Select Page

SAI Symposium April 2014 Schedule


Schedule | Logistics Registration



South Asia Regionalism: Workshops on Shared Challenges and the Way Forward


Click on each photo for more information about each workshop.


Charles Hotel1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138


Thursday, April 24, 2014


Mobile Technology

8:30 am – 11:00 am

How can mobile technology be used to enable economic and social mobility for those most in need? Discussions will examine how mobile technology can be used to promote access to improved services such as healthcare, banking, and education.





Disasters and Mental Health

11:15 am – 1:45 pm

What are the best practices in urban disaster planning and response, and how can trauma care be implemented effectively in dense urban settings? Goals are to outline a plan for a needs assessment in urban areas, explore innovative undertakings to promote access to mental healthcare, and discuss the need for training of health workers.




The Contemporary South Asian City

2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

To what extent do local and global innovations in environmental sustainability, building materials and other technologies stand to redefine patterns of development? How have cities in the region remained mindful of the past through conservation and other means in the face of relentless growth? And what are the unique characteristics that define and differentiate the contemporary South Asian city in juxtaposition with other regions in Asia and beyond?



Mahindra Lecture: Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

5:00pm – 6:30pm

Reception to follow.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed is the Founder & Chairperson of BRAC. BRAC’s primary objectives emerged as alleviation of poverty and empowerment of the poor. Under his leadership, in the span of only four decades, BRAC grew to become the largest development organisation in the world in terms of the scale and diversity of its interventions.





Friday, April 25, 2014


From SAARC to Slums: Urban Water Challenges in South Asia

8:30 am – 11:00 am

This workshop will seek to harness the intellectual strength of experts working on issues related to water in South Asia, in order to establish a sustained platform for the ongoing study of complex and inter-related issues around water use and management. By doing so, linkages will be created between existing streams of research to create synergy and maximize impact on issues related to water, including energy, agriculture, food security, and climate change.




Religion and Secularism

11:15 am – 1:15 pm

This workshop will shed light on religious nationalism and the production of religious violence in contemporary India.




Informal Workers, Enterprises, and Cities: Addressing Informality in South Asia

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

South Asia is home to one third of the world’s poor – most of whom eke out a living in the informal economy. What do we know about the informal economy in South Asia today, its size and composition? What are the links between the formal and informal economies? How do city governments respond to informality? What do informal workers need and want? Should South Asia pioneer an inclusive approach to informality that encourages economic diversity and combines formal-informal, traditional-modern economies in innovative ways? This session will explore current and future work of Harvard faculty, students and other leading scholars on these questions.