Dates: 16th-17th March 2023

Venue: Hotel Avani, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Scientific Committee: Rahul Mehrotra, Kinnalone Phimmavong, Latdavanh Songvilay

Theme: Role for Development Research During Global Socio-Economic Uncertainty

Description: Despite the recent period of strong economic growth, developing countries in Asia continue to face significant development and sustainability challenges related to social conflicts, employment, food security, ecosystems, and public health. The multi-dimensional impacts of the recent global pandemic and geopolitical conflicts exacerbate these challenges in low-income countries dependent on foreign supplies for their energy and food security. Local economies and ecological systems have been strongly impacted by disruptions in global supply chains and commodity price volatilities, putting immense strain on governments’ ability to support development programs required for inclusive growth and environmental protection. This Science Fair in Laos will bring together researchers, policymakers, and international organizations to present key findings from their research programmes and provide forums to debate how development-focused research can support Asian policymakers during this current period of socio-economic turmoil.

This conference will feature research-based policy solutions developed by 34 Asian research teams spread across 14 countries supported by the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development ( network. One representative from each Asian project location will be selected to present their research findings in the historic Laotian city of Luang Prabang. In addition to the research presentations, the Science Fair will include keynotes from prominent development experts and policymakers, as well as film screenings of research documentaries emerging from any cross-project synthesis activities.

Registration Form:

Registration Deadline: 15 January 2023 (financial support for air travel and hotel accommodation offered on first-come, first-served basis)

Conference Programme: Will be posted after registration deadline

Contact the Organizers:

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is an Science Fair for Development?
An Science Fair is a final event of the programme that creates moments to reach out to relevant target groups by presenting and discussing research and synthesis results emerging from the programme.

2. What are the objectives of an Science Fair for Development? Science Fairs for Development create awareness and enable learning about evidence-based solutions to address global challenges and their take-up potential in development projects, business activities or civil society initiatives. Science Fairs bring together researchers, development practitioners, national and international NGOs and other groups interested in research results and evidence-based solutions.

3. What is the central challenge of an Science Fair for Development?
An Science Fair for Development aims to provide stakeholders with methods and options for finding integrated, holistic approaches to addressing challenges and problems of sustainable development. As an event, it is thus situated at the interface between science, practice, policy, business and civil society. It aims to spur dialogue and debate about scientific knowledge and research-based solutions generated in the projects. It is key to identify the stakeholders and implementation actors in the region and to invite them to participate in the Science Fair as well as to follow-up with them after the Science Fair.

4. What are potential presentation formats used at the Science Fair for Development?
The main venue of the Science Fair can be structured as “market stands” which enable participants’ direct presentation of concrete research output, technologies and social interventions with help of demonstration material using laptop presentations, video-clips, posters, policy briefs, publications, handouts, etc. Representatives of projects are requested to submit the following before the deadline of registration: 1) An abstract of the results they want to present in the Science Fair (max. 500 words), 2) Links to research publications, policy briefs or other output, which provide a documented basis for the results to be presented, 3) Your preferred format for presenting your results in the “market stand”, i.e. poster, laptop presentation screen with video, audio, or other. Based on your submitted abstracts and suggested formats the organizers will conceptualize the final conference format in coordination with the conference venue.

In addition to individual presentations, we aim to invite 1-2 keynote speakers, organize an expert panel discussion with audience Q&A, and organize the screening of any submitted research documentary films at the conference venue. Incase we receive more submissions than available time-slots, the Scientific Committee will select the final program based upon it’s alignment with the conference theme – role for development research during global socio-economic uncertainty.

5. Is financial support available for selected participants to attend this conference?
The conference budget will aim to support one participant from each of the 34 Asian research teams with hotel accommodation and economy-class travel tickets between their closest international airport and Luang Prabang. After participation is confirmed by the registration deadline, each selected presenter will be contacted by a travel agent who will confirm their travel itinerary and send confirmed tickets. The travel agent will aim to offer the most convenient travel itinerary possible within the constraints set by conference dates and country-specific travel budgets. All participants are kindly requested to be flexible and expect a minimum of 1-2 flight connections if you are located outside south-east Asia.

We strongly encourage all interested participants to confirm their participation as early as possible, since the total travel budget is limited and will be utilized on a first-come, first-served basis. No further support can be offered after this budget is exhausted and late confirmations may be asked to finance their own travel and accommodation using their project budgets. Package meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, will be catered for all conference participants at the conference venue – Hotel Avani, Luang Prabang on the conference dates, i.e. 16-17 March 2023.

6. Will participants be reimbursed for any additional costs related to their travel, accommodation and participation in the Science Fair?
No additional personal costs incurred by participants can be reimbursed by the conference organizers. Any further expenses have to be borne by the participants, including but not limited to: 1) any supplementary travel insurance, visa and immigration fees; 2) airport and in-flight services; 3) costs related to missed flights, unexpected flight delays and/or cancellations that are not covered by the original airline ticket; 4) additional hotel, restaurant and bar services in Hotel Avani, Luang Prabang; 5) local taxis, tourism and personal shopping costs.

Meet the r4d Science Fair South-east Asia Organizers:

Latdavanh Songvilay is the Acting Director General of Macroeconomic Research Institute (MRI), Lao Academy of Social and Economic Science (LASESS) in Vientiane, Laos. She has been responsible for the implementation of the project titled, ‘Curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Resource-rich Developing Countries’ in Laos since 2017.

Kinnalone Phimmavong is the Deputy Director General of the Macroeconomic Research Institute (MRI), Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences (LASES) in Vientiane, Laos. Kinnalone is a senior researcher in the research project titled, ‘Curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Resource-rich Developing Countries’ in Laos since 2018.

Rahul Mehrotra is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland. Rahul is the lead researcher and project coordinator for the research project titled, ‘Curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Resource-rich Developing Countries.’

Explore the stunning beauty of our conference venue – Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: