36 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

T +44 (0) 20 7958 8251

First LIDC Bi-Annual Conference ‘Five years of interdisciplinary research in development – looking back and looking forward’

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 09:30 to 18:00

More than 150 staff, students, alumni and guests gathered at the First LIDC Bi-Annual Conference on 23 May 2013, to celebrate five years of successful interdisciplinary research in international development and to look forward. 

LIDC was created in 2008 to facilitate innovative research in international development across the University of London Bloomsbury Colleges, cutting across sectoral, disciplinary and institutional barriers. Now, five years later, LIDC is looking back at what it has accomplished: we have facilitated projects to the value of nearly £6 million, we have held 35 workshops and hundreds of public events.  Our membership network is 3,000-strong, with over 600 staff and 1,000 students who we have trained to become better development professionals. The LIDC Conference, held every two years, offers its members a platform to discuss best practice in interdisciplinary research projects in international development, engage with one another, and develop new project ideas.  

The conference coincided with the Award Ceremony of the LIDC Fellowship Scheme that offers small grants to support new interdisciplinary projects in international development at Bloomsbury Colleges.


Venue: Room B01, Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck, Torrington Square, WC1E 7JL London

To download the powerpoint presentations or audio recordings, please click on the links below. A summary of the conference will be available soon.

Read the article about the conference on SciDev.Net 'Pooling diverse development experience 'reaps rewards''.


PROGRAMME (Download the programme in pdf)

9.30 – 10 am - Registration and coffee

10 – 10.30 am – Welcome and introduction

•    Introduction: Prof. Jeff Waage, Director, LIDC (listen to the recording)
•    Welcome: Prof. Chris Husbands, Director, IOE; Chair, The Bloomsbury Colleges (download presentation)  (listen to the recording)
•    International development research at Birkbeck: Dr. Karen Wells, Associate Dean, Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies, Birkbeck (listen to the recording)

10.30 – 11.15 am – Keynote address  ‘Challenges for the 21st Century’

•    Prof. Sir John Beddington, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser 2008-2013 (download presentation) (listen to the recording)

Watch the video (below)







1.15 – 11.30 am – Coffee break

11.30 – 12.30 pm – Session 1: LIDC’s interdisciplinary initiatives - progress so far

This session offered an overview of interdisciplinary initiatives across Bloomsbury Colleges using examples of three projects supported by LIDC in the past few years. Project leaders will talk about how the collaboration came about, what it achieved, and how an interdisciplinary approach added value.

Chair: Anna Marry, Communications Manager, LIDC
•    Agri-Health: Prof. Bhavani Shankar, SOAS/ LCIRAH; Dr. Alan Dangour, LSHTM/ LCIRAH (download presentation) (listen to the recording)
•    One Health: Prof. Richard Kock, RVC; Dr. Jo Lines, LSHTM (listen to the recording)
•    Students as Global Citizens: Dr. Nicole Blum, IOE; Nick Short, RVC (download presentation) (listen to the recording)

12.30 – 1.30 pm – Lunch

1.30 – 2  pm - Award Ceremony for the LIDC Fellowship Scheme

This year LIDC launched the first LIDC Fellowship Scheme, offering seed grants to fund innovative interdisciplinary research projects across Bloomsbury Colleges. In this session the first LIDC Fellows received their awards and presented their projects. (listen to the recording)

Chair: Prof. Jonathan Elliott, RVC; Chair, Bloomsbury Research Committee

2 – 2.45 pm – Session 2: New interdisciplinary frontiers

In this session we focused on two topical areas, conflict and gender, as interdisciplinary frontiers with potential for new cross-Bloomsbury research. We asked experts in each area to suggest interdisciplinary research questions and how to address potential challenges to future collaborative work.

Chair: Catherine Fletcher, Programme Developer, LIDC
•    Conflict: Prof. Chris Cramer, SOAS; Jennifer Palmer, LSHTM (download presentation) (listen to the recording)
•    Gender: Dr. Elizabeth Hull, SOAS; Dr. Karen Devries, LSHTM; Dr. Jenny Parkes, IOE (download presentation) (listen to the recording)

2.45 – 3.30 pm – Session 3: Interdisciplinarity – What should Bloomsbury Colleges be doing?

The session brought together international development experts from Bloomsbury Colleges for a discussion on why LIDC Colleges should be interested in interdisciplinary research and teaching and what they should be doing to encourage interdisciplinary approaches.

(listen to the recording)

Chair: Catherine Fletcher, Programme Developer, LIDC
•    Prof. Sharon Huttly, LSHTM
•    Dr. Doug Bourn, IOE
•    Dr. Jasmine Gideon, Birkbeck
•    Prof. Richard Kock, RVC
•    Laurence Smith, SOAS

3.30 – 3.45 pm – Coffee break

3.45 – 4.45 pm – Session 4: Beyond Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a new development agenda?

In 2010 LIDC brought together an interdisciplinary team of experts from Bloomsbury Colleges to produce a report published by the Lancet: ‘The Millennium Development Goals: a cross-sectoral analysis and principles for goal setting  after 2015’. In this session we brought together MDG experts to revisit the findings of the Lancet-LIDC Commission and examine progress on the MDGs since the report’s publication. Secondly, we looked beyond 2015: What should be the shape of future goals? (listen to the recording)

Watch the video (below):







Chair: Prof. Jeff Waage, Director, LIDC

•    Prof. Elaine Unterhalter, IOE
•    Dr. Colin Poulton, SOAS
•    Prof. Andy Haines, LSHTM
•    Prof. Emerita Angela Little, IOE
•    Hugh Waddington, 3ie

4.45 – 5 pm – Closing

•    Prof. Jeff Waage, Director, LIDC (listen to the recording)

5.15 – 6.30 pm - Drinks and networking