Madhuri Dass
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Global researchers discuss inequality, social protection and inclusive growth in Manila conference

Manila, 19 JUNE 2013 – About 400 researchers from all over the world are in Manila to attend the Global Development Network (GDN) 14th Annual Conference themed 'Inequality, Social Protection and Inclusive Growth'. The conference, which runs from 19-21 June 2013, is being held at the ADB Headquarters and is organized in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the East Asian Development Network (EADN), and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

According to GDN President Pierre Jacquet, "GDN's conference in Manila pursues a threefold objective. The first one is to move from endless and ineffective recommendations to evidence-based and operational discussions. The second purpose of this conference is to raise the voice of developing country researchers, to listen to them, and somehow to complement the tradition of having them learn from and respond to seasoned international academics. Third and finally, it encapsulates GDN’s overarching theme of research capacity building to inspire better policies."

Mr. Takehiko Nakao, ADB President, pointed out the timeliness of the conference theme, in light of discussions in the global development community of the post-2015 agenda. He noted that while remarkable progress in reducing global poverty has been accomplished, there is still much unfinished business from the Millennium Development Goals. By bringing together development researchers from all over the world, the GDN Conference could make important contributions to the global discussions on defining and achieving new development goals, such as ADB’s long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2020.

Meanwhile Dr. Josef Yap, president of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and Regional Coordinator of the East Asian Development Network (EADN), cited the current Aquino administration's program of good governance and its favorable outcomes in strengthening the Philippines' economic outlook. He also mentioned the government's conditional cash transfer program, dubbed the 4Ps for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program – the literal translation of which is "bridge for Filipino families" – as a means of addressing inequality and providing social protection on the micro-level.

The Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country to host the GDN Annual Global Development Conference. GDN conferences are unique, not just in the sheer numbers of people who attend, but also in the range of issues they discuss and the regions they represent. Another important feature of GDN conferences is that they provide promising young researchers from developing countries with the opportunity to showcase their research in an international forum and benefit from interaction with world-renowned academics and policymakers. This has important positive implications for research capacity building, a central element of the GDN mission.

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