Equity and resilience

Equity and resilience: Access to critical resources for all

Day 2
14:00 – 15:45
Fortress Suite


Drawing on Day Two‘s discussions, this session will look at why equal access to critical financial, human and natural resources and services is so important for building resilience and why inequality in access promotes vulnerability.

How are access to resources and services linked? What is the importance and role of national policy spaces and global policy coordination for ensuring or limiting access? What resources and services are required for building resilience? How can secure access to and ownership of land, water, forests and other natural resources for communities build resilience?

The panellists bring a wide breadth of experience to the fore, with expertise in rights for persons with disabilities, employment rights, mining and resource extraction, health, food and agriculture and finance and trade. This will offer a diverse and well-rounded view of the issue of access.

“Coming from East Africa, one cannot fail to note the growing informal economy that accounts for more than 80% of the sub region’s economy, a youthful population characterised by high unemployment rates among its youth. Providing decent employment is fundamental step towards ensuring equity and resilience”  – Khamati Mugalla 




(CHAIR) Ranja Sengupta

Ranja Sengupta works as Senior Researcher with the Third World Network (TWN) in New Delhi. Her earlier work spans agricultural policies, globalisation, poverty and inequality. Her current work is on global trade and investment policies and their impact on development priorities in the South. She has tracked and analysed the negotiations on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the Financing for Development process. She is the Co-Chair and the NGO representative in the Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (RCEM), a civil society initiative to strengthen voices from the regional civil society and grass roots in engagement with the UN on sustainable development.

Shaun Grech

Shaun Grech (Phd) is Director of The Critical Institute and co-coordinator of the Centre for Global Disability Research. He is also a Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University, editor-in-chief of the international journal Disability and the Global South and co-editor of the book series, Palgrave Studies in Disability and International Development. 

His critical and interdisciplinary research covers a range of areas including disability, poverty and international development, race and coloniality and migration. Grech has published extensively in academic journals, is author of the book Disability and Poverty in the Global South: Renegotiating Development in Guatemala (Palgrave Macmillan), and co-editor of Inclusive Communities: A Critical Reader (Sense Publishers), Disability in the Global South: The Critical Handbook (Springer) and Disability and Colonialism: (Dis)encounters and Anxious Intersectionalities (Routledge). He also serves on the editorial board of numerous established international journalsShaun is also an activist and practitioner combining field level action research experience with disability practice projects in contexts of extreme rural poverty in Latin America.

Jill Iliffe

Jill Iliffe is Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, a position she has held since 2008. In this role Jill is involved in:

  • International health policy development, particularly through Commonwealth Health Ministers’ meetings and as an Executive Member of the Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance;
  • Providing technical advice on legislation, regulation and standards for nursing and midwifery to governments, regional bodies, and national associations and as a Faculty Member of the African Regulatory Collaborative;
  • Providing education and training for national nursing and midwifery associations in Commonwealth countries, particularly in the areas of maternal and child health, patient safety, communicable and non-communicable disease, mental health, and leadership;
  • Managing specific projects to improve nursing, midwifery and health care. Current projects include working with the governments of Seychelles and Botswana to review their mental health legislation against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and providing education and training programs in maternal and child health to Lesotho, Malawi and Tanzania.

Jill has published widely and is publisher of the CNMF monthly e-News and the CNMF bi-annual professional journal. She is also the current Independent Chair of COTA Australia (Council on the Ageing).

Prior to taking up her appointment with the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, Jill was National Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) for nine years. The ANMF is the national professional and industrial body for nurses in Australia with eight state and territory branches, a federal office, and 180,000 nurse and midwife members. Jill is a registered nurse and midwife, with qualifications in family planning and women’s health. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science (with Distinction) from Sydney University and a Master of International Studies also from Sydney University.

Khamati Mugalla

Khamati joined the trade union movement a decade ago and has risen through ranks in a male dominated career to be the first and only woman currently heading a sub-regional trade union in Africa, the East Africa Trade Union Confederation.

Gisele Yasmeen

Gisele Yasmeen Commonwealth People's Forum speakerGisele Yasmeen, currently Senior Fellow at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Institute of Asian Research, has worked in research and higher education for more than 20 years. She has undertaken and managed research and related activities across sectors, and has published widely in scholarly and other types of publications and provides regular media commentary. Her work has taken her all over Canada and around the world.

Before joining the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in 2007 as Vice-President of Partnerships and, as of 2010, Vice-President, Research, Gisèle worked in a number of research-related executive and managerial positions in the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She left SSHRC in January 2014 to begin a new life back on the west coast with her family. In addition to her affiliation with UBC, Gisèle has recently done consulting work for Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), Genome British Columbia, Genome Prairie and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. She is also a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board for the Continuous Access to Cultural Heritage (CATCH) program funded by the Netherlands Orgnanization for Scientific Research. Gisèle has a PhD from the University of British Columbia, an MA from McGill University and a BA Honours from the University of Ottawa.

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