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LeBas Conference Word Cloud October 2015

Methodological Innovation in Urban Political Research in the Developing World

October 29th & 30th, 2015

Co-organizers: Adam Auerbach, School of International Service, and Adrienne LeBas, School of Public Affairs

A conference co-sponsored by the School of Public Affairs and the School of International Service at American University.

The conference "Methodological Innovation in Urban Political Research in the Developing World" brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars conducting cutting-edge research on urban politics.

The two-day event focuses on the methodological challenges that researchers face in the developing world’s fast-growing cities. Official government data often neglects large segments of urban populations in this part of the world, including residents of informal settlements and slums. Even where data does exist, it is often unreliable, is not sufficiently fine-grained, or is not accessible due to political sensitivity concerns. Furthermore, urban populations in the global South are fluid. They move between cities and rural areas, and they are often engaged in efforts to avoid being “seen” by the state.

These methodological challenges have spurred urban researchers to develop new and creative ways of designing research and collecting data. The first day of our conference brings together seven papers that propose a range of solutions to problems of data scarcity and research design. Formal presentations of new research on Friday explore a variety of substantive and methodological issues in the study of urban politics in the developing world.

Also on Friday, a panel of high-profile urban policy experts and practitioners will discuss challenges in policy design and implementation. We hope that this “bridging the gap” panel will encourage greater dialogue between academics and policy specialists who work in the developing world’s cities.

All Friday events will be held in the Founder’s Room in SIS. If you plan to attend the workshop on Thursday in SIS 300, please RSVP to, as space is limited.

A Livestream link for the closing roundtable will be available on this website, and streaming will start at 2:30pm on Friday.

Designing Better Urban Policy in the Developing World

Livestream of the closing roundtable of the conference.

*Please note, the livestream will not start until the beginning of the roundtable.

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