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Build Back Better

Promoting Resilience, Reducing Vulnerabilities, Strengthening Social Justice 27th – 29th April 2021

ASAP East and Southern Africa (ASAP-ESA) in Conjunction with the Office of the Vice-President in Zambia will be jointly hosting the inaugural Social Justice Conference. The Conference will gather national and international specialists, both academics and policy experts, in order to extend the academics studies concerning the battle against poverty, misery and vulnerabilities in Zambia.

  • COVID-19 and its Unequal Impacts;
  • Environment Crisis:
    • Climate crisis
    • Food insecurity
    • \’Building back better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstructions and strengthening social justice\’
    • Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
    • Recovery from climate shocks in a post-COVID-19 world
    • Strengthening recovery systems ex-ante, promoting interventions and practices leading to resilient recovery
  • Social and Economic Vulnerabilities, Universal Safety Net and Basic Income, Right to Development and Sustainable Development Goals (UN).

The Conference aims to strengthen the discourse on recovery in a changing world, with a focus on the growing demand for strengthening recovery systems ex-ante, promoting interventions and practices leading to resilient recovery, and enhancing the global knowledge resources on recovery. The conference will also build capacity for disaster risk reduction in recovery and reconstruction, including discussion and training on tools and methodologies. The Conference will bring together, academics, NGOs and the private sector to share their best practices and lessons on recovery and explore the nexus between resilient recovery efforts and sustainable poverty reduction.

The overall goal of the Conference will be to identify effective and forward looking approaches to achieve resilient post-crisis recovery in which justice, climate and disaster risk reduction, fragility and conflict considerations are mainstreamed.

The conference has the following specific objectives:

  • Promoting \”building back better\” through recovery as a path to resilience and sustainable development
  • Making recovery inclusive for greater social justice, equity and equality
  • Leveraging consensus on recovery as a means to implement Sendai and other global frameworks for development and resilience.

Addressing Poverty After The Pandemic

Three upcoming webinars from ASAP UK

This January, Academics Stand Against Poverty UK (\”ASAP\”) is running a mini-series of events addressing poverty after the pandemic. Join the ASAP UK team for some evenings of lively discussion and debate around some of the biggest issues emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Webinar 1. Addressing Poverty After The Pandemic: Human Rights

The first in the series will explore how the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have once again highlighted the fragility of human rights within the UK and across the globe. Restrictions on travel, contact with family and friends, and increasing economic and health inequality means it is essential that a proactive approach is taken now to implement systematic and lasting change for a fairer and more equal UK in 2021 and the future.

When: Tuesday 19th January (18:00 – 19.30 GMT)

Where: book your place here through eventbrite.

Webinar 2. Addressing Poverty After The Pandemic: Environment

Many of us have seen our relationship with the environment change over the last 12 months. Lockdowns and travel restrictions leading to people spending far more time in their homes and local spaces. But what does this mean for those of us with no access to green space or living in degraded or polluted environments?

When: Wednesday 20th January (18:00 – 19.30 GMT)

Where: book your place here through eventbrite.

Webinar 3. Addressing Poverty After The Pandemic: Challenges and Solutions

Over the last 12 months we have seen a radical change in income and job security in the UK. Not only have we been encouraged to rethink who are “key workers” but many citizens have had to live on 80% income and unable to work for extended periods of time. Labour market disruption, job insecurity and economic recession may be the post pandemic context in which we have to address poverty.

When: Thursday 21st January (18:00 – 19:30)

Where: book your place here through eventbrite


Support Our Fight To End Poverty – ASAP Needs You!

We are a global community of academics dedicated to confronting and transforming rules and practices that perpetuate and aggravate poverty and inequality. At a time of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty, our mission of supporting the most impoverished, marginalised and discriminated, while fighting for a fairer and more just world has never been more critical.

ASAP Global channels its funding through our network of national Chapters who, being at the forefront of the academia-policy interface, are equipped to leverage evidence to effectively advocate and affect change. Your financial support allows us to continue this important work.

How would your contribution help us to tackle the world’s most pressing poverty-related issues?


We have recently been approached by a very generous donor, who would like to remain anonymous, but who is offering to match any donations that we receive up to the 31st December 2020 and up to the value of $40,000.

This means that any donation you make today will have double the impact.

Health Impact Fund

The HIF aims to incentivise the development of new medicines for the global poor by delinking the price of drugs from the cost of research.

The project is led by Thomas Pogge (ASAP founder and Global Board member), and economist Aidan Hollis. 

As currently designed, pharmaceutical markets have a fundamental flaw that mainly affects poor people: the development of new medicines is funded exclusively through markups protected by patents. This flaw causes research neglect of diseases concentrated among the poor. It deprives poor people of access to patented medicines even when these can be mass-produced cheaply. HIF will address this flaw by creating complementary incentives that decouple the price of medicines from the fixed costs of innovation and cover the latter through health impact rewards by encouraging pharmaceutical innovators to register new drugs for participation in ten consecutive annual payouts. Each round of payment is divided among registered products according to health gains achieved the preceding year. These reward payments will enable innovators to recoup their R&D expenses and make appropriate profits while, at the same time, allowing the price of these registered medicines to be capped – covering merely their lowest feasible cost of manufacture and distribution. The result will be more affordable drugs to those in middle and lower income countries.

The first step is a 5 year pilot. Find out more about how the Health Impact Fund is progressing.

Manifesto Poverty Audits

ASAP has developed a methodology and approach for critically reviewing the impact of policies on poverty levels. Called Poverty Audits, the organisation has over the past five years supported multiple country Chapters to conduct audits around national elections.

ASAP Oceania were the first to pilot the audits in 2013. They produced a ground-breaking assessment looking into the manifestos of the three major Australian political parties. The report sets out the implications of the policies for poverty alleviation in key areas including: education, Indigenous policy, housing, foreign aid, migration and many others. Read the report here. Five years on, in 2018, the Oceania Chapter expanded this work to critically review the Australian Government’s progress towards the SDGs. Called: Australia, Poverty, and the Sustainable Development Goals, the report lays out evidence clearly setting out why further action is needed and makes a series of recommendations. Both reports coordinated experts in multiple dimensions of poverty to write brief, accessible responses to Government policy.

The Poverty Audit approach has also been adopted by ASAP Chapters in the UK and Canada, similarly reviewing the policy platforms of major political parties running during national elections. The UK Audit in 2017 saw 29 academics from 23 Universities analyse the running manifestos of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties on 12 key poverty-related topics. The report gained widespread media attention and acclaim. Find out more about the methodology, the report itself, and listen to ASAP Global Executive Cat Tully talking about the project on the ASAP UK\’s poverty audit website.

To build on these past successes, one of the priorities for ASAP Global is to support more Chapters to conduct these innovative appraisals. They are effective means to hold parties and governments to account for their actions to address poverty at home within a country but also towards global commitments, such as through the SDGs.

Producing the Oslo Principles

In 2012, a group of legal experts from around the world, convened by Dutch Advocate-General Jaap Spier and ASAP co-founder Thomas Pogge set out to answer a pressing climate crisis-related question: how much do human rights and other sources of law require each state to do to reduce emissions, even in the absence of a specific treaty?

Greenhouse gas emissions that were escalating at the time, but that continue to rise at an alarming rate still today, stand to compromise the rights of billions of people around the world. Yet, there was an evident lack of explicit treaties legally binding states to curb their emissions. This was the problem the experts set out to resolve.

After several years of extensive legal research and discussions the group undersigned a set of principles at a meeting in Oslo, Norway, which were adopted in March 2015 as the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations. The principles detail how international laws such as human rights law and tort law may already require states to reduce their emissions, irrespective of other specific treaties. This work was subsequently expanded to include an examination of the obligations of private enterprises to prevent climate change. Find out more about the impact of these initiatives on the Global Justice Programme website at Yale University.

Redefining Migration Discourse

In June 2019, ASAP Global in partnership with Club de Madrid and Global Justice Now, held a colloquium that brought together a focussed group of interdisciplinary specialists from academia, policy and civil society.

Much of the global narrative around migration seeks to perpetuate dishonest and emotive narratives that distort wider public understandings and cast migrants as negative and disruptive influences on economies and social order. The event aimed to bring together expert knowledge to understand how we can create a significant shift in the positioning of the migration debate.

The panel discussed how current accounts of migration are grounded in deep structural inequalities. Therefore, there is a need to reframe public policy and discourse towards a more sympathetic environment for migration that focuses on the universality of humans. It would encourage a politics of kindness and should be much more closely connected with wider global issues associated with development and the distribution of capital.

To build on the success of the London event we are currently organising a series of follow up workshops that will explore what a more positive migrant discourse looks like and how, as a network, we can use this to shape recommendations that can transform political and public perceptions of migrants.

The Future of ASAP

2020 is an exciting time for the ASAP network. Interest in our work is rapidly growing, not only at the membership level for established Chapters but also new Chapters which we currently see growing in six new countries.

At the same time, we are in the genesis of working with country leads to create a programme of inter-Chapter collaborative research projects for 2021. These stand to produce cutting edge evidence on the most pressing poverty problems the world is facing.

Your donation will enable us to carry out this vital work. From the ASAP Network family, THANK YOU.


Webinar: Poverty and Food Security in Venezuela

Friday 4th December 2020

10:00 am VET (9:00 am Colombia and 14:00 GMT) Language: Spanish

The world produces enough food so that every person on the planet can be fed. Prof. Alejandro Gutiérrez (El Universal, 2020) reminds us though, that due to unequal income distribution, there are many millions who do not have access to sufficient levels of food to sustain themselves or maintain good levels of health. Increasing awareness around the food poverty problem has led to it becoming a central element of policies aimed at achieving food security. In Latin America, for food security to be realized it will require sustained economic growth over time as the links between growth and reduce poverty as well known. Increasing economic levels alone are not, however, enough. Food security will also require the reduction of all forms of inequality. Especially those related to the distribution of income if we are to ensure that the most vulnerable and impoverished are to benefit from growth (Gutiérrez, 2020).

In this third webinar in the series organized by the emerging chapter of ASAP Venezuela, Prof. Alejandro Gutiérrez and Dr. Diego Zambrano will talk about the relationship between food security and poverty, centering on Latin America and the current severe food crisis in Venezuela.

We invite you to join us for this critical and lively discussion.



  • Prof. Alejandro Gutiérrez. University of Los Andes, Venezuela


  • Dr. Diego Zambrano. Florida International University, USA

Register here:


Webinar – After Covid: Global Health, Big Pharma & The Health Impact Fund

Monday, December 7, 18:00 CET (17:00, -1hr GMT)

What is the Health Impact Fund?

ASAP\’s global health project seeks to blueprint a Health Impact Fund that, jointly supported by many countries, would invite innovators to register any new pharmaceutical for participation in ten consecutive annual payouts, each to be divided among registered products according to health gains achieved in the preceding year. With these reward payments enabling innovators to recoup their R&D expenses and to make competitive profits, the price of registered products is capped to merely covering their lowest feasible costs of manufacture and distribution.

Three main reasons for creating such a fund are forcefully illustrated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: the Health Impact Fund would end neglect of the – most communicable – diseases of poverty, and greatly enhance knowledge about them, rendering our pharmaceutical industry much better prepared to confront emerging threats. It would encourage pharmaceutical innovator efforts to attack diseases at the population level, paying most for full eradication (while, under the current monopoly patent regime, disease eradication would choke off the innovator\’s earnings). Finally, the Health Impact Fund would also end the exclusion of poor people worldwide from advanced pharmaceuticals by providing at-cost access to them while also strongly encouraging competent delivery even to remote and impoverished locations.

To learn more about this innovative initiative and how it is working to delink the price of drugs from the cost of research, join the HIF team as they explore and discuss the approach. Sign up – here



ASAP recognizes that, to stand against poverty, we must stand against racism. We are committed to the worldwide effort to overcome racism everywhere: in policing and the penal system, in housing and credit, in education and employment, in health care and social security, in politics and the media, in our hearts and minds and everyday lives. Everywhere. Black Lives Matter.

In our world, poverty and racism are deeply intertwined and mutually reinforcing. Impoverization through racist law, policy and practice facilitates the violence, marginalization and discrimination that has brought us to this moment.

ASAP stands in solidarity with the global movement for Black lives taking place in the US, UK, South Africa, Syria and around the world. This moment requires action! Stand with us:

•    Support the Movement for Black Lives call for economic justice and    invest-divest (invest in community and divest from policing).

•    Join and/or endorse Scholars for Black Lives – #S4BL

•    Learn and share anti-racism resources:

An Anti-Racist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi

Communities United Against Police Brutality

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Mutual Aid and Restorative Justice

National Bail Out – #FreeBlackMamas

Reclaim the Block

•    Follow and amplify movement work on social media:

#BlackLivesMatter Global Network





#JusticeForBre #IRunWithMaud


2017 Amartya Sen Prize Awarded to Mattia Anesa

2017 Amartya Sen Prize Recipient Mattia Anesa
The fourth annual Amartya Sen Prize was awarded on 27 October, 2017 by Academics Stand Against Poverty and Global Financial Integrity for the best original essay on the moral assessment of tax dodging. This year’s recipient is Mattia Anesa, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia.

The award was presented during the first day of the conference Onslaughts on the Poor: Corruption, Emissions, Violence, jointly organized by Yale University, Academics Stand Against Poverty and Global Financial Integrity, during which Mattia presented his work to the conference audience.


2017 Global Justice Conference at Yale: 27 – 29 October 2017

From 27 – 29 October, 2017, Academics Stand Against Poverty co-organized a four day conference covering topics related to global justice in partnership with Yale University and Global Financial Integrity. The title of this year’s conference was Onslaughts on the Poor: Corruption, Emissions, Violence.

The conference focused on three themes:

  • Illicit Financial Flows (27 October)
  • Climate Justice and the new Enterprise Principles (28 October)
  • Poverty, Humanitarian Crises, War and Preemption (29 October)

Highlights of the first day included the awarding of the 2017 Amartya Sen Prize, a video address and discussion with Jeffrey Sachs, and a rousing address by special guest speaker Ralph Nader in the afternoon, titled “A Corporate Crime Wave Without Punishment: Can Democracy and Law Fight Back?”. The ever-optimistic Mr. Nader drew attention to the power small organized groups still have to make positive changes in society and encouraged the audience to deepen its involvement in activist activities. After his speech Mr. Nader signed copies of his book Breaking Through Power: It\’s Easier Than You Think

The second day of the conference featured attorneys Julia Olson and Phil Gregory from the landmark case Juliana v. United States, a constitutional climate lawsuit brought by youth against the United States government.

Members from ASAP Chapters participated throughout the conference as guest speakers, including Maykel Ponçoni and Alan Pereira of ASAP Brazil, Francisco Saffie and Nicole Selamé of ASAP Chile, Diana Velica of ASAP Romania, Mladjo Ivanovic of ASAP USA, Maria Ginevra Cattaneo of ASAP Italy, and Pahlaj Moolio of ASAP Cambodia.

The conference was preceded by a day of networking and workshops for ASAP Chapters on 26 October.


ASAP UK Publishes 2017 Election Manifesto Audit

An audit of the major UK political parties’ manifestos by a group of leading academics and ASAP (Academics Stand Against Poverty UK) has revealed a failure to grasp the key issues behind growing levels of poverty in the UK and the lack of a realistic path for a sustainable and prosperous future.
Using a scoring system to assess the likely effectiveness of party policies to reduce poverty, the Conservatives, with a score of less than two out of five, were substantially behind Labour and the Liberal Democrats, who both score more than 3.6 and 3.2 respectively.

The key results were:

  • Labour scored highest across all policy areas except the Environment and Sustainability, with an overall score of 3.6, compared to 3.2 for the Liberal Democrats and just 1.5 for the Conservatives
  • The Liberal Democrats came a close second to Labour, and stand out in comparison to the other parties for their environmental policies
  • The Conservatives scored worst in every topic, never scoring higher than 2, indicating low confidence in their policies across the board

2017 UK Manifesto Audit Results

Catarina Tully, Co-Chair of ASAP UK, said, “According to ASAP’s audit, Labour’s plans are the most transparent and detailed, and most likely to lead to improved quality of life for British society generally. The Conservative Party’s manifesto is the vaguest and offers little that is concrete in the way of plans for raising quality of life. The truth is that, across the board, the parties fail to mention Britain’s deep economic sustainability problems: significant current account and trade deficits plus rising household debt. Since our last audit prior to the 2015 General Election, the Conservatives have gone backwards, scoring no more than two out of five across all policy areas, whilst the Labour Party has leapfrogged the Liberal Democrats, standing out particularly for their social agenda.”

The audit is a detailed analysis of each of the parties’ manifesto commitments by experts in a range of policy areas. Each area was rated on a scale of one to five of confidence level in how each party’s manifesto addresses poverty and enables a flourishing life for the UK public.

The audit was undertaken by leading academics from 23 universities across the UK to help voters make informed decisions on election day. ASAP believes that recent trends in poverty have become more acute over the last two years suggesting austerity is affecting the most vulnerable in society disproportionately. It also has specific concerns about the quality of information and use of manifestos in the political debates.

Catarina Tully added, “Never has the need for credible and authoritative analysis been more important. The proliferation of fake news weakens democratic systems, meaning trust in politicians, the media, and even institutions like charities is at an all time low. ASAP UK believes academics and their expertise play a critical role in better informing the debate around the election.”

For more information about the audit, please visit


Call for Submissions: Fourth Annual Amartya Sen Essay Prize

This year, Academics Stand Against Poverty and Global Financial Integrity will be awarding the fourth annual Amartya Sen Prizes to the two best original essays on the moral assessment of tax dodging. Contributed essays should be of ca. 7,000 to 9,000 words. There will be a first prize of $5,000 and a second prize of $3,000.

Individuals and corporate officers often engage in tax dodging. They, and many others, do not think that — even when doing so is technically illegal — it is a serious moral failing. Among the reasons they give for this assessment are the following. (1) A substantial proportion of tax revenues are misappropriated, wasted or spent on inappropriate or immoral projects. (2) The tax system is unfair in the way it distributes benefits and burdens. (3) Many others manage to escape the tax burdens assigned to them, and it is not seriously wrong to do likewise when paying one\’s taxes honestly would make one a sucker who picks up the slack of non-compliers.

These reasons cannot be easily dismissed. Clearly, existing tax schemes do exhibit the listed flaws to some extent; and clearly the flaws are sometimes so severe that it might even be wrong to pay taxes (e.g., to the governments of Nazi Germany or Apartheid South Africa). On the other hand, one might argue that citizens ought to put up, and to comply, with a flawed tax system insofar as it is democratically legitimated. By living in a democracy one has joined a social contract that provides one an opportunity to co-legislate in exchange for a duty to comply with legislation properly enacted. It also seems relevant that the tax system, even if flawed, does underwrite various morally urgent services (e.g., protections against violence and deprivation) that would not be reliably supplied to all without tax revenues.

Submissions should illuminate these or other key moral issues surrounding tax dodging in the real-world context of one or more present states. How can we work out what those to whom particular tax rules apply must, should and may do? Is it relevant for the moral assessment of specific cases how a tax dodging individual or corporation is spending the money saved (e.g., on donations to effective charities)?

We welcome entries from all disciplines including philosophy, political economy, international relations, development studies, law and business. Please send submissions on or before 31 August 2017 by e-mail attachment to Tom Cardamone at Essays should be stripped of self-identifying references, formatted for blind review.