2017, Tackling Global Issues: Towards a New Era of Thinking and Acting?
The interdisciplinary course North South consists of a series of lectures by experts on contemporary development topics. These topics, in the framework of North-South relations, cover contemporary social phenomena in the South and the respective challenges to sustainable development in a variety of domains (e.g. education, law, international politics, health, agriculture, economics and management, etc.). It exposes students to a plurality of perspectives on local and global societal challenges at a time of unprecedented globalisation. It aims at providing a broader and deeper understanding of contemporary global issues and to develop students’ knowledge as well as a (self-) reflective and respectful perspective on other cultures.
This year, the course includes lectures by selected experts who will introduce you to relevant development issues in different societal fields. The lectures will deal with development challenges ranging from a general introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals, tackling Vultures: solutions to the debt crisis in Argentina, the effects of climate change on water resource availability in Cuba, personalized medicine for infectious disease control in developing countries, linking relief rehabilitation and development in the shelter and housing sector in Somalia, and the access to social protection minimum floors as a tool to end early marriage in Mozambique.
This course is an elective course open to all students and interested people (free of charge).
More information on the course North-South in a nutshell? Watch this video!
Thursday 9 February 2017
The Sustainable Development Goals: A Global Vision for Local Future-Proof Action
Peter Wollaert (Managing Director CIFAL Flanders)
Thursday 16 February 2017
Tackling the Vultures: solutions to the debt crisis
Jan Van De Poel (Head of 11.11.11's policy department, 11.11.11)
Thursday 23 February 2017
The effects of climate change on water resource availability in Cuba. Strategies for quality evaluation and assurance, in human consumption water reservoirs in eastern Cuba: A case study
Prof. Dr. Teresa De Los Milagros Orbera Raton (Universidad de Oriente, Cuba)
Thursday 2 March 2017
Personalized medicine for infectious disease control in developing countries
Prof. Dr. Annelies van Rie (University of Antwerp, Epidemiology for Global Health Institute)
Wednesday 8 March 2017
World Evening (Cultural evening with appetizers and workshops from all over the world, not mandatory)
Thursday 9 February 2017:The Sustainable Development Goals: A Global Vision for Local Future-Proof Action by Peter Wollaert(Managing Director CIFAL Flanders)
At the end of September 2015, 70 years after the foundation of the United Nations, the 193 member states of the UN decided on a new and ambitious action plan for the world: 17 global ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (2016-2030), to bring about peace and justice, based on human rights, towards social equality, care for the environment, innovative industries, … . This lecture offers an introduction to these Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of this transition-agenda, but also the possible pitfalls.
This lecture will be given to you by Peter Wollaert, UNITAR Fellow and Managing Director CIFAL Flanders. Peter Wollaert (Ghent, °1968) calls himself a ‘serial social entrepreneur’ and has worked the past 20 years – based on a social business and stakeholder model – , to strengthen international development cooperation, sustainable development, social economy, social entrepreneurship, Corporate Social Responsibility, and sustainable urban policy, in Flanders, on European level and in developing countries.
Thursday 16 February 2017:Tackling the Vultures: solutions to the debt crisis by Jan Van De Poel (Policy officer on development finance, 11.11.11)
In 2015 Argentina nearly went bankrupt as a consequence of a legal battle between the Argentine government and the ‘vulture fund’ managed by American billionaire Paul Elliot. Vulture Funds are speculative investment funds that buy up the debt of distressed countries at a very low price and then pursue full reimbursement of the original debt through lawsuits. Vulture funds target crisis countries that are already struggling to finance public services and infrastructures and wait until a debt restructuring takes place so that they can sue for high returns. The lack of a comprehensive international framework to deal with debt restructuring means that vulture funds can get away with this, and the latest case of Argentina has only strengthened their position. Besides their effect on individual nations of slowing down or preventing economic recovery, the actions of vulture funds are jeopardising debt restructuring the world over. In 2015, Belgium passed a piece of ambitious legislation to counter vulture funds. The Belgian law is welcomed by the United Nations among others but has been attacked by a number of speculative hedgefunds in the Constitutional Court. In this presentation Jan Van de Poel – head of policy at 11.11.11 – will testify on the campaign to tackle vulture funds in Belgium and ways forward to overcome and prevent sovereign debt crises.”
Jan Van de Poel studied history (VUB) and international politics (UCL). In 2012 he received his PhD in history (VUB). His research focused on new social movements as challengers of established forms of democratic organization. In 2013 he joined the policy department of 11.11.11, the association of development ngo’s in Flanders, working on finance for development issues. Between 2013 and 2015, he was appointed as adjunct-professor at Vesalius College Brussels and guest lecturer at VUB. Since 2016, he serves as head of 11.11.11’s policy department.
Thursday 23 February 2017:The effects of climate change on water resource availability in Cuba. Strategies for quality evaluation and assurance, in human consumption water reservoirs in eastern Cuba: A case study by Prof. Dr. Teresa De Los Milagros Orbera Raton (Universidad de Oriente, Cuba)
Water is a key element for social and economic development. Water resources and all activities depending on water are facing a diverse set of problems in Latin American and the Caribbean region (LAC). Being a finite resource, water and freshwater ecosystem are under pressure by different users and increasing demands of different sectors as domestic, agriculture and industry. In Cuba, the same as other LAC countries, urban centres of important economic activities are placed in semiarid areas where water availability is increasingly reduced by intense use, water pollution and intense dryness. The stages of water reservoirs for human consumption in eastern Cuba are less than 25%, having serious impacts on agriculture, food production, industry and general human welfare. The University of Oriente, with the academic and scientific assistance of the Centre for Environmental Science from Hasselt University is undertaking the project “Environmental Scientific Services to Face Climatic Change and Food Security in eastern Cuba”. The main focus are human resource improvement, water resource preservation and quality maintenance, as building of laboratory capabilities for environmental scientific services. This lecture presents an overview of integrated research and academic strategies contributing to water resource preservation and management for human consumption and agriculture use.
Teresa de los Milagros Orberá Ratón has a PhD in Biological Science, Master in Industrial Biotechnology, Bachelor in Biology. She is fulltime Professor of Universidad de Oriente (UO), Member of Academic Staff, MSc program in Biotechnology.
Thursday 2 March 2017:Personalized medicine for infectious disease control in developing countries by Prof. Dr. Annelies van Rie (University of Antwerp, Epidemiology for Global Health Institute)
Infectious diseases remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. The World Health Organization recommends a public health approach to the control of infectious diseases, especially in low and middle income countries. With advances is technology, and especially following the genomic revolution, precision medicine has become an emerging field. In precision medicine, each patient is conceptualized as having his or her own disease process resulting from heterogeneous genetic make-up and environmental exposures. In infectious diseases, both the host (pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenomics) and the pathogen (genome sequence) contribute to this unique disease process. While the current public health approach recommends a one-size-fits-all strategy, precision medicine aims to identify the treatment for each individual that will result in the highest effectiveness and lowest toxicity. In this lecture, Annelies van Rie will use the fight against multidrug resistant tuberculosis as an example to discuss whether global precision medicine is a naïve dream or whether can it become a reality in the near future. Using results from a cohort study in South Africa, she will explore whether precision medicine for global TB control could be on the cusp of superiority in terms of clinical outcomes and cost benefit.
Annelies Van Rie is a pediatrician and has a PhD in molecular epidemiology. She is a professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. She has twenty years of experience in clinical, epidemiological and basic science research on tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa.
Thursday 9 March 2017:Linking relief rehabilitation and development in the shelter and housing sector in Somalia by Martijn Goddeeris(UNHCR Somalia, Kenya)
Despite the fact that the funding of development has almost doubled since 2000, there is a widening gap between the needs and the resources available to service them. In many cases, development actors are standing in to scale up humanitarian operations while in other countries humanitarians become the triggers for longer term developmental issues. The Shelter Cluster, a coordination body in Somalia for shelter and housing, has been working actively since 2011 to bring all different stakeholders together and tackle coordination at a wider level. The work of the Shelter Cluster in Somalia has opened space for development actors, government stakeholders and the private sector to work side-by-side with humanitarians towards more sustainable approaches in the construction sector as a whole.
Martijn Goddeeris obtained his degree of Master in Civil Engineer Architect at the KU Leuven, and has worked the past ten years for Belgian Red Cross Flanders, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and is currently working for the UNHCR. The last four years he has been the shelter cluster coordinator at UNHCR with main duties as coordination of emergency response, but also to look at the linkages in between the humanitarian and development actors. He has experience with (shelter) programme management and coordination in countries such as Pakistan, DR Congo, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Nairobi and Kenya.
Thursday 16 March 2017:Access to social protection minimum floors as a tool to end early marriage in Mozambique by Farida Mamad (Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique)
Mozambique has the seventh highest child marriage prevalence rate in the world. On average, one out of two girls is married before her 18th birthday. In 2008, over half of the women aged 20–24 (52%) were either married or in a union before the age of 18. Child marriage occurs more frequently among girls who are the least educated, poor and living in rural areas. Nevertheless, if the practice is not addressed it will lead to human development challenges. According to the Constitution of Mozambique child is defined as a human being under 18 years. The Law in Mozambique provides for exceptions that lower the age, (e.g. less than 17 years). The fact that the law provides for exceptions, leads to child rights violation (e.g. the right to education; health; protection against child abuse and torture; etc.). The causes for early marriages can be grouped as follows: poverty, customs and gender inequality. As mentioned above early marriage excludes the girl child from the process of development. Development is defined as both constitutive and instrumental, or useful as both a means and an end to provide people with the ability to choose.” Although many African countries have registered progress in addressing early marriage, the progress is still very low. Experience shows that simply passing laws banning the practice has little effect of prohibiting early marriage. However, some programs aimed at protecting girls from the practice have been considered successful. Especially, those that empower girls at risk of child marriage through, for example, life skills training, provision of safe spaces for girls to discuss their futures, the provision of information about their options, and the development of support networks. Nonetheless, current legal studies do not mention social protection minimum floors as a tool to empower a girl child and to end child marriage. Thus, in comparison to the prior studies the current study focuses on: first, showing that operating instruments for social security in Mozambique have not been designed to ensure the protection of the girl child, assuming that, well- designed social security policies are inclusive and contribute to a better environment for economic growth. Therefore, it is erroneous to think that social security is a luxury to be afforded only when growth has taken place or when countries have reached a certain level of per capita income. The study argues that there is a mutual reinforcing relationship between economic growth and society's ability to deal with economic uncertainty. In order to discuss the topic, the study, first (1), gives situational analyses of child marriage in Mozambique. Second (2), we briefly describe the existing social security laws and the challenges that children in need face to be eligible for minimum social protection floor. Third (3), we identify the situations of inadequacy of the legal framework for inclusive development. Finally,(4) conclusions brings the finding of the study together.
Farida Mamad is currently a PhD researcher at Hasselt University. Her current research focuses on Women’s Access to Social Security Schemes in Mozambique: Rethinking the Social Security Legal Framework to Enhance Human Development. Under the scientific supervision of Prof. dr. Petra Fouber, professor at the Faculty of Law at Hasselt University. In Mozambique, Farida is lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Eduardo Mondlane University with main subjects covering Fundamental Law, Human rights, and International Law. Furthermore, since 2009 she is National Human Rights Commissioner and legal advisor of the Supreme Courts Sentencing Drafting Department and advisor to the Vice-President of the Supreme Court of Mozambique on human Rights and related issues.
Structure and language The course consists of interactive lectures by guest speakers specialised in different areas of study. Every lecture will foresee the possibility of interaction between the speaker and the audience. All lectures will be taught in English.
Time and location All lectures will take place from 5 to 7pm (Room H2) - Hasselt University (campus Diepenbeek) Agoralaan (building D) 3590, Diepenbeek.
Hasselt University: Students in their third bachelor year as well as master students can register for the course (1955) with the approval of their faculty
PXL: Students can subscribe for the course if it has been approved by their department
Others: The lectures are open to all interested people
Attendance at all lectures is required!
Participation in the discussions during the lectures are encouraged.
Students can choose between:
A 10-page essay concerning a topic which has been dealt with during the lectures. Students frame this topic within a broader perspective, adopt a critical stance in formulating their own opinion and make links to recent events on the topic.
Oral examination: students read a book from a given reading list and discuss 3 insights they gained from this book.