ODI helped to coordinate the 2004 Annual Conference of the Development Studies Association of UK and Ireland, on the theme of Bridging the Gap between Research and Policy in Development. The conference was held in London on Saturday 6 November 2004. The aim of the Conference was to foster a better understanding of how research can contribute to pro-poor policies, and systems to put it into practice. The theme, "Bridging Research and Policy" very much reflected the special vocation of the two organisers, DFID and ODI.
It was an incredible day that attracted some 480 participants from the very broad spectrum that makes up the development community - policy people, researchers, practitioners, NGO campaign people, consultants, students and journalists. The broad range of topics discussed ensured that there was something of interest for every delegate. During the day, a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Simon Maxwell to Professor Sir Hans Singer for his overwhelming contribution to the field of development studies in a career that spans over 70 years.