Sustainable Solutions: A Spotlight on South Asian Research

Sustainable Solutions: A Spotlight on South Asian Research

Publication details

  • Monday | 01 Dec, 2008
  • Uzma Tariq Haroon, Sara Sadiq
  • SDC Anthologies

Sustainable Solutions: A Spotlight on South Asian Research was launched on 1 December 2008 at the occasion of the Eleventh Sustainable Development Conference. The anthology comprises eleven chapters based on peer-reviewed papers presented at the Tenth SDC in December 2007. Publishing the anthology is a year-long process in which the papers go through a systematic review process and the ones that get approved are edited and published in the anthology. The anthology deals with research on real life problems ranging from misconceived historical perspectives in South Asia, threatened livelihoods, policy-led disaster management, challenges and opportunities offered by trade liberalization and globalization, and the neglected role of women in coping with the challenges of non-sustainable development is presented to give the reader an idea of the complexity and interdependency of these issues. Whether research can play a role in offering solutions to the challenges faced by sustainable development is a much-debated question. While some argue that the research-policy disconnect renders most research findings useless, others contend that the theory-practice disconnect is the reason for policy failure. Yet another school of thought believes that unless means of implementation are not clearly defined at the research level the policy is bound to meet failure. They feel that ensuring implementation is a policy formulator’s task, and s/he should identify the means to turn theory into practice. It is in this context that policy researchers at the Tenth Sustainable Development Conference, ‘Sustainable Solutions: A Spotlight on South Asian Research’, deliberated not only the predicament of formulating the right research questions, but also took the opportunity to discuss the political economy of research itself, i.e., is it supply or demand driven? What is meant by sustainable development and who are its stakeholders? Why researchers are not able to diagnose the problems correctly or why after having diagnosed the problem cannot suggest the right solution owing to various socio-political and/or economic constraints.