Trust runs Development Economics Workshop in Edinburgh

The Philip David Gray Memorial Workshop on Development Economics

The Philip David Gray Memorial Trust supports an annual lecture and/or workshop on Development Economics at Stewart’s Melville College in Edinburgh, Scotland. This year’s workshop was held on 13 October 2016 and addressed alternatives to development aid.

The 3 hour development economics workshop commenced at 1:30pm with a short introductory lecture by guest speaker, head judge and FP of the school, John Farmer. He introduced us to Philip David Gray, his friend and fellow FP and also to the afternoon’s activities which were related to finding economic alternatives to receiving development aid funds. The first activity was called ‘Overseas Aid in the Dragon’s Den’ and the pupils very quickly got into the spirit of things. The S4s, in teams which represented developing countries, had to bid for the £100m in aid which was available from the Dragons; the Dragons being played by five S6 pupils who represented the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development and the International Red Cross. Working to tight timescales, all teams put forwards impressive and persuasive bids yet only one country was going to succeed in receiving the much needed funds. From this activity pupils were able to better understand that aid is not guaranteed as each aid institution has limited funds and specific criteria to adhere to which some developing countries just don’t meet. This took us on to the next challenging question to answer which was: when a country does not receive aid, what other options does it have to grow and prosper. As this is a very difficult question, greater energy was required so we had a short pizza and refreshment break during which teams of S5 and S6 also joined in the event. Pupils were then tasked with finding the most appropriate combination of policy solutions which would enable a poor country to generate growth without financial assistance in the form of aid. The groups took a thoughtful and serious approach to the task and you could clearly hear constructive, economic-based conversations taking place. The pupils were applying genuine analysis to the options provided and you could clearly see their attempts to work out the best options to take. The four judges selected 2 winning teams though considered all five of the groups to be excellent.

The winners, who each was awarded a gift token, were:

Daniel Hay 4K

Jack Ringland 4K

Louis Gumley 4T

Callum Smith 4L

Mark Ross 5K

Keith Houston 5E

Jamie Robertson 5K

Aidan Young 5K

Alasdair Miller 5T

Cameron Fulton 5E

(Note: Mark Ross and Keith Houston were winners of the event last year also.)

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