International Development Speaker Series

RAND International Research and Analysis supports the International Development Speaker Series (IDSS) organized by doctoral students at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The series offers the opportunity for people interested in the field of international development to attend seminars by leading experts in the field.

Recent Events

  • IDSS, TNL Host Discussion of the United Nations and the Governance of AI

    Prateek Sibal, a technology policy researcher at UNESCO, spoke with Tech + Narrative Lab associate director Osonde Osoba about the role of the specialized UN agency in the governance of AI. The conversation, part of the International Development Speaker Series, sketched out the goals, tools, and limitations of its role, while exploring the role of the government and other public and private actors in AI's regulation and long-term use.

    Sep 14, 2021

  • IDSS Welcomes Ashwin Parulkar for Talk on Homelessness in Delhi

    Ashwin Parulkar, a senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Research (New Delhi), discussed vulnerabilities that Delhi’s homeless face and how shelters currently address their needs. He focused on how people enter and survive homelessness in Delhi and how various geographies of homelessness are governed.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • IDSS-CLASP Lecture Explores What's at Stake in Mexico’s 2018 Election

    Mexicans will elect a new president, as well as 128 Senators and 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies, on July 1, 2018. Enrique Andrade González, president of the National Commission for the Vote of Mexicans Resident Abroad at the National Electoral Institute, discussed the outlook and considerations for this pivotal event in Mexico.

    May 18, 2018

  • Tom Ling Shares Evaluation Insights in IDSS Talk

    RAND Europe's Head of Evaluation, Tom Ling, shared insights from his more than 20 years of experience delivering robust and practical insights for partners such as DFID, UNICEF, Save the Children, the UK National Health Service (NHS) and the European Commission. He spoke about the delivery of high quality embedded evaluations that can be utilized to provide ongoing improvement to services.

    Apr 26, 2018

  • Speaker Discusses Communicating National Image Through Development and Diplomacy

    James Pamment, head of the Department of Strategic Communication at Lund University in Sweden, presented findings from his forthcoming book, which examines the relationship between soft power, public diplomacy, development communication, and nation brands.

    Mar 8, 2018

  • IREX President Discusses Changing Landscape of International Development

    In the first IDSS talk of 2018, Kristin Lord discussed the changing international development landscape and how international development NGOs like IREX, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, are adapting. She also discussed the strategic consequences of the global youth boom, a major IREX priority.

    Feb 7, 2018

  • Final Superfoods Contest Features Chefs and Street Food Vendors

    At the grand finale of the Superfoods Cookery Contest in Kampala, Uganda, professional chefs and local street food vendors developed recipes using millet and sorghum that would appeal to both upper- and lower-income urban consumers.

    Dec 2, 2016

  • Creativity Reigns in Contest for Best Millet and Sorghum Recipes

    At the second Superfoods Cookery Contest in Kampala, Uganda, professional chefs, aspiring innovators, foodies and students showed continued creativity in developing recipes using millet and sorghum.

    May 5, 2016

  • Superfoods Cookery Contest Featured Creative Millet and Sorghum Recipes

    At the Superfoods Cookery Contest in Kampala, Uganda, we awarded over 5,000,000 UGX in prizes to professional chefs, aspiring innovators, and foodies who developed recipes using millet and sorghum.

    Dec 11, 2015

  • Stakeholder Engagement Workshop Plans Activities for Traditional Grains Project

    The Traditional Grains project held a stakeholder engagement workshop in Kampala, Uganda, on August 18, 2015, to bring together professionals from a wide range of industries. The workshop was structured to be a participatory event, and attendees were encouraged to share their insights and ideas.

    Aug 21, 2015

History of the Series

IDSS provides a forum for visiting policymakers, scholars and development practitioners to stimulate research ideas and dialogue on international development-related topics.

Created in 2008 by three doctoral fellows at the Pardee RAND Graduate School (PRGS), the series alternates between panels of RAND researchers and external speakers.

Recent speakers include Dr. Francis Fukuyama, political scientist and best-selling author; Dr. Edward Miguel, economist and author; Dr. Esther Duflo, Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and Dr. Joseph Nye, former Dean of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Our audience consists of PRGS students as well as RAND researchers with an interest in international development. The great majority of the audience has some form of training in economics or statistics.

The speaker series are typically hosted at the RAND Corporation headquarters in Santa Monica during a weekday lunch hour, although alternative time slots are used. The program lasts approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. At the beginning of the presentation, an IDSS member or a RAND researcher introduces our guest speaker. The speaker then delivers a 45-55 minutes presentation followed by 15 to 20 minutes of audience Q&A.

How to get involved?

IDSS is open to anyone interested in development topics. More information about how to attend the seminars or recommend upcoming speakers can be found on the IDSS Mailing List page.