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Mobilizing Social Capital in a World with AIDS

International Conference

Mobilizing Social Capital in a World with AIDS

Organized by
Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts
February 2009

What is Aids2031

aids2031 is a consortium of partners examining what the international community and local communities have learned about the AIDS response, what has been done effectively,  what should and can be done differently now, and who can do it in order  to change the face of the pandemic in 2031, 50 years after AIDS was first reported.

Among the institutions involved in aids2031 are UNAIDS, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW),  Imperial College London, Brookings Institution, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Results for Development Institute, Communications for Social Change Consortium, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Duke University, Georgetown University, Konkuk University and Clark University, host of the coordinating unit.  (See the aids2031 website (www.aids2031.org) for detailed information about all of the partners, vision and organization.)

Call for papers

aids2031 will host a small workshop for invited scholars and practitioners to examine how factors like social capital, culture and religion are shaping and are shaped by the nature, locale, and momentum of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Social capital has been widely acknowledged and discussed among researchers and policy makers alike.  Recently, however, critiques have highlighted the need to reconceptualize our understanding of social capital to emphasize its potential empowering aspects to improve the quality of life for marginalized groups. This workshop will seek to identify a conceptual approach to social capital, culture and religion relevant to policies and programs addressing AIDS in the context of the turbulence, instabilities, and environments of risk shaping the lives of individuals and groups in marginalized communities.

The goal of the workshop is to elicit innovative thinking and break new ground for ways to address the complex social and political obstacles to the successful prevention of HIV and AIDS. The workshop will examine existing data and analyses to develop recommendations for a long-term sustainable response to AIDS, which address the social, political, and economic factors shaping risk and vulnerability.  Participants in this workshop will have opportunity to contribute to cutting edge analyses of the ways in which cultural attitudes and practices, religious beliefs and institutions, and diverse forms of social capital have affected and will affect the pathways taken by AIDS in various parts of the world. In addition, participants will play a key role in shaping the policy agenda for addressing AIDS over the next 25 years.  Of particular interest are:

  • context analyses that will reveal which behaviors drive (or protect against) risk and vulnerability and which structural factors influence that behavior, whether those factors operate proximally or distally to the risk behaviors or vulnerable persons;
  •    analyses of specific actions (policy change, legal reform, poverty reduction, etc.) that can be identified and prioritized for their effectiveness in addressing the prevention, care or treatment of HIV and AIDS;   
  • exploration of new social configurations and approaches to enhance engagement and capabilities for coping with HIV and AIDS;  and
  • the development of new methodologies to enable more effective measurement of  the impact and outcomes of structural approaches, a necessity given the diversity of settings, multiple causal pathways, distance from “exposure” to outcome, range of variables, and complexity of interventions. 

The conveners solicit abstracts of published or unpublished papers or analyses that capture research and experience on social capital, culture, and religion, as they relate to a long-term response to the AIDS epidemic. Ten to twelve of the submitted abstracts will be selected by the conveners for presentation at the meeting.

Papers need not be prepared specifically for this workshop; they may have been presented recently in other forums.  Abstracts of comparative analyses across different settings, evaluations of structural approaches, and documentation of political or social mobilization to bring about change will be given priority.  Other criteria for selection of abstracts to be presented at the workshop include:

  • Relevance to the overall theme.
  • Orientation toward shaping the long-term response to the AIDS epidemic.
  • Representation of new voices in the dialogue on social capital and HIV and AIDS.
  • Practicality for application of proposed solutions.
  • An innovative perspective in proposed solutions.

Abstract submission

Abstracts of approximately 300 words should be sent in PDF format to Octavia Taylor, email address: [email protected], by September 30, 2008.  Submissions will be reviewed and applicants notified regarding acceptance for the workshop by October 31, 2008.  Completed papers are due to the conveners by January 10, 2009.  Direct travel expenses as well as room and board will be covered by the workshop host. Exact dates and the venue for the 3 day workshop will be finalized soon.

Further details

Should you have any questions please feel free to write to Sheela Pradhan at [email protected] or call at 508-421-3717.



aids2031 is a consortium of partners who have come together to look at what we have learned about the AIDS response as well as consider the implications of the changing world around AIDS. Based on innovative thinking, critical analysis and public debate, aids2031 will publish a book, AIDS: Taking a...

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