The international development landscape is evolving in ways that impact how development is conceived and implemented around the world. This panel brings together representatives from development finance and knowledge producing institutions to discuss the how these changes are evolving both institutionally and on the ground. International institutions are evolving and restructuring their partnerships with developing countries, shifting their focus from the national to the municipal scale, even moving from traditional financing to innovative knowledge sharing and production, including the facilitation of South-South exchange. Yet some of the persistent development challenges remain, and their urgency is more immediate with rapid urbanization in much of the developing world, the ongoing deficits in basic services for the informal poor, the impacts of human-induced natural disasters, and more. How is knowledge shared between these international institutions and among developing countries, especially in an era when many middle-income countries are financing their own development and even translating their resources and knowledge to lower-income countries?

Moderator: Peter Houtzager, Institute of Development Studies
John Briscoe, Harvard University
Nora Libertun de Duren, Inter American Development Bank
Liz McKeon, formerly Ford Foundation and USAID
Jill Pike, Millennium Challenge Corporation
Chris Williams, UN HABITAT


A more inclusive, people-centered approach to projects and programs often eludes the financial and political flows of developmental institutions. Local, national, and international social movements are presenting new challenges to institutional arrangements at each of these scales. This panel is an attempt to understand what is significant about different types of social movements for the ways in which formal institutions engage with issues of urban development. What opportunities and challenges do these movements pose for ordinary poor people? What is leading institutions to build deeper engagements with social movements, especially those with a grassroots, community base? What potentials and pitfalls exist for these partnerships? How can these movements and partnerships be understood through academic research agendas? And can social movements develop alternative methods of development practice that can meet the extent of the challenges of urban poverty?

Moderator: Robert Buckley, The New School
Tim Campbell, The Urban Age Institute
Martha Chen, Harvard Kennedy School/ WIEGO
William Cobbett, Cities Alliance
Celine D’Cruz, Slum/Shack Dwellers International


The international development eco-system at MIT.In examining the interdisciplinary approaches to development, what is nature and composition of the international development eco-system at MIT?  This panel discussion will bring together key institutional actors involved with international development within MIT, including the: Center for International Studies (CIS), MIT Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI), MIT Energy Initiative (EI), Legatum Center, Public Service Center (PSC), and Development through Dialog, Design, and Dissemination (D-Lab).  The panel will explore the actors within this internal ecosystem to identify their roles and contributions to interdisciplinary international development and the internationalization of education at MIT.  What is DUSP's perspective and contribution to this international development eco-system?  What is the desired impact on development practice and scholarship?

Moderator: Bish Sanyal, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Victor Grau Serrat, MIT Development Lab (D-Lab)
Chappell Lawson, MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI)
Iqbal Quadir, MIT Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship
Laura Sampath, MIT International Development Initiative
Sally Susnowitz, MIT Public Service Center
John Tirman, MIT Center for International Studies


With the evolution of international development in the last several decades, how are these changes are being reflected in the way that development scholars and practitioners are educated.  This panel brings together DUSP doctoral alums who are currently professors in urban planning and international development departments in top ranking US universities. These alums will reflect on their experience at DUSP, discuss if and how the field has evolved over the years.  What are some of the primary debates, challenges, and innovations being identified in the field and in their work?  How are practitioners being prepared to address multi-scalar development challenges?  In light of the previous panel discussions, are there major gaps that are not being adequately addressed or need to be addressed in more deeply interdisciplinary ways?

Moderator: Judith Tendler, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Arturo Ardila-Gomez, World Bank
Vinit Mukhija, University of California, Los Angeles
Aya Okada, Nagoya University, Japan
Paul Smoke, New York University
Smita Srinivas, Columbia University