Monday September 2nd, 2019 ARCO LAB

ARCO Researchers participation to the annual conference of Human Development and Capability Association

Researchers of ARCO’s Local Development Unit and Inclusive Development Unit will fly to London to participate to the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) Annual Conference from the 9th to the 11th of September.

This year HDCA’s Annual Conference theme will be Connecting Capabilities  since “connection” is an important capability that needs further consideration. This theme gives researchers from all over the world an opportunity to think against this grain, using ideas and networks on human development and putting the capability approach to work in new ways.

ARCO Researchers will focus on the following topics:

Nowadays, the on-going debate on national and regional development strategies is undoubtedly characterized by the resurgence of a global academic and policy interest on industrial policies. Despite industrial policy has always been a contentious issue in the academic and policy-making debate, today we are witnessing wide rethinking on the role of industrial policy as many national and sub-national governments are clearly promoting actions targeting their national industries.

The objective of this paper is to present a new sound theoretical framework to sustain and analyse the role of industrial policy as leverage for the structural transformation of the society towards a vision of sustainable human development. In particular, this framework draws from connecting the following five stream of literature and approaches that have so far been linked only to a limited extent: a) the analysis of industrial policy and structural transformation of the society; b) the study of industrial policy as a vision of industrial development; c) the Capability Approach and Sustainable Human Development perspective; d) the literature on social economics; e) the political economy perspective.

For further information
Andrea Ferrannini
Local Development Unit
andrea.ferrannini[at]arcolab.org

This book explores the linkages between Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach and participatory forms of development – especially variants associated with critical pedagogy and empowerment. It shows how the Capability Approach and the participatory movement can complement and reinforce each other in a variety of ways that help ensure democratic principles are respected and become the foundation for sustainable forms of human development that emphasise empowerment from the bottom-up.

The Capability Approach provides guiding principles for protecting the transformative roots of participation (safeguarding ownership, accountability and empowerment), while participation delivers vital methods for making the Capability Approach operational.

This book unpacks power relations, addresses adaptive preferences, explores individual and collective agency, considers new partnerships for development, and develops innovative concepts including ‘empowered learning systems’. It is divided into three overlapping parts that focus on concepts, methods and applications respectively, and draws on diverse fieldwork experiences from Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Morocco, Palestine and the South Pacific.

For further information
Mario Biggeri
Scientific Director – Local Development Unit
mario.biggeri[at]unifi.it

Although several studies have been published in the last year connecting participatory methods, education and the Capability Approach, this is a relatively new and underdeveloped area of research. This panel aims to explore the critical link of these three areas to identify, investigate and assess the situation of different disadvantaged young people in Brazil, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

The panel sustains that education has a central role in human development for its intrinsic and extrinsic value, especially affecting the connections and synergies between different human capabilities at individual and collective level. Doing so it highlights the responsibility of educational institutions to be accountable for providing quality education, to create equal conditions for access to high schools, and to support local transformation processes through projects that connect civil society and universities.

For further information
Andrea Ferrannini
Local Development Unit
andrea.ferrannini[at]arcolab.org

In Low and Middle-Income Countries, access to health care is seriously hampered by financial, geographical, and cultural obstacles at the time of service utilization. Major health shocks constitute an especially adverse event for the household well-being given the unpredictability and the cumbersome burden they imply both in terms of material and immaterial resources.

This study aims to explore the role played by social capital and households’ connectivity to access health services within a community in rural Uganda. The country constitutes a key example of low-income African country where impoverishing effects due to health care access and utilisation are critical for the well-being of local population. The district of Oyam, in the Northern region, is the case study for our analysis. The investigation uses a mixed method approach and involves a household survey targeting 320 households (about 1720 individuals) plus eight focus group discussions. A descriptive social network analysis is intended to shed lights on the role played by social connections in improving financial protection and health seeking behaviours. 

For further information
Mario Biggeri
Scientific Director – Local Development Unit
mario.biggeri[at]unifi.it

Participatory methods represent one increasingly diffused way of identifying, exploring and evaluating equality and justice in terms of human well-being, freedom, and development. The application of the Capability Approach through participatory methods thus explicitly aims to tackle the limitations of participatory methods, such as the lack of consensus on targeted participants, partial globalization of development policy analysis, and the lack of analysis of the impacts of power relations on participatory activities.

This panel, therefore, discusses new potential applications and innovative evidence on the connection between participatory methods and the capability approach, especially related to sustainability issues, accessibility gaps and social exclusion.

For further information
Andrea Ferrannini
Local Development Unit
andrea.ferrannini[at]arcolab.org

The European Union and its Member States have important responsibilities concerning protection and promotion of children’s rights.

In particular, the EU calls urge the Member States to stop the development of institutional care and promote quality-based community and family care. Nowadays States are facing the challenges of reforming child services and transforming the way they provide care and support to children. This is made even more urgent by the inflow of migrant unaccompanied children.

A key challenge is ensuring that the reform is carried out in a way that respects the rights of the children, while ensuring the well-being of the children and youth involved (EC 2013).

The objective of this article is twofold. On one hand is to present an integrated theoretical framework that disentangles all the elements (micro, meso, macro) shaping child’s conversion factors and thus it allows to re-build the relation between child, family and social services.

On the other hand, though the issue of comparing the outcomes of institutional versus non-institutional care has been extensively analysed (Strijbosch, E. L. L. et al., 2015), an evaluation design of the impact of alternative care on child well-being in the capability approach by actively involving all their actors still need to be developed. Therefore, we aim at designing an evaluation tool for social workers capable of generating evaluative knowledge about how social services interventions contribute to children’s functionings and evolving capabilities

For further information
Caterina Arciprete
Inclusive Development Unit
caterina.arciprete[at]unifi.it
Mario Biggeri
Scientific Director – Local Development Unit
mario.biggeri[at]unifi.it

The Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) is a global community of academics and practitioners focused on people-centred development and the capability approach. The mission of the association is to promote both research and policy in the area of human development and well-being. The HDCA consists of members from many disciplines and professions, including economics, philosophy, development studies, health, education, law, government, and sociology, among others.

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