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Unraveling the Interplay of Poverty and Migration

We are delighted to share the highlights of the Poverty and Migration Webinar, hosted by Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) on June 2, 2023. This enlightening event brought together distinguished speakers who shared their expertise on various dimensions of the intricate relationship between poverty and migration. This post provides a summary of the webinar’s key discussions and encourages readers to access the recording to deepen their understanding of this pressing global issue.

Session 1

Dr. Teresita Cruz Del Rosario kicked off the webinar with her presentation on “Migrating out of Poverty.” Her talk examined the transformative potential of migration as a strategy for poverty alleviation. Dr. Del Rosario discussed the complex motivations behind migration, the challenges faced by individuals and communities in poverty-stricken areas, especially in Eastern Asia, and the opportunities that migration can provide for improved livelihoods. Her insightful analysis shed light on the diverse pathways through which migration can contribute to escaping poverty.

Dr. Nita Mishra, a respected scholar in migration studies, presented on “Students Making Sense of Migration & Poverty.” Her presentation highlighted the pivotal role of education in fostering an understanding of the intertwined nature of migration and poverty. Dr. Mishra emphasized the importance of equipping students with critical thinking skills to analyze the socio-economic factors driving migration and perpetuating poverty. Her talk underscored the significance of empowering the younger generation to become active agents of change in tackling these complex issues. She was also joined by her student, Evelina Mikneviciute, who spoke on her personal experience of migration and poverty, as well as the process of learning through the migration project in Dr. Mishra’s class.

Session 2

In the  second session of the webinar, Dr. Catherine Wihtol de Wenden offered valuable insights on “The Structural Factors of Mobility for International Migrants.” Her presentation explored the underlying structural factors that influence migration patterns on a global scale. Dr. Wihtol de Wenden delved into the complex interplay of political, economic, and social forces shaping mobility for international migrants. Her comprehensive analysis underscored the need to consider these structural factors when formulating policies and interventions to address the challenges faced by migrants and to foster inclusive and sustainable development.

Dr. Joseph A. Yaro: Migrating from Poverty to Opportunity Dr. Joseph A. Yaro concluded the webinar with his talk on “Migrating from Poverty to Opportunity.” He offered a thought-provoking discussion on the journey of migrants who seek to transcend poverty and seize opportunities for socioeconomic advancement. Dr. Yaro shared insights from his research, highlighting successful cases and identifying key factors that contribute to positive migration outcomes. His presentation provided a framework for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to develop context-specific strategies that empower migrants to escape poverty and realize their full potential.

The Poverty and Migration Webinar 2023 provided a platform for leading experts to engage in insightful discussions on the complex relationship between poverty and migration. The presentations by Dr. Teresita Cruz Del Rosario, Dr. Nita Mishra, Dr. Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, and Dr. Joseph A. Yaro illuminated various facets of this multidimensional issue. We encourage all interested individuals to watch the recording of the webinar below to gain a deeper understanding of the topics explored and to contribute to ongoing efforts in addressing poverty and migration. Together, let us strive for a world where no one is left behind.

Dr. Teresita Cruz Del Rosario

Dr. Nita Mishra

Dr. Joseph A. Yaro

Dr. Catherine Wihtol de Wenden


Advocating for a G21​

This policy brief advocates for the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 for ethical reasons.

The G20 or Group of Twenty is one of the most powerful multilateral platforms today. It plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global governance on all major international economic issues. Its key achievements include cooperation on tax transparency, increasing female participation in the workforce, enhancingfood security, and reducing the debt burden on the world’s poorest countries.

The G20 has one major limitation. Fortunately, this limitation – that it leaves out 96% of Africa’s population – can be easily remedied by including the African Union.

There are many political, social, economic and governance reasons for adding the African Union to the G20

This values-driven policy brief argues that the African Union should be included in the G20 to promote the values of fairness, respect, care and honesty.

On participatory fairness, the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 would represent a masterstroke of fairness combined with efficiency, in that it would grant representation to 54 more countries than the status quo, with just one additional seat.

On substantive fairness, African countries are suffering disproportionate losses due to climate change. The burden of championing African interests in the G20 should no longer rest on South Africa alone.

Externally driven G20 initiatives can consign Africa to a passive and consultative role, which runs counter to the value of respect. Inclusion of the African Union in the G20 would meet this concern.

To leave no-one behind is a central promise of Agenda 2030. This requires an ethics of care and support. With the current finance and borrowing mechanisms driven by the G20, African governments cannot support their populations appropriately.

The G20 has called for stronger global cooperation, praised the strengths of regional ownership by the African Union, and reiterated its support for Africa. The necessary step, to show the G20’s honesty of intention and integrity, is to follow through with a G21.

Procedural fairness, fair processes, and participatory fairness require that every country should have a seat at a decision- making table that discusses our common future and the most important world issues affecting us all.

"The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to double by 2050 while Europe’s population continues to shrink. Over the same period, Africa is likely to have the fastest urban growth rate."

The current urban populations of Cairo (21 million), Lagos (15 million), and Kinshasa (15 million) illustrate this trend. Africa only has one seat at the G20 table, that of South Africa. This means that 96% of Africa’s population is currently not represented at the G20. In 2021, South Africa had a smaller GDP than Nigeria ($419 billion in comparison with $441 billion), but it shoulders the responsibility of representing an entire continent.

One could argue that efficiency requirements make it impossible to grant procedural fairness (in the form of national representation) in every forum, and that all countries are, in any case, represented at the United Nations. Indeed, one of the strengths of the G20 is that it operates with an efficiency that allows for quicker and more flexible problem-solving. Yet by including the EU, the group accommodated, at a stroke, input from 27 countries in a coordinated way that did not jeopardize efficiency.

A similar masterstroke is possible today. The inclusion of the African Union would bring all 55 African countries into the G20, thus giving representation to 54 countries more than the status quo, at the cost of just one additional seat.

The minimum requirement of substantive fairness is that one should not be harmed by others. The countries of the African Union are responsible for around 3.6% of global carbon emission, represent 18% of the global population, and lose 5% to 15% of GDP due to climate change – and yet they have no seat at the G20 decision- making table, where climate change and other causes of global economic crises are discussed, and consequent action decided upon.

A seat for the African Union – a G21, in other words – would enable Africa to push for more substantive fairness on climate change and global economic policies.

The G20 formulated a response to COVID-19 for Africa when only South Africa was formally a member of the G20. The response aimed to “help protect and assist the most vulnerable and those most at-risk because of the pandemic, who generally suffer disproportionate impacts, including women and girls, youth, people withdisabilities, the elderly, migrants, refugees, displaced people, and indigenous people”.

It has been argued that “all these G20 initiatives consign Africa to a passive, consultative, or at best diminutive role”, which runs counter to the value of respect. Adding the African Union to the G20 would address this concern while only adding one seat.

African countries need access to key global decision-making bodies to advocate for structures and policies that care for the needs of the poor and leave no-one behind. The G20 is such a body.

In 2021, the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response report argued that

in a historically unprecedented way, security for people around the world now depends on global cooperation.

The report also noted that “ the current pandemic has demonstrated the strengths of regional ownership, e.g. the major initiatives taken by the African Union”.

In 2022, under the Indonesian presidency, G20 Heads of States were “deeply concerned that multidimensional crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as lack of fiscal space and unequal access to finance and technology, are posing significant challenges towards realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The G20 Heads of States declared: “We also reiterate our continued support to Africa”.

The G20 could prove its fidelity, honesty, and transparency in relation to previously expressed support for Africa by admitting the African Union into its ranks.

To promote fairness, respect, care, and honesty and to permit better preparation for the next global pandemic, the admission of the African Union into the G20 is recommended.

-Sachin Chaturvedi, Pamla Gopaul, Stephan Klingebiel, Klaus Leisinger, Michael Makanga, Thomas Pogge, Riatu Qibthiyyah, Jeffrey Sachs, Doris Schroeder, Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Peter Singer

Loading new year 2022 to 2023 with hand putting wood cube in pro

A Word from the ASAP President…

In 2022, Academics Stand Against Poverty inaugurated the Ambedkar Grants for Advancing Poverty Eradication (AGAPE), providing competitive funding and mentoring for innovative pilot projects in severe poverty eradication with strong prospects of cost-effective scale-up. The first four grants have been made, and a new round of AGAPE grant funding for 2023 was announced. 

In partnership with Global Financial Integrity, ASAP also selected and honored the winners of the Ninth Annual Amartya Sen Essay Prize Competition on illicit financial outflows from poor countries – while announcing the Tenth Competition and publishing the winning essays of the Eighth in Journal ASAP.

ASAP continues to work closely with Yale’s Global Justice Program on various fronts. One key idea is to incentivize the development and deployment of innovations through publicly funded impact rewards rather than patent-based monopoly rents. This option is needed especially in the domains of green and health technologies. Impact rewards would take account of the third-party effects of innovations, make beneficial innovations much more affordable, and draw R&D efforts to the specific needs of the poor. In partnership with JENA and AHETI in Africa, and RIS in India, we have been pushing this idea at the T7 and T20 as well as at COP27.

Another joint effort is focused on the 42% of humanity who cannot afford a healthy diet – a horrendous silent catastrophe that is widely ignored, with a large percentage of global food production wasted or converted to biofuels.

2022 saw the retirement of Helen Lang as ASAP’s Global Coordinator and Helen Yanacopulos as Secretary of the ASAP Board with our gratitude for their great contributions over many years. We welcome Zeke Ngcobo as our new Global Coordinator and plan to add one or two Board Members soon.

Academics Stand Against Poverty is still more wish than reality. But if even just one in a thousand scholars and educators were actively to join us, we would stand a real chance to achieve at least that small shift in the global distribution needed to end the more severe forms of poverty.

Thank You.


2022 All ASAP Annual Meeting

Technology & Justice

Our very own ASAP session hosted a number of ASAP members as speakers. We look forward to our next annual conference where we welcome and encourage all our members to share their projects and published papers.

An exciting yet insightful and informative conference, in collaboration with ASAP,

Yale University, the Global Justice Program, and Quinnipiac University took place over a span of three days. Many of the panel sessions centered around themes associated with technology, justice, and the use of artificial intelligence were discussed.


Transforming Africa’s Food Systems Webinar​

Jesuit Justice Ecology Network Africa (JENA) in collaboration with Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), and Global Justice Program, Yale University organized a webinar themed, “Transforming Africa’s Food System towards Poverty Eradication”, drawing insights from a rich pool of experts across the globe.

The webinar was held on December 7, 2022, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm East African Time. The webinar drew from the urgent need to reform the current food system to adhere to the present realities as the world works towards transitioning into sustainable food systems. The themes of the webinar and points of discussion captured the reality in most parts of the African continent and other parts of the globe coming to terms with social and economic challenges.

The goal of the webinar and theme was to collate and share insights believed to be integral in driving the food security agenda in the face of growing development challenges likely stemming from past successes and progress toward creating sustainable food systems that meet the needs of the region.

The full report can be obtained at 

Kevin Ouko, the writer of this post,  is a Research and Policy Analyst on Rethinking Africa’s Development at JENA


29th April, 3pm – 4pm (BST time) Book Launch – Cities Without Capitalism


Dedicated to the Memory of the Great Thinker and Activist, Prof. Peter Marcuse

Book Launch: Cities Without Capitalism
Edited by: Hossein Sadri & Senem Zeybekoglu
Foreword by: Peter Marcuse

Book Description

This book explores the interconnections between urbanization and capitalism to examine the current condition of cities due to capitalism. It brings together interdisciplinary insights from leading academics, activists and researchers to envision progressive, anti-capitalist changes for the future of cities.

The exploitative nature of capitalist urbanization, as seen in the manifestation of modern cities, has threatened and affected life on Earth in unprecedented ways. This book unravels these threats to ecosystems and biodiversity and addresses the widening gap between the rich and the poor. It considers the future impacts of the capitalist urbanization on the planet and the generations to come and offers directions to imagine and build de-capitalised and de-urbanised cities to promote environmental sustainability. Written in lucid style, the chapters in the book illustrate the current situation of capitalist urbanization and expose how it exploits and consumes the planet. It also looks at alternative habitat practices of building autonomous and ecological human settlements, and how these can lead to a transformation of capitalist urbanization.

The book also includes current debates on COVID-19 pandemic to consider post-pandemic challenges in envisioning a de-capitalised, eco-friendly society in the immediate future. It will be useful for academics and professionals in the fields of sociology, urban planning and design and urban studies.

Table of Contents
Foreward Peter Marcuse

Part 1: Cities and Capitalism

1. Cities Without Capital: A Systemic Approach
Porus D. Olpadwala

2. Cities and Subjectivity Within and Against Capitalism
Kanishka Goonewardena and Sinead Petrasek

3. Can Urbanization Reduce Inequality and Limit Climate Change?
William W. Goldsmith

4. Tent City Urbanism
Andrew Heben

Part 2: Cities Against Capitalism

5. Transition Design as a Strategy for Addressing Urban Wicked Problems
Gideon Kossoff and Terry Irwin

6. Transition Pioneers: Cultural Currents and Social Movements of Our Time That “Preveal” the Future Post-Capitalist City
Juliana Birnbaum

7. Urban Commons: Toward a Better Understanding of the Potentials and Pitfalls of Self-Organized Projects
Mary H. Dellenbaugh-Losse

8. Counteracting the Negative Effects of Real Estate-Driven Urbanism + Empowering the Self-Constructed City
David Gouverneur

Part 3: Cities Without Capitalism9. What Will a Non-capitalist City Look Like?
Tom Angotti

10. Towards Democratic and Ecological Cities
Yavor Tarinski

11. The Coming Revolution of Peer Production and the Synthetisation of the Urban and Rural: The Solution of the Contradiction between City and the Country
Jakob Rigi


Campaign – The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Making Tourism a Force for Peace


The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Making Tourism a Force for Peace – A Call From Tourism and Hospitality Academicians and Students
On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine and so began the largest assault on a European state since 1945.

Please sign the following campaign:

Accordingly, tourism academicians:

• voice support for the call from Colombia, Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and Ukraine requesting the suspension of the membership of the Russian Federation from the UNWTO in accordance with Article 34 of the Statutes for conducting a policy, contrary to the fundamental aim of the Organization as enshrined in Article 3 of the Statutes of the UNWTO [12].

• call on the members of the World Travel and Tourism Council to suspend any business operations they have in the Russian Federation and to make the extent of their business operations in the country transparent to the travelling public.

• call on tourism-related academic departments and institutions to suspend all institutional relations with departments and institutions in the Russian Federation.

In order to fulfill the values of tourism as a force for peace, and to reinforce sanctions regimes we further encourage:

• all travel and tourism businesses to suspend their activities that enable tourist traffic to and from the Russian Federation.

• ask all tourists to not travel to the Russian Federation until such time as Russia has withdrawn from Ukraine and ceased its armed aggression in compliance with UN General Assembly Resolutions.

In conclusion, we invite representatives of the tourism and hospitality academy and students of tourism and related fields of study to sign this petition against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  If you support this initiative, please support our action by signing and by sharing:  

Let us make a #TourismForceForPeace until justice has been served.


Michal Apollo, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland; Global Justice Program, Yale University, USA; Academics Stand Against Poverty, USA

C. Michael Hall, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Oulu University, Finland; Linnaeus University, Sweden; Lund University, Sweden; Taylor’s University, Malaysia; Co-editor, Current Issues in Tourism

Ian Wickens, On Tourism & Sustainability, UK