2012 News

Symposium on international research and innovation

The Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University’s Brown School will host a Symposium on International Research and Innovation on April 17, 2012, to examine the process and experiences of building international research partnerships and highlight innovations in economic empowerment and financial inclusion in international settings. 

The Symposium will draw on the experience of CSD and its international research partners in YouthSave, an initiative funded by The MasterCard Foundation that aims to understand the conditions for sustainable delivery of savings products and services to low-income youth in the developing world. Speakers at the Symposium’s panels will include representatives of YouthSave partner research institutions in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal, as well as experts in the economic empowerment field who serve on YouthSave’s Research Advisory Committee.

“The panel represents a rare opportunity to discuss the nuts and bolts of building international research partnerships, a direction of growing interest for the Brown School and Washington University,” said Michael Sherraden, Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development at the Brown School and Director of CSD.

The first panel, “Building International Research Partnerships: Challenges and Opportunities,” will focus on the process of building international research partnerships and institutional ties in YouthSave. Panelists from YouthSave partner institutions Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kenya), Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (Ghana), and New ERA (Nepal) will share their thoughts on the successes and challenges of establishing relationships and conducting research with CSD.

“Working with our international partners on YouthSave has been a rich and rewarding experience for CSD,” said Li Zou, International Director at CSD. “But there are also challenges, and it is important to hear the experience of our partners.”

The second panel, “International Innovations in Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion,” will focus on innovations in international settings, drawing on panelists’ research and practice experiences with youth. Panelists will include Daphna Oyserman, PhD, University of Michigan; Kojo Appiah-Kubi, PhD, Parliament of Ghana; Mark Schreiner, Center for Social Development; and Beatriz Armendariz, University College of London.

“Nearly two decades of work, in both developed and developing countries, has revealed a connection between increased assets and improved youth outcomes in a range of areas,” said Li Zou. “There is increasing innovation in the developing world that aims to increase youth financial empowerment and inclusion, including YouthSave.”

The Symposium is funded by The MasterCard Foundation. Panels will be held in Brown Lounge on April 17, and a light lunch will be served between panels.