Select Page

SAI Event Type : Conferences and Symposiums

Africa-Asia Roundtable – Pandemics: Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response

Tue, May 18, 2021 at 07:00am

Wed, May 19, 2021 at 09:00am


Register here for the talk

The Harvard Center for Africa Studies will convene our Africa-Asia Roundtable – Pandemics: Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response on May 18 – 19, 2021 from 7:00a – 9:00a EST / 1:00p – 3:00p CAT / 4:30p – 6:30p IST / 7:00p – 9:00p CST.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a global focus on pandemic surveillance, preparedness, and response. As a result of the 2014 – 2016 Ebola outbreak, the World Bank invested in the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) Program. Thirteen countries in West and Central Africa have received a $200 million funding commitment “to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat of emerging and epidemic-prone diseases.” In addition to funding, the program has provided for intra-country cooperation on detecting and preventing pandemics as well as regional lab networks and training opportunities. More recently, the Africa CDC  has spearheaded continental efforts to advance various elements of  detection and response to various health threats, with notable success related to COVID-19. Such programs are examples of how regional and global cooperation designed to respond to an infectious disease outbreak can be leveraged in future pandemics.

China has promised the delivery of its Sinopharm vaccine to countries in Africa, with 200,000 doses arriving in Senegal and another 200,000 in Zimbabwe. While the commitments fall far short of the 1.4 billion doses that will be needed to reach herd immunity in Africa, China’s vaccine distribution has moved alongside the WHO-endorsed COVAX plan (to which China will also contribute 10 million vaccines). India has also been a contributor to global vaccine distribution, both through COVAX and other direct supplies to the global south, distributing more than 60 million doses. The scrambling for vaccines from the global north highlights a disparity in equitable access to vaccines, raising questions about intellectual property and the possibilities for local production.

Over two days, we will convene four panels to further explore questions around vaccines and vaccine development, technology transfer, capacity building, and global cooperation strategies for combating pandemics. What lessons can the world learn from Africa’s response to previous epidemics/pandemics including Ebola and HIV/AIDS and the current COVID-19 pandemic? What is the role of global cooperation between Africa-Asia, and China-India-Africa in particular? Is the COVID-19 crisis and response, including vaccine development and distribution, an opportunity for a new era of global cooperation?

May 18, 2021: Vaccines

7:00a                     Welcome and Introductory remarks

7:10a – 8:05a     Panel 1– Vaccines: Discovery and Trials

The panel will explore vaccine development and the role of clinical trials held in Africa, by Africans, and on Africans as well as the generalizability of global trials of the COVID-19 vaccine in light of the spread of variants. We will discuss the clinical trials conducted globally and the contributions of African scientists and trial participants. Conducting clinical trials in Africa has also been a topic of controversy, in particular when some have suggested trials should take place in Africa due to a lack of personal protective equipment and a higher risk of infection. We will also explore whether the speed with which COVID-19 vaccines have been produced brings promise for other existing and emerging infectious diseases.

8:05a – 9:00a     Panel 2 – Vaccines and Diagnostics: Production and Technology Transfer at Scale

We will begin a conversation about local distribution of globally produced vaccines and technology transfer. Once a vaccine is developed, what conditions provide for local production, and what are the barriers? China and India, for example, have made bilateral agreements with several Asian and African countries to produce vaccines for COVID-19. Compared to India and China, Africa has limited production capacity for both vaccines and diagnostics. What factors explain the lack of production capability and capacity? Dakar, Senegal is one production site developing both rapid testing and antibody testing for COVID. What are the economic and public health factors that could drive local production at scale?

May 19, 2021: Surveillance and Response

7:00a                     Welcome and Reflections on Day 1

7:10a – 8:05a     Panel 3 – Capacity Building and the Role of Universities

We will explore the role of universities in training the next generation of scientists and health professionals who will lead the charge in discovery and translation of knowledge that is essential for addressing current and future public health challenges. Tomorrow’s pandemics require the next generation of leaders to be prepared to collaborate with peers within and across countries to navigate as yet unforeseen challenges. What have been the barriers to such collaborations? What novel and innovative approaches have been used to develop capacity building in an increasingly globalized world? The panel will discuss solutions that have been successfully implemented and can serve as models to further develop global public health leaders.

8:05a – 9:00a     Panel 4 – Surveillance and Response

We will invite panelists to speak to their roles and contributions on surveillance and response and to interrogate the possibility for global cooperation on these efforts. Infectious disease outbreaks such as Ebola or COVID-19 may tax a system in the near-term, but what can be done to develop more resilient health systems in the longer-term? Surveillance and response are also linked to good governance, and, with COVID-19, we have seen the risk of an infectious disease becoming politicized. The panel will explore how healthcare and response strategies must transcend domestic politics and foster global cooperation efforts as well as successful examples of such strategies.  

Sponsored by the China-Harvard-Africa Network at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Harvard University Asia Center; Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University; The Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute at Harvard University; Harvard-Yenching Institute

Bangladesh at 50: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Wed, Mar 3, 2021 at 07:00am

Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 11:00am


Wednesday, March 3, 2021: 7:00 AM EST – 11:00 AM EST // 6:00 PM BST – 10:00 PM BST 
Thursday, March 4, 2021: 7:00 AM EST – 11:00 AM EST // 6:00 PM BST – 10:00 PM BST
Register here to receive the Zoom link to both days of the conference.
Livestream Day 1 (Wednesday, March 3) on YouTube
Livestream Day 2 (Thursday, March 4) on YouTube

Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971. To mark 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University is holding virtual conference on March 3 and 4, 2021. The conference will highlight the arc of Bangladesh’s history from the Language Movement through the Liberation War to the present – and the future.

Panelists will discuss a wide range of topics, including the remarkable economic and human development of independent Bangladesh and the important role of civil society in its development. This arc will be traced and analyzed through a set of panel presentations by leading Bangladeshi scholars and activists moderated by international scholars who have worked on and in Bangladesh.  


To view the agenda for both days and the panelists who will be speaking at the event, click here.

South Asia Youth Resilience Summit

Thu, Apr 16, 2020

Sat, Apr 18, 2020

More information here:

Facebook Live:

South Asia, home to more than one-fourth of the world’s population, is set to be one of the hardest hit regions in the world by COVID-19, as the region endures prolonged lockdowns. The economic impact here is likely to be greater than the health impact, as countries in the region do not have the fiscal space or safety nets for flattening the curve by halting production and economic activity.

To facilitate a conversation on the adaptation that will be required to address the current crisis, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) is organizing the South Asia Youth Resilience Summit 2020, on April 16-18, to be hosted live on Facebook. On each of the three days, we will have a moderated conversation with a global expert for an hour on how youth in South Asia can build resilience and navigate the complexities of present times caused by COVID-19. In addition, there will be panel discussions on each of the three days on issues ranging from youth leadership, entrepreneurial ecosystems in South Asia in a post-pandemic world to staying resilient in times of crisis.

India Conference at Harvard

Sat, Feb 15, 2020

Sun, Feb 16, 2020

Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Business School
100 Western Ave.
Boston, MA 02163

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

The 17th Annual India Conference at Harvard will take place at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge.

The India Conference at Harvard presents an excellent opportunity for those with an interest in India and the role it will play in the 2020s to learn from India’s opinion leaders.

This year, the conference boasts a stellar line up of speakers, including celebrated actor Anupam Kher, former international cricket coach Gary Kirsten, media baron Aroon Purie, economist Arvind Subramanian, senior politicians Jayant Sinha and Varun Gandhi, filmmaker Kabir Khan, CEO of Flipkart Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Invest India CEO Deepak Bagla, standup comedian Vir Das, and leading technology entrepreneurs Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo and Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks.

Book tickets here:
For 20% off, use code: ICH0020


Nepal Mandala Symposium

Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 05:30pm

Sat, Dec 7, 2019

Sackler 029 Lecture Hall

Sackler 029 Lecture Hall
485 Broadway
Cambridge, MA ‎

Symposium Schedule

Opening Keynote Panel with Dharma and Punya Curators
Thursday, December 5
5:30 – 6:30pm
Lecture Hall, Lower Level, 485 Broadway, Cambridge
Reception: 6:30 – 7:30pm, HAA Living Room, 4th floor
485 Broadway, Cambridge

Friday, December 6
8:00am – 6:00pm
Thompson Room, Barker Center, 12 Quincy St, Cambridge

Dharma and Punya Exhibition Group Visit*
Saturday, December 7
10:00am – 3:00pm
Iris B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery, College of the Holy Cross
*Space limited, pre-registration required

Pride & Progress Film Festival and Symposium

Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 09:00am

Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 06:00pm

Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

Harvard Kennedy School
Cambridge, MA

The Pride & Progress film festival and symposium will screen movies and highlight human rights filmmakers and activists who are leading the cultural fight against laws that criminalize and discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in the former British colonies.

Mobilities and Immobilities: Histories of Modern Migration to and in the Americas

Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 09:00am

Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 04:00pm

Robinson Hall, 35 Quincy Street, Lower Level Library

Robinson Hall
35 Quincy Street
Lower Level Library

William James Hall, 1550

William James Hall, 1550
33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge MA

This workshop consists of pre-circulated papers. Please contact the author directly for a copy of their paper. Each hour of discussion will follow the same model: 5-7 minutes of speaking time for the author, a 30-35 minute forum in which workshop participants discuss the paper without a response from the author, a 5 minute faculty response, and 3-5 minutes of response from the author. Meals and snacks will be provided for all participants.

Thursday, September 12: William James Hall 1550
Friday, September 13: Robinson Hall, Basement Seminar Room

The Commerce (Clause) in Sex and Migration in the Life of Lucille de Saint-Andre
Grace Peña Delgado, University of California, Santa Cruz
Comments: Walter Johnson, Harvard University

Hinduism in Nepal: The Ritual Dimension

Thu, May 2, 2019

Fri, May 3, 2019

Science Center Hall A

Science Center Hall A
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138

As part of the Nepal Studies Program, Professor Michael Witzel from Harvard University will lead a conference titled “Hinduism in Nepal: The Ritual Dimension.” Ritual has played a major role in Hindu societies, from the Vedas to modern times, and it has been particularly prominent in Nepalese society. It accompanies individuals from morning until night, from birth to death, and it shapes the customs of society throughout the year. This conference will explore some of the rituals, past and present, that are typical for Nepal. Stress is put on the extensive documentation that has been carried out over the past few decades, with a particular focus on fire rituals.

South Asia Symposium: Challenges Facing the Leaders of Tomorrow

Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 09:00am

Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 06:00pm

Starr Auditorium
Harvard Kennedy School

Starr Auditorium
Harvard Kennedy School
79 J. F. Kennedy Street,
Cambridge, MA

The South Asian countries are tied through a common heritage and similar socio-economic problems. However, despite its geopolitical sensitivity and human resource potential, there has been limited discussion on the possible areas of cooperation and barriers to such cooperation in the South Asian region. With the proposed USA withdrawal from Afghanistan and recent tensions between India and Pakistan, the conversation on South Asia has never been more relevant than it is today.

This event is co-sponsored by the South Asia Engagement group, the Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan, and the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute. 

Engaging with India: Engaging with Feminism

Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 06:00pm

Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 07:30pm

COST   Free

Harvard University
Loeb House

Harvard University
Loeb House
17 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Engaging with India: Engaging with Feminism and the Passion of “The Before Midnight’s Children”

Speaker: Devaki Jain, Economist, Writer, and Recipient of the Padma Bhushan Award

The Harish C. Mahindra Lecture Series is given in honor of the late Harish C. Mahindra, a distinguished alumnus of Harvard College and a visionary leader of business and industry in India. The lecture is an important component in continuing the education and understanding of the challenges facing South Asia, and provides an ideal forum for the next generation of global leadership.

This year, Devaki Jain will be giving the Mahindra Lecture. Devaki Jain is an Indian economist and writer who has made significant contributions to feminist economics, social justice, and women’s empowerment in India. In 2006, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan — the third-highest civilian honor from the Government of India — for her contributions to society. In this lecture, she will weave her own personal story into the political story of India and discuss her engagement with public life, activism, and her current work in feminist economics.

A reception will follow the lecture. This event is free and open to the public. 

Hinduism in Nepal: The Ritual Dimension

Sun, Jan 20, 2019 at 10:00am

Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 05:00pm

As part of the Nepal Studies ProgramProfessor Michael Witzel will lead a conference titled “Hinduism in Nepal: The Ritual Dimension.” Ritual has played a major role in Hindu societies, from the Vedas to modern times, and it has been particularly prominent in Nepalese society. It accompanies individuals from morning until night, from birth to death, and it shapes the customs of society throughout the year. This conference will explore some of the rituals, past and present, that are typical for Nepal. Stress is put on the extensive documentation that has been carried out over the past few decades. This conference will focus mainly on fire rituals, including Agnihotra, Homa, and more.

This conference is hosted with the support of the Nepal Leadership Academy (NLA). NLA builds leadership capacity in young change-agents—who are guided by the shared values of collaborating, innovating, and serving and the shared principles of community, justice, and sustainability—to architect effective policy, business, and civic solutions that tackle the most grueling adaptive challenges.

The reception on January 21 is provided by Himalayan Children’s Charities. Through quality education and mentorship, this organization provides the under-served youth of Nepal the pathways to become the next generation of professionals, leaders, and change makers.

Slums: New Visions for an Enduring Global Phenomenon

Thu, Sep 20, 2018

Sat, Sep 22, 2018

There are very few signs that slums will transition out of the urban landscape in the foreseeable future. Even after more than one and a half centuries of policy interventions, starting from efforts to address the effects of industrialization in Europe, slums persist in almost every geography on the planet. Slums are not only visible in the Global South, but are reappearing in old and new manifestations in the Global North. Their persistence can be linked to a number of political and economic failures to effectively address poverty and inequality, distorted land markets, and systemic social exclusion. These failures are, in turn, rooted in the very way policymakers, global media, and intellectuals conceptualize and represent how, why, and by whom slums are produced, maintained, and reproduced. Slums continue to be imagined as urban aberrations, something that falls outside of (or delinked from) urban ecologies.

Slums: New Visions for an Enduring Global Phenomenon is a symposium being held at Harvard University from September 20-22, 2018 that will challenge participants to discuss the range of perceptions and systemic changes needed to re-imagine integrative urban and social landscapes, as well as the labor and land markets that most often underpin the formation of slums. Organized by the Harvard Graduate School of Design Department of Urban Planning and DesignHarvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the symposium seeks to advance new policy, financial, design, and educational tools that can both improve existing slums and generate alternatives to future ones.

A diverse group of academic, policy, design and media experts, as well as community representatives will bridge historically siloed narratives about slums and discuss innovative ways to address them.

Confirmed speakers include: 

  • Somsook Boonyabancha, Asian Coalition for Housing Rights
  • Martha Chen, Harvard Kennedy School and WIEGO
  • Michael Cohen, The New School
  • Alejandro de Castro Mazarro, Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (2019)
  • Fernando de Mello, URBEM Institute of Urbanism and Studies for the Metropolis
  • Alejandro Echeverri, Center for Urban and Environmental Studies of EAFIT University; Former Loeb Fellow
  • Brodwyn Fischer, University of Chicago
  • George Galster, Wayne State University
  • Sumila Gulyani, The World Bank
  • Alejandro Haiek Coll, LAB.PRO.FAB
  • Chris Herbert and David Luberoff, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
  • João Marcos de Almeida Lopes and Luiza Sassi, Usina Centro de Trabalho para o Ambiente Habitado
  • Jorge Francisco Liernur, University Torcuato di Tella
  • Ranjani Mazumdar, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • George McCarthyEnrique Silva, and Martim O. Smolka, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
  • Rahul Mehrotra, Harvard Graduate School of Design and RMA Architects
  • Sheela Patel, Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres
  • Janice Perlman, The Mega-Cities Project
  • Edgar Pieterse, African Centre for Cities
  • Lyvia Rodriguez, Executive Director, El Cano Martin Pena ENLACE Project
  • Michael Uwemedimo, Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform and University of Roehampton
  • Charlotte Vorms, University of Paris
  • Peter Ward and Jacob Wegmann, University of Texas at Austin
  • Theresa Williamson, Catalytic Communities
  • Nicholas You, Global Business Alliance
  • M. Lorena Zárate, Habitat International Coalition

The symposium, which is free and open to the public (registration required), will be held at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the Harvard Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS). It starts on the evening of Thursday, September 20, with a keynote about the representation of slums in film and media at the Harvard GSD and continues on Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22 at CGIS with full days of presentations and discussions.

REGISTER TO ATTEND (Registration closes September 19.)


Co-Sponsor(s): Lincoln Institute of Land Policy , Harvard Graduate School of Design Department of Urban Planning, Loeb Fellowship


September 20: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

September 21: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

September 22: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm