Delivering Inclusive and Sustainable Development

SAPRIDelivering Inclusive and Sustainable Development
9th and 10th April 2012
Taj Mahal Hotel
Mansingh Road, New Delhi

Inclusive Development: The Challenge of Combating Jobless Growth

Prof. Bibek Debroy 

Prof. Bibek Debroy

The Theme assigned to me is the phenomenon of jobless growth. I live in India and I work in India. Therefore, my familiarity is with issues that are Indian, However, some of the remarks that I will make probably have relevance also in several countries of the South Asian Region, though not all of them, because South Asia itself is a slightly heterogeneous group.

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Global/European Crises:Implications for South Asia

Dr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy

Dr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy

The Theme assigned to me is the phenomenon of jobless growth. I live in India and I work in India. Therefore, my familiarity is with issues that are Indian, However, some of the remarks that I will make probably have relevance also in several countries of the South Asian Region, though not all of them, because South Asia itself is a slightly heterogeneous group.

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State and Societal Failure to Provide Equal Access to Growth and Employment: The Challenge of Economic Inclusiveness

Dr.Shahid Kardar

Shahid Kardar

As already argued in the other paper, the structural features of Pakistan’s economy – the structures that influence the functioning of markets and the access to resources, the pattern of ownership of productive assets, the role of state institutions that affects access to scarce public goods and services, and, the policies embedded in the adjustment lending by the multilateral agencies- have impeded the potential of the growth process to reduce high levels of poverty.

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The Role of Human Development in Economic Transformation – Lessons from Mauritius

President Cassam Uteem


Let me tell you what I understand by sustainable development. Too often we tend to conceive development entirely in terms of economic growth. And yet, development should in no way be confused with economic growth although they are inextricably connected. Development transcends the narrow concept of a rise in GDP or, per capita income.

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Delivering Basic Services: The Unfinished Agenda for South Asia

Dr. Shekhar Shah

Shekhar Shah

Having lived and worked in Sri Lanka for many years, it is really wonderful to see a Sri Lankan Institute making its presence felt in Delhi and I hope that this will, as Pratap Mehta said in the morning, lead to a trend where we actually do show up institutionally, not individually, as people representing institutions in each other’s Capitals.

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Resting on our laurels: Human Development, Sri Lanka’s Successes and Challenges

Ms. Priyanthi Fernando

Ms. Priyanthi Fernando

Sri Lanka has some impressive human development indicators compared to its South Asian neighbours. In the UNDP’s Human Development Ranking, Sri Lanka is ranked 97th, higher than India (134th) or Pakistan, or Bangladesh (145th and 146th) or Nepal (157th) (UNDP, 2011).

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Group Inequalities in Post – Conflict Societies

Dr. Rajesh Venugopal

Dr. Rajesh Venugopal

What kinds of economic policies will help sustain a peace process and promote longer-tem stability and reconciliation in deeply divided post-conflict societies? Have post-conflict policies designed by aid agencies and national governments been sensitive to the issue of horizontal inequalities or group-based ethnic and regional differences, and what has been their impact?

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Religion and Languages – Challenges or Opportunities for Inclusive Societies

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

The topic that has been assigned to me is “Language & Religion”. A lot of fire and brimstone could accompany any presentation on this topic. I shall try to desist from that and make some general comments on the issue of language and religion and relate them specifically to the topic of ‘Inclusive & Sustainable Development’.

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Challenging the Injustice of Poverty: Agendas for Inclusive Development in South Asia

Prof. Rehman Sobhan

Prof. Rehman Sobhan

The global discourse on poverty has moved on from the more basic tasks of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the greater challenge of making development more inclusive. Inclusive growth/ development is the new buzz word of the international development community and is also part of the policy agenda of many governments, particularly in South Asia.

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Joining the Dots – Making the Link Between Social Inclusion and Economic Progress

Steve Killelea

Steve Killelea

It is a pleasure talk about the Institute for Economics and Peace, the global think tank which has offices in Sydney, New York and Washington DC. The Institute was established to understand the intersection between business, peace, and economics with a special emphasis on how to measure peace and violence. Developing conceptual frameworks to understand the way in which peace operates is also a priority.

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Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict:Review of CRISE Findings

Prof. Frances Stewart

Prof. Frances Stewart

Violent conflict within countries is a major problem in the world today, although there has been some decline since 1990 (Figure 1). Such conflicts are often fought along ethnic or religious lines, especially since the end of the Cold War when the identity basis of conflicts became more explicit. These conflicts are a major cause of underdevelopment and poverty and those concerned with promoting development must therefore give urgent priority to conflict prevention.

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Polarization in Pakistan: The Structural Blowback

Dr. Shahid Kardar

Shahid Kardar

Pakistan has one of the worst social indicators among even developing countries. This, combined with an elite that is not willing to give up the slightest of privileges to maintain its hold over the key social and economic instruments of power, has resulted in the creation of a highly unjust social order. On the one hand, disparities of incomes and assets continued to widen and on the other hand the social and economic structures have failed to provide adequate, let alone equal, opportunities for the less affluent segments of the population to either participate or gain meaningfully from the process of growth and the improvements in living standards and prospects for employment.

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Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict

Lord Meghnad Desai

Lord Meghnad Desai

South Asia has been the theatre of many violent horizontal conflicts. Some of these conflicts have been in the public domain and murderously so. But there are others which are subterranean yet persistent. The public conflicts are inter-communal while the quiet ones are personal/familial, intra-communal but universal across all communities. The principal of these latter types are gender conflicts.

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Building Equality In The Process of Democratic Transition

His Excellency Alberto Lacalle

Alberto Lacalle

Thank you every one thank you all madam Kumaratunga and your organization Center for policy Research and the friends colleagues of the Club de Madrid Mind you, I was elected and served as President ages ago, 22 years, 22 years and this time of the world. And facts have happened, things have happened in the world is very very far away, So I am afraid some of the parts of the experience I will give you is a historical in the real sense, experience. And I also must thank Clem (Dr. Clem McCartney) for his suggestions.

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Discordant Voices: The Liberal Dilemma in Responding to  Illiberal Voices

His Excellency Andres Pastrana Agango Former President of Colombia

Pastrana Agango

I am former President of Colombia elected in 1998 and my term was only till 2002. At that time we do not have presidential re-elections in the country. Now we have changed the constitution and there is the possibility for the President to be re-elected. As you will know Colombia is a country with a 45 million population and the fourth largest country in South America. We hope that through the efforts that we have made, we really have what we are talking to you about, an Inclusive and Sustainable Society, and Development in my country.

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Inclusive Growth through Inclusive Governance

Mani Shankar Aiyar

Shankar Aiyar

It is curious but true that although from the time of Mahatma Gandhi leading the struggle for Independence to the present day there has been extensive recognition in India of the imperative of effective Panchayat Raj (local self-government) for both deepening India’s democracy and making its development processes “inclusive”, that is, ensuring that the people at large, and especially the poor, are tangibly benefitted by the growth process. The actual progress in securing this goal has been fitful, uncertain and not sustained.

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“Nature of the State & its Role in Building Equitable & Inclusive Societies”

Dr. Ram Manikkalingam

Dr. Ram Manikkalingam

Thank you Pratap Bhanu Mehta from CPR and Carlos Westendorp of Club de Madrid and President Kumaratunga for inviting me here. I think I am here because I used to have the privilege and the pain of advising President Kumaratunga when we were working on the peace process with the Tamil Tigers. And when she makes an offer I could not really refuse. So it is a pleasure and a privilege to participate in this seminar.

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Polarization to Engagement – Achieving Partnership

Prof. Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Pratap Bhanu Mehta

A couple of preliminary remarks, number one, I think one of the good things of this session has been that it has put on the table very clearly something that everybody knows about: i.e. democracy. But nobody admits that democracy is an inherently conservative force. That is one of the reasons why elites always loved this. I mean it is a self-consciously antirevolutionary, anti-structural change force.

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Education and Post-Colonial State Building : Need for a New Perspective

Prof. Gamini Keerawella

Prof. Gamini Keerawella

Education as a catalyst for change is widely accepted and given great importance in the contemporary political discourse relating to national integration. It has often been emphasized that education builds mutual respect, tolerance and trust, and, promotes social cohesion. In addition to the promotion of these ‘threshold values’ of, and for, a civilized society, it is often argued that education can develop necessary skills for conflict prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

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Negotiating a Shared Society :  The Critical Importance of Emotions

Daniel L. Shapiro, Ph.D.

Daniel L. Shapiro, Ph.D

While globalization enchants with its promise of increased interconnectivity and opportunity, that promise has not been fulfilled. To be sure, pockets of the world have benefited from globalization. But a large proportion of the world –in a vast number of societies–remains marginalized, deprived of access to opportunities for advancement.

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‘Be The Change’ – SAPRI’s Seminar on Social Business

9th December 2011

In keeping with its vision of promoting dialogue among policy makers, SAPRI held the initial dialogue under the theme ‘Be the Change’, a Seminar on Social Business, on 9th December 2011 in Colombo. The keynote speaker was economist and Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus who spoke on his new concept on ‘Social Business’ which was gathering momentum across the world.

The Chair of the South Asia Policy and Research Institute, Mme Chandrika Kumaratunga in her opening remarks said “the Vision of SAPRI is to gather together thinkers from South Asia and elsewhere to study the major challenges our region faces today, make policy recommendations, promote dialogue about these among policy makers from the public and private sectors, as well as leaders of non-governmental organizations and academics”.

She further said, “The most urgent challenge we in South Asia face today, is to eliminate poverty while undertaking equitable development that would include all sectors of society. The exclusion of some communities from an equitable share of the benefits of prosperity causes inequalities in every sphere. Poverty, Injustice and their relationship to conflict may be measured by the difference in opportunity structures for the excluded groups”.

Ms Kumaratunga said that the private sector must contribute to the task of poverty alleviation and assist the State sector by addressing poverty via their CSR programmes.

The event focused on ‘The role of the corporate sector and non- governmental agencies in poverty alleviation’.

Ms Alka Talwar, Head of Community Development of Tata Chemicals spoke on some of Tata’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. The seminar was chaired by senior Indian economist Dr Shankar Acharya, a member of the Board of Directors of SAPRI and Honorary Professor at the ICRIER. Leading Sri Lankan industrialists participated in the seminar and contributed to the discussion that followed the presentations.

Conference on ‘Inclusive Development’ in New Delhi

9th – 10th April 2012

SAPRI organised a two day conference on ‘Delivering Inclusive and Sustainable Development’ on 9- 10 April 2012, in New Delhi, in collaboration with the Centre for Policy Research(CPR) in New Delhi and Club de Madrid.

Former Heads of Government and academics from the region and beyond participated in the symposium and included former President Andrés Pastrana Arango of Colombia, President Cassam Uteem of Mauritius and President Luis Alberto Lacalle of Uruguay.

The former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga delivering the inaugural address stated that although most South Asian economies have benefited from accelerated growth and development ‘hundreds of millions of our citizens have been left behind, continuing to live under conditions of extreme poverty and are even becoming poorer’.

She said that economic development was only one part of the solution, therefore a holistic plan of action encompassing socio-political aspects needed to be adopted. “History demonstrates that economic deprivation and inequality, social differentiation and unfulfilled political aspirations invariably lead to dissent and even violent conflict” she added.

Madame Kumaratunga further said, “When all citizens are guaranteed equal rights and their separate identities respected and given free expression, they become a productive, vibrant part of the State, celebrating the richness of its diversity, while helping to build a united, strong and stable country”.

The participants made presentations and joined in the panel discussions under the themes Recent Global Developments: Impact on South Asia; Education and Health Services for All; Identity and Exclusion; Sustainable Development, Identity and Inclusion; Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict; The State and Inclusivity; Education-Key to Promote Respect for Diversity.

The panellists and moderators included Lord Meghnad Desai – UK, Shri. Mani Shankar Aiyar –India Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia-India, Dr. Kamal Hossain –Bangladesh, Dr.Indrajit Coomaraswamy –Sri Lanka, Dr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy-India, Prof. Frances Stewart – Oxford, Dr Shahid Kardar – Pakistan, Prof. Rehman Sobhan –Bangladesh and Dr. Daniel Shapiro- Harvard.

Roundtable Discussion on Inclusive Development & Growth

August 2012

Continuing the focus on the theme “Inclusive Development & Growth”, SAPRI hosted a roundtable discussion in August 2012 in Colombo, with the objective of creating awareness of the necessity for inclusivity in the process of development and growth.

Leading the discussion were the panellists Lord Meghnad Desai, former Director of Studies at the London School of Economics & Labour Party member of the House of Lords; Dr. Shankar Acharya – former Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian Govt. and Honorary Professor of ICRIER and Dr. Kamal Hossain, Former Minister of Law and of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh & co-author of the Constitution of Bangladesh. Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Former Head of the Economics Unit of the Commonwealth Secretariat moderated the discussion.

The panellists and moderator are all members of the Board of Directors of SAPRI.

The discussion focused on the importance of making development ‘Inclusive’ so as to minimize the adverse consequences of marginalization of segments of society. The speakers emphasised that it was not merely vertical inequalities that needed to be reduced, but also horizontal inequalities based on factors such as religion, language, ethnicity, gender, caste, etc.

Madame Chandrika Kumaratunga, Chair, SAPRI and a distinguished audience of invitees comprising parliamentarians, business leaders, senior public serv ants, academics, civil society members, diplomats and the media participated in the event. The audience had an enthusiastic interaction with the panellists during the Question and Answer session.

“Prospects for Middle Income Sri Lanka: Challenges & Opportunities”- Speech by Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy

July 2013

“Budget deficit dilemma has been the disease for the Sri Lankan economy over the past few decades” said Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, SAPRI Board member and former Director of the Economic Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, at a recent public lecture organized by the South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI) on the state of the Sri Lankan economy.

The lecture on the theme ” Development Prospects for middle-income Sri Lanka: Opportunities and Challenges” and held at the BMICH, Colombo in July 2013 was attended by Members of Parliament, eminent economists, academics and civil society members.

Dr. Coomaraswamy reflected on the many challenges facing Sri Lanka’s post-war economy and in particular alluded to the difficulties faced by successive governments to exercise fiscal discipline. “The overall budget deficit has been often unsustainable and we have had difficulties in managing it in a satisfactory manner. This has had a corrosive effect right through our economic system” he said. The speaker also urged caution in relation to Sri Lanka’s fiscal discipline adding “ Sri Lanka is not yet near the crisis on this matter, but we are in an amber zone and it is time to take precautions”.

Furthermore Dr. Coomaraswamy opined that the extremely low level of unemployment and single digit poverty have not been achieved due to real economic transformation but they are a result of high outward migration and an ever bloating public sector.

“The point I am trying to make is while these numbers are good, they have not been generated due to economic transformation. So the challenge is really out there before the country” he added.

The lecture was followed by an interactive discussion with the audience based on questions and answers.

MAKING SUSTAINABILITY THE NEXT METRIC: The Post 2015 Development Agenda: South Asia Consultation Colombo Hilton Residence| Sri Lanka

6th – 7th November 2013

SAPRI partnered the Centre for Poverty Analysis, and collaborated with the Club de Madrid, as well as the Centre for Policy Dialogue (Bangladesh) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (Pakistan), Practical Action (Sri Lanka)In the above activity held on November 6 -7, 2013.

The experts discussed ways of having the Voice of South Asia heard at the meetings held by the World Bank, the IMF and the UN Agencies to formulate the post-2015 Sustainable Development goals.

SAPRI reiterates the importance of including more women in Sri Lanka’s politics

November 2013

The South Asia Policy & Research Institute (SAPRI) in collabo ration with International Alert Sri Lanka, conducted a workshop in November 2013 titled “Women and Politics in Sri Lanka: Challenges to Meaningful Participation”. The event held in Colombo, focused on discussing and understanding the current context of women and politics in Sri Lanka. Among those present were officials, civil society representatives, women, youth and other experts.

The Chair of SAPRI, President Chandrika Bandranaike Kumaratugne delivering the key note address stressed the need for political will to engage women in a country’s politics. She further added that “This inclusion should begin at the roots. This should start at schools; females should be given more leadership roles. Both male and female students should be taught diversity, respect for each other and ethics. Then as they grow up these positive attitudes will be instilled in them”.

The workshop explored the obstacles to women’s participation in politics, and, the role political leaders can play in their constituencies and political parties to encourage better participation of women in politics and measures to remove the impediments.

Among the recommendations made at the discussion were :-

 to include a quota system for women at elections;
 to create awareness and educate voters about the need to include more women representatives in parliament;,
 and the need to mobilise the political leadership to support women.

The workshop arrived at a decision to carry forward the effort of creating an environment conducive towards having more women entering politics at the local government, provincial and parliamentary levels and taking down the barriers that caused challenges to their meaningful participation in the area of politics.

SAPRI Hosts a Colloquium on “Challenges to Pluralism in South Asia”

7th January 2014

A colloquium on “Challenges to Pluralism in South Asia” was conducted by SAPRI in January 2014 with the participation of eminent scholars from South Asia and beyond, at the BMICH in Colombo. The Club de Madrid collaborated with SAPRI in this event.

The Colloquium was an activity coming under SAPRI’s project on Building Religious Harmony and an Inclusive Society, and was held with the objective of raising awareness of the importance of respecting diverse religions, in order to create a truly inclusive society.

At the colloquium the four member panel of scholars of international fame comprising Prof. Rajeev Bhargava (India), Prof. Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka), Dr. Christophe Jaffrelot (France) and Asma Jahangir (Pakistan) addressed the issues of religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence, secularism and pluralism in South Asia.

The sessions were moderated by Dr. Deepika Udagama and Prof. Savithri Goonesekere renowned academics from Sri Lanka. The sessions focusing on the sub-themes Religion & Politics in South Asia and “Secularism on Trial in South Asia” had two speakers in each session, articulating their views initially on an individual basis and then entering into a debate between them, before commencing an interaction with the audience.

The audience comprising Ambassadors, High Commissioners and members of the Diplomatic Corps, Parliamentarians, officials, business leaders, senior academics, civil society leaders, women, youth and the media contributed to a lively interactive discussion.

The Colloquium ended with concluding remarks from the Club de Madrid Advisor on Shared Societies, Dr. Clem McCartney, who summed up the outcome of the event and focused on the way forward.

The event received extensive publicity in the media, in Sinhalese, Tamil and English, conveying the message for tolerance and harmony towards building a pluralistic society, all the way across to the grassroots level.

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