Areas of Engagement

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SID, in collaboration with the The Kofi Annan Foundation and with the support of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), are hosting an online conference on 19-20 November exploring the state of democracy in East Africa in the context of the coronavirus pandemic – what challenges is the region facing and what opportunities could be identified particularly when it comes to protecting voters and protecting the vote?

More than 500 organisations and academics from 87 countries, including the Society for International Development (SID), have issued a statement yesterday calling on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stop promoting austerity and instead support policies that advance gender justice, reduce inequality, and put people and planet first.

The session will feature: 

Daniela Gabor (University of the West of England) 

María José Romero (Eurodad)

Crystal Simeoni  (Nawi – Afrifem Macroeconomics Collective) 

Richard Montgomery (World Bank Executive Director, UK) 

Discussant: Jennifer del Rosario-Malonzo (IBON International)

Moderator: Stefano Prato (Society for International Development)

This session will assess IFIs’ policies in contexts of crises and conflicts, mainly in the Mena Region, by examining the existing policies and their impact on inequality. It aims also to look into countries with ongoing IMF negotiations, in light of country specific contexts, such as the economic failure in Lebanon and the inability to negotiate, and the case of emergency lending in Egypt. Finally, it will assess IMF policies on a regional level as they relate to the effect of the pandemic.

As millions mobilize across the globe to demand urgent action to respond to the climate crisis, it is time to reset our societal relationship with nature. Despite our deep connection with the rest of our living environment, modern (Western) thinking and actions, including policy-making, treat humans and the rest of nature as two separate and independent spheres. But global warming and mass extinction force us to make a drastic change. 

After decades of de-regulation and privatisation policies around the world, private actors are playing increasing role in many sectors, from education and health, to water, food and housing.

The session will take place on Monday 28th of September at 8am (EDT) / 2pm (CET). 



As the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing debt vulnerabilities and triggered a new debt crisis. Despite the urgency of the situation, the multilateral response has been insufficient and many challenges remain unaddressed. The session will discuss policy alternatives to address the debt problem in developing countries. 



The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed to the world the central role of health in national and international policymaking. It has also cleared the ground from persisting market-driven ideologies in the way health is promoted and managed, consistently affirming one important and well-known reality, common to all nations on the planet: health is a governments’ strategic task that must be pursued in the public interest with responsibility and respect for its implications on society. Health and healthcare cannot be provided resorting to an extractive logic.

The Spotlight Report 2020 unpacks various features and amplifiers of the COVID-19 emergency and its inter-linkages with other crises. The report points out that even before COVID-19, many countries – especially in the global South - were in an economic crisis, characterized by contractionary fiscal policy, growing debt and austerity measures that made these countries more vulnerable to future crises. They are results of a dysfunctional system that puts corporate profit above the rights and well-being of people and planet. 

In Recipe for disaster: The IMF and World Bank's role in the financialisation of food and agriculture, written for the Bretton Woods Project Spring Observer 2020, SID's policy researcher, Flora Sonkin, discusses how the process of financialisation has profoundly affecter food systems in recent decades, as financial actors and markets

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