‘Putting Learning and Evidence into Use’ - Seminar Review

Issued 6 September 2013

‘Putting Learning and Evidence into Use’ Building on One World, One Future: Ireland’s Policy for International Development - Seminar September 5th 2013

Irish Aid, in conjunction with the Development Studies Association of Ireland (DSAI), Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), organised a seminar with the objectives of disseminating Ireland’s new Policy on International Development, presenting Irish and ODI research on areas related to the new policy goals and priorities, and building research and learning links between Irish third level institutions, NGOs and ODI.

The event which was held at Trinity College Dublin on September 5th was timely following on from the recent launch of Ireland’s new Policy and in advance of the launch of a new Research Strategy for Irish Aid. The policy and its priority areas acted as the frame for the presentations and discussions. The seminar looked at how the impact of the policy can be maximized through putting learning and evidence into use.

The aim of the seminar was to identify the particular role of research institutions, to foster greater collaboration, to highlight the centrality of a results-based approach to research and to include the following outputs:

  • An initial mapping of Irish research relevant to the policy for international development;
  • Identification of potential links between Irish research and ODI’s work for Irish Aid; 
  • An action plan for following up on ways of collaborating between Irish third level institutions, NGOs and ODI.

Speakers at the event were: 

Minister Joe Costello, T.D

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Trade and Development, Minister Joe Costello T.D. was first elected to Seanad Éireann (the Senate, or upper chamber of the Irish Parliament) in 1989.  He served in the Seanad until 1992 when he was elected to Dáil Eireann (the House of Representatives, or lower chamber of the Irish Parliament). He served in the Dáil until 1997 and was then reelected to Seanad Eireann.  He served as Leader of the Labour Seanad Group from 1997 to 2002.  The Minister was reelected to Dáil Eireann in 2002 and has been elected to the Dáil in every subsequent election. The Minister served as the Labour Party Representative on the British Irish Parliamentary Body from 1997 to 2007 and was Chairperson of Labour's Policy Development Commission from 1995 to 2002.  The Minister was an elected member of Dublin City Council from 1991 to 2003.  While a Councillor, the Minister served the people of Dublin as Deputy Lord Mayor from 1991 to 1992. Minister Costello has been the Labour Party Spokesperson on Education, Justice, Defense, European Affairs, Human Rights and Transport. Prior to his Ministerial appointment, Minister Costello served as Chairperson of the Dáil Committee of European Union Affairs. 


The Minister has also served as Chairperson of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) Joint Committee on European Affairs.  The Minister is a Former Member of Dáil Committee on Justice, Equality, Women’s Rights and Defense; the Oireachtas Sub-Committee of the Barron Report on the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings of 1974; the Oireachtas Joint Committee on EU Scrutiny; the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on Irelands future in the European Union; and the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on the Review of the Role of the Oireachtas in European Affairs.  The Minister is a former Secondary School teacher and former President of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland and a former Vice-Chair of Amnesty International.

Kevin Watkins

Kevin Watkins is Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute. He is a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a senior visiting research fellow at the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford University. Previously, he was the director and lead author of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report (2007 to 2010) and the UNDP Human Development Report, where he led the research on reports covering global poverty and inequality, the global water crisis, and climate change.  Prior to working with the United Nations, he worked for thirteen years with Oxfam, where he authored major reports on African debt, international trade and Oxfam’s Education Report.  He holds a BA in Politics and Social Science from Durham University and a doctorate from Oxford University.  His research interests include poverty and inequality, education, approaches to equity in public spending and inclusive economic growth.

Ronnie Munck

Professor Ronaldo Munck is Head of Civic Engagement at Dublin City University and holds visiting Professorships in international development at the University of Liverpool (UK) and St. Mary’s University (Nova Scotia).  He has authored or edited more than 20 books on various topics related to globalisation, international development and social movements as well as over 100 academic journal articles.  His books have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, Korean, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese.  Recent titles include ‘Globalisation and Labour: The new Great Transformation’ (2002), ‘Globalisation and Migration: New Issues, New Politics’ (2009), ‘Rethinking Latin America: Development, Hegemony and Social Transformation’ (2013) and ‘Water and Development: Governance after Neoliberalism’ (2014).  He serves on the editorial boards of a number of international journals including Globalizations, Global Social Policy, Global Labour, Labour History, Review, Global Discourses and Latin American Perspectives.  Recent keynote speeches include the International Society for Third Sector Research in Bangkok, the Migration and Informal Labour Conference in Istanbul, the International Transport Workers Federation in Oslo, the Critical Development Forum in Zacatecas, Mexico, the Latino(a) Migration Futures at Omaha, US and the International Development Studies Association in Montreal, Canada.  Until recently Professor Munck was coordinator of the Irish Aid funded inter-university project the Irish African Partnership for Research Capacity Building and is currently chair of the DSAI.

Dominic MacSorley

Dominic MacSorley was appointed as CEO of Concern Worldwide in February 2013 having started his career with Concern in 1982.  Prior to this appointment, he served as Director of Operations based in Concern’s New York office where for the past ten years where he managed Concern’s relations with the UN and key donors including USAID.  Mr MacSorley was twice appointed as Interaction’s (US largest NGO coordinating body) representative to the UN; served as a key member of the Inter Agency Standing Committee, the primary UN/NGO Humanitarian policy body and for one year as Program Advisor for the Clinton Global Initiative. Throughout his time with Concern he has served in many diverse roles, as Country Director, Regional Director to his role on the Rapid Deployment Unit, a team of highly experienced and specialist staff available at short notice to respond to emergency situations.  His record of service is a veritable roll-call of humanitarian emergencies to which Concern has responded over the past 30 years including: India, Honduras, Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo and, Haiti.  He is passionately committed to the organisation, its ethos and its work.  In March 2012, at a ceremony in Stormont, he received an award for ‘Outstanding Vocational Commitment to International Development’ for his thirty-year contribution to international humanitarianism from the Northern Ireland All-Party Group on International Development and in 2009, was invested with the Order of the British Empire ‘for services to International Humanitarian Aid’.

Su Ming Khoo

Dr. Su-ming Khoo is a Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway.  Her major interests are in development, human rights, citizenship, culture, consumer activism, decolonization, ecology, democratization, participation, knowledge advocacy and activism, higher education, globalization and internationalization.  Her research and teaching focus on human rights and development, particularly Right to Food, Right to Health and Right to Education, public goods, human development and capability theory, consumer activism, higher education policy and public scholarship. Her current research projects are on rights, solidarities and health reforms in complex developmental transitions and on ethics and internationalization in higher education.

Vincent O’Neill

Vincent O’Neill is Director of Policy, Planning and Effectiveness in Irish Aid. A medical doctor by professional background, he has extensive experience in international development and has worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade since 1995. He has lived for over 8 years in Africa, in Sierra Leone, Uganda and, most recently as Head of Development Cooperation in Malawi (2007-11). He was actively involved in developing the Programme of Strategic Cooperation with Irish Research Institutes and his Unit has responsibility for planning Irish Aid funded research partnerships and the development of a new Research Strategy. Over the past year his Unit had responsibility for overseeing the development of Ireland’s new Policy for International Development, One World, One Future.

Rachel Slater

Rachel Slater specialises in food security, social protection, and rural and agricultural development. She has particular expertise in Southern Africa (especially Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia) and Ethiopia. She has also worked in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, Iraq and in Solomon Islands and Fiji. Her most recent work, has focused on social protection including the synergies between agricultural and social protection policies, and options for using cash transfers as development tools.  Rachel is also the Director of Research for the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium.

Peter McEvoy

Peter McEvoy, a Dublin-based freelance consultant, has worked for over two decades in 25 countries in the management and evaluation of international development projects and programmes in the education and social sectors.  During that time he has worked as a consultant to missionary bodies, NGOs, Irish Aid and the European Commission.  At an earlier stage in his career, he was Programme Director of HEDCO-Ireland and Irish Aid Programme Officer in Lesotho.  More recently, he served as Project Manager of the Irish African Partnership for Research Capacity Building based in Dublin City University, where he is currently pursuing part-time doctoral research.  Currently he is a member of the DSAI Steering Committee.

Michael King

Michael King is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin.  Michael’s research interests focus on banking and household finance in developing countries, development policy, in particular policy coherence for development and impact measurement. Between 2007 and 2012, Michael held the position of Senior Research Officer at the Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) at Trinity College Dublin.  He has previously worked as an economist with Forfás and the National Competitiveness Council in Dublin and is the founder and former Chief Executive Officer (2001-2004) of Dublin based international development agency Suas Educational Development.  Michael holds a Masters in economics and international development (MPAID) from Harvard University and a BA and PhD in economics from Trinity College Dublin. Before joining Trinity full-time Michael was awarded the O’Reilly Foundation Scholarship (2003), the Fulbright Scholarship (2004) and the John F Kennedy Scholarship (2004).

Marta Foresti

Marta Foresti leads the Politics and Governance programme at ODI.  Her interests include the political economy of development - with a focus on service delivery, justice, and rights - as well as conflict and fragility. She has an interest in applied social research methodologies and policy evaluation in particular.  She has over ten years of research, evaluation, policy and management experience.  Before joining ODI in 2006, Marta gained practical policy experience, including as a senior policy advisor in the Department of Development Policy of the Italian Treasury and as head of the Learning and Impact Assessment team at Save the Children UK and at Amnesty International.  She has extensive country experience in West Africa, South and South East Asia, as well as in several European countries, including Italy and the UK.

Rosalyn Tamming

Rosalyn Tamming joined Concern Worldwide as Head of the Health Support Unit in unit in October 2009.  She is responsible for overseeing all of Concern’s health, nutrition and water and sanitation programmes across 25 countries and manages a team of nine technical advisers.  Her background is as a nurse and midwife and she has a masters in Community Health and a PhD in Health Services Research, both awarded by Trinity College. Up to 2012 she was also an adjunct lecturer with the Centre for Global Health in Trinity College.  She spent three years working with Concern in five African countries from 1996 to 1999 mostly in complex emergencies. She spent four years working with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia in the US where she worked mainly on the introduction of new vaccine for children in developing countries.  Working closely with the World Health Organization, this role included vaccine effectiveness studies, strengthening surveillance systems, using data for advocacy, and partnership building.  She was awarded CDC’s Iain C Hardy Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to the control of vaccine preventable diseases and won the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland’s Jacqueline Horgan bronze medal for excellence in epidemiology research.

Walt Kilroy

Walt Kilroy is a postdoctoral research fellow at Dublin City University (funded by the Irish Research Council), and associate director of DCU’s Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction.  His research interests include development, conflict, and post-war reconstruction, and the interactions between these processes.  His teaching has included these topics, as well as international media and reporting.  His PhD looked at the way in which ex-combatants were dealt with after the wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia, through the programmes for Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR).  It explored the extent to which DDR was participatory, and the effect of participation on the programme’s outcomes.  Walt previously worked in the Horn of Africa for the development organisation, Trócaire, on conflict and advocacy (2004-06).  This focused on the Darfur conflict in Sudan.  Prior to that, he worked in journalism for print, radio, and television, and was Deputy Foreign Editor at the Irish public service broadcaster, RTE, reporting from conflict zones such as Afghanistan and the Balkans.  He received the National Science and Technology Journalism Award (Television Category) for his reporting on climate change for RTE News.

Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey is the Chief Executive of a six year, DFID, Irish Aid and EC funded, ODI led research consortium working on livelihoods and services in fragile and conflict affected situations ( ).  Paul Harvey is also a Partner with Humanitarian Outcomes, an independent team of professionals providing evidence-based analysis and policy consultations to governments and international organisations on their humanitarian response efforts.  He was previously a Research Fellow with the Humanitarian Policy Group in the Overseas Development Institute and worked for various NGOs as an emergency manager, including work in Somalia, Sierra Leone and Kosovo.

Sara Pantuliano

Dr. Sara Pantuliano is the Head of HPG at ODI. She is a political scientist with extensive experience in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Prior to joining ODI, Dr. Pantuliano led UNDP Sudan’s Peace building Unit, managed a high-profile post-conflict response in the Nuba Mountains and was a resource person and an observer at the IGAD Sudan peace process.  She holds a PhD in Politics and has lectured at the University of Dar es Salaam. She has written extensively on Sudan and on humanitarian action and is a regular media commentator on these issues. She is Managing Editor of Disasters Journal and Member of the Global Agenda Council on Catastrophic Risk of the World Economic Forum.  She is a Trustee of SOS Sahel and serves on the advisory boards of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, the Refugees Studies Centre and the UN Association of the UK.

David Booth

Before joining the Overseas Development Institute in 1998, David Booth was a university academic at Hull and Swansea, latterly as Professor of Development Studies.  He has been editor of the journal Development Policy Review (2000-09) and Director of the Africa Power and Politics Programme (2007-12).  He now coordinates a joint project on Developmental Regimes in Africa while also contributing to training courses in applied political economy analysis for development agencies worldwide.  David’s publications include Rethinking Social Development (Longman, 1994), Fighting Poverty in Africa: Are PRSPs Making a Difference? (ODI, 2003), Good Governance, Aid Modalities and Poverty Reduction (Irish Aid, 2008), Working with the Grain? Rethinking African Governance (IDS Bulletin, 2011) and Development as a Collective Action Problem (APPP, 2012).  He is the author of numerous journal articles, ODI papers and blogs in related fields.


To view the seminar powerpoint please click on the file below