The RDI Network organises, hosts and partners in many events for and with the sector, but our longest standing and largest event is the Network Conference. In June 2017, Sydney University and the RDI Network hosted the sixth in the series: Partnering for Impact on Sustainable Development.
Last month, we celebrated the publication of a selection of the best presentations from this 2017 Conference as a special volume of the Development Bulletin published by the Development Studies Network at the Australian National University (ANU).
A launch reception was hosted at the ANU in Canberra, with speakers including Philippa Smales, Network and Partnership Manager of the RDI Network, and Thomas Soem, Head of International Research and Development in the Research Portfolio of the University of Sydney.
Thomas’ remarks reflected on the University’s interest in the opportunity to host the Conference and the multidisciplinary and collaborative approach pursued both internally across the institution, and externally with partners such as the RDI Network.
The Bulletin was formally launched by special guest Bob McMullan (Adjunct Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU), who served in several political offices including as Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance under the first Rudd Government.
His strong leadership supporting research and technical assistance to deliver sustainable outcomes for international development came during a period when many institutions and organisations (including the University of Sydney) were beginning to engage seriously in this space. It was therefore fitting to have such a champion of sustainable development to launch this important new body of research.
The papers in the Bulletin feature a range of sectoral specialities, including innovation, WASH and natural resource management. A partnership approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals forms the common thread throughout the diverse collation, and builds a compelling case for building bridges and sharing ideas across sectors, organisations and borders. The overwhelming majority of the papers are co-authored, and represent research collaborations between NGOs, within universities, or across universities and NGOs.
The Conference was privileged to have The Rt. Hon. Helen Clark – Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and former Chair of the United Nations Development Group, to deliver the keynote address, in one of her first public event since stepping down from the UNDP. Her full speech from the Conference can be found in the Bulletin, and provides an excellent framing piece – setting the tone in advocating strongly for partnerships at all levels.
Click here to access Development Bulletin Vol. 79 – as well as previous volumes – for free.
The RDI Network would like to extend a particular thank you to the Bulletin’s editor, Pamela Thomas, for her hard work and commitment in putting together this quality publication.