September 26, 2016
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Programme for the final Spaces of Evidence seminar: ‘Evidence and Organisations in Development’.

We are pleased to announce the programme for the final seminar of the Spaces of Evidence seminar series: ‘Evidence and Organisations in Development’. The seminar will be held at Edinburgh University on 6th & 7th October 2016.”. The final programme can be downloaded here.

May 25, 2016
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Spaces of Evidence final seminar – ‘Evidence and Organisations in Development’

The last workshop in the Spaces of Evidence series will address the theme ‘Evidence and Organisations in Development’, and will be held at Edinburgh University on 6th & 7th October 2016.

The event is hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Medical Anthropology and the Centre for African Studies.

Organised by Ian Harper, James Smith and Michelle Taylor

Confirmed speakers include:
Tim Allen, LSE; Linsey McGoey, Essex University; Russell Stothard, LSTM; David Torgerson, York University; Dan James, INTRAC; Lizzy Whitehead, Practical Action; Martin Walsh, Oxfam; Marlee Tichenor, Berkeley; Deepak Thapa, Social Science Baha (Nepal); Georgina Pearson, LSE; Giulia Zoccatelli, SOAS; Edward Stevenson, UCL; Fiona Gedeon Achi, McGill; Jeevan Sharma, Edinburgh University; Jean-Benoît Falisse, Edinburgh University; Christine Bell, Edinburgh University; Ian Harper, Edinburgh University; John MacInnes, Edinburgh University; Rebecca Stringer, DFID; James Smith and Michelle Taylor, Edinburgh University.

Workshop outline
What constitutes good evidence for development? The last decade has seen the rise in the idea that development interventions should be driven by relevant evidence. The Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs), in particular, facilitated or at least dovetailed with the drive for the move towards the generation of evidence by focusing on health related issues (in particular MDGs 4, 5 & 6 – child and maternal health, and infectious disease control respectively) and allowed for the narrowing, propagation and forwarding of certain forms of evidence, driven by big data and certain metrics. Ideas of evidence, so prevalent in medicine, were increasingly deemed important, as ideas of evidence bled into the development sector with its assumptions and rationalities. This has served to blur the boundaries between ‘evidence’ and ‘evaluation’.
Development interventions are driven by organisations. How do these organisations generate evidence for their interventions, policies and programmes? How do they prove the efficacy and effects of their impact and influence? We seek examples from research that has focused on a range of institutions, including bilaterals like DfID, multilaterals like the World Bank, UN and WHO, philanthropic organisations, Civil Society Organisations and the like.  In addition, we ask what are the implications for evidence generation in development with the newly ratified Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and their far broader definitions of what development is? How do these new goals impact on ideas of evidence? Finally, we hope to begin a discussion over what direction the drive to generate evidence is moving. With the means of generating evidence rapidly proliferating (e.g. via twitter and mobile phones), how can the resultant streams of big data be put to meaningful use? Can we create feedback loops in which emerging data can more rapidly inform practice (and more latterly policy)? Can developing countries increasingly make use of this data to determine the course of their own development? And what, if anything, might we be missing if we go down the road of focusing all our energies on measuring only that which is measurable?

Participation is by invitation only, however if you do wish to attend or have any queries please email Michelle Taylor at E.M.Taylor@ed.ac.uk

PHD students are invited to attend the two days event. To attend the event, please register on Eventbrite by clicking the link below.
URL: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/evidence-and-organisations-in-development-conference-tickets-26677265419

There will be a drinks reception open to all participants at 6pm on Thursday 6th October (ground floor, Informatics Building), followed by a dinner event open to speakers and convenors only.

May 24, 2016
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PhD Student Bursaries: Final Seminar ‘Evidence and Organisations in Development’

Edinburgh University October 6 and 7, 2016

We are pleased to offer 4 bursaries (travel + accommodation) for PhD students to attend the final event in the Spaces of Evidence seminar series ‘Evidence and Organisations in Development’, which will take place in Edinburgh on October 6 and 7, 2016.

To be considered, please send a one-page, double-spaced application, briefly detailing the focus of your PhD, and a sentence or two about why the conference might help further your research. You can find more information about the bursaries here.

Please send the application by email to Dr. Linsey McGoey, Principal Investigator of the ESRC seminar series, and Ms. Daniela Boraschi, PhD Candidate and Programme Coordinator of the Spaces of Evidence network at: lmcgoey@essex.ac.uk; evidence@essex.ac.uk.

The deadline for bursary applications is August 20, 2016.

April 20, 2016
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Comments Off on Final Programme for the Spaces of Evidence workshop “Pace Science: Data, Acceleration, Duration”

Final Programme for the Spaces of Evidence workshop “Pace Science: Data, Acceleration, Duration”

Co-Convened by Spaces of Evidence and Beyond the Digital Divide Research Team including: Lou Bezuidenhout, Ann H. Kelly, Sabina Leonelli, Linsey McGoey and Brian Rappert.

Funded by the ESRC and Leverhulme Trust.

We are pleased to announce the final programme for the Spaces of Evidence seminar series: “Pace Science: Data, Acceleration, Duration”. The workshop will take place on May 16th-17th 2016 at the Byrne House, University of Exeter. The final programme can be downloaded here. This event is open to all, but registration is required. For further information or to reserve a place, please write to Daniela Boraschi, programme coordinator, at evidence@essex.ac.uk

 

September 6, 2015
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Final Programme for the Spaces of Evidence workshop “Global Public Health”

Workshop: ‘Spaces of Evidence – Global Public Health’
Durham University – Lindisfarne Centre
22nd – 23rd October 2015

The Centre Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) is pleased to invite you to an inter-disciplinary workshop co-hosted with Spaces of Evidence. Funded by the University of Essex and the UK Economics and Social Science Research Council, the Spaces of Evidence project is a global network of scholars, practitioners and activists exploring the intersections of politics, measurement and evidence-based policy in health, development, economics, medicine and beyond.

This event will focus on Global Public Health with speakers from Ghana, Canada, Durham, London and Edinburgh. It promises to be an insightful series of talks including policy, public health, evidence and altruism. The current programme is attached for your consideration. Please circulate this invitation to your colleagues and others who may have an interest in Global Public Health. The final programme can be downloaded here.

We invite you to join us over the two days at the Lindisfarne Centre at St. Aidan’s College at Durham University.

In order to reserve your place for the workshop, please email
Dori Beeler (d.m.beeler@durham.ac.uk).

March 16, 2015
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Final Programme for the Spaces of Evidence IECRS: ‘Evidence in Action: New perspectives on evidence production in contemporary society’.

We are pleased to announce the final programme for the International Early Career Researcher Seminar in the ESRC Spaces of Evidence seminar series: Evidence in Action: New perspectives on evidence production in contemporary society. The event will be held on March 31, at the University of Sussex, Brighton. The final programme can be downloaded here. We still have a few places left. For further information, or to book a place, please write to Daniela Boraschi (programme coordinator) at evidence@essex.ac.uk

February 24, 2015
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Evidence in Action: New perspectives on evidence production in contemporary society.

We are pleased to announce the International Early Career Researcher Seminar in the ESRC Spaces of Evidence seminar series: Evidence in Action: New perspectives on evidence production in contemporary society. The seminar will take place on March 31st at the University of Sussex and it will be led by Dr Shadreck Mwale (University of Brighton), Daniela Boraschi (University of Essex) and Philip Sayer (University of Bristol). This is an open event but spaces are extremely limited. For further information or to reserve a place please write to Daniela Boraschi at evidence@essex.ac.uk. Continue Reading →

February 10, 2015
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Spaces of Evidence Early Career Researcher Seminar

The Spaces of Evidence Early Career Researcher Seminar will take place on March 31st, 2015 at the University of Sussex. The seminar Evidence in Action: New perspectives on evidence production in contemporary society features talks from an international team of PHD students and early career researchers on the realities, hierarchies and politics of evidence-based policy making  in global-local regulatory contexts such as health, economics and development. The seminar is open to the public but numbers are restricted. More details forthcoming.

October 31, 2014
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Call for Papers: Spaces of Evidence Early Career Researcher Seminar

Evidence in Action: New perspectives on evidence production in contemporary society.

The Spaces of Evidence Network is delighted to invite you to an international early career researcher seminar at the University of Sussex-Essex, on 31st March 2015. This is the first of two ECR events co-sponsored by Spaces of Evidence. The second will take place at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany in autumn 2015. The seminars will provide PhD and early career researchers a platform to present and discuss their research into influential evidence discourses in contemporary society. Download the Call for Papers here.

In the UK, US and Europe, there is an increasing commitment to an approach to policy that has the stated aim of ensuring that decision-making is well-informed by the best available evidence. Evidence is thus conceptualised as bringing to our attention ‘facts’, intended for use in support of a hypothesis, conclusion or a new action. Yet, such an understanding immediately prompts a series of questions regarding the legitimacy of different forms of evidence and their relationship with the complex goals and apparatus of the policy process. We encourage contributions from all disciplines and example themes for papers include but are not limited to:

  • Evidence-based practice and hierarchies of evidence
    Randomised Controlled Trials: A gold standard?
    Big Data: The future of social research?
  • Politics of evidence and the sociology of knowledge production
    Policy-based evidence and the realities of policy-making
    Evidence discourses as a means of control
  • Ignorance, uncertainty and appeals to evidence in a complex world
    Evidence production as management of uncertainty
    Decision-making under conditions of ignorance or uncertainty
  • Evidence, ethics and the politics of life
    Ethical appraisal of processes of evidence production
    Biomedicine, power and corporate responsibility

Attendance is free and speakers will be offered accommodation and reimbursement for UK travel. To be considered for presentation of 15 to 20 minutes in length, please send an abstract (max 400 words) to: evidence@essex.ac.uk and put ‘Early Career Research Seminar’ in the subject line. Deadline for submissions is Monday 1st December 2014. Successful applicants will be informed by mid-January 2015. If you have any questions, please email the organising team: Daniela Boraschi, Shadreck Mwale and Philip Sayer at evidence@essex.ac.uk

October 13, 2014
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Spaces of Evidence: Reflections on the ESRC seminar ‘Trials and Tribulations of Economics’ by Will Davies.

Orthodox economics has long come in for criticism regarding its presumptions about the world, especially those regarding human decision-making. The question is, if economics is to become more empirically attuned to real-world behaviour, how should it seek to do so? Equally importantly, to what extent does it draw on existing power structures (including some of questionable legitimacy) to acquire more fine-grained behavioural insight, and if so, how can it then offer any critical feedback to those structures, if at all?

It was these sorts of questions that motivated the agenda for the third Spaces of Evidence Seminar, held at Goldsmiths, University of London on 26th September 2014. The seminar was entitled Trials and Tribulations of Economics: New Directions for Economic Policy Evidence, and brought together economists, policy thinkers and sociologists. Here I offer some reflections and thematic summary, drawing on what was discussed over the course of the day (1). Continue Reading →