Knowledge and Public Action, a conference at UNESCOUNESCO is hosting and co-organizing an international conference, Knowledge and Public Action: Education, Responsibility, Collective Agency, Equity, at Headquarters from September 11 to 14. The event will bring together some 250 economists, philosophers, legal experts, social and political scientists, development experts and practitioners, concerned by with human development and the capability approach.
The participants will debate the applications of the capacity approach to human development and to public action. Questions discussed will include: How can we improve the quality of education? Is responsibility, often overlooked in favour of individual freedom, not also a source of empowerment? How can we link personal capability and collective action and to the practices of social players?
The conference is organized by several partners including the Centre of Economics and Ethics for Environment and Development (C3ED, University of Versailles, France); the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, France); the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the French Agency for Development (AFD); IMPACT Network on Public Policies Against Poverty and Inequality; and the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA, U.S.A.), presided by development economist and Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen.
UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, and Professor Amartya Sen, who introduced the notion of capability in the definition of human development will speak at the opening ceremony on September 12 at 3.30 p.m. Jean-François Girard, President of IRD; Philippe Etienne, head of the international cooperation and development at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Jean-Michel Sévérino, Director-General of AFD; and C3ED Director Denis Requier-Desjardins will also take the floor.
The 2005 UNDP Report on Human Development, as well as a synthesis of national reports on human development and several works on the capability approach will be presented from 2.30 to 5.30 p.m., ahead of the conference opening.
Also on September 12, from 5 to 7 p.m., Professors Amartya Sen and Alain Touraine will speak at a plenary session on Individual Freedom and Social Fabric. Other scheduled plenaries include: Human Development beyond Indicators: Social Actors and Public Policy, (Tuesday, September 13); Development Ethics: Liberty vs Responsibility (Tuesday); Capability Approach and Life Skills in Quality Education, (Wednesday, September14); Social Justice, Equality of Opportunity, Capability and Agency (Wednesday).
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