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Leadership and development

Inclusiveness, education, and sustainability (LADIES)

Carmen Maganda, Edith Kauffer, Julia Ros-Cuellar, Citlalli A. González H., and Harlan Koff

Since the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion-Social Elevation (RISC-RISE) was founded in 2007 (RISC at the time), it has been characterized by two important traits: (1) a commitment to the principle of leadership within discussions of sustainable development; and (2) the presence of strong women leaders in the consortium’s governance structures and scientific initiatives. Neither RISC-RISE nor Regions & Cohesion would have thrived without the leadership shown throughout their decade of existence by a cross-regional community of strong women leaders. These women contributed to the success of these initiatives through the promotion of a people-based vision of sustainability (including gendered perspectives), an inclusive academic dialogue (including feminist approaches), and community engagement (including women leaders). Women engaged and directed this dialogue.

Open access

Leadership for education

Promoting inclusion and social innovation

Toyin Janet Aderemi, Patricia Rea Ángeles, Esther Benjamin, and Citlalli A. González H.

Leaving no one behind in education: A focus on children with disabilities (p.48) Toyin Janet Aderemi

Barriers to education exist at multiple levels for children with disabilities, especially in developing or middle-income countries: stigma and discrimination in families, communities and in schools; households living in poverty; lack of assistive devices; lack of teachers’ training and preparation; and inaccessible transportation. Inclusive education is a system that includes all learners, welcomes and supports them, irrespective of their identities and abilities. Inclusive education entails not only accessibility of the school but also teachers’ preparation, adapted curricula, and participation of the learner to achieve his or her potentials. Furthermore, inclusive education fosters inclusive societies and equity. Children with disabilities have the right to education. This article addresses inclusive education in school, communities, and policy contexts, contending that there is huge need for a multi-sectoral approach.

Inclusive and community education for children with disabilities: Tools to combat discrimination and social inequality (p.55) Patricia Rea Ángeles

This scientific article addresses the issue of children with disabilities and their inclusion in formal and community education. For many years, children with disabilities have been excluded from educational systems on the grounds of their fragility, creating a spiral of discrimination and social inequality. This article is an attentive call to governments, public policy makers, social leaders, civil society organizations, and other strategic actors to generate models of inclusive education inside and outside the classroom, attached to international law, with a multisectoral and intercultural perspective of gender, community engagement, and generation of an education for life that promotes social cohesion, community participation, and successful and meaningful educational experiences for all children.

Leadership, education, and global social impact (p.64) Esther Benjamin

Traditional development often focuses on the economic and social development of nations and their peoples, the implementation of international aid, and development assistance. Conversely, global engagement is focused on equity and rights, as we strive to uphold fairness and justice in our work and actions. Global engagement is about creating opportunities for one another. It is about inclusion. This article, proposes global social impact as “development 2.0.” It identifies global engagement and holistic thinking as the basis for establishing new approaches to development that start with the individual, before addressing the interconnectedness of people, organizations, sectors, and programmatic areas.

Pensamiento de diseño para la complejidad socioecosistémica (p.71) Citlalli A. González H.

El enfoque de pensamiento de diseño, con una perspectiva centrada en las personas, puede ser una herramienta útil para contribuir a soluciones innovadoras en el marco del compromiso global para el desarrollo y la sustentabilidad. A partir de una lectura reflexiva y critica del enfoque, se identifican algunos retos y oportunidades que permitan un abordaje comprehensivo de las problemáticas sociecológicas. Se sugiere la necesidad de aportar a un cuerpo de conocimientos más robusto, con sustentos teórico-metodológicos y filosófi cos que eviten aplicaciones reduccionistas del pensamiento de diseño. Asimismo, se requiere fortalecer las capacidades en sectores, como la sociedad civil, para adaptar los modelos y herramientas de innovación en contextos diversos y múltiples escalas. La innovación para la sustentabilidad y la equidad requiere de colaboraciones, alianzas y sinergias mejoradas y más amplias, entre actores y campos de conocimiento.

Open access

Leadership for inclusiveness

Advancing gender equality in development

Bandana Rana, Tara Lipovina, Mónica Carrasco Gómez, and Perla O. Fragoso Lugo

Scaling the summit for women’s rights: From local to global and global to local (p.21) Bandana Rana

Finding your voice and identity for many women in South Asia, including Nepal, is like climbing Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world—not an easy task with deeply embedded patriarchal values and gender norms. Violence against women, particularly domestic violence, is the biggest deterrent to women’s advancement and development. However, with support from a vibrant women’s movement and civil society activism, scaling this mountainous hurdle can be possible. This article examines both the challenges that women in Nepal face and the progress that women’s rights groups have achieved in promoting gender equality in that country. Through both personal and systemic reflections, world-renown women’s rights activist Bandana Rana presents her journey for gender equality from the local to the global and back.

Tradition, development, and gender equality: Addressing the incoherences through collective action (p.32) Tara Lipovina

This article addresses gender coherence for development, defined as transformative development that addresses systemic power differences that discriminate against women. Following the contribution from Bandana Rana, this scientific article reflects on challenges that women face in Nepal, with specific discussion of patriarchal traditions. However, the analysis notes that the development does not necessarily positively effect gender equality. Regional policies, such as the European Union’s neighborhood policies in the Western Balkans (specifically in Montenegro), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation’s economic policies often undermine the gender equality initiatives from these regions. The article identifies collective action and norm ownership as important bases for achieving transformative development that promotes gender equality.

Mujeres indígenas, desarrollo y derecho a una vida libre de violencia (p.40) Mónica Carrasco Gómez y Perla O. Fragoso Lugo

En este artículo se argumenta la relevancia de la participación directa de las mujeres indígenas en la planeación, modelación, ejecución y evaluación de las políticas públicas dirigidas a ellas como una población diversa, con agendas comunes a las de las mujeres mestizas, pero también con necesidades, problemáticas y propuestas distintas e incluso diferenciadas según su propio grupo cultural. Para ello nos centramos en el abordaje de los programas gubernamentales y la literatura producida en torno al desarrollo social y al combate a la violencia de género contra las mujeres en el estado de Chiapas, la entidad con el mayor número de habitantes hablantes de una lengua indígena en México.

Open access

Leadership for sustainability

Protecting the environment

Wanjira Mathai and Ma. del Socorro Aguilar Cucurachi

Fasten our green belts toward a resilient and sustainable future (p.4) Wanjira Mathai

A more resilient future requires urgent actions to establish harmony between human development and nature, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Climate change adaptation requires investing in green belts as nature-based solutions, where innovative grassroots action, local and indigenous knowledge, and gender equality are key. Mathai discusses the question, what does it mean to tighten our green belts? Food systems, the protection of the “earth’s lungs,” the reduction of waste, and the restoration of landscapes are mainly addressed. The Green Belt Movement, led by women in Africa, showed how grassroots action scales up and impacts through long-term sustainable solutions. Restoration movements and initiatives worldwide represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore landscapes for productivity, fight carbon emissions, and recover the ecosystem services to sustain human lives.

Percepciones locales para la restauración ecológica (p.12) Ma. del Socorro Aguilar Cucurachi

A partir de las experiencias sobre el Movimiento Cinturones Verdes, presentadas por Wanjira Mathai en el marco de las Kapuscinski Development Lectures (en febrero 2021), destaco la importancia de la di-mensión social en los procesos de restauración y delineo cuatro formas posibles en las que las percepciones locales se vinculan con la restaura-ción ecológica: (1) las percepciones como impulso para la restauración; (2) la restauración ecológica como objeto de percepción; (3) las percepciones sobre la participación local en la restauración ecológica; y (4) la importancia de las sinergias epistémicas, multiactorales y multidimensio nales. La restauración ecológica implica una base científi ca, que considera entre sus principios la dimensión social, con benefi cios signifi cativos para el bienestar humano.

Open access

Ready to discuss our future?

The Kapuscinski Development Lectures

Jan Szczyciński

What world do we want? And how to achieve it? When we are designing our future, words matter. Interaction between people, expertise, and leadership play important roles as well. For 13 years, thousands of students and top global thinkers have been exchanging important words contributing to our future at the Kapuscinski Development Lectures (KAPTalks). Come and join the community!

Open access

María del Socorro Aguilar Cucurachi and Rodrigo Zárate Moedano

In 2012 we navigated the Alvarado lagoon system wetland in Veracruz, México, making a documentary film. The system is in the coastal area of central Mexico, nestled in the lower basin of the Papaloapan River. The Ramsar Convention internationally recognizes the importance of this wetland as the third most important in our country due to its size and cultural value. In this universe of lagoons and riparian vegetation, fishing is the most important activity for the culture, survival, and maintenance of coastal families. In addition, fishing activity represents one of the few income-earning opportunities for these communities.

Open access

Vincent Rollet


The COVID-19 pandemic represents a new significant test for the role of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in regional health governance in Southeast Asia. Assessing ASEAN's role during the pandemic through the concepts of “actorness” and “effectiveness,” the article argues that while ASEAN displayed all the attributes of actorness during the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to its effectiveness, the capacity of the regional institution to reach the objectives it committed to has been rather limited. Explaining the reasons for such “effectiveness–expectation gap” and, considering the last policy development in the region related to regional health coordination, the article identifies several conditions for ASEAN to strengthen its capacity to act effectively on regional health cooperation, and to contribute to the strengthening of a regional health response to a possible future epidemic threat.


El COVID-19 representa una nueva e importante prueba para el papel de la ASEAN en la gobernanza sanitaria regional. Al evaluar su papel durante la pandemia a través de los conceptos de “actuación” y “eficacia”, el artículo sostiene que, si bien la ASEAN mostró todos los atributos de actoría durante la pandemia, en lo que respecta a su eficacia, su capacidad para alcanzar los objetivos a los que se comprometió ha sido limitada. Explicando las razones de esa “brecha entre eficacia y expectativas” y considerando el último desarrollo de políticas de coordinación sanitaria regional, el artículo identificó varios prerrequisitos como ineludibles en su búsqueda por reforzar la eficacia para garantizar la cooperación sanitaria regional en el Sudeste Asiático y mejorar la respuesta regional ante una próxima amenaza sanitaria.


La pandémie de COVID-19 représente un test significatif pour apprécier le rôle de l'Association des nations de l'Asie du Sud-Est (ASEAN) au sein de la gouvernance sanitaire régionale en Asie du Sud-Est. En évaluant le rôle de l'ASEAN pendant cette pandémie à travers les concepts d'actorness (capacité à agir) et d'effectiveness (efficacité), cet article montre que si l'ASEAN a exprimé sa capacité à agir pendant cette crise sanitaire, son efficacité, i.e son aptitude à atteindre les objectifs qu'elle s'est fixés, a été plutôt limitée. Les raisons d'un tel écart entre efficacité et attentes (effectiveness-expectations gap) sont expliquées dans l'article qui identifie plusieurs conditions pour que l'ASEAN contribue efficacement au renforcement d'une réponse sanitaire régionale indispensable face à une éventuelle prochaine menace épidémique.

Open access

Atoyac de Álvarez, Guerrero

Una mezcla de historia, tradición y deterioro ambiental

Esther Madrid Morales

Atoyac de Álvarez es un municipio ubicado en la región Costa Grande de Guerrero, México, y forma parte de la subcuenca hidrológica Número 19Af conocida como cuenca del río Atoyac. En la localidad del Ticuí, separada de la cabecera municipal por el cauce principal del río Atoyac, se encuentran vestigios de una interesante e imponente fábrica de hilados y tejidos que comenzó su producción en 1905 y representó un importante ícono económico para toda la región Costa Grande. Esta fábrica fue construida a las orillas del río con el objetivo de utilizar la corriente natural del mismo, en las turbinas hidroeléctricas empleadas en la manufactura de hilos y telas. En décadas anteriores, los traslados entre El Ticuí y Atoyac requerían el empleo de canoas. Hoy en día, ambas localidades se comunican por un puente peatonal y vehicular de concreto. Sobre el puente se puede apreciar a simple vista, tanto los vestigios de la fábrica de hilados y tejidos, como descargas municipales y particulares hacia el río, aunadas a la basura que tiran muchas de las personas que transitan por la zona.

Open access

Community engagement, shared knowledge, and resilience

Implications for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

As has become our tradition, we begin this new issue by wishing our readers a happy new year in 2022. This editors’ note introduces volume 12 of Regions & Cohesion, our second as an open access journal. Already we view 2022 as a promising new year. The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, but we are showing signs of adaptation at different levels. The arrival of the Omicron variant has resulted in fewer fatalities than previous variants. New vaccines and alternative treatments are being developed, and despite numerous logistical, political, and ideological challenges, the percentage of the vaccinated global population is increasing (). These developments, combined with promising research on neonatal immunity and children's immune tolerance indicate that we are heading in the direction of increased resilience.

Open access

Doctos y legos

Percepciones sobre la Técnica del Insecto Estéril en México

Ana Laura Pacheco Soriano, Ariane Dor, and Dora Elia Ramos Muñoz


Our objective is to describe how a group of scientists (doctos) and people of the coast of Chiapas (legos) perceive the Sterile Insect Technique and to analyze how knowledge is socially constructed around it. During 2017 and 2018, with qualitative techniques, we analyzed the social dialogue in the discourses of interactions during workshops, meetings with different age groups, meeting with municipal and local authorities between two ejidos inhabitants, public services people, students and technicians of a biofactory. We describe a bricolage where common references help bring different ontologies, but legos and doctos face a future in which mosquitoes and nature impose challenges that only together they can solve. Here, we document the Sterile Insect Technique sociocultural complexity, and we propose cultural translation exercises for the integral management of mosquito vectors of diseases.


El presente trabajo describe la manera en la que un grupo de científicos (doctos) y pobladores (legos) de la costa de Chiapas, México perciben la Técnica del Insecto Estéril (TIE). A partir de una metodología cualitativa, analizamos la construcción social del conocimiento sobre la TIE a través del tiempo. En 2017 y 2018 realizamos en dos ejidos rurales, el análisis del registro de talleres y pláticas entre científicos, diferentes grupos de la sociedad, personal de instituciones de salud, y técnicos de una Biofábrica en Tapachula, Chiapas. A partir de un diálogo social describimos las referencias comunes que acercan las ontologías de doctos y legos. Ambos grupos se enfrentan a los mosquitos y la naturaleza, un reto que solo juntos podrán resolver. Documentamos la complejidad sociocultural de la TIE y proponemos ejercicios de traducción cultural para proyectos que busquen incidir en enfermedades zoonóticas.


Notre objectif a été de décrire la façon dont un groupe de scientifiques (érudits) et d'habitants (laïcs) de la côte du Chiapas (Mexique) perçoivent la Technique de l'insecte stérile (TIS) et d'analyser comment ces connaissances sont socialement construites. Au cours des années 2017 et 2018, nous avons étudié, au moyen de techniques qualitatives, le dialogue social en enregistrant les interactions entre érudits et laïcs durant des ateliers et des discussions avec les autorités locales et municipales impliquant différents groupes d'âge, dans deux villages (ejidos) près de Tapachula (Etat du Chiapas). Nous décrivons un bricolage dans lequel des références communes aident à rapprocher différentes ontologies, mais les érudits et les laïcs sont confrontés à un avenir dans lequel les moustiques et la nature leur imposent des défis qu'ils ne peuvent résoudre qu'ensemble. Nous contribuons à documenter la complexité socioculturelle de la TIS et proposons des exercices de traduction culturelle pour des projets qui cherchent à influencer les zoonoses.