r4d (Research for Development) Conference

Job Creation and Conditions for a Social and Environmental Impact

Discussion of Results from Current Research on Labour Markets

Goal: Explore the findings of r4d research in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ghana and Switzerland on job creation and employment conditions, and examine their impact for future projects within the International Cooperation community.

Who might be interested in this conference?
Organisations active in International Cooperation, researchers, policy makers, activists, students and media. All individuals interested in a reflection on social, economic and environmental impact of development programmes abroad.

October 28th, 2021, 2:30-6 pm CEST/GMT+2

Hybrid conference: University of Lausanne, Switzerland (UNIL, Amphimax) and online

Join us onsite (90 CHF / Students 40 CHF) or online (80 CHF / Students 30 CHF)
Please register, the number of seats is limited. Waivers for global partners are available.

According to the UNIL crisis management, a COVID certificate is necessary.

The event is followed by an aperitif for those joining onsite.



Job Creation and Conditions for a Social and Environmental Impact

Discussion of Results from Current Research on Labour markets

Research Results

The results are presented in panel discussions by researchers involved in recent studies carried out in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ghana and other partner countries of the r4d programme.

The panels are enlivened by short films on research findings and interactive breakout sessions, enabling active participant engagement.

Opening Speakers

Santosh Mehrotra

Visiting Professor, Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath, UK

Caroline Revaz

Swiss Politician, Member of the Green Liberal Party, Scientific Advisor at the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA)



Skills for Industry – Bangladesh

  • Markus Maurer
    Professor of Vocational Education, PHZH, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Atonu Rabbani
    Professor, BRAC University, Sylhet, Bangladesh
    Atonu Rabbani also acts as a research partner for the Skills for Industry Project.

Two women in Bolivia sitting and tending a field


Feminisation, Agricultural Transition and Rural Employment (FATE)
– Bolivia

  • Sabin Bieri
    Director, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Bern, Switzerland
  • Elizabeth Jiménez
    Coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Doctorate in Development Sciences, Bolivia
    Elizabeth Jiménez also acts as a research partner for the FATE Project.



Modernization, professionalization, productivity increase: what are the consequences?

Framework conditions, trade policies, formal and informal sectors: what conditions are required for a positive social and environmental impact?

Karin Frei
Moderator, former journalist TV SRF Der Clu, Switzerland

  • Atonu Rabbani
    Associate Professor of Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Sabin Bieri
    Director, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Bern, Switzerland
  • Valérie Berset Bircher
    Ambassador, SECO, Switzerland


  • Nicolas Depetris Chauvin
    Professor of International Economics, HEG, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Mina Baliamoune-Lutz
    Richard de Raismes Kip Professor, University of North Florida, USA
  • Annick Vollmar
    Senior Advisor on Market Systems and Value Chain Development, Helvetas, Switzerland


  • Dan-Thomas Elbaum
    Student International Relations, UNIGE. Member of Green Switzerland
  • Jessica Gauch
    Co-Programm Leader Migration at foraus, Switzerland



Future changes
How can the research results influence projects in the field and initiatives of implementing agencies, NGOs and the donor community?

Karin Frei
Moderator, former journalist TV SRF Der Club

  • Hans-Peter Egler
    Director Sustainable Infrastructure, South Pole, Switzerland
  • Mina Baliamoune
    Kip Professor of Economics and Distinguished Professor at the University of North Florida, USA
  • Guido Beltrani
    Co-Head, Expert Team Inclusive Economic Development, SDC, Switzerland
  • Hilda Liswani
    Tech4Dev Sustainability Engagement Manager, EPFL, Switzerland
Two women and child harvesting in Rwanda


Take Aways and Future Direction

Interactive plenary discussion

Moderated by

  • Irenka Krone-Germann
    Co-Head of Networks, Knowledge Management and Communication, cinfo, Switzerland
  • Hans-Peter Egler
    Director Sustainable Infrastructure, Public Sector, South Pole, Switzerland

Closing statements and key messages


Moderator, Speakers and Panelists

Prof. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz

Richard de Raismes Kip Professor, University of North Florida and Senior Fellow, African Center for Economic Transformation

Mina Baliamoune-Lutz is Richard de Raismes Kip Professor of Economics and Distinguished Professor at the University of North Florida. She formerly served as Director of Research at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and is currently a senior Fellow at ACET and the Policy Center for the New South, and a Fellow at the Economic Research Forum and the Global Labor Organization.

Her work focuses on policy and institutional reforms, gender and globalization, and aid effectiveness in Africa. Prof. Baliamoune-Lutz has contributed to research themes at the United Nations World Institute of Development Economics, United Nations Economic Conference on Africa, and African Development Bank.

Guido Beltrani

Co-Head, Expert Team Inclusive Economic Development, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

Guido Beltrani holds a master degree in physics and a second master degree as well as a doctoral degree in economics.

Mr. Beltrani worked for eight years as a private sector consultant in the fields of environmental protection and economic development. Since 2005, Guido Beltrani is employed at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), where he held different positions at the Head Office in Switzerland, at the Swiss Cooperation Office in Kosovo, at the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine and at the Swiss Contribution Office in Poland. In his professional career, Mr. Beltrani managed development assistance projects and programs in several countries and in areas such as economic development, vocational education and training, environment and climate change, water, agriculture, sustainable tourism, decentralization and regional development, good governance, health and migration.

As of July 2018 Guido Beltrani took over the position of Head of the Expert Team “Inclusive Economic Development” at SDC’s Head Office. In this position, he is responsible for managing a team of thematic experts in the four areas of Private Sector Development, Financial Sector Development, Vocational Skills Development and Private Sector Engagement in development cooperation initiatives.


Valerie Berset Bircher

Ambassador, Head of International Labour Affairs, SECO

Valérie Berset Bircher holds a PhD in law from the University of Geneva and from the University of Strasbourg (France). Her PhD focused on the impact of new technologies on labour law (international law – labour law – human rights – comparative law).

Valérie Berset Bircher has in-depth knowledge of international labor law issues. Valérie Berset Bircher deals with issues related to the global supply chain, sustainability, social responsibility of the company, international labor regulations and social partnership. She represents Switzerland in the International Labor Organization and in the United Nations (UNO) with regard to economy, finance and development. She was in charge of the SECO portfolio of Swiss-ILO technical cooperation projects. Valérie Berset Bircher is a member of two federal committees: the Federal Commission for the Advisory Board of the National Contact Point for the OECD and the Tripartite Commission for ILO Affairs.

Since 2017, she is a member of the Committee on Freedom of Association at the ILO and she represents the governments. Between 2017 and 2021, she was member of the ILO Governing Body where she co-chairs the democratization process at the ILO

Sabin Bieri

Director, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Bern, Switzerland

Head of Socio-economic Transitions Cluster

Prof. Nicolás Depetris Chauvin

Professor of International Economics, International Business Management Department of the Geneva School of Business Administration (Haute école de gestion de Genève HEG).

In the past, he was Senior Economist at the French Prime Minister Service, Senior Advisor at the African Center for Economic Transformation, Regional Manager of World Energy Council, and Senior Policy Advisor of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.

He has held academic positions at the University of Oxford, the Dubai School of Government, the University of Buenos Aires and IEMS-Skolkovo Business School.

He has been visiting professor and researcher at Sciences Po, HEC-Paris and INSEAD among others.

Nicolás is an international economist with extensive research and policy analysis experience in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

His area of research is on the intersection of international trade and development economics. He has published several articles on agriculture supply chains, food security, wine economics, resource-rich economies, debt relief, emerging market economies, and the economies of the Gulf and Africa.

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.

Hans-Peter Egler

Director Sustainable Infrastructure, Public Sector, South Pole, Switzerland

Hans-Peter Egler is economist and has over 25 years of experience in international cooperation in the areas of trade, production, investment and infrastructure including environment and social issues. Thereby he has worked with businesses and financial entities of all kinds, the World Bank, regional development banks, various UN organisations, non-governmental organisations, industries and retailers as well as government agencies in many countries around the globe. He also has 18 years of experience in innovative project management at the interface between the economy, environment and development cooperation. From 1988 till 2014 Hans-Peter worked in different positions at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs with an interruption of two years a postage for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bolivia between 1992 and 1994. From 2014 till 2017 he was heading the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation and since November 2017 he is working with South Pole as Director for Sustainable Infrastructure / Public Sector.


Profile image Hilda Liswani

Dan-Thomas Elbaum

Student, University of Geneva – Member of “Les Vert-e-s”.

Dan-Thomas Elbaum is a 21 year old student of International Relations at the University of Geneva. He is fascinated by the international world and politics. Subjects such as global development peak his interest.

From September 2019 to February 2020, he had the opportunity to volunteer at Maison Chance, a Swiss NGO that provides housing, health care, education and vocational training for disadvantaged people.

He is also member of “Les Vert-e-s”, as environmental sustainability is in his opinion a major issue that will have to be addressed in the coming years.

Karin Frei

Mediator, Moderator, Consultant

Karin Frei has worked for Swiss National Radio and Television SRF for almost 30 years as a reporter, presenter and as head and anchorwoman of the current affairs show «The Club». She has a masters degree in European Ethnology, Social- and Economic History as well as International Law from the University of Zurich. She also is a Certified Global Negotiator (St.Gallen University HSG) and now owns her own business, Commonground Communications GmbH. As a mediator she helps businesses and institutions resolve conflicts, she teaches media literacy based on negotiation strategies and works as a host and presenter at conferences and summits.


Profile image Hilda Liswani

Jessica Gauch

Researcher, Active Member of foraus, PhD candidate, UNIFR, Switzerland
Programm Manager Migration of the grass-roots organisation foraus, foraus.ch

Jessica completed her Master’s degree in law at the University of Fribourg in July 2020.

She has been able to gain experience in the field of asylum law in a law firm in Berne and has subsequently been able to deepen this experience at the AsyLex association, where she is now part of the board. One of her greatest successes has been winning a ruling on deportation detention at the Federal Supreme Court.

Since July 2020, Jessica has furthermore started her PhD at the Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law II of the University of Fribourg. There she focuses on the subject of climate change and financial market law.

Elizabeth Jimenez

Coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Doctorate in Development Sciences, Bolivia

More information at cides.edu.bo

Irenka Krone

Co-Head of Networks, Knowledge Management and Communication, cinfo, Switzerland

Irenka Krone-Germann is co-Head Knowledge Management, Communication and Network at cinfo. She has a previous experience of more than 10 years at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) as senior project manager in the field of economic cooperation with a focus on trade issues. She holds academic degrees in Economics, Business and International Relations from universities in both Switzerland and the USA.


Profile image Hilda Liswani

Hilda Liswani

Tech4Dev Sustainability Engagement Manager, EPFL Tech4Impact

Hilda holds an M.Sc. in Migration, Mobility and Development from The School of Oriental and African Sciences, London.

She has gained over 7 years of experience in inclusive innovation. She has worked with organisations such as The European Commission, the MasterCard Foundation and Siemens in the negotiation and implementation of inclusive innovation strategies.

She runs Webloom Africa, an initiative mainstreaming gender-lens investing in Africa. She achieves this by collaborating with African innovation hubs to co-design female targeted entrepreneurial programs and build a pipeline of investable women-led African enterprises.

She is currently the Tech4Dev Sustainability Engagement Manager at EPFL Tech4Impact’s where she is assisting in bridging the gap between technology, innovation and social impact.

As a World Economic Forum global shaper, she is part of a global community of changemakers and received an award from Queen Elizabeth II for her work, as well as receiving recognition as Forbes 30 under 30 listmaker.

Honors & Awards: Queens Young Leader Award Winner 2017 | AU-EU Youth Plug-In Fellow 2017 | Talent at Unleash Innovation Lab
2017 | World Economic Forum Global Shaper | Associate Fellow of The Royal Commonwealth Society | Executive Member of the
African Union Youth Advisory Board | G20 Young Global Changer | MasterCard Foundation Youth Advisory Committee Member


Prof. Dr. Markus Maurer

Lecturer for vocational pedagogy in the training of vocational school teachers, Pädagogische Hochschule Zurich, PHZH

Markus Maurer is professor of vocational education at the Zurich University of Teacher Education and acts as the principal investigator of the Skills for Industry Project. His research focuses on education and training policy reforms, on adults in vocational education as well as on comparative analysis of education and training systems. He is also involved in a number of mandates in development cooperation, currently in Cambodia and Macedonia.

Dr. Atonu Rabbani

Professor, Mushtaque Chowdhury Chair in Health and Poverty, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University

Atonu Rabbani is an applied microeconomist with research interests in health, labor and organization economics. Currently, he is working on a number of research projects addressing intra-firm productivity and management issues in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh and how promotion, monitoring, and incentive can motivate better health behaviors. He has a number of papers published in international peer-reviewed journals including American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, BMJ Open, Journal of Regional Science, American Economic Review, and The Lancet. Dr. Rabbani is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Dhaka and an Associate Scientist with the James P Grant School of Public Health at the BRAC University. He has a Ph.D. and an MA in Economics from the University of Chicago and an MSS and BSS (Honors) in Economics at the University of Dhaka.


Profile image of Caroline Revaz

Caroline Revaz

Member elected of the General Council (legislative) of Fribourg, member of the Green Liberal Party, Master of Law from UZH with focused on International Humanitarian Law, experience in Morocco with the FDFA, currently working in Bern at the FDFA, passionate by Middle East politics.

Prof. Santosh Mehrotra, PhD (Econ) Cambridge

Visiting Professor, Centre for Development, University of Bath, UK

After an MA Econ from New School for Social Research, New York, and Phd., Cambridge University (1985), Santosh Mehrotra was Associate Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Dehli (1988-1991, head of UNICEF’s global research programme at Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, and chief economist, global Human Development Report New York. He returned to India to head the Development Policy Division of India’s Planning Commission. He was also the Director General (2009-14) of National Institute of Labour Economics Research. From 2014-2020 he was Professor of Economics and Chairperson, Centre for Labour, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi


1 Planning in the 20th Century and Beyond: India’s Planning Commission and NITI Aayog, Cambridge U Press 2020 https://amzn.to/3bPSDnE

2. Reviving Jobs: An Agenda for Growth, Penguin Random House, 2020. https://amzn.to/2XfWiFZ

3. Realising the Demographic Dividend, Cambridge University Press, https://bit.ly/2TmtjiZ


Annick Vollmar

Senior Advisor on Market Systems and Value Chain Development, Helvetas

Annick Vollmar holds an MA in Social Anthropology and Economics and an MAS in Development and Cooperation. She has more than 10 years of international, multi-country experience in Latin America, Asia, West Africa and Eastern Europe, including fragile states, which specific expertise in sustainable and inclusive economic development. She joined Helvetas in 2011 and held positions in Bhutan and Peru. Since 2016 she works as Senior Advisor on Market Systems and Value Chain Development based in Switzerland. She has extensive experience in providing strategic and technical advice and support, capacity building, coaching, strategic review of projects, project planning and monitoring in economic/market systems development programs with strong pro-poor & private sector led development.


Contact and Conference Communication

Juliette Fong

Communication specialist, cinfo

Juliette Fong is a web project manager, photographer and content creator.

For questions regarding the conference and conference communication, please contact us via email.

r4d Information

Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme)

The r4d programme supports research aimed at solving global problems with a focus on least developed, low and middle income countries.


Knowledge for Development portal

You find here a collection of resources and inspiring stories emerging from research for development projects and processes.

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