Events

The Motu Public Policy Seminar series provides a forum for informed debate on important public policy issues. 

Our seminars are accessible to a wide audience, and are attended by people from diverse backgrounds who want to stay informed on economic, social and public policy research. The seminars are presented by the Motu Senior Fellows and Affiliates, as well as other top visiting academics from within New Zealand or around the world.


Improving Lives with Global Human Rights Data: Past, Present, & Promise

K Chad ClaySpeaker: Dr K Chad Clay, Director, Center for the Study of Global Issues (GLOBIS), Associate Professor, International Affairs, University of Georgia.
Details: 12.30pm-2pm, Thursday 22 August, Aronui Lecture Theatre, Royal Society of New Zealand, Turnbull Street, Wellington.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 70 years old on December 10, 2018. While much progress has been made in the time since the Universal Declaration’s writing, we still fall far short on most of its provisions. One reason for this shortfall is the lack of accepted human rights data that allow us to determine where states are living up to international human rights standards and where they are failing to do so. In this seminar, we will discuss the history of human rights measurement, the difficulties associated with producing accurate and reliable human rights data, and the ways in which the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) is working to overcome those problems. Finally, we will close with a discussion of the future prospects of using human rights data and education to push for change internationally and, ultimately, improve people's lives worldwide.

Bio: Chad is a political scientist with a deep interest in furthering our understanding of human rights practices, political violence, organised dissent, and economic development. Chad teaches classes on human rights, international relations, and political economy in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at the University of Georgia, where he will soon serve as the Director of the Center for the Study of Global Issues (GLOBIS), and has published widely in leading journals. One of the co-founders of the Human Rights Measurement Initiative, Chad is leading the design and development of HRMI's Civil and Political Rights metrics. He brings with him more than a decade of experience in the area of measuring human rights, including as co-director of the (now archived) CIRI Human Rights Data Project. Chad received his PhD in political science from Binghamton University in 2012.


Ideas for Improving World Order—The SERF Index and what it reveals

Susan Randolph squareSpeaker: Dr Susan Randolph, Co-Director of the Research Program on Economic & Social Rights at the University of Connecticut’s Human Rights Institute.
Details: 12.30pm-2pm, Thursday 29 August, Aronui Lecture Theatre, Royal Society of New Zealand, Turnbull Street, Wellington.

The prestigious Grawemeyer Award for “Ideas Improving World Order” was won by Susan Randolph, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Terra Lawson Remer this year for their book: Fulfilling Social and Economic Rights (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). Susan Randolph will share the main concepts introduced in the book, as well as key findings about the global state of economic and social rights (the rights to food, education, health, housing, work, and social security) and what matters for strong performance. She will then discuss how the ideas are currently being adapted by the Human Rights Measurement Initiative to meet the needs of human rights advocates, practitioners, journalists and everyday people worldwide,including via an examination of New Zealand's economic and social rights performance and its policy implications.

Bio: Susan’s life-long interest in people’s wellbeing and economic development has led her to push the frontiers of our knowledge and help develop a ground-breaking approach for measuring the fulfillment of Economic and Social Rights. Her recent book describing this approach, Fulfilling Social and Economic Rights with Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Terra Lawson-Remer (Oxford University Press, 2015), won the 2016 best book of the year award from the American Political Science Association’s Human Rights Section, and the three authors were awarded the 2019 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

One of the co-founders of the Human Rights Measurement Initiative, Susan is leading the design and development of HRMI's Economic and Social Rights metrics. Susan is Co-Director of the Economic and Social Rights Empowerment Initiative, and Co-Director of the Research Program on Economic & Social Rights at the University of Connecticut’s Human Rights Institute. She is an emerita associate professor of economics at the University of Connecticut. She has a PhD in economics from Cornell University.


Previous Seminars

You can find slides (and sometimes audio) from previous Public Policy Seminars here.

Sign Up

The seminars are free to the public, and there is no need to register to attend. You can sign up here to receive email invitations to either our Wellington or Auckland seminars.

Our Public Policy Seminar Series is generously sponsored by The Treasury and Statistics New Zealand.

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The prestigious Grawemeyer Award for “Ideas Improving World Order” was won by Susan Randolph, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Terra Lawson Remer this year for their book: Fulfilling Social and Economic Rights (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). Susan Randolph will share the main concepts introduced in the book, as well as key findings about the global state of economic and social rights (the rights to food, education, health, housing, work, and social security) and what matters for strong performance. She will then discuss how the ideas are currently being adapted by the