The conference is meant to showcase the type of research being done in the South by those funded presently, or in the past, by the IDRC. The great majority of Canadians are unaware that the Centre has been funding research focusing on unique projects which have often had tremendous impact on recipient societies. As well, Centre projects enhance local research capacity to solve larger economic, environmental and social problems. This conference will validate the IDRC role. The IDRC has chosen this different route, funding research in the developing world, rather than high profile support for major infrastructure projects, like those funded by other bilateral agencies. The results of IDRC-funded research have been very positive, sometimes stunningly so, and the Centre's approach deserves to be made known to a much wider audience in Canada .

The conference is being hosted at CIGI because of its established reputation in the field of international governance.

There are six primary themes for the conference:

1) Women

2) ICTs

3) Malaria

4) Politics

5) The BRICs

6) Water