Development Day 2021: COVID-19 Pandemic and Development Research: Ways Forward?

Development Day 2021: Online Symposium

Time: Friday 12 February 2021 at 9.15 – 16.30 hrs GMT +2 (Helsinki, Finland time)

Venue: Online event 

Organizer: Finnish Society for Development Research

Registration: Open until 5 February 2021 here, free of charge.

The outbreak of COVID 19-pandemic has long-lasting and multiple consequences for the ways of living and acting in our global world. To say the least, it has laid open the already entrenched inequalities, injustices and vulnerabilities. For some, it has altered the meanings and practices of work, leisure, and travel as new digital technologies have enabled flexibility and easy adaptation. For some others, it has severely complicated their conditions of, and access to, work, livelihood and health services. It is clear that the pandemic is not only a crisis of health, but also a political, economic, social and environmental one. It has served as a ‘scapegoat’ for rising authoritarianism and population management, enforced the role of nation states and affected economies in the forms of rising debt, or downturn of remittances.

The Development Day 2021 acknowledges that today’s emergencies manifested themselves already before the outbreak in various interrelated spheres, including economy, climate, health, social crisis, and racism. Further, the pandemic has articulated the interdependencies of different environments, humans and non-human animals, microbes, and technologies. In order to rethink these entanglements and to address the multi-faceted crises, we need to focus on their sources – and to find holistic and transformative responses.

The Development Day 2021 asks: As the pre-pandemic era could already be characterized in terms of multiple crises and there is no return to it, what are the ways forward? How has the pandemic affected the practices of development research? What are the transformative potentials in terms of development research and practice, and the rearrangements of societies, environments, and economies? In this context, how can development be reimagined?

Online symposium

With a view to the upcoming Nordic Development Research Conference (21.-22.6.2021) in Jyväskylä, Finland, the Development Day 2021 is organised as an online symposium for critical debate and discussion. It also marks the 35 years since the Finnish Society for Development Research was formally registered. The program consists of keynote panel discussion, two online sessions, and a closing discussion, and an annual Masters’ workshop on Thursday 11.2.2021.