Rethinking Development Seminar Series

Three female panelists in front of a screen

The Rethinking Development Seminar Series is a flagship program of the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) at the Sanford School of Public Policy. Since 2017, DCID has partnered with the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS) to feature speakers with exciting new approaches to development.  The speakers are well-known thinkers and development practitioners from large, emerging economies who will discuss topics from addressing global uncertainties in developing countries, to alternative approaches to planning mega-cities.

Most recently, the series hosted two webinars focusing on Latin and Central America. On February 24, 2021, the virtual event “Crossing the Darien Gap with U.S.-bound Migrants” featured Pulitzer Center-supported journalists Nadja Drost and Bruno Federico, who reported on the journey of migrants crossing the Colombian-Panamanian border through the dangerous jungle of the Darien Gap. The event was hosted by DUCIGS Visiting Research Scholar Piotr Plewa. Dr. Plewa and Duke Sanford's Sarah Bermeo coordinated the next webinar in March 2021, "Violence in El Salvador: Which Way Forward?", which convened regional experts Tiziano Breda (Crisis Group analyst for Central America,) Steven Dudley (co-founder and co-director of InSight Crime,) Kay Andrade-Eekhoff (representative for the Inter-American Foundation,) and Debra L. Gittler (founder and executive director of ConTextos.)

In February 2020, we invited to Duke Haishan Fu, the Director of the World Bank’s Development Data Group, for a discussion about the role and potential of big data for shaping international development programs of the future. In March 2020, an already organized panel led by Cynthia Arnson, Director of the Latin America program at the Wilson Center had to be canceled for COVID-19 restrictions. After switching our activities online, our 2020 programming resumed with the panel “COVID-19 and Migration in the Americas”, a discussion between Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, and DCID Sarah Bermeo. In August 2020, we hosted a discussion about COVID-19 and the recent trends in migration to Mexico with Maureen Meyer (Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights, Washington Office on Latin America, Alejandra Macías Delgadillo (Executive Director, Asylum Access Mexico), and Ramón Marquez (Independent Human Rights Defender, Former Director of and DUCIGS' Piotr Plewa. 

In May 2019, the Duke Center for International Development (DCID), the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS), and the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) convened a diverse group of policy advocates and researchers for a one-day workshop on Central America’s Northern Triangle. Experts explored the underlying causes of recent migration from the region, and policy responses to address the economic and social impacts both in the region and in the United States. 

On November 15-16, 2018, the series hosted the first annual Duke Conference on International Development as part of Duke at Home in the World- an initiative of the Duke Office for Global Affairs. In spring 2018, the series hosted Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first female finance minister of Nigeria and former managing director of the World Bank.  Okonjo-Iweala currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the African Risk Capacity Agency Governing Board.  And, in fall 2017, the series invited Zhongxia Jin. Jin was Executive Director for China at the International Monetary Fund and former Director-General of the Research Institute for the People's Bank of China.

The series is co-organized by the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) at the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS).



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Giovanni Zanalda
(919) 681-8376