ICUF James M. Flaherty Visiting Researcher on Governing International Development Finance

Posted on Thursday, April 6, 2017

Doctoral student Siobhán Airey, from the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the Faculty of Law, will be visiting the School of Business Studies at the University College Dublin (UCD), in Ireland, from March 27th to May 3rd, 2017 as a Visiting Researcher through the James M. Flaherty Research Scholarship. This prestigious scholarship is part of an international exchange programme organised through the Irish Canada University Foundation, and provided through assistance of the Government of Canada, via the International Education Division of Global Affairs Canada, and with the assistance of the Irish Government, via the Emigrant Support Programme, administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Under the supervision of Dr. Maeve Houlihan, Head of Teaching and Learning at the School of Business, Ms. Airey will be researching the approach of Irish development finance policy to financing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular, a new international public-private development finance instrument called Blended Finance. Though Blended Finance has received prominent international attention as a key instrument to fill the funding gap to meet the SDGs by catalysing private sector finance for development through dedicated public funding, the Irish development funding approach to supporting private investment is more nuanced. Siobhan’s research seeks to examine the Irish approach to financing private-sector development through international aid, within the context of the OECD’s evolving policy formulation on Blended Finance targeting international aid donors. 

This visit is taking place within the context of the School of Business’ expanding interdisciplinary research on the nexus between business and international development. During Siobhan’s visit, the School is organising an inter-disciplinary panel discussion on ‘Financing Sustainability – Challenges to Effective Implementation and Governance’. The panel will include presentations by the School of Business’ Dr. Julie Byrne; the School of Law’s Professor Colin Scott; Siobhan Airey from the University of Ottawa, and will be chaired by Dr. Maeve Houlihan.

“Siobhan will be inking with people in our Responsible Management, Sustainability and Society Research Cluster in UCD.  This visit enhances our academic links with the University of Ottawa, and deepens opportunities for trans-Atlantic collaborative research between UCD and the University of Ottawa,” said Dr. Houlihan. “Already, we have worked together on a Research Fellowship proposal to the CAROLINE research initiative on the governance of Blended Finance under the UN’s SDGs. In addition, UCD’s School of Business and School of Law are now part of a research consortium of four universities in Finland, Brazil, and the Netherlands who are preparing another research proposal on exploring the governance of Climate Financing.”

Siobhan is currently completing her doctorate in law. Her thesis examines the legal nature of the current international governance framework for Official Development Assistance, a sensitive area of international relations which is not currently governed by an international legal agreement. Her research proposes an analytical lens based on the concept of jurisdiction that captures the legal quality of the web of legal and non-legal instruments that constitute the international governance framework for ODA. Her post-doctoral research will focus on the governance of public-private forms of international development finance under the UN’s SDGs and Climate Accord.

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