A 30 Year Re-evaluation of Structural Adjustment Policies

YSI Workshop @ ITUC (AFL-CIO)

April 13 2020, 09:00 - 15:00

WashingtonUnited States

IMPORTANT: Due to growing concerns around the coronavirus, this workshop will be postponed.


Deadline to apply for travel stipends: 8 March, 2020. If you will need to apply for a visa, apply by February 23 for earlier notice.

This workshop will provide young scholars and policy makers the opportunity to hear from and discuss with senior experts.


Since gaining their economic independence, the less-developed economies (LDEs) of the Global South have invested heavily in their economic development. This process has largely been understood as a restructuring of the LDEs, so they would come to mirror the industrialized Global North. Since the past few decades, international institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank have attempted to reinforce this effort with the deployment of structural adjustment policies on the LDEs. While the 1980s marked the beginning of the deployment of these policies, by 1990s, several economies in the Global South had accepted these policies along with their conditionality.

The impact of these structural adjustment policies has been widely debated. While some scholars argue that they have contributed to stable economic growth, others have labeled the policies responsible for derailing the LDEs path to development. They have argued that the policies have been more favorable for the Global North than the Global South, and characterized them as part of a neo-imperial project.

This workshop will investigate this issue through conversation between scholars of the institutions, as well academics with critical perspectives on the policy’s impact. The aim is to critically evaluate the policies and their impact on the LDEs, from perspectives both external and internal to these multilateral institutions.


  • To re-evaluate the effectiveness of one-size-fits-all policies imposed by international institutions
  • To take a close look at the on-the-ground impact, in combination with academic research findings.
  • To give regional young scholars the opportunity to hear from experts and professionals working in head offices
  • To identify the lessons learned, and the implications for future sustainable development

How to Attend

Anyone with an interest in the topic is encouraged to apply.

In your motivation, please elaborate on how you would gather your questions on the Insternational Financial Institutions' works projects, especially if they have impacted your local area and region. A creative plan for curating your questions (video, audio, survey, etc) is encouraged.

Workshop participants are also invited to the INET Conference that will follow on 14-15 April, ahead of the IMF and World Bank Meetings on 16-18 April. Interested participants residing outside the DC area may request to be considered for partial travel support and/or accommodation. In your application, please attach your CV and motivation, and elaborate on how your work and your interests align with the goals of the workshop, and the partner organization.

Time & Date

Start: April 13 2020, 09:00

End: April 13 2020, 15:00


The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

16th Street Northwest, Washington
Working groups
  • Economic Development
Project Organizers
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Surbhi Kesar

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Jenny Tue Anh Nguyen

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Santiago José Gahn

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Giuliano Toshiro Yajima

For questions, the Project Organizers.