International Policy Day on Democracy Support and Governance

May 28, 2018 news

Research shows that countries with women in parliaments are more likely to achieve developmental goals that are of importance to women. In some African countries, it has led to lower levels of maternal mortality for both mothers and children. During an international conference at the University of Gothenburg on May 30, leading researchers and decision makers will gather to discuss, among other things, how the role of women in development and foreign policy can contribute to creating more equal societies.

The conference, organized for the fourth consecutive year, focuses on major global challenges: democracy and its decline, governance, peace and conflict, corruption, and conflict. More specifically, the role of women in development and foreign policy will be discussed, as well as how ethnicity and religion can affect service delivery and redistribution of resources, and in what ways democracy is threatened in the world.

This year's keynote speaker is Ana Maria Menédez, senior adviser for policy affairs for UN Secretary General António Guterres. Ms. Menédez has worked for over 30 years within diplomacy and has devoted a large part of her professional life to humanitarian issues.

“Menédez will share experiences from the UN and discuss the main obstacles to evidence-based decision making. She will thus emphasize the theme of for this year's policy dialogue day – the dialogue between academia and policy makers,” Monika Bauhr, director of the QoG Institute.

Female Representation
The conference consists ofparallel seminars, with discussions on selected themes, where researchers from different fields presenttheirlatest findings. 

“We will show, among other things, the importance of women in politics. In sub-Saharan Africa, an increasing proportion of female parliamentarians is associated with lower numbers of infant deaths and also tends to correlate with reduced maternal mortality,” Valeriya Mechkova, V-Dem researcher.

Threats to democracy
An important topic covered by the conference is thethird wave of "autocratization" - or democratic decline - that is unfolding.

“What is remarkable and new is that it mainly affects democracies, unfolds much more gradually and typically under a legal façade,” Anna Lührmann, deputy director of the V-Dem Institute.

Dialogue needed 

During the conference, there will also be panel discussions with, among others, Jörg Faust, Head of Germany's Development Evaluation Institute, and Joakim Molander, Chief Evaluator at SIDA.

“The Policy Day conference gives researchers and practitioners an opportunity to discuss common interests and challenges. Researchers can give practitioners a better understanding of our research results, and practitioners can help us to consider the challenges they face in putting these results into practice. Together, we can recognize the most important questions yet to be answered and how research might be implemented that leads to actionable insights,” Ellen Lust, director of GLD Gothenburg.

The conference Policy Dialogue Day 2018 - New Research = Better Policy: Insights on Democracy, Governance and Armed Conflicttakes place on May 30th, 10:00-17:00, at Conference Center Wallenberg, Medicinaregatan 20 A, Gothenburg. Representatives from media are welcome to attend. 

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