Brown Bag Seminar on Reading and Writing UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report
Tuesday 11th June
Unioninkatu 35, 3rd floor, room 344
ABSTRACT: Global reports written in international organizations, such as UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNDESA and ILO, offer a useful and often neglected source of information, research and policy analysis on developing countries and the international system.
Based on my experience as lead author and director of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report from 2000 to 2012, this seminar will provide an inside look at how these reports are written and also how to read them.
Some of the key findings in the sequence of LDC Reports from 2000 to 2010 will be used as examples. These covered issues such as: capital flows to LDCs; poverty trends in LDCs; PRSPs; the relationship between trade and poverty; the HIPC initiative; STI and knowledge for development; aid effectiveness and the problem of ownership; development governance; progress towards MDGs; and the effectiveness of international support measures for least developed countries.
BIOGRAPHY: Charles Gore is a Visiting Scholar in Development Studies in the University of Helsinki from January to June 2019. He is an Honorary Professor in Economics at the University of Glasgow, a Research Associate in Global Studies at the University of Sussex, a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK). Between 1999 and 2008, he was team leader and principal author of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report, and from 2008 until 2012 he was Special Coordinator for Cross-Sectoral Issues, directing research on Africa and on least developed countries in UNCTAD.
Originally trained in economic geography, he has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D., based on two years fieldwork in Ghana, from Pennsylvania State University. He was a Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Wales from 1976 to 1991, and during that time he wrote Regions in Question (Methuen 1984, re-issued 2011 in Routledge Revivals), and worked as a consultant for UNCTAD on why landlockedness is a development problem and what to do about it. In the 1990s he worked more closely with UN agencies in Geneva, writing chapters for UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report (1994, 1997, 1998), and managing two multi-country research projects – one (in UNCTAD) on lessons of East Asian development for Africa, and another (in the International Institute for Labour Studies, ILO) on the global applicability of the concept of social exclusion.
His academic publications examine the nature of the explanations, normative judgements and discursive narratives which underpin international development practice. Topics addressed include: how geographic space is linked to development in explanations of regional development; methodological nationalism and the misunderstanding of East Asian development; the nature of the Washington Consensus; Amartya Sen’s concepts of entitlement and capability; and the romantic violence of the MDGs. He is currently working on a history of how the idea of poverty went global in the 1970s, which is part of a broader examination of the concept of global goals.