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International Economic Development and the Promotion of Human Rights: Finding Harmony and Measuring Progress to Achieve Human Development

International Human Rights Law Institute

Friday, April 12, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 6:20 PM (CDT)

International Economic Development and the Promotion...

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IHRLI 2013 Symposium Ended Free  

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Historically, the fields of human rights and international economic development have been viewed as mutually exclusive and in some cases, opposing forces.  In the early 1990s, the perception of the two fields working in opposition to one another began to change, and focus shifted from divergent goals to the unified goal of achieving greater human development.  This gradual shift was due in large part to, Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom in which he argues freedom, which includes “economic opportunities, political freedoms, social facilities, transparency guarantees and protective security,” is both the “primary end and the principal means of development.”[1]  Building off Sen’s Nobel Prize winning thesis, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) began commissioning The Human Development Report (HDR).  The HDR ranks countries through the Human Development Index (HDI) which accesses development by placing “people at the center of development, going beyond income to assess people’s long-term well-being.”[2]  Encouraged by the data made available through the HDI, in September of 2000, 189 nations signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration, agreeing to eradicate extreme income poverty and rights deprivation.  This agreement includes 8 goals which are known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Since the signing of the Millennium Declaration, greater emphasis has been placed on measuring the progress of human development.  Most recently, the HDR added three new indices, the Inequality-adjusted HDI, the Gender Inequality Index and the Multidimensional Poverty Index.    

IHRLI’s 2013 Symposium will be focused on the harmonization of the human rights field with the international economic development field and the importance of the various indices and metrics which have been developed to measure the progress of human development.




Symposium Agenda


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.             Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.             Dean Gregory Mark - Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.           Eduardo Zambrano - The Human Development Approach: Theory and Measurement Challenges

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.         Coffee Break

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.         Michael Fakhri - Indicators and the Arab Human Development    Reports: Empowering and Limiting Transformative Change

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.           Lunch Break 


1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.             Allison Corkery - The OPERA Framework: Numbers and Narratives for Rights-Based Measurement

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.             David Richards - Violence Against Women: Assessing Domestic   Legal Guarantees

4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.             Coffee Break

4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.             Susan Ariel Aaronson - A Critic on Metrics: Perspective through the Development of an Internet Openness Metric

5:00 p.m.  6:15 p.m.             Varun Gauri - Human Rights Based Approaches to Development: Concepts, Evidence, and Policy

6:15 p.m. – 6:20 p.m.             Closing Remarks



The Keynote Speaker will be Varun Gauri, Senior Economist at the World Bank.  

Varun Gauri is a Senior Economist with the Development Research Group of the World Bank. His research draws on theories and methods form economics, political science, and philosophy to study how national and international governance systems affect human welfare in poor societies. He has published articles in leading journals on topics that include the enforcement of social and economic rights, the political economy of responses to HIV/AIDS, the strategic choices of development NGOs, customary legal systems, and health care and education governance. He is the author of School Choice in Chile, co-editor of Courting Social Justice: The Judicial Enforcement of Social and Economics Rights in the Developing World, and co-author of the 2007 World Development Report. Currently, he is leading research projects on the determinants of compliance with judicial rulings on human rights, grievance redress in basic service delivery, and the international regime for development assistance. He received a BA in philosophy and literature from the University of Chicago, a Masters and PhD in Public Policy from Princeton University, and has held positions as Visiting Lecturer in Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and Visiting Professor in the Department of Economics at ILADES in Santiago, Chile.


[1] Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, pg. xii. 


Have questions about International Economic Development and the Promotion of Human Rights: Finding Harmony and Measuring Progress to Achieve Human Development? Contact International Human Rights Law Institute

When & Where

25 E. Jackson
Room 241
Chicago, 60604

Friday, April 12, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 6:20 PM (CDT)

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