In Times of Crisis how to Sustain Local Economies? Hivos launch of Development 53.3

A major question is how to use the momentum of the crisis to rethink the economy as citizens hold governments and businesses accountable and we try to move from quick fixes to long-term solutions. Development vol 53 no 3 on sustaining local economies was launched at the Hivos dialogue 'Knowledge & Change, Theory and Practice of Development Dilemmas' in The Hague, 29 September 2010. The Dialogue was organized to contribute to the debate on knowledge and change. The participants reflected both on theory and practice of development dilemmas as well as methodologies of knowledge development. Some 130 invited activists, NGO practitioners and scholars from all continents attended in a series of debates both structure and impromptu.

The launch was one of two parallel events on the first day. At the launch Hivos programme coordinator Josine Stremmelaar, journal author Alec Balasescu, Editor of Development Wendy Harcourt and Associate Editor Shobha Raghuram laid out some of the complex constraints at the macro level which hinder local economies and their autonomy. The launch brought to the table critical issues that people at the fringes of development face when they engage with local development processes. The session discussed some of alternatives found in the local economies which are functioning on the margins of neo-liberal global capitalism. It asked questions that took the notion of sustaining local economies beyond sterile even about market v the state v civil society.

The debate examined livelihoods in the context of India, in relation to the continuing poverty in the face of liberalization. A major question is how to use the momentum of the crisis to rethink the economy as citizens hold governments and businesses accountable and we try to move from quick fixes to long-term solutions. In this the experience, knowledge and role of communities and their participation in various forms of decision-making are vital. See the Knowledge and Change Dialogue spotlights on the Hivos website.