Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Low Carbon Energy Development Network (LCEDN) Second International Workshop

The second international workshop of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN), titled Transitions to low carbon energy systems: which pathways to energy access for all?, will take place at the University of Sussex in Brighton in the UK on the 10th and 11th September 2012.

This second LCEDN event is intended to identify and discuss priority questions that need to be answered to meet the UN goal of “Sustainable energy for all”. Reflecting on the outcomes and implications of Rio+20, the workshop will have a particular focus on the extent to which low carbon development can simultaneously address concerns around energy access, poverty reduction, human development and economic growth.

The workshop is international in both its scope and significance and it will be hosted by the STEPS Centre and SPRU - Science & Technology Policy Research and at the University of Sussex, and is supported by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The event will involve participants drawn from across a wide array of academic communities, government departments, private sector organisations and NGOs, as well as a range of countries.

Workshop goals
Intended outcomes include the forging of new south-north partnerships for addressing the research priorities emerging from the workshop and will be designed to address a series of questions, such as:
  • In addition to the technical issues of low carbon energy technologies, what are the challenges to achieving energy access for all?
  • What are the links between energy technologies, energy services, development and poverty reduction?
  • What are the implications for energy access of rapid urbanisation and what can we do as researchers, policy makers and practitioners to ensure the provision of sustainable energy for the urban poor?
  • What financing mechanisms work, and what else needs to be done to make finance work for the poor?
Planned sessions include
  • The development benefits of low carbon energy access: what is the evidence?
  • Transformative energy pathways: the political economy of low carbon energy access
  • Group consultations on the evidence and the challenges
  • Low carbon energy technology transfer, development and poverty reduction
  • Financing sustainable energy for all: what works, and what needs to change?
  • Plenary discussion identifying follow-on workshops, partnerships and research priorities
We are currently in the process of securing a number of excellent speakers and will provide updates on this over the coming weeks. In the meantime, please do save the dates and we hope to see you in Brighton in early September. See the event website for more details and how to register online.

For specific enquiries and for further conference, transport and accommodation details, please contact:
Dr Rob Byrne Research Fellow SPRU and STEPS Centre Freeman Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9QE, UK
E-mail: R.P.Byrne@sussex.ac.uk T: +44 (0)1273 873217

STEPS work on energy and climate change:
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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Video: Pastoralism in Africa - doing things differently

Our new book Pastoralism and Development in Africa explores the booming livestock trade in the Horn of Africa, a region more often associated with conflict and famine.

In this video, two of the authors - Hussein Mahmoud and John Letai - and two editors - Ian Scoones and Jeremy Lind - give their views on pastoralism and development.

Buy the book from Routledge 
More information, reviews, blogs and articles

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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Health markets: Gerry Bloom and David Peters in Nature

Gerry Bloom, STEPS health convenor and David Peters (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) have a comment piece in Nature today, on the challenge of unregulated health markets in the developing world.

"Bringing order to unruly health markets is a major challenge. Yet the problem is largely ignored by governments and international agencies. The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to highlight a shortage of primary health workers as the main barrier to accessing health care in low- and middle-income countries. It neglects the growing presence of drug sellers, rural medical practitioners and other informally trained health-care providers. 

To find better ways to meet the health and welfare needs of the poor, we need to look beyond ideological debates about public and private sectors and improve how these evolving markets operate. This will not be easy, because health markets are complicated and interventions have unpredictable consequences..."

This article comes ahead of the book Transforming Health Markets in Asia and Africa: Improving quality and access for the poor, which will be out in the STEPS Centre's Pathways to Sustainability book series.

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Pastoralism: the hidden story of development in the Horn of Africa

Our new book Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins explores the hidden story of pastoralism in the Horn of Africa. The latest volume in our Pathways to Sustainability book series, it contains 20 chapters on empirical research on the current state of pastoralism; it is edited by Andy Catley, Jeremy Lind and Ian Scoones.

Katherine Homewood is professor of Human Ecology at UCL. She has written a review of the book and has allowed us to reproduce it in full here.

Pastoralism and Development in Africa drives home the tremendous scale and pace of change in northeast African pastoralism. It has its finger spot on the pulse, tracking unfolding events up to the weeks and months before publication, and grounded in authoritative knowledge of general context as well as incisive analysis of social and historical particularities. The subject matter spans resources and production, commercialisation and markets, land and conflict, established and emerging alternative livelihoods. Chapters range from overviews by internationally renowned ‘elder statesmen’ social scientists (African and other), through to new voices from a rising generation of young African researchers and development practitioners, ably expounding the issues facing the pastoralist societies from which they themselves come, within which and for which they work.
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