In the Event of Development? Evaluation, Accountability and the Mixing of Methods

As part of the regular seminars organised by the Research Group on Health, Care and the Body at the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam, Assistant Professor Emily Yate-Doerr organised a workshop on the different configurations of development that are mobilised and practiced in an array of arenas, from embryology to international development. How is developmentĀ  measured, accounted for, elided or transgressed? How is the development of different entities and worlds imagined? What kinds of suffering, inequality, power and value are rendered in/visible through the practices of development? And what does studying those that do development tell us about our own research? The workshop, chaired by Assistant Professor Rene Gerrets (University of Amsterdam), was articulated around four presentations: Professor Seth Holmes (UC Berkeley) on Migrant Farmworker Injury: Pseudo-Events and the Statistics of Suffering; Dr David Reubi (King’s College London) on Epidemiological Accountability: Philanthropy, Epidemiology and Global Health; Dr Tjitske Holtrop (University of Amsterdam) on Development in Question: Questionnaires and Interviews in Evaluation Research in Afghanistan; and Emily Yates-Doerr on Material-Semiotic Indeterminacy: Reworking the Social Determinants of Health. The papers were followed by a general discussion kicked off by Professor Atsuro Morita (Osaka University).