Author Archives: yukoconlon_vpr8529s

What began in 2011 as a popular uprising has now become a catastrophe, with 10,000 dead and a famine looming

At the tip of the Arabian peninsula, Yemen’s disastrous war has been raging for nearly two years. Somewhat overshadowed by the devastating crisis in Syria, it is nonetheless a major calamity: according to the U.N., more than 10,000 people have lost their lives, while more than 20m (of a total population of some 27m) are in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 3m people are internally displaced, while hundreds of thousands have fled the country altogether. There are reports of looming famine as the conflict destroys food production in the country.

So how did Yemen get here – and what are the prospects for turning things around?

Full Article:


On 1 January 2016, the United Nations officially launched the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, spearheaded by 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. “The SDGs are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s leaders and the people,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said of the 2030 Agenda, adopted unanimously by 193 Heads of State and other top leaders at a summit at UN Headquarters in New York in September 2015. The SDGs address the needs of people in both developed and developing countries, emphasizing that no one should be left behind. Broad and ambitious in scope, the Agenda addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental, as well as important aspects related to peace, justice and effective institutions.

In this seminar, Professor Patrick Paul Walsh will argue that economists have the theories and modelling techniques to integrate economic, social and environmental dimensions into one sustainable development pathway. He will identify the development of new SDG lead institutions as the key challenge for the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

For more on the SDGs visit

Full Article:

This report brings together the results of two conferences on the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The conferences were organised in cooperation with partners from science, government, the United Nations and civil society.

The first conference focused on “Measuring Sustainable Development” and was run by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) and UN University in 2015. Patrick Paul Walsh was a speaker this important event.

The second was a “Foresight workshop on science needs in implementing the SDG framework” and was organised by the German Committee Future Earth, Future Earth and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in 2016.

Model United Nations (MUN) Planet is a knowledge network where MUNers create, curate and share their knowledge and experiences about issues of global importance

This article is published as part of Fridays With MUNPlanet and its series dedicated to world politics and the United Nations. Patrick Paul Walsh (University College Dublin) discusses  the SDGs one year after their adoption and analyzes three important challenges for the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda - from multistakeholder partnerships, to security and environmental dimensions.

Full Article:

Title: Usability of Nomology-based methodologies in supporting problem structuring across cultures: the case of participatory decision-making in Tanzania rural communities

Authors: Dr Joseph R. Kakeneno (Tanzania Ports Authority Dar es Salaam, Tanzania / PhD in Global Human Development, UCD)

Professor Cathal Brugha (Centre for Business Analytics, University College Dublin Quinn School of Business)


In this paper, we present the results of an empirical study that was conducted to demonstrate how the Structured MCDM methodology which is based on Nomology, the science of the laws of the mind, could be used to support problem structuring and improve rural community participation in a developing country in Africa. The results support the view that a model which is based on a generic structure is flexible and transferable to similar problem contexts and various situations across cultures and beyond national borders; and that it can easily support distributed participatory decision-making or be integrated into a Participatory Decision Support System.

Link to Full Article:

Congratulations to Gibson Mandozana from the University of Zimbabwe who received his UCD Ph.D. in Medical Statistics on December 6th 2016.

The title of his thesis was "HIV/AIDS and Socioeconomic Status in Sub-Saharan Africa"

He is currenty a Biostatistician at University of Zimbabwe Clinical Research Centre

Professor Andrew J Deeks , President of University College Dublin

Professor Patrick Paul Walsh, Supervisor

From left to right

  • Mohammed AlRizeiqi , UCD Ph.D. Thesis Title: “Oceans and Sustainable Development”
  • Professor Patrick Paul Walsh, School of Politics and International Relations
  • Mohammed Alshamisi , UCD Ph.D. Thesis Title: “The international, security and strategic policy-making of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Analysing the policy-making of the GCC in a post-2011 Arab uprisings environment”
  • Saleh Alharbi , UCD Ph.D. Thesis Title: “The resilience of Arab monarchies in the Middle East during the Arab uprising”
  • Dr Tobias Theiler, School of Politics and International Relations

It might look like F block in Newman, but this is HIBERNIA. Or more correctly, this is the besieged enclave of Donard, in the secessionist county of Wicklow and a Chapter VII UN mission has just arrived - with both a military and humanitarian component. And all just in time to witness a marked increase in hostility on the part of the besieging Lavian forces, an outbreak of what may well be cholera in the massively overcrowded minority Athian IDP camp on the River Meadows, and an increasingly tense three way stand off between Lavians, Athians and Federal Forces over freedom of movement for WFP convoys carrying essential food-stock to the desperate, local population and IDPs trapped in the enclave.

On the humanitarian side, the lead is being taken by a UN Regional Office and an OCHA team. UNHCR are worried about their inability to get the convoys through while also setting up a CCCM cluster and finding a threatened solo-run by one of the NGOs a bit frustrating. Meanwhile, the ICRC are involved in a low-profile effort to set-up a cross-lines prisoner exchange....

Strange how real it all felt after an hour or so!exercise-sign-2

The reality was we were deep into a detailed, UN mission scenario (UNMIL 2016) set in a fictional, historical, political, socio-economic, military and humanitarian situation in a post-conflict state, and offering a whole raft of challenges and opportunities which needed to be managed by mission participants; that is the Year 2 MDP students aided and abetted by a 15-strong team of mentors and role-players who worked throughout a long day to give UNMIL 2016 participants a strong sense of what it is like to work in a UN mandated Chapter VII mission, based on a Comprehensive Approach, and focusing on co-operation and co-ordination within an unstable environment.

UNMIL 2016 was the capstone of the MDP class' module on doing development work in fragile and transitional settings. It was developed by Dr Conor Galvin, UCD, to provide a challenging, immersive, experience across a limited time-frame and so to offer intense but valuable learning opportunities to participants. The scenario's underpinning purpose was to introduce the MDP Yr 2 students to the challenges of working the development spaces in today’s peace-support and crisis-response operations. It centred around a series of incidents and issues developed through a rich, scenario-driven exercise, each calling consistently for team-based, task-focused collaborative action to generate workable solutions.


UNMIL 2016 involved close to 40 people: fully-staffed ‘UN Regional’ and ‘UN OCHA’ offices; a number of UN family agencies – ‘WFP’ and ‘UNHCR’; various NGOs – ‘ShelterBox’, ‘Concern Worldwide’ and ‘WaterMission’; and a range of local actors including mayors, religious leaders, women’s group leaders, militia leaders, and IDP spokespersons. (These were roleplayed principally by experienced UN School trainers and the students were mentored by members of the Department of Foreign Affairs / Irish Aid Rapid Response Corps roster members.)

UNMIL 2016 was designed to generate not only better knowledge and understanding of the roles, capabilities, policies, operational procedures and limitations of the principal contributors to a UN mission but also to illuminate the complexity of today’s multi-party, post-conflict development work. In short, UNMIL practised - in a surprisingly 'realistic' setting - skill-sets ranging from load logistics and camp design, to preventative epidemiology, and the capacity to negotiate and mediate - sometimes under extreme provocation and pressure - for the sake of those affected in post-conflict development / humanitarian settings.


UNMIL 2016 was designed to generate not only better knowledge and understanding of the roles, capabilities, policies, operational procedures and limitations of the principal contributors to a UN mission but also to illuminate the complexity of today’s multi-party post-conflict work. It practised - in a surprisingly 'real' setting - skill sets ranging from load logistics and camp design, to preventative epidemiology, and to intense capacities for negotiation and mediation in humanitarian settings.

[Much of the material development and the training assistance brought in for the scenario was made possible by a small grant from the College of Social Sciences and Law Research Funding Scheme, 2015.]

The School of Politics and International Relations took part in UCD VO's Annual Conference that took place n Saturday 26th November 2016 in the UCD Global Lounge.

The title of this year's conference is International Volunteering: Where Can it Take You?

The focus was on the impact of international volunteering on personal and professional development of students’, as well as highlighting tangible opportunities for students, graduates and returned volunteers to pursue further studies and career paths in the development sector.

Professor Patrick Paul Walsh opened the conference with a talk on "International Volunteering in the Age of Sustainable Development : Where Can it Take You?"

SPIRe took part in an "opportunity market-place" with 12 other agencies, showcasing our undergraduates, Masters, Ph.D. programs and our new Centre for Sustainable Development Studies.

There was an excellent photographic exhibition titled "Our Goals are Global Goals" that highlighted the role of volunteering in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

This event was attended by volunteer sending agencies, returned volunteers, graduates, Higher Education Institutions, researchers, career consultants and 100 UCD students thinking about volunteering overseas in the future.

Source: UCD Volunteers Overseas Website

We are delighted to announce that one of our graduates, Dr Bekele Bulado has been appointed as the Minister of Trade in Ethiopia.

He holds the MBS Agribusiness & Food Marketing (1999) and PhD in Global Human Development (2014) both at University College Dublin.

He completed a PhD thesis entitled "Higher Education Participation in Ethiopia: Regional Disparities and the Challenges of Leadership" under supervision of Dr Conor Galvin in UCD School of Education.

Congratulations to Bekele and best of luck in the new post.