Opening Plenary, 5 July, 2-3.15 pm
Global Solidarity & COVID-19

This plenary session is the opening of the EADI-ISS Conference 2021 Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice by the President of EADI and the Rector of the ISS. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the question: How has the Covid pandemic affected Global Solidarity? And how has the practice of solidarity (the core theme of this conference) changed our view on global transformations?

Dr Inge Hutter is Rector of the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, Erasmus University Rotterdam since 2015. She is Professor of Participatory and Qualitative Research in Population and Development

Dr Henning Melber is the president of EADI since 2017. He is a German-Namibian Africanist and political activist, and was Director of the Swedish Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation (2006-2012). He also was part of the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala (Sweden).


Dr Kees Biekart is Associate Professor of Political Sociology at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is part of EADI’s Executive Committee and a co-organizer of the EADI-ISS Conference. He will chair the Opening Plenary session of the conference.


Dr Sreerekha Sathi joined the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University in The Hague, Netherlands as an academic faculty in Gender and Political Economy in January 2020. Prior to ISS, she taught at the University of Virginia, USA, in its Global Studies Program. Her areas of academic interest span theories of women’s work, feminist theories of development, feminist research methodologies and social movements in the global south, specifically South Asia. In the past, she has been involved in the struggles for rights of women, landless communities and slum dwellers and has engaged with issues pertaining to caste, race, sexuality, displacement and indigenous land rights in India. Her first book “State without honour” was published in 2017 with Oxford University Press, India.

Dr Patricia Maria E. Mendonça is Associate Professor at the Universidade de São Paulo-USP (Brazil). She has a PhD in Public Administration and Government (Fundação Getúlio Vargas). Performs several projects at Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades/USP campus seeking to bring academia and community closer together. Her main research interests are Civil Society Organizations and their relations with international cooperation, on financing issues, and the public sector, on regulatory issues.

Dr Danny Sriskandarajah is CEO of Oxfam Great Britain. Previously he led CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance, was Director General of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Interim Director of the Commonwealth Foundation and held various posts at the Institute for Public Policy Research. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Global Public Goods in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. From 2018 to 2019 he was a member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and from 2015 to 2016 a member of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Finance.

Dr Melissa Leach is Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex (UK). As a social anthropologist she has carried out long-term ethnographic fieldwork in West Africa while engaging with scientific, policy and public discourses and debates around health, epidemics, sustainability and development. She is now contributing to debates about COVID-19 and re-casting development including as co-lead of the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform and the Wellcome Trust-funded Pandemic Preparedness Project.