Hope Over Fate: The Power of Dignity in Global Development

Keough School Washington Office
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m., May 25, 2023

Location: 1400 16th St NW, Washington, DC

Lunch and networking will follow the panel discussion.

Register to attend in person

“For too long, people thought poverty was something ordained by a higher power, as immutable as the sun and the moon. This is a myth. We would do well to start paying attention to the evidence, which says that giving people hope and self-esteem may be the greatest investment in human capital that any country can make.”

– Fazle Hasan Abed, founder, BRAC

The late Fazle Hasan Abed advocated tirelessly for the idea that hope could help people escape poverty. Yet in the world of international development, his powerful vision is often overlooked. Although foreign aid organizations and the United Nations often hail the importance of upholding human dignity, they frequently neglect to explore the science and practice of dignity, despite its transformative power. 

What does research tell us about the role of hope and human dignity in helping to alleviate poverty in the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities? What can donors like USAID learn from this research? And how can affirmation of human dignity be measured by development practitioners such as Catholic Relief Services?

Join us for a discussion that will explore these questions and some of the latest research on the role of dignity in development. 

Presented by the Keough School of Global Affairs and its Pulte Institute for International Development, and by BRAC USA.


Mercy Tembon

Vice President and Corporate Secretary, World Bank

Scott MacMillan

Director of Learning and Innovation; BRAC USA, Author, "Hope Over Fate: Fazle Hasan Abed and the Science of Ending Global Poverty"

Paul Perrin

Associate Professor of the Practice, Keough School of Global Affairs; Director of Evidence, Pulte Institute for Global Development

Shannon Senefeld

Senior Vice President, Overseas Operations, Catholic Relief Services