research project studying perceptions of language of instruction in Francophone West Africa, which she will conduct in Summer 2021.
Ana Tisa, Liaisons Co-chair:
Ana is a junior from Jacksonville, Florida studying Psychology and Global Affairs with a concentration in Peace Studies. She is interested in women's empowerment and the power of group healing within her own community and Latin American countries. This summer she had planned to intern with a Guatemalan psychosocial organization that offers mental health care services to Indigenous women. Although her travel plans were cancelled, she still helped the organization build a website and newsletter (she is also a Digital Marketing minor!). Ana is also a research assistant in an adolescent development lab where she is interested in researching body image and self-compassion in women and teens. Outside of school, she loves being involved with her dorm's hall council, practicing yoga, and hanging out with friends. She is so excited to be joining the incredible HDC committee this year!
Mary Treacy, Logistics Co-chair:
Mary Treacy is a senior Economics and Applied Mathematics major and a member of the Sorin Scholars program from Rogers, Arkansas. Despite never traveling outside of the US before Notre Dame, she has completed internships in Taiwan, Armenia, and Japan throughout her undergraduate career and studying abroad in Spain. These experiences sparked her interest in global affairs, and research assistant work with multiple economics professors and an internship with the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative solidified her passion for human development. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in economics and a career in economic development while hopefully continuing to explore the world. Her diversity of interests and activities on campus also include ND Football Recruiting, She’s the First, Club Running, and Model UN.
Call for Papers
The Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, announce the 13th annual Human Development Conference.
For thirteen years, the Human Development Conference has provided a forum for undergraduate students from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines who are passionate about development to engage in dialogue about development research.
We are excited to announce the Call for Papers for the 2021 Human Development Conference (HDC). This year’s conference will be held in a hybrid format between February 26-27, 2021 at the University of Notre Dame under the theme “The Future is Now: Innovative Responses to Global Adversity.” We hope to invite Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross College students to present in person, and invite presenters from other universities to present virtually due to travel restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conference provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to display their development-related research and engage with other students, faculty, and professionals as they explore human development themes. We believe that the global pandemic has only expanded opportunities for cross-cultural engagement with the proliferation of virtual communication platforms. Thus, all students not from the tri-college community will be asked to present their research via Zoom on the day of the conference.
Conference participants will be encouraged to highlight the need for increased partnerships among all stakeholders engaged in human development and will be chosen to share global research from their time as an undergraduate student on topics such as:
To apply to present at the 2021 HDC, please submit a 250-word abstract (short summary) of your research. The HDC is open to presentations on research conducted virtually or in-person. Guidelines and tips for writing abstracts are available on the HDC website. All abstracts must be submitted by Friday, November 13th, 2020 at 11:59pm. To submit an abstract, please click here.
We hope that you will consider joining us by submitting an abstract!
A good abstract that will be considered for the 2021 Human Development Conference does each of the following:
Briefly introduces the reader to the topic by providing relevant background information on global research performed in-person or virtually
Clearly expresses the research question that was asked
Provides concrete details about the methodology used (including where the study was conducted, how many participants were involved, recruitment method, and type of data analysis)
- Presents research findings that answer the proposed question
Abstracts must be no more than 250 words long. Sample abstracts that have been accepted to previous Human Development Conferences are provided below:
Sample Abstract 1
Sub-saharan Africa currently bears 24% of the global disease burden, yet is home to just 3% of the global health workforce (Anyangwe 2007). Despite this crippling disease burden, nearly 45% of graduating physicians in Uganda plan to emigrate upon graduation (Kizito 2015). Medical brain drain refers to this human resource crisis that plagues the healthcare systems of many developing countries, where newly graduated physicians choose to leave the country after receiving their formal medical education. For over a decade, public health leaders have attempted to meet this critical human resource shortage through an increase in the availability and efficacy of medical education (Akuffo 2014). Through in-depth interviews with over 40 medical students at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, my research attempts to uncover the complex push and pull factors that affect the emigration decisions of Ugandan medical students. While past research points to low pay and high overburden on health professionals as the impetus of the brain drain, my project identifies sociocultural factors that influence emigration like social ties, national pride and shame, socioeconomic background, as well as lived experience in the health system. These results provide tangible recommendations for public sector managers and policy makers in Uganda to help curb brain drain in their health system.
Sample Abstract 2
Although the Ministry of Health recommends yearly cervical screening through Pap tests, Nicaragua has one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rates in Latin America due to pervasive barriers that women face in accessing healthcare. One aim of this study was to explore strategies to mitigate these barriers in culturally appropriate and feasible ways, including primary prevention and secondary prevention through Human Papillomavirus (HPV) self-collection. HPV self-collection is an innovative and empirically based strategy shown to increase cervical cancer screening for women in lower resourced settings. Utilizing a collection brush, women can collect their sample in a setting of their choice and send the sample to get tested. We partnered with the Ministry of Health, a local human rights NGO and interprofessional collaboration in Bluefields (the largest city on the Caribbean Coast) to conduct a community-based needs assessment, key informant interviews (n=12), focus groups (n=25) and a systematic environmental scan, all guided by the socio-ecological model. We audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim all data. We analyzed descriptive statistics and through thematic analysis, we analysed qualitative data. According to our findings, the main barriers were: cultural obstacles, machismo being the main issue, misconceptions about prevention, and a lack of systematic and comprehensive sexual health education. If rolled-out under specific circumstances, HPV self-collection could increase access to cervical cancer screening for women in Bluefields and the surrounding rural areas by overcoming these barriers, thus empowering women to take agency over their health. More research is needed to pilot this intervention.
Sample Abstract 3
Dubbed as the worst country to be disabled by the British Broadcasting Corporation, 95% of people in Ghana have no access to rehabilitative services (Tinney 11-12). Without a systemic chronic disease policy, organizations and researchers have paid little attention to study amputees and invest in rehabilitative care despite their unprecedented growth. Although there are clear financial, logistical, and social barriers to receiving care, it is unclear what factors impact an amputee’s decision to be treated or whether a prosthesis is desired in the first place. The study aims to research the ability, choice, and desire to pursue prosthetic services from the viewpoint of amputees. Between July and August 2016, data was collected through 24 interviews with healthcare providers, amputees, and prosthesis-users in the Cape Coast and Accra region. Ethnographic research methods were used to analyzed key distribution and health facilities which found that (1) rehabilitative facilities in Ghana for prosthesis are severely under-resourced due to (2) the lack of priority funding in rehabilitative services. (3) The inability to access is compounded by the lack of information on prosthesis centers and their sparse distribution, and (4) in addition to financial barriers, social stigma and isolation may play a larger part in the amputee’s decision-making process. This study makes recommendations to healthcare organizations to address the plight of amputees in Ghana. As the number of amputees rise worldwide, a targeted approach in addressing the needs of amputees is invaluable for their reintegration into society and to address weaknesses within current healthcare systems.
Sample Abstract 4
This study evaluated the impact and technical progress of the Sustainable COmprehensive REsponses (SCORE) for vulnerable children and their families’ project, as implemented by St. Francis Health Care Services (STFHCS), in the Nyenga and Wakisi Sub Counties during its original 5-year tenure. This study was initiated on June 6th, 2016 and was fully completed on July 22nd, 2016 with the submission of the final report. The motivation for this study was the need to identify the best practices and capacity gaps of the SCORE project in order to inform the project implementation of STFHCS and the SCORE project implementation for the 2 year extension. The data collection methods used in this study included home visits, vulnerability assessment tool review, project report review, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. Generally, the SCORE project has had a positive impact in reducing the vulnerability of beneficiaries in Nyenga and Wakisi Sub Counties. With the data collection methods, it was found that the economic strengthening (SCORE objective 1) activities were the most appreciated and praised by the beneficiaries. However, it was also the area of least reduced vulnerability. The area that saw the greatest reduction in beneficiary vulnerability was food security (SCORE objective 2). This success was attributed to the nutrition dialogues and urban horticulture trainings. The activities that were ineffective and/or in need of correction included the apprenticeships, bank linkages, farmer field schools, child friendly schools, and community skills trainings.
This year, a new addition to the 2021 Human Development Conference will be a series called the TedxHDC Talks that will premiere Friday, February 26th. These will be a series of engaging under ten-minute presentations from a variety of international and domestic speakers regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their area of work. The current pandemic is one that has touched the lives of all people and in turn has impacted the way individuals are continuing work in their field. These mini-videos will then be compiled to create a video series that provides a more comprehensive understanding of not only how COVID-19 has changed various fields of work but also how these individuals are preparing for the “new normal.”
More information on TedxHDC Talks speakers to come shortly...
Call for Visual Media
We are excited to announce the Call for Visual Media for the 2021 Human Development Conference (HDC)! This year’s conference will be held in hybrid format between February 26 - 27 2021 under the theme; “The Future Is Now: Innovative Responses to Global Adversity.” The conference provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to present their development-related research and engage with other students, faculty, and professionals as they explore human development themes.
We invite students to submit photos and videos to be displayed in an online exhibition during and after the conference. We believe that visual media not only prompts conversation and storytelling but also contributes a human lens to complex issues of development.
All accepted submissions will be published for viewing on the Human Development Conference website. Select photos may be printed and displayed in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame, as well.
Visual Media Requirements: To have a photo or video be considered as a display at the 2021 HDC, you may submit up to 2 pieces total. For each piece please include:
- Location of production
- Approximate date of photo or video
- A paragraph-long description of the work. We want to hear about the people, the place and how the photo or process of making the video affected your understanding of the context in which it was taken. If you are submitting a photo to the open house, please highlight the specific points that you would discuss during the open house.
- The HDC Visual Media Committee will review and select finalists to be viewed in the gallery during the HDC. All final photos will be assessed by University photography experts, who will select a winner to receive special recognition at the conference.
*Please keep the following considerations in mind when submitting your photos or videos:
- All submissions MUST have been created by the individual submitting the photo
- Whether the people in the photo or video would want to see their likeness displayed as it is in the photo. Photos or videos of children or individuals who were unable to consent to have their photo taken should not be submitted
- Consider photos and videos carefully and ensure that you do not submit a photo that might negatively impact a person’s safety or reputation
All visual media must be submitted by November 13th 2020, at 11:59 pm. To submit a piece, please fill out this survey.
For additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org questions, or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
The Rev. Ernest J. Bartell, CSC, Prize for Undergraduate Research on Poverty and Development is conferred annually at the University of Notre Dame's Human Development Conference. Two $1,000 prizes recognize outstanding undergraduate student research on poverty and development. Each year one prize will be given to a student at the University of Notre Dame and one to a student from another university.
Undergraduate students invited to present at the 2021 Human Development Conference are eligible to apply for this award. Information regarding how to apply is included in the conference invitation. Students who wish to be considered must apply by Monday, January 18, 2021. Additional information and/or an interview may be required. Finalists will be notified by February 1.
Student research should address a specific aspect of poverty and development, whether in the United States or abroad. Research may be submitted from any field of study, including the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Students are encouraged to conduct original research and to consider programs and policies that could help reduce poverty. A faculty committee will determine the award recipients, and prizes will be conferred during the Human Development Conference, February 26-27, 2021.
Development on the Move: Global Strategies Informed by Local Contexts
February 21-22, 2020
Development on the Move not only addresses the need to understand and address issues from a global perspective but also calls each of us to action. This conference will emphasize shifts in both personal and collective action, focus on developing expertise in global issues, and spark conversations that lead to change.
Engaging with Empathy: A Preferential Option for the Poor in Development
February 22-23, 2019
In order to ensure that past historic injustices are not repeated and to promote the human dignity of all individuals, it is necessary to engage with empathy and to view research, problems, and policies from the perspective of those most affected by development challenges.
Decades of Development: Contextualizing the Past, Envisioning the Future
February 23-24, 2018
Human-centered approaches to development requires trust, compassion, and awareness in order to place the individual at the center of development.
Development with Dignity: A Human-Centered Approach to Progress
February 24–25, 2017
In order to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, the global community needs to shift from theory to practice – from policy to individuals – refocusing its efforts by placing humans at the center of the sustainable development agenda. Creating solutions to critical issues that afflict the world’s populations today requires not only a shift in scale but the recognition and continual affirmation that the dignity of peoples on all sides of the path to progress must be the central focus of development.
Re-Imagining Development: Pursuing Good in a Changing World
February 26–27, 2016
The conference focused on the transformative power of new ideas: how development paradigms that emphasize agency, inclusivity, and dignity can redefine success and challenge traditional methods in development. As the new Sustainable Development Goals illustrated, this evolution in development calls upon countries and citizens in both the developing and developed worlds to work together to overcome our shared challenges and ensure our interconnected prosperity.
Envision, Enact, Evaluate: Sustaining Momentum in Development
February 27-28, 2015
Transforming Development: New Actors, Innovative Technologies & Emerging Trends
February 28 – March 1, 2014
The theme of the sixth annual Human Development Conference, "Transforming Development: New Actors, Innovative Technologies & Emerging Trends," was inspired by the idea that development is an evolving process. A widening set of stakeholders and rapidly advancing technologies raise new possibilities for the field. The conference was a chance to reflect on both successes and failures in development, while analyzing opportunities created by these new trends.
In the Field: Cultivating Collaboration and Innovation
February 8-9, 2013
The fifth annual Human Development Conference, “In the Field: Cultivating Collaboration and Innovation,” brought together more than 200 students, faculty members, and development experts from around the world, including keynote address speaker, Sara Sievers, the founding executive director of the Center for Globalization and Development at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Over 70 students presented their own research, representing fieldwork from more than 30 countries. Topics addressed ranged from evaluating the perceptions of trust among Peruvian sexually abused victims to combating cancer in Samoa and implementing organic agricultural certification in India.
Faces Behind the Figures: Visions of Prosperity, Progress, and Human Potential
February 10-11, 2012
The fourth annual HDC, “Faces Behind the Figures: Visions of Prosperity, Progress and Human Potential,” took place during February 2012, culminating in a keynote address given by Not For Sale’s co-founder and executive director Mark Wexler. The conference featured 250 students, faculty and development experts from across the United States and beyond. Eighty-two students presented research on development-related topics conducted in over 35 different countries. Panels addressed topics ranging from food security and agricultural development to post-conflict transformation and the effectiveness of foreign aid.
Unleashing Human Potential: Global Citizens in Pursuit of the Common Good
February 11-12, 2011
The third annual Human Development Conference, “Unleashing Human Potential: Global Citizens in Pursuit of the Common Good,” brought together 73 undergraduate and graduate student-presenters with research experiences in over 30 countries. The Ford Program also welcomed a group of two students and three faculty members from Uganda Martyrs University, the program’s partner university in on-site research and development projects. The two-day conference concluded with a dinner banquet and keynote address given by microfinance specialist David Roodman from the Center for Global Development.
People, Power, and Pragmatism: The Future of Development in Our Changing World
February 26-27, 2010
The second annual Human Development Conference, “People, Power, and Pragmatism: The Future of Development in Our Changing World,” was held in February of 2010. More than doubling in size from the previous year, the conference grew to 80 students with research experiences in 38 different countries. Thirty-eight colleges and universities from across the globe were represented. Ray Chambers, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, spoke on his commitment to the Millennium Promise and Malaria No More. The keynote address was delivered by Joseph Sebarenzi, the former speaker of the Rwandan Parliament, who spoke passionately about his experience as a genocide survivor and his efforts to create reconciliation, peace and development in Rwanda and the world.
Innovation in the Service of Human Dignity: A Human Development Conference
November 7-8, 2008
In November of 2008, the symposium grew into a full conference sponsored by the Ford program and co-sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns and the School for International Training. The program's first annual undergraduate research conference, “Innovation in the Service of Human Dignity” featured graduate and undergraduate student presenters from 29 universities and representing 28 countries of research. The conference drew more than 250 participants, and moderators from around the country also attended the conference to facilitate panel discussions. Peter McPherson, the former head of USAID, delivered the keynote address.
Solidarity in Pursuit of Authentic Human Development
Saturday, February 23, 2008
In 2008, together with the Center for Social Concerns, the Ford Program sponsored a student research symposium entitled “Solidarity in Pursuit of Authentic Human Development.” Twenty-eight students presented at the event, including students from Uganda Martyrs University. Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, delivered the keynote address.