#Stepforward: Panellists debate concept of ‘human capital’ in development

#Stepforward: Panellists debate concept of ‘human capital’ in development

20/11/2014 10:56:00

Tuesday 2 December 2014 
15.00 to 18.30 
Residence Palace – Polak Room, 155, Rue de la Loi - 1040 Brussels

Register here

Brussels, Nov 20: Research conducted by VSO and the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) concludes that ‘human-capital’ is a central ingredient to determining whether development interventions are effective and sustainable. A panel of development experts and volunteers meeting in Brussels on December 2nd will dissect this concept and ask how people-centred approaches can be better integrated in the future vision of development.

“It is clear to me that people around the world want greater influence on the decisions that affect their lives. The poorest countries and communities don’t want to be told what is best for them. They want to be active partners in their own development. Building up this so-called ‘human capital’ is about enabling people and their communities to do just that by bringing people together to work in ways that strengthen their ability to improve the quality of their own lives. ” said Jim Emerson, CEO of VSO.

The panel comprises Jim Emerson, VSO Chief Executive, Patta Scott-Villiers, Research Fellow at IDS, Pauline Kibe, an international volunteer from Kenya who worked with a local HIV/AIDS-focused partner organisation in Malawi, Līga Andersone, Counsellor, Permanent Representation of the Public of Latvia to the EU, and Julia Stewart-David, Deputy Head of Unit A3, DG ECHO. The moderator is Shirin Wheeler, former BBC news journalist and member of the European Commission Spokesperson Service.

The discussion will be followed by a photo exhibition showcasing the inspiring work of EU Aid volunteers in India and the Philippines, by celebrated photographers Anubhav Das and Peter Caton.

This debate coincides with a week of global activities marking International Volunteer Day. VSO is calling on people the world over to #StepForward in whatever way they can to help end poverty and inequality.

For further information on the event or to book an interview contact: 
Katie Davey Dalsgaard, EU Partnership Manager) Tel: +32 (0) 491228719katie.daveydalsgaard@vso.org.uk

Editor's notes

Brussels panel debate speakers Dec 2nd 2014

Jim Emerson – VSO Chief Executive

Jim Emerson is the Chief Executive of VSO International, an international development organisation that brings people together to share skills & knowledge and create sustainable change. Prior to this appointment, as the inaugural Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance, Jim led a network of twelve child development organizations, working in 58 countries and reaching out to more than 15 million children. Previously, Jim had a long career with Plan International, including roles as CEO, CFO, COO, Deputy CEO, and as leader of Plan’s emergency mission in Haiti. He has lived and worked in developing countries for over 35 years and has extensive experience at global, regional, national and community levels across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Jim currently sits on the Finance Committee of the Board of the International Civil Society Centre, and has previously sat on various governance bodies including as Chair of the Hope for African Children Initiative, the International Counsel on Social Welfare, and People in Aid.

Pauline Kibe – Institutional Capacity Building Volunteer

Pauline Kibe has for the past seven years worked as development practitioner building the capacities of local partners and communities in the area of Health and HIV/AIDS related programming. She has worked with I Choose Life Africa (ICL) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS-Kenya) and has extensive expertise in Community health based programming in areas related to HIV and AIDS, Reproductive Health/Family planning, maternal and neonatal child health. Pauline has also worked for three years as a skilled volunteer with VSO Malawi, sharing knowledge and transferring skills as a HIV/AIDS Program Officer. During her VSO experience, she was placed with The Baptist Convention of Malawi (BACOMA), a local faith-based NGO and a strategic partner for VSO that works on strengthening community responses to HIV&AIDS across Malawi. Pauline had the responsibility to capacity build BACOMA secretariat and its 10,000 member churches to effectively manage projects and grants, while providing additional support in institutional development and resource mobilization.

Liga Andersone, Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Latvia to the EU

Liga Andersone, Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Latvia to EU, joined the Latvian MFA in 1994. She has held a variety of positions at the headquarters in Riga dealing with bilateral relations the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries and human rights issues and Latvian diplomatic mission abroad : Russia and Finland. Ms Andersone has also been serving as the Political Adviser to the EU Special Representative for Central Asia and was working for the EEAS covering regional cooperation and security issues with Central Asian countries. She holds Master degree in political science and her major fields of interest are political history of Eastern Europe and political systems in transition to democracy.

Julia Stewart-David, Deputy Head of Unit A3, DG ECHO

Julia Stewart-David has worked in the European Commission's Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) since 2006, mainly on the international humanitarian system and good donorship. Julia is currently in charge of a range of evidence-based issues for DH ECHO, as Deputy0Head of the Unit A3, which covers Disaster Risk Management, Evidence, Evaluation and the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. She leads the ECHO tas force on the World Humanitarian Summit theme of 'Transformation through Innovation'. Julia is active in the EU's community of practice of 'Particpatory Leadership' (Art of Hosting). Outside of paid work, she is committed to voluntarism as an active part of community life, and cycling for sustainable urban mobility.

Patta Scott-Villiers – IDS Research Fellow

Patta Scott-Villiers is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton (UK), with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and expertise in the areas of Conflict, Violence and Development, Participatory Methodologies in Development and Power, Participation and Politics. Her most recent research project focuses on people’s reaction to political marginalization in Eastern Africa and its repercussions at the local, national and international level. Among others, she contributes to the IDS-led research project “Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency” (PVCA), which aims at addressing the need to shift from a state-focused to a more citizen-centred perspective on contexts of fragility in developing countries. Patta has worked for 25 years on issues related to people’s participation and power, primarily in the Horn and East Africa, and with leading development organizations such as ActionAid, DFID and UNICEF.

Shirin Wheeler (moderator) – Journalist

Shirin Wheeler started her career in the BBC and became well known as a Brussels Correspondent and the anchor for more than 10 years of the popular The Record: Europe chat show, presented weekly from Brussels and Strasbourg on BBC World, BBC News and BBC Parliament TV channels. In 2008, Shirin Wheeler won the first European Parliament Prize for Journalism (TV section) for the programme's significant contribution to the better understanding of major EU issues. Before coming to Brussels, Shirin worked with the BBC in London as Health Correspondent. She was awarded the BT Regional reporter of the year for covering health issues in the South East of England and in particular for her coverage of mental health issues. In recent years Shirin has been a member of the European Commission Spokesperson Service and was the spokesperson for EU Regional and Urban policy.