There are interesting shifts taking place in development cooperation globally and in Sweden at the moment. 2015 is the year when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be approved by the UN General Assembly, and the global Climate Summit in Paris will take place. In Sweden the feminist foreign policy, a unique government strategy, is amplifying gender perspectives. In synergy with the revival of the Swedish Policy for Global Development (Politik för Global Utveckling), it will influence development cooperation, investments and priority areas for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sida and Forum Syd. These are processes that could create new opportunities to transform unequal power relations and open up for alternative development. We are inspired by the positive changes to increase justice and reduce poverty. However, these shifts are also contrasted by growing inequalities and the increasingly vulnerable position of civil society in many parts of the world. A crucial issue for civil society is how the shifts in goals and policies will affect the support to partners in the Global South and their work at grassroot level in areas such as food sovereignty, climate change and gender justice. There is a need for direct dialogue between civil society organisations and policy makers. We want experts to share their knowledge and reflections on the on-going global processes in order to strengthen mutual learning. By discussing local perspectives and experiences on a global level we can identify burning issues and create alternatives together.
In an effort to influence the decisions made under the umbrella of different development goals, we aim to provide a platform for voices from the Global South. During this conference the effect of global politics will be put into perspective by local organisations from South Asia and Latin America. Against the backdrop of expiring development goals and new development agendas we have invited decision and policy makers as well as people whom represent the struggle for alternative development. Listening to perspectives from the Global South is the most important aim of Glocal Development Talks! This is why we have invited a number of representatives from Svalorna’s partner organisations in India and Bangladesh. They will comment and ask questions at each session to ensure that academic and political perspectives are contrasted with perspectives from these organisations’ grassroots work. Svalornas partners work with Dalit rights, women’s rights, farmer’s rights and sustainable development.
• Shobha Raghuram (Advisory board)
• Khushi Kabir (Nijera Kori, Bangladesh)
• Shahidul Islam (Unnayan Dhara, Bangladesh)
• Sheelu Francis (Women’s Collective, India)
• Mathew John (Keystone Foundation, India)
• Thilagam Ramalingam (Evidence, India)
• Sukanta Sen (BARCIK, Bangladesh)
• Suresh Kanna (Kudumbam, India)
• Karin Nansen (REDES, Uruguay)
• Ravi Kumar (FIAN, India)