Conference Program

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

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Session Overview - All times EDT

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Date: Monday, 31/May/2021
10:00am - 11:30am1.1.1: Conference Welcome
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Kate Grantham
Technical chair: Adrian Murray

Join the Conference Organizing Committee to open CASID 2021!

Link

Room 1 
11:30am - 12:30pmLunch Day 1
 
12:30pm - 2:00pm1.2.1: Décoloniser l’Étude des Relations Internationales et du Développement
Location: Room 1
Technical chair: valerie charest
Room 1 
 

Chair(s): Maïka Sondarjee (Université d'Ottawa, Canada)

L’étude et la pratique du développement et des relations internationales sont dominées par une vision masculine et coloniale du monde. Encore aujourd’hui, les aspects genrés et coloniaux du monde, de même que les femmes racisées comme sujet analytique et comme collègues, demeurent marginalisés. Pourtant, les dynamiques de genre, dans leurs imbrications avec le colonialisme, le racisme et le capitalisme ont toujours façonné l’ordre mondial et la pratique du développement.

Ce panel vise à mettre en lumière et légitimer des vécus, des luttes, des dynamiques et des formes de savoir non occidentaux, puisque le champ d’études du développement ne sera analytiquement complet que lorsque ces problématiques seront lues et enseignées. Les participantes déconstruisent et décolonisent le champ des relations internationales et du développement pour révéler des réalités genrées, coloniales, capitalistes et inégalitaires. La colonialité des études du développement sont ainsi discutées à partir d'une pluralité de positionalités. Les contributions à cette table ronde proviennent d’un livre à venir aux Presses de l’Université de Montréal (PUM): Sondarjee, Maïka (ed), Le Genre du Monde. Enjeux et Perspectives Féministes des Relations Internationales, PUM.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Le corps des femmes musulmanes dans le paradigme de la guerre

Leila Benhadjoudja
Université d'Ottawa

La colonialité constitue le fondement des relations internationales, et son principal angle mort, octroyant à l’Occident la supériorité de développer, dominer et théoriser sur l’Autre. Vis-à-vis de l’islam et des populations musulmanes, la construction d’une altérité radicale s’est construite dans le temps long que plusieurs penseurs décoloniaux renvoient déjà au début de la modernité européenne et la Reconquista. Dans le sillage des travaux de Saïd sur l’orientalisme, de nombreux travaux montrent que cette altérité est largement informée par les politiques raciales, genrées et sexuelles, et sont constitutives de tout un corpus de la philosophie et des sciences sociales européennes. Par ce corpus, le corps des femmes musulmanes devient le théâtre du fantasme colonial (Yeğenoğlu, 1998), un fantasme chargé de violence et de désir de domination toujours présents à l’ère contemporaine.

 

Quand les migrantes haïtiennes se réinventent en France

Sabine Lamour
Université d'État d'Haiti

Les migrantes n’arrivent pas dans un pays étranger totalement démunies. Elles ont d’abord construit l’idée de chercher la vie, terme populaire que les femmes haïtiennes utilisent quand elles laissent le milieu rural pour s’installer en ville ou tentent de partir dans un autre pays. En effet, celles-ci réapproprient, resignifient et revalorisent des éléments de vie déjà construits en Haïti afin de concevoir en milieu migratoire un monde viable dans les situations extrêmes de vulnérabilisation institutionnelle. Les réseaux d’amitiés et d’échanges construits par ces migrantes sont les lieux de construction de nouveaux savoirs et savoir-faire facilitant une insertion diminuée sur le territoire français. L’individu, quel qu’il soit, dispose donc d’une capacité d’imagination et de réinvention de soi en dépit des contraintes auxquelles il fait face. Cette présentation intègre les dynamiques de migration aux études du développement international et des relations internationales.

 

Décolonisation des connaissances et des pratiques de recherche

Leila Celis
UQAM

Beaucoup d’étudiantes en sciences sociales et humaines dans les universités du Nord appartiennent aux groupes dominants et veulent analyser de manière critique les rapports de pouvoir et les injustices vécues par les groupes subalternes et les luttes de résistance de ceux-ci. La situation est la même pour certaines professeures qui ont une attitude critique et solidaire reflétant un engagement intellectuel et social, et qui veulent faire de la recherche sur les rapports de pouvoir et sur les luttes des groupes subalternes. Plusieurs enjeux éthiques et épistémologiques en découlent : qui peut faire de la recherche sur quoi et sur qui ?

 

Potentiel émancipateur et risque de blanchiment des perspectives décoloniales en relations internationales

Celia Romulus
Queen's University

Les perspectives décoloniales sont essentielles pour contrecarrer l’eurocentrisme et la perpétuation des systèmes d’oppression dans le champ des études internationales. L’approche anti-raciste actuelle dans les institutions d’enseignement post-secondaires dénote toutefois un refus de prendre en compte les aspects structurels et structurants du racisme systémique (Henry et al., 2017). Les structures et pratiques au sein des universités reproduisent les systèmes d’oppression en perpétuant le capitalisme racial, en reproduisant les relations coloniales et en faisant la promotion du nationalisme colonial. Cette présentation explore comment le racisme systémique influence la production de savoir sur les relations internationales.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm1.2.2: Arts and Social Media for Development
Location: Room 2
Session Chair: Furqan Asif
Technical chair: Furqan Asif
Room 2 
 

Picturing our Realities: Arts-based reflections from Central American youth living in Canada

Juan Carlos Jimenez

University of Toronto - St. George

This presentation will discuss a community-based research (CBR) project in Toronto, Canada, led by young researchers from the Central American Diaspora, entitled “Picturing Our Realties”, which explores the experiences of Central American youth identified as 1.5 and second-generation immigrants growing up in Canada and navigating legacies of trauma, socio-economic barriers, and racism. Through an art-based method of investigation called Photovoice, participants engaged in self-led data collection and reflection by exploring their experiences and realities through photographs and writing. These art-pieces provided an analysis of their social positions and feelings, and how young people chose to represent themselves and their realities. The research team engaged in positionality by creating Digital Stories, an arts-based practice where participants make a video collage with an accompanying narrative that relates a self-reflection of an author’s personal story, a technique meant to stimulate reflection and insights into one’s own history.

Using the Photovoice narratives of a total of eight participants, the study indicated that youth struggled with the lasting emotional and psychological scars left by the experience of violence and the sudden migratory experiences of the generations that came before them. The youth shared the emotional consequences of being 1.5 and second-generation Central American migrants fleeing war and how the circumstances shaped the trajectories of their lives, goals, well-being, and ideas of success. Other themes identified include the socio-economic barriers present in youth’s lives, discrimination in the school system, precarious status, and the importance of community in providing needed systems of support. Finally, the presentation will discuss the benefits of Photovoice and Digital Storytelling as a tool to engage youth and the opportunity it presented to youth for self-reflection, positioning them as the experts of their realities, and stimulating critical reflection of positionality on the part of researchers.



Tweeting the Pandemic: Exploring environmental charity responses to the COVID-19 and climate crises

Hannah Ascough

Queen's University, Canada

In this paper, I argue that the theories of ubuntu, social ecofeminism, and post-development can be harnessed as tools to understand the impact of COVID-19 on large-scale international environmental charities (ENGOs), and their conceptions of “environmental development”.

The similarities between climate change and COVID-19 – in how both affect marginalized groups and threaten notions of hegemonic growth – also offer an opportunity to imagine a radically different future based on just transitions from capitalism into social, economic and environmental equality. Large, international ENGOs tend to shape development efforts to combat climate change; it is thus important to understand how these charities responded to the pandemic, and what that response means for global environmental development strategies.

In the first part of my paper, I explain my theoretical framework, rooted in a decolonial lens and created to analyze discursive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. This framework draws on three intersecting theories: the African worldview of ubuntu, social ecofeminism, and post-development. Ubuntu’s holistic, communitarian values have deep implications for alternatives to capitalism; likewise, social ecofeminism deconstructs capitalist exploitation and oppression, while post-development theory critiques the colonial nature of development itself.

The second part of my paper applies this framework to “tweets” from a sampling of international ENGOs that refer specifically to the COVID-19 and climate crises. This analysis highlights the efficacy of the framework in deconstructing environmental “development” efforts; it examines whether large-scale charities used COVID-19 to envision an equitable and just transition, or if these ENGOs promoted colonial, hegemonic development paradigms as a means for a post-pandemic recovery.

Ultimately, my paper presents a cohesive, decolonial framework for understanding the global, environmental development response to the pandemic, and overall, seeks to provide insight into global environmental development relationships as they have been impacted by the pandemic.



Theatre for Development: Access in a Time of Pandemic

Telisa Courtney1, John Battye1, Hussein Madden2, Raphael Mahulo3, Desai Ogada4, Sheilah Onguo4, William Okumu5

1University of Alberta, Canada; 2Rafiki Theatre, Uganda; 3Ignite Afrika Trust, Kenya; 4Lagnet Theatrix, Kenya; 5LazerArts Ensemble, Kenya

In an age of communication and technological expansion, it is important to remember that this progress is not equally accessible. Development relies on grassroots, community-driven, on-the-ground work to reach the most marginalized. One of the ways this is accomplished is through the arts. Art has the power to facilitate important conversations, build community strength, and encourage participation and self-advocacy. In Kenya and Uganda there are several Theatre for Development groups working with and for their communities for these important goals.

These groups rely on funding from NGOs and other finance bodies. Because they work within their own communities and in other marginalized places that cannot afford to pay them , this has created a cycle of dependency on funding that is hard to escape. When that support withdraws, or is withdrawn due to crisis, what happens to this important work?

With this in mind, we engage in conversation with theatre artists from Uganda and Kenya who work in grassroots development, theatre for education, and cross-border development. Questions of access to support, technology, and the changes that occurred to their operations when COVID-19 lockdowns began will be investigated.

A reality of the international political and economic system, dependency has been created for this necessary and community-driven work. With the Global North retreating into protectionism and increasingly adopting austerity measures, resulting from both COVID and the rise in right-wing populism and global recession, the Global South is being left behind.

We ask whose needs are being met and confront the reality of how the expanse of technology, the rapid adjustment of organizations moving online, and governmental responses all failed these on-the-ground artists. We finish by celebrating the work still being done. Despite these challenges, TfD artists are persevering in their goals, adapting as best they can to the uncertainty and instability.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm1.2.3: Critical Feminisms: colonialism, masculinities and violence
Location: Room 3
Session Chair: Kate Grantham
Technical chair: Juliette Strohbach
Room 3 
 

Réflexions théoriques pour décoloniser le programme canadien de parrainage privé des personnes réfugiées

Clothilde Parent-Chartier

Université d'Ottawa, Canada

Le programme canadien de parrainage privé des réfugié.es (PPPR) suscite une attention grandissante sur la scène internationale et contribue à l’image de leader humanitaire que le Canada souhaite performer. Cependant, des expert.es ont soulevé plusieurs limites de ce programme, notamment en raison des déséquilibres de pouvoir et des rapports de dépendance qui sont au cœur des relations entre les parrainants (majoritairement des personnes blanches et aisées) et les personnes parrainées (majoritairement des personnes racisées). Ceux-ci peuvent donner lieu à des dynamiques telles que le paternalisme, l’infantilisation, l’intrusion, la victimisation et l’altérisation des personnes réfugiées et donc nuire considérablement au processus d’intégration, en dépit des bonnes intentions des parrainants.

La communication proposée vise à présenter le cadre théorique et conceptuel qui a été développé pour l’analyse des relations entre les personnes qui parrainent des personnes réfugiées et celles qui sont parrainées par l’entremise du PPPR. On procédera tout d’abord à une mise en contexte du PPPR et de ses principales limites. Deuxièmement, le cadre théorique développé pour l’analyse de ce programme sera explicité. Il correspond à une approche féministe décoloniale enrichie de certains concepts de l’éthique du care. Ainsi, certains concepts clés seront présentés tels que l’intersectionnalité, l’interdépendance, la colonialité des relations d’aide, la blanchité, et l’orientalisme. Considérés comme secondaires par les analyses dominantes du PPPR, ces concepts permettent de démontrer que les déséquilibres de pouvoir ne sont pas seulement attribuables aux dynamiques inhérentes à toute relation d’aide. Ils sont aussi liés aux différents systèmes d’oppression dans lesquels sont imbriqué.e.s les parrainants et les personnes parrainées. Pour finir, une réflexion sera amorcée sur les contributions potentielles d’un tel cadre d’analyse aux discussions sur la décolonisation du développement international et sur ce que signifie être un.e allié.e solide.



Making South Asian Cities Sustainable: Women Negotiating Fear and Violence in Kathmandu City.

Sujata Thapa-Bhattarai

University of Toronto, Canada

The 2030 agenda for sustainable development adopted by United Nations member states in 2015 includes ‘making sustainable cities and communities’ as its 11th goal. By adopting this goal of creating cities inclusive, safe, and sustainable, development actors in South Asia have started to pay increased attention to violence against women in the public transport. Women’s right to safe mobility is essential to ensure their ability to participate in economic, political, and cultural life of the city. While efforts have been made across South Asia to invest in sustainable transport, the link among the highly gendered nature of urban transportation infrastructure and its daily operations, inadequate policies and practices that under-mine women’s safety in the public transportation and public space has remained unexplored. By utilizing four sets of data: (i) a survey of 315 women riders of public transportation; (ii) in-depth interviews with 10 women riders, (iii) interviews with transportation service providers, transport policy actors and government officials; and (iv) public documents related to public transportation in Kathmandu Valley, the paper examines the linkages among women’s mobility needs, functioning of public transportation systems, and gender-based violence. The findings of the study suggest that majority of women riders of public transport are captive riders. They adopt different behavioral strategies to avoid risk and ensure their well-being. Furthermore, in response to violence and insecurity in the city, majority of women riders of public transport, also face strict social and cultural norms and restrictions regarding their daily travel. Safer Cities campaign can only be successful if development actors address violence prevention as multi-pronged approach and that gender sensitive public transport policies and programs should not only focus on reliability, frequency, and affordability of transportation systems, but also take into consideration the impact of household distribution of labor, social and cultural norms on women’s mobility.



Des traumatismes transgénérationnels à la déshumanisation et perte d’équilibre relationnel homme-femme chez les Bashi du Kivu. Éclipse de la résilience ?

Maria-Gabriella Namwezi

Université Saint-Paul, Canada

Ce projet cherche à analyser les changements sociaux dans les relations hommes-femmes chez les Bashi, en République Démocratique du Congo, de 1900 à 2020.

J’établis une distinction en trois périodes: de 1900-1960 où je démontre le rôle joué par la colonisation dans le renversement des relations des hommes et des femmes; de 1960-1996 où les congolais.e.s se sont adapté.e.s et approprié les nouveaux modes de vie et de 1996-2020 où les congolais.e.s sont en mode de reproduction des relations apprises de la colonisation.

La méthodologie adoptée est une recherche qualitative par étude documentaire complétée par des 6 entrevues. J’utilise le traçage des processus (Process tracing) pour démontrer comment les méthodes et pratiques imposées aux Bashi pendant la colonisation ont ruiné leur équilibre des relations sociales. J’argumente que les Bashi se sont engagé.e.s dans un cercle vicieux lors de la venue violente des Belges au pays : les hommes auraient vécu de l’impuissance face à la chosification qu’ils subissaient de la part des colons, en s’identifiant à leurs agresseurs, ils auraient entrepris de reproduire sur les femmes les sévices dont ils souffraient de la part des colons. Les femmes ayant vécu la même chosification et de l’impuissance face aux hommes devenus violents, auraient reproduit la même chose sur les enfants. Pour cette recherche, je me base notamment sur Fanon, Colle, Raewyne, hooks, Frederici, Nkunzi et Lauro.

Dans cette présentation, je vais exposer une partie de ma recherche concernant la formation de la masculinité pendant la période coloniale. Je présenterai d’abord les Bashi d’avant la colonisation, ensuite je parlerai de l’approche colonial de civilisation et de l’évolution appliquée aux hommes et ses conséquences sur les femmes.



The role of masculinities in maintaining labour relations for Vietnamese offshore fisheries

Georgina Alonso

University of Ottawa, Canada

While labour contracts are rare for those working on boats based in the significant Song Doc port in Ca Mau province in Vietnam, workers, captains and boat owners seek a sense of trust and obligation between each other through alternative means. The offshore fishing industry remains highly divided along gendered lines in terms of labour roles, and those who go offshore are exclusively men. In a context of a growing transition to manufacturing and international pressure for strict fisheries reform, efforts to maintain an adequate labour force rely, in part, on notions of masculinity. This includes an emphasis on the abilities of male bodies to do difficult physical work and a bonding culture among men that involves camaraderie at sea while working as well as on land often while drinking. This paper uses qualitative interviews and observation to analyze the role that masculinities play in shaping labour relations in offshore fishing in Southern Vietnam. It unpacks how workers, captains, and owners navigate gendered expectations as part of labour relations, and demonstrates that class and place are central to the local gendered hierarchy. Multiple masculinities are identified with varying degrees of fluidity as informed especially by class and with dynamics differing at sea versus on land.



A Feminist Comparative Study of COVID-19 and Everyday Urbanism in Southern Cities

Nasya Razavi

York University, Canada

Drawing on GenUrb comparative research undertaken in mid-2020 with communities in five cities—Cochabamba, Bolivia, Delhi, India, Georgetown, Guyana, Ibadan, Nigeria, and Shanghai, China—we engage in an intersectional analysis to explore the impact of COVID-19 on gendered and racialized experiences of everyday urbanism. The research employs digital research methods, recorded phone interviews, and (socially distanced) individual interviews, engaging women living in neighbourhoods characterized by underdevelopment and economic precarity. Focusing on women’s collective and individualized place-making practices in the intersecting realms of work and care, we trace how the exigencies of everyday life in the pandemic reveal possibilities, uncertainties, and multiple narratives while attending to the long histories of structural inequality and exclusion that shape these mega and small Southern cities.

Co-athours: Grace Adeniyi Ogunyankin, Swagata Basu, Aninditta Datta, Karen de Souza, Penn Ip, Elsa Koleth, Faranak Miraftab, Beverley Mullings, Linda Peake

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm1.2.4: The Challenges of Finding a Tenure-Track Job - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Session Chair: Liam Swiss
Technical chair: Adrian Murray

Finding a tenure track job is difficult even in the best of times. In today’s job market, and in the midst of a global pandemic, it may appear even more daunting. But don’t panic! CASID 2021 will feature a roundtable discussion and workshop with both seasoned professors who have sat on dozens of hiring committees and junior scholars who have recently found positions in this highly competitive job market. This workshop will be conducted mainly in English.

Panelists include: Nathan Andrews, University of Northern British Columbia; Philippe Frowd, University of Ottawa; Prachi Srivastava, Western University; Rebecca Tiessen, University of Ottawa; Daniel Tubb, University of New Brunswick.

Room 4 
2:00pm - 2:30pmBreak Day 1
 
2:30pm - 4:00pm1.3.1: From Feminist Theory to Feminist Practice
Location: Room 1
Technical chair: Liam Swiss
Room 1 
 

Chair(s): Liam Swiss (Memorial), Heather Smith (UNBC)

This panel will examine the translation of feminist theory to feminist policy and practice. Panelists will consider the oversights, missed opportunities and discursive weaknesses of the Canada's feminist international assistance policy (FIAP) with attention to feminist theory and intersectional approaches; some of the implications of a feminist foreign (aid) policy for partner countriesand development NGOs/practice and for methodology/research (in conflict-affected communities); as well as considerations for moving forward with measuring impacts and new (foreign) policy approaches.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Implications – and Interpretations - of Feminist Foreign Policy: Perspectives from Partner Organizations working in Transnational Spaces

Rebecca Tiessen
uOttawa

For this presentation and in my paper, I examine the implications – and interpretations – of feminist foreign policy from the perspective of partner organizations drawing on examples from 150 interviews with partner organization staff in 10 countries in the Global South. Specifically, the themes highlighted consider the implications of working with transnational actors in transnational spaces to deliver feminist and gender programming.

 

From Feminist Theory to Feminist Practice: Where are masculinities, the LGBTQI community and gender relations/hierarchies?

Jane Parpart
uMass Boston

Feminist approaches to development have provided important new ideas about the challenges currently facing Canada, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, violence, inequality, poverty and crises. These approaches have raised the profile of feminist praxis and highlighted the importance of feminist practices for Canadian policy. While this focus has brought much important, innovative thinking to Canadian policy and practice, it has too often overlooked the role of masculinities, gender relations and the LGBTQI communities in development policies and practice. This paper will explore the importance of integrating these topics into feminist discussions, not as peripheral issues, but as central factors for understanding the role of masculinities, LGBTQI communities and gender relations in feminist theory and practice in these challenging times.

 

Operationalizing feminist theory through organizational change: civil society organizations’ investments into effective programming, policy and practice for addressing gender inequality.

Sheila Rao
Carleton University

How do we operationalize transformative feminist theory in development that is grounded in uncovering intersecting forms of oppression? How do innovative feminist forward-thinking in policy formation processes transition into effective programming, evaluation and organizational change? The FIAP offered an opportunity for Canadian civil society organizations(CSOs) to re-examine their organizational, human resource and programmatic approaches to addressing gender inequality. Through an examination of responses to and engagement with the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) and initial developments of Canada’s feminist foreign policy, this paper argues that feminist theory can only be operationalized through organizational changes that prioritize decolonial approaches gender diversity, anti-racism and inclusivity in the design, implementation and evaluation of policy and programmes. Data collected in 2019 with gender specialists and staff of CSOs revealed a distinct disconnect between CSO investment, staff support (financial, training and government guidance) and the 'un-feminist' structural landscape in which development programmes are supported by the government of Canada. Moving beyond simplistic policy insertions of intersectionality requires a re-centering of voices and input from the Global South and anti-racism, LGBTQ activists in Canada who are empowered to guide these processes, rather than continue to be administered by them.

 

From Gender Design to Feminist Evaluation: How Feminist Methodologies Can Shine New Light on the Impact of Gender Equality Programming

Jessica Cadesky
uOttawa

In recent years, the framing of international policy as ‘feminist’ has gained traction in several countries, including Canada. For some, the ‘feminist’ label has opened up space for more transformational approaches to aid and development programming. For others, the use of ‘feminist’ is simply calling a gender rose by any other name. Practically, how has this feminist turn affected our evaluation of gender equality efforts in developing countries? Can we use one framework to evaluate projects conceived within the other? What are the challenges of applying feminist methodologies, particularly in conflict-affected settings? Drawing on experiences of conducting doctoral research in Northern Sri Lanka, this discussion will present reflections on the practice of applying feminist methodologies to probe the impacts of gender-mainstreamed and gender-targeted aid and development programs in conflict-affected settings.

 

Assessing the Impacts and Effectiveness of Feminist Foreign Policy

Laura Parisi
University of Victoria

As the implementation of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy moves forward, this presentation reflects on how to measure the impacts and effectiveness of FIAP and the implications of these measurements. As part of this discussion, indicators of Feminist Foreign Policy effectiveness of other countries, such as Sweden, Norway, and Mexico, will also be examined. What can we learn from other countries’ evaluation methods? What do impact indicators of countries with Feminist Foreign Policies have in common? Is there a global norm of measurement emerging?

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm1.3.2: Contextualizing Colonial Roots in Transit-Oriented Development and “Urban Renewal.” Perspectives from Little Jamaica’s Black Residents (Toronto)
Location: Room 2
Technical chair: Adrian Murray
Room 2 
 

Chair(s): Sebastián Miguel Mendoza-Price (Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West, Canada), Omi Ra (Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West), Jem Baptiste (Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West), Marcus Pereira (Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West)

Colonization should be primarily understood as an ongoing process, and its use of “development” as a tool to advance the interests of the colonial project. Depicted as a process that is in the national, regional, and/or provincial interest, governments across the Americas have justified the displacement of neighbourhood residents, often working class and racialized, as an emblem of urban renewal. This process is known as gentrification.

This is ongoing in Toronto, Canada. Residents of the Little Jamaica neighbourhood, a Black community that remains a repository of Toronto history, are at risk of removal as those at all levels of government renegotiate space within their settlements with the effect of pushing these working class residents out of their community.

As we speak, this community is feeling the squeeze of the looming Eglinton Crosstown LRT project that is effectively shutting down its streets, with over 160 Black-owned businesses closed (or on the verge of closing) and its majority rental-residents to be priced out, evicted, and forced to relocate. This has been detrimental to the ongoing cultural preservation of Toronto’s Black identity.

Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West, a coalition of young activists from the neighbourhood, have worked on collecting testimonies to describe the “meaning” of Little Jamaica to both remaining residents and those with historical ties to the neighbourhood. This collection of anecdotal testimonies to retell the colonial history that facilitated the development of the neighbourhood, and the development project that has contributed to its decline. Our testimonials seek to present a story of how transit-oriented development is perceived and exacted inconsistently according to class, race, place, and space, informed by the existing body of both Little Jamaica specific and Toronto-wide research that has challenged the egalitarian narrative surrounding transit-oriented development in the city of Toronto.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Testimonials from Little Jamaica residents on LJ’s past, present and futures current and historical residents: Presented by Jem Baptiste

Jem Baptiste
Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West

Jem Baptiste is a young person working to maintain the cultural mosaic that is the Little Jamaica neighbourhood. They are a student currently enrolled at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in the fine arts program exploring how art preserves the memory and experiences of Black people.

Being a Little Jamaica Resident who has experienced firsthand the effects of gentrification on the neighbourhood and its relationship to Metrolinx’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT led them to developing Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West, a youth led advocacy organization fighting to preserve the cultural relevance of the neighbourhood. A large portion of the neighbourhood's dwellers are racialized immigrants, and often have both legal (precarious status, weak labour protections) and social (overpolicing, language and education barriers) constraints that prevent them from challenging the gentrification of their neighbourhood. This leaves the community, and communities like it across the world, defenceless and vulnerable to the consequences of ‘urban renewal’. Jem Baptiste will be presenting a series of testimonials from current residents as well as those who have deep ties to the neighbourhood but have either been displaced or moved away, and analyze the key takeaways from the testimonial collection to understand how gentrification, transit development, and cultural space is understood from a Black perspective in the colonial city of Toronto. This will be accompanied by personal testimonials surrounding both lived experience as residents of the neighbourhood as well as activists fighting for its preservation, and thoughts on an explicitly black control over the future of Eglinton West while addressing Canada’s histories of Colonialism, Capitalism, and White Supremacy

 

How Transit And Transit Expansion Facilitate Gentrification: Presented by Sebastián Mendoza-Price

Sebastián Miguel Mendoza-Price
Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West

Sebastián Mendoza-Price is an undergraduate student in Urban Studies and Religion at the University of Toronto and community organizer who's work both in academia and in organizing spaces has focused on cultural conflict between racialized communities and governments in urban spaces. They have been organizing actively with the St James Town Tenants Network, Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West, and the Shut Down Canada movement, working to build dual power amongst the city and country’s racialized residents.

Sebastián will be covering in this section a series of reports on existing work that has focused on both Little Jamaica and the city of Toronto as a whole.

- "Black Future’s on Eglinton: An arts based community cultural mapping study with youth on Black culture, in confront of anti-Black racism” by CP Planning in Partnership with Black Urbanism TO

- "Report: A Black Business Conversation On Planning For The Future Of Black Businesses And Residents On Eglinton Ave W.” by Black Urbanism TO

- "The Three Cities within Toronto” by David Hulchanski

These reports will help to contextualize the ongoing struggle for Black Torontonians to assert their space in the face of transit-oriented “development” projects by analyzing Hulchanski's work that has mapped the gentrification of neighbourhoods near transit lines creating income based stratification based on proximity to transit infrastructure. The reports by Black Urbanism TO and Cheryll Case (CP Planning) will be analyzed through this lens to understand how Toronto approaches gentrification through Infrastructure building, in line with Canada's southern cities' histories as colonial trading and transit outposts.

 

Regenerative Solutions to Gentrification: presented by Omi Ra, candidate for Bsc in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo

Omi Ra
Reclaim/Rebuild Eglinton West

Omi Ra is an undergraduate student that has been involved in several organizing spaces between the Waterloo Region and the City of Toronto aimed at improving the both the physical and political environment for Black people. In their undergraduate career at the Unviersity of Waterloo, they founded RAISE, a student run service that addresses racism and xenophobia campus-wide as well as Equity4Who, a student-run organization that challenges the state of equity on campus. They are also a founding member of Reclaim, Rebuild EgWest.

Transit-oriented development is an issue affecting several communities following so-called Canada’s quest for capital expansion. While Little Jamaica’s staunch opposition to its gentrification exists in the Toronto zeitgeist, we’d like to further emphasize alternatives to urban renewal that work with communities and not against them. This portion of the presentation will cover these expansive and imaginative solutions that promote holistic community development and well-being. For example, this panel will include examples of grassroots advocacy strategies that include all members of all levels of the community -- ensuring that its cultural fabric remains intact while undergoing revival/reinvestment of resources. Engaging with the audience at this presentation will be critical to building bridges on personal experiences to understand common themes with regards to lived experiences as victims of the state’s gentrification movement.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm1.3.3: Political economy of private and public institutions
Location: Room 3
Session Chair: Larry Swatuk
Technical chair: Kate Grantham
Room 3 
 

Overview of the pension system in Mexico and Chile. A path to inequality and precarity

Teresa Lizeth Alanis Gutiérrez

Postdoc at Institute of Economic Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico. IIEc-UNAM

The last decades have been characterized by neoliberal hegemony and the deepening of the process of financial globalization, generating instability, financial and productive crises, austerity policies, financial speculation and increasing uncertainty in the labor market, which is reflected in the increased of unemployment, informality, inequality and precarity. In addition to these unresolved problems, the current global pandemic crisis has deepened the gaps of inequality and income concentration.

In this context, of continuous structural reforms, ageing of the population and changes in the labour market, the social security has been transformed and privatized.

Social security, in particular, pension system should guarantee stability for workers at the end of their working lives, however, the measures that have been adopted cause weakening and uncertainty in the system, reflecting its failure to guarantee a dignified retirement for the working class.

The objective of this collaboration is to explain the inequalities of pension system in Mexico and Chile, and the recent reforms to their pension systems which do not allow to face the current challenges and limitations.



Forms of capital implicated in the elite school advertisements

Rajender Singh

University of Western Ontario, Canada

This article offers a critical media analysis of the notions of 'quality education' communicated through the flagship video advertisements of five elite private schools in Himachal Pradesh, a north Indian state. The five schools were chosen based on the overwhelming presence of their students in the merit list of state-level year-end examinations for grades 10th and 12th. In particular, I draw upon the Bourdieuan lens of the forms of capital to illustrate how these schools construct and convey particular ideas of excellent education conveying school as a site to acquire five distinct forms of capital - material capital, cultural capital, moral capital, network capital, and also some flavor of India's spiritual capital. In doing so, this research contributes to the broader discourse of the hegemonically aspirational and middle-class character of school education as can be delineated from the school promotional materials.



Vending Cruel Hope: A Case Study on Public Primary Schooling in Jamaica

Giselle Francine Thompson

York University, Canada

Using an anti-colonial theoretical framework, this paper unearths, what I refer to as, “cruel hope.” My first indictment of hope is directed towards the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) veneered prospectus, which markets the organization as a salvific entity for debt-riddled countries. The IMF’s supposed panacea-cocktail packages and sells hope, but is understood to have created much economic and social devastation (Desai, 2017), particularly in the area of public education (Thompson, 2020, 2014), which is this paper’s unit of analysis. My second indictment of hope is directed towards the United Nations for its tendency to put forward unfeasible socio-educational stratagem. There is an apparent disconnect between official discourse (i.e., “universal,” “compulsory,” “free”) and what happens on the ground (Buchanan, 2019; Somé, 2010). It appears as though the United Nations and its constituents are obsessed with seeing a proliferation of schools, and are less concerned with the quality and sustainability of education (Somé, 2010). Therefore, this paper necessarily interrogates the inherent coloniality of international politics, economics and social governance and their proclivity to deal policy-based hope to nation-states as though it were a euphoria-inducing drug. A drug that inhibits the international community’s ability to soberly acknowledge that, in spite of expert planning, many primary schools in the Global South remain aged and decrepit, over worked and understaffed, inadequately resourced and in dire fiscal strain because their governments cannot adequately support them. Empirical data that were collected during an ethnographic case study at a rural public primary school in the parish of Hanover, Jamaica in 2018 will be utilized in order to bolster my arguments.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm1.3.4: Demystifying Decolonization: Baby Steps & Reflexive Praxis - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Technical chair: Alisa Greenwood Nguyen

Register here.

(conference registration required)

Room 4 
 

Chair: Jess Notwell

University of Guelph, Canada

Does “decolonization” feel intimidating or just too big? Are you committed to decolonization but afraid to “get it wrong”? Do you struggle with how to make decolonizing International ‘Development’ Studies pedagogy and curriculum concrete and achievable? In this workshop, we will use the Medicine Wheel to explore practical reflection questions and develop decolonization action plans. Beginning with identifying the colonial narratives that make decolonization seem impossible, and culminating with enumerating practical steps each of us can take to decolonize our teaching and research, this workshop will demystify decolonization. Like all transformative processes, decolonizing ‘development’ is achieved one small step at a time. Each participant will leave the workshop with their own definition of decolonization and a personal decolonization action plan that identifies the steps they will take over the next 12 months.

 
Date: Tuesday, 01/June/2021
10:00am - 11:30am2.1.1: Indigenous Resurgence: Defending the Land, Liberating Our Peoples, Honouring Our Ancestors - A Town Hall Dialogue
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Jess Notwell
Technical chair: Adrian Murray

CASID 2021 will feature a Town Hall dialogue on Indigenous Resurgence, led by people whose daily lives and leadership are at the heart of these struggles for freedom.

Register here.

“'Justice’ to me...means the return of land, the regeneration of Indigenous political, educational, and knowledge systems, the rehabilitation of the natural world, and the destruction of white supremacy, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy” (Simpson, 2016: 21)

The foundations of Western “development,” are colonialism, imperialism, heteropatriarchy and White Supremacy. “Development” is mobilized to justify the theft, exploitation and destruction of land, water and non-human beings alongside the exploitation, enslavement and attempted elimination of Indigenous Peoples across the world. Refusing to vanish, Indigenous Nations are resurging and resisting this “system of lawless pillage and plunder of the earth and its people on the graves of our ancestors” (Maracle, 1990: 119). From Turtle Island to Palestine to Kenya to Jamaica, people indigenous to the land are mobilizing against myriad colonial violences and for sovereignty, self-determination, and liberation. Refusing a one-size-fits-all modernization paradigm, these embodied struggles take many forms, rooted in local histories, identities, cultures and lands. CASID 2021 will feature a Town Hall dialogue, led by people whose daily lives and leadership are at the heart of these struggles for freedom. 

Speakers include: 

Dan and Mary Lou Smoke (Elders, Seneca Nation from Six Nations Grand River Territory and Ojibwe Nation, Batchewana).

Amina Abdulhaq (Palestine).

Dr. Luis Alberto Tuaza Castro (Kichwa, Ecuador).

Ahksistowaki Medicine Crane (Blackfoot, Kainai and Piikani Nations).

Room 1 
11:30am - 12:30pmLunch Day 2
 
12:30pm - 2:00pm2.2.1: Giving money directly: Microloans and Cash transfers
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Laura Parisi
Technical chair: Liam Swiss
Room 1 
 

‘But the buffalo fell sick and died’: Patterns of loan use for women’s self-help groups in rural North India

Sumeet Sekhon

The University of British Columbia (Okanagan), Canada

In spite of numerous impact evaluation studies of microcredit, there is no consensus about its poverty reduction capacity. In part, this confusion is the result of a futile quest to construct a singular narrative of impact, whereas the focus should be on understanding the range of experiences in particular geographies and contexts. In this paper, I study the ways in which participants used their loans by drawing upon semi-structured interviews with 6 key informants and 46 women self-help group members to examine the poverty reduction potential of a microcredit bank-linkage program in rural North India. To conduct this study, I unpack the impact of duration of program participation on loan use, and examine pathways to productive loan use, an indicator which signifies poverty alleviation. More specifically, I ask the following questions:

1. Are members with longer durations of program participation more likely to use their loans for production?

2. In what ways is the pathway of loan use from subsistence to production disrupted and enabled?

Study results show that most respondents viewed microcredit as a mere addition to their repository of credit sources—that is, an additional resource which could be used to meet regular household expenses, and, occasionally, to avert or endure a household crisis. Although I did not find significant evidence of poverty alleviation among research participants, there were some long-run benefits of program participation. Program participation had a positive impact on the economic outcomes of respondent households: a) an increase in the capacity of respondents to use loans for second-order consumption with increasing lengths of time in the program, and b) an increase in the amount and frequency of available credit for consumption smoothing and tiding over crises, which can be productive in the long run.



Exploring experiences and outcomes associated with the Philippines’ conditional cash transfer program: An actor-oriented approach

Warren Dodd1, Amy Kipp1, Lau Lincoln1,2,3, Matthew Little4, Mitizie Irene Conchada5, Alellie Sobreviñas5, Marites Tiongco5

1University of Waterloo, Canada; 2International Care Ministries, Philippines; 3University of Toronto, Canada; 4University of Victoria, Canada; 5De La Salle University, Philippines

In 2007, the Government of the Philippines piloted the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which is a conditional cash transfer program (CCT) that has come to serve as the country’s main social protection strategy. More recently in 2019, new legislation was signed to institutionalize the 4Ps to ensure ongoing support for income poor households and to achieve human development objectives within the country. In the context of this newly institutionalized national social protection program, the objective of this study was to critically examine how the intervention practices and outcomes of the 4Ps are understood and experienced by both program beneficiaries and implementers. Guided by an actor-oriented approach, this study was conducted in and around Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. In total, 36 semi-structured interviews were conducted with eligible 4Ps beneficiaries (14 current beneficiaries and 22 non-beneficiaries) across seven communities, in addition to nine semi-structured interviews with 4Ps implementers (staff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development) in two urban centres. Interviews revealed a gap between the understandings and experiences of beneficiaries and implementers with the enrollment, compliance, delivery, and outcomes of the 4Ps. These findings demonstrate how targeting mechanisms used to identify the ‘poorest of the poor’ may be poorly communicated or misunderstood by beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of the 4Ps. Additionally, there was a disconnect between the discourse of ‘entitlement’ used by the state when promoting the 4Ps and beneficences experiences of the program in this way. Overall, this study identifies the tensions and trade-offs made when administering a large-scale CCT (e.g., consistency of implementation across the country versus enhancing the agency and awareness of beneficiaries), and considers how decisions made concerning these trade-offs inform the design of this social protection program and the lived experiences of both beneficiaries and implementers of the 4Ps.



The returns of the welfare state: Cash transfers and distributional politics in the pandemic age

Christopher Webb

London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom

In response to the significant job losses produced by the COVID-19 pandemic, states have drastically expanded social protections, primarily through cash transfer programs. The national dynamics of this expansion has been highly uneven, with some states introducing temporary measures aimed at offsetting sectoral unemployment while others have advanced universal measures directed toward all citizens. In sum, this represents the most significant expansion of social protection spending in decades, with lower income countries registering the greatest increases in spending. Drawing on James Ferguson’s notion of distributional politics, this paper analyzes the multiple meanings of this rapid expansion of the welfare state on a global scale and the political opportunities it provides. These interventions have generated wide-ranging political responses from below, often against the inadequacy of cash payments, corruption and mismanagement, and demands for a more expansive distribution of surplus in the form of a basic income. This paper asks whether this rapid expansion of welfare spending provides grounds for a more radical redistributive politics or simply reasserts the precepts of neoliberal governance that characterize mainstream development policy. Inspired by Achille Mbembe’s concept of necropolitics, it suggests that a developmental politics aimed at sustaining life must necessarily challenge the structural conditions which expose certain populations to premature death by advancing forms of decommodification and decolonization at multiple scales.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm2.2.2: Finding Bridges within New Doctoral Research
Location: Room 2
Technical chair: Furqan Asif
Room 2 
 

Chair(s): Andrea Leigh Burke (Western University), Kaylia Little (University of Waterloo)

This panel seeks to demonstrate how the field of International Development can bridge the divide and be a common language for PhD Students working across a variety of disciplines and topics. While their work focuses on different Sustainable Development Goals including 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 17, common themes of inclusive development, structural inequalities, and multi-dimensional critiques of existing systems of development can be found. The panelists bring together different standpoints that inform Development Studies scholarship, bridging disciplinary, topical, and thematic divides and finding common ground by pursuing more inclusive and effective ways of doing development, both practically and theoretically.

Five (5) PhD Students in the preliminary stages of their dissertation research, proposing novel and important projects, will present and discuss their work in the form of a panel. This is an interactive panel that seeks to create a space for co-learning between panelists and attendees. Panelists welcome and encourage feedback from attendees who have a chance to influence the directions of their research. Panel attendees will have the chance to interact with emerging research areas and projects that doctoral students of international development are approaching. By fostering a space for students and seasoned researchers to collaborate and discuss new project-matter, this panel will effectively bridge perceived and real divides that are sometimes present between new students and scholars from various stages of life and work.

Join the panelists in addressing a wide range of vital issues in an open and inclusive space as they embark on their doctoral research.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

The gender-energy nexus in the Arctic

Kaylia Little
University of Waterloo

In Canada, affordable and clean energy access is a concern for 279 remote communities that are not connected to the electricity grid. The importance of energy access is supported by the United Nations and the World Bank as an essential component for lifting communities out of poverty. Current sustainable energy technologies offer solutions to meeting the electricity needs of the world while not further contributing to environmental degradation. Improved energy access has the potential to impact gender equity positively, but in order to do this, the complexities of the gender-energy nexus need to be understood. Gender and energy research has been mainly concentrated in the global south and energy is framed as gender-neutral in industrialized countries. In my research I will aim to understand the gender-energy nexus in Nunavut and bring attention to equity issues. Furthermore, my research seeks to build on current gender analysis frameworks in a way that is culturally and contextually appropriate.

 

Rethinking Empowerment Interventions: The politics of gender programming/planning within the bureaucracy USAID and the implications for transformative change.

Khursheed Sadat
University of Ottawa

Research on women’s empowerment development interventions are concerned with either measuring the ways in which interventions empower women or analyzing the arrangements of power that oppress women. Other research on empowerment interventions explore the limitations of such interventions affecting transformative change. Studies have yet to explore the ways those within the site of creating and implementing these empowerment programmes engage with such limitations to the transformative potential. My research investigates women’s empowerment development interventions as sites of tension, negotiation and transformation. My research answers the following questions: What can the experiences of USAID bureaucrats and gender planners who are involved in the design and implementation of the PROMOTE project, a women’s empowerment project in Afghanistan, reveal about the forces that constitute the process of the construction and implementation of this project? Furthermore, what can their experiences reveal about the challenges of creating and implementing truly transformative gender equality and women’s empowerment development policy and programming? PROMOTE is a five-year collaborative project (2014-2019) between both the U.S. and Afghan governments aimed at empowering young Afghan women, through training that equips them with the skills to become active leaders in society. Using this development project as an entry point, my research investigates the nuances and dynamics of struggle between structure and agency within the site of development institutions and studies its implications for transformative change in the context of fragile states.

 

Sexed Bodies, Trauma and Gender Based Violence: Testimonies from the Rohingya Genocide

Deeplina Banerjee
Western University

The persecutions of over half a million Rohingya Muslims, in the Rakhine state of Myanmar since late August 2017 have raised serious concerns of human rights violation and has left the international stakeholders shocked. The mass rapes and other forms of sexual violence, killing and torture have prompted the United Nations to label the genocide as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. My proposed research focuses on investigating the widespread sexual violence against women during the genocide and understanding how their bodies respond to the trauma in the aftermath. Through my project I will seek to understand in the backdrop of the Rohingya genocide if the ethnic identities play a key role in violence against women during genocide and how those bodies then becomes a weapon of violence that is used against women and in the process they lose ownership and autonomy of their own bodies. The project will seek to address the complicated inter-relations among body, violence and ethnicity with a broader objective of understanding the body as a weapon of violence against the women thus zeroing it to a more individual level.

 

Aid effectiveness in a Small Island Developing State: The case of Vanuatu

Morgane Rosier
University of Ottawa

Fifteen years later, the implementation of the principles of the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness globally is disappointing. However, the causes of this disregard to aid appropriation, donor alignment and harmonization - viewed as a first step towards a redistribution of power between aid donors and recipients - is still misunderstood and requires in depth qualitative analyses. Entitled Aid effectiveness in a

Small Island Developing State: The case of Vanuatu, my doctoral thesis focuses on a case study: the assistance provided by international actors to the Republic of Vanuatu, a Pacific island state, particularly following Covid-19 and Cyclone Harold in April 2020. More precisely, it answers: why do different aid actors circumvent or misapply the three core principles? In particular, what incentive dynamics weighing on them explain these poor results? As humanitarian and development actions are called to be complementary, why and how to reconcile humanitarian aid and development aid? What obstacles hinder this reconciliation? Furthermore, how did the Covid-19 pandemic slow down or accelerate the implementation of the Paris principles and what does it reveal about their relevance?

 

Essential Precarity: Exploring Cross-Sections of Gender and Racial

Andrea Burke
Western University

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women's and racialized minorities' experiences with work, employment, labour-related stress, and the burden of care in formal and informal capacities. Essential Precarity: Exploring Cross-Sections of Gender and Racial Equality, Canadian COVID-19 Policies, and Feminized Care Work in Pandemic Times explores how pandemics exacerbate inequalities and/or create new opportunities for gender equality, social justice, and developing more favourable and equitable conditions in so-called developed countries. London, Ontario, Canada will serve as a case study to reveal how principles of community development, international development, feminist economics, and precarity can be applied to the realities of gendered and racialized professions specifically personal support work, that are high-risk, underpaid, largely unprotected, and care-centric. The context of COVID-19 reveals and exacerbates pre-existing conditions of precarity, discrimination, and insecurity for personal support workers in healthcare. I seek to explore how the lives and livelihoods of women in precarious positions during the pandemic -- particularly personal support workers doing crucial care work in high-risk spaces like hospitals and long-term care facilities -- is politicized and polarizing in Canadian discourse and policy, and how economic norms of austerity and privatization impact gender equality and women's safety during public health crises.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm2.2.3: White Saviorism and Decolonization in International Cooperation
Location: Room 3
Technical chair: Gloria Novovic
Room 3 
 

Chair(s): Maïka Sondarjee (Université d'Ottawa, Canada)

The White Savior Complex (WSC) is one of the perennial underbelly challenges of the global development aid industry. While researchers and practitioners alike are starting to notice the colonial structures underlying their practice, theoretical and empirical studies on the white savior complex in international solidarity are sparse. More research needs to be done and aspects of the WSC in the development industry need to be questioned, e.g. the white gaze and white privilege, dehumanization and victimization of aid-receiving populations; the practice of centering western donors and their self-actualization journey in development narratives; the simplification of complex or systemic problems; the priority of western aid workers over non-western workers; green colonialism or imperial wars (saving brown women from brown men); the neoliberalization of aid through individualized donations; etc. Case studies on the WSC need to be developed and stories of otherness need to be told by the ones who witness or experience the WSC firsthand. This panel will interrogate the question of white saviorism and decolonization of international development discourse and its impact development practice and power relations.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

The Development Moral Decadence Dilemma and White Savior Complex: Lessons from the Berry Glaser Case in Kalangala (Uganda)

Dickson Kanakulya
Makerere University

The field of development ethics has made considerable progress but has not examined the question of personal moral agency in development theory and practice. The movement to decolonize development has taken interest in the development aid industry. But there is need to centralize the moral questions implicit in any development aid agenda. The White Savior Complex (WSC) is one of the perennial underbelly challenges of the global development aid industry; but it has been not well researched especially in the African context. Using a discourse analysis approach this paper examines the implicit meanings from a case of Beery Glaser in Kalangala (Uganda) a self-made aid worker who was accused of involvement in alleged gross immoral and illegal acts with the children who were under his care. The Kalangala island communities, located in Lake Victoria in Uganda, are classified as hard-to-reach regions. This case provides illuminating insights into how moral decadence could derail the development industry. The paper will highlight the role of personal moral agency in determining the morality and ethics of development aid, as practice takes in place in Africa. The paper will use lessons gleaned from this case to suggest possible ways of preventing the decent into ‘Development Moral Decadence’ within the auspices of development aid industry.

 

Centering Western Experience and Agency in Global Solidarity Campaigns

Maïka Sondarjee
Université d'Ottawa

Development researchers and practitioners often acknowledge the existence of the White Savior Complex (WSC), but the field of development studies lacks systematic analysis of how it reveals itself in practice. The overall argument of this paper is that the white savior complex is visible through the practice of centering western donors, their agency and their self-actualization journey in solidarity and development campaigns. I develop the concept of ontological narrative to explore how this centrality of western actors and agency in the story we tell forge a reality through giving a certain interpretation of one’s place in the world. After all, we are first and foremost “self-interpreting animals” (Taylor 1985), and this self-interpretation informs the process of otherness. This paper is based on a postcolonial content and discourse analysis of the KONY2012 campaign by the organization Invisible Children, including its two documentaries, promotion articles, and outreach material.

 

Decolonizing Development as Northern fascination

Themrise Khan
Pakistan Aid Organizations

The term “decolonization”, is fast becoming a buzzword for those who are critically examining the practices and objectives of the international aid industry. Decolonization is seen as the way to “shift” power from the hands of powerful Northern aid agencies and INGOs, to those they claim to work for – lessor developed Southern countries. But the discussions on decolonization of aid practices are in reality, extremely one-sided and Western-centric. They do not actually include the voices of the South. In fact, they do not even ask the South whether decolonization is the answer to a more equitable aid industry. It is simply assumed that we will agree. But many in the South do not agree with this terminology. In fact, it is seen as a further imposition of the White Saviour Complex, with the powerful West once again deciding what is “good for us” and how this must be done. This paper will challenge the concept of decolonization from a Southern practitioner perspective, as being more a (temporary) Northern fascination than a Southern reality. It will, using examples from an aid recipient perspective including discussing the post-colonial origins of the term, illustrate how such terminology further derides the role of the South in development discourse, instead of emancipating it from the hold of white Northern saviours.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm2.2.4: Writing in research companions as a decolonizing writing practice - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Technical chair: Adrian Murray

Register here.

(conference registration required)

Room 4 
 

Chair: Christine Gibb

University of Ottawa, Canada

Once sidelined to footnotes and acknowledgements, research companions have increasingly been rendered visible and their contributions considered in scholarly development writing. Publications typically focus on research assistants (Gold et al. 2014; Turner 2010; Middleton and Cons 2014), accompanying family members (Taylor 2014; Lunn and Moscuzza 2014; Flinn, Marshall, and Armstrong 1998; De Silva and Gandhi 2019), especially children (Starrs et al. 2001; Korpela, Hirvi, and Tawah 2016; Frohlick 2002; Cupples and Kindon 2003; Cornet and Blumenfield 2016; Johnston 2015; Farrelly, Stewart-Withers, and Dombroski 2014; Tripp 2002), with some mention of supervisors, students, colleagues, pets, editors, and other collaborators (Gupta 2014; Heller et al. 2011; Swanson 2008). Writing in research companions remains risky, particularly for aspiring scholars who want to meaningfully recognize the contributions of their collaborators but feel like they must first establish their professional identity and credibility as an independent researcher.

The goals of their workshop are to share and to devise writing practices that meaningfully recognize the contributions of our research companions. The workshop will include a facilitated discussion and small group exercises.

 
2:00pm - 2:30pmBreak Day 2
 
2:30pm - 4:00pm2.3.1: Youth inclusion in theory and practice
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Judyannet Muchiri
Technical chair: valerie charest
Room 1 
 

Derry Girls and the Politics of the Everyday: Theorizing for a More Youth-Inclusive Approach to Peacebuilding

Alina Dixon

Queen's University, Canada

The popular sitcom Derry Girls is a witty take on director Lisa McGee’s adolescent experience in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. While this period marks an era of exceptional sectarian violence, Derry Girls showcases the ways that conflict also becomes entangled within mundane, everyday life and how young people are profoundly affected by conflict yet are continually excluded from conflict-related decision-making. I draw on Derry Girls to unpack the theoretical framework offered by Berents and McEvoy-Levy that seeks to include young people more intentionally in peacebuilding by acknowledging how peace is narrated by and through youth, that structures can either inhibit or facilitate positive contributions to peace by youth, and the extent to which peace and conflict are profoundly ‘youthed’. The objective of this paper is to offer credence to a movement that defines peacebuilding differently than the state-centric and elite-driven model that has predominated peace and conflict studies, and instead follows the important contributions of sociological perspectives to the field. Following from the three pillars offered by Berents and McEvoy-Levy the following arguments are made. Firstly, recognizing youth as knowledge creators requires dismantling the protectionism and adultism that undergird peacebuilding. Secondly, a focus on the everyday actions of young people illuminates not only the ways that their daily lives are incongruent with reductionist accounts of their lived realities, but that their daily lives are also spaces of peacebuilding in and of themselves. Thirdly, and in culmination of the previous two arguments, I argue that a more youth-inclusive approach to peacebuilding requires re-examining the very concepts that underpin ‘youth’ and ‘peacebuilding’ and the barometers by which successful peace is measured.



Cheetah Generation: Youth Social Entrepreneurship in African countries

Christina Muia

Affiliations: TakingITGlobal & OCAD University

Decolonization was explored through the lens of addressing youth employment in African countries and making space for development initiatives created for and by people living in the Global South to succeed. Africa is the youngest continent in the world with over 70% of the population under 34 years of age, yet unemployment and poverty among youth is very high. Despite these challenges, youth are employing creative ways to create opportunities for themselves while addressing poverty and other challenges in their communities and countries. A literature review was carried out to trace the history and ‘emergence’ of social enterprise within development theory and assess the effectiveness of the social enterprise against four other frameworks addressing poverty: philanthropy, international development assistance, development NGOs and governments. The social enterprise framework was found to be effective in addressing poverty and youth unemployment though involving the youth and the poor in the economic and social improvement of their own situations, and was found effective in adapting to the diverse needs of youth and the poor in their various contexts. This research presented a multiplicity of voices through academic and policy forms of writing, as well as ‘on-the-ground’ realities, human struggles and challenges. The narrative case studies methodology was employed to understand first-hand stories of youth making a difference through social entrepreneurship. Foresight, a design thinking methodology was employed to assess the potential future of youth social entrepreneurship and to develop recommendations for development actors, government and private sector to support youth initiatives to grow and succeed. Decolonizing ourselves as scholars, practitioners and activists involves genuinely collaborating with organizations in the Global South, particularly grassroots youth-led organizations, while moving away from favoring and funding ideas and initiatives that fit the ‘Global North’ or ‘eurocentric’ view of what development should be in Africa.



“You can settle here”: immobility aspirations and capabilities among youth from rural Honduras

Sara L. Wyngaarden1, Sally Humphries2, Kelly Skinner1, Esmeralda Lobo Tosta3, Veronica Zelaya Portillo3, Paola Orellana3, Warren Dodd1

1University of Waterloo, Canada; 2University of Guelph, Canada; 3La Fundación para la Investigación Participativa con Agricultores de Honduras (Spanish acronym: FIPAH), Honduras

A “mobility bias” has been identified in the migration literature, whereby researchers have focused on the drivers of migration while neglecting the factors that influence immobility decisions. Addressing this gap is important for developing a holistic understanding of human mobility patterns and effectively mitigating experiences of distress migration among populations experiencing marginalization. Youth from rural Honduras face various social, economic, environmental, and political pressures that impede rural livelihood sustainability and increase their vulnerability to distress migration, with implications for rural development and youth well-being. This qualitative study explored (im)mobility aspirations and decisions among rural Honduran youth, drawing on 32 in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with youth from two rural municipalities of Honduras in 2019. The study was designed and executed in partnership with la Fundación para la Investigación Participativa con Agricultores de Honduras (Spanish acronym: FIPAH). Analyses were guided by the aspiration-capabilities framework. Findings showed that respondents were deterred from outmigration due to associated risks and uncertainties, negative experiences of migration communicated through migrant networks, and negative discourses around migration within their communities (repel factors). Immobility preferences were also shaped by family obligations and support networks, appreciation for the land and country, and a moral imperative to stay (retain factors). Respondents identified the capacity to envision viable rural livelihood options as an important precursor to actualizing their immobility aspirations. They acknowledged the role of rural development organizations in helping them envision livelihood options and access the education and training required to pursue those options. Importantly, respondents positioned themselves as active agents of their immobility decisions, creatively applying skills and leveraging resources in order to turn immobility aspirations into immobility outcomes. These findings help address the “mobility bias” in migration studies by enriching an understanding of immobility as an agentic livelihood practice in a context with high rates of outmigration.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm2.3.2: Decolonizing Development as a Decolonization of Mind
Location: Room 2
Technical chair: Nathan Andrews
Room 2 
 

Chair(s): Faisal Haq Shaheen (Ryerson University, Canada), Fayyaz Baqir (University of Ottawa)

Colonization has always been intertwined with development. Reason and colonization have travelled hand in hand from the First Industrial Revolution to the Covid-19 Pandemic. In the course of its rise and expansion, a global capitalist empire has encountered moments of strife, conflict, chaos and disillusionment. The Capitalist Order has demolished the organic relationships between the human communities, and the holistic relationship between the humans and nature, body and soul. Commodification of consciousness and the relegation of the soul to material pursuits has driven us and our natural habitat to the brink of destruction. The field of Development Studies in particular is in need of story tellers who will present the histories and heritage of the marginalized and excluded, in ways which will inform the repair of our fractured relationship with nature and one another.

This panel of story tellers will share their insights and provide extremely valuable insights about dealing with the differences, disputes, power play, conflict, and violence in a unique way, which can best be described as the art and science of dealing with the ‘other’. They provide a treasure trove of evidence for researchers, public policy analysts, academics, development professionals, policy makers, donors, and civil society organizations to draw meaningful conclusions for their work, gain insights into the dynamics of discovering and aligning the interests of different stakeholders with knowledge, tact and wisdom. They show how leadership is key to better engagement with ‘other’ in society and nature. They provide- to borrow the phrase from 1960s radicals- ‘a critique of arms’ not an ‘arm of critique’.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Colonialism-Patriarchy in South Asia: Gendered legacy of constitutive disempowerment

Jennifer Euler-Bennett
Populate, Environment and Development Center

Colonial legacy in shaping gender inequalities is real. History shows that patriarchy and colonialism together have contoured the structural notions of gender relations and class divisions. The prominent male influential negotiated with the British colonial powers for economic gains and governance, while women were confined to the informal economy. The economic gamut within the confines of perceptions, attitudes and historic gender roles have perpetuated and penetrated the contemporary notions of globalization, with supplemented forms and guises. The absence of women’s role at the macro level, including the lack of coherent integration of women in the national economy has led to gendered social, economic and cultural inequality, and defines a multidimensional structure of social construct that sets women back and creates false divisions. Notwithstanding, that half of the world population comprises that of females, their contribution to family, community and national economies remains substantial yet largely overshadowed intentionally, or unintentionally under the myopic lens of misogynistic inclinations. From UN Millennium Development Goals to UN Sustainable Development Goals and what have you, gains are bleak if gender issues are not addressed within the realm of social justice, gender equality and pro-people democracy where no one is left behind. This paper examines the complexities of colonialism immersed in patriarchy. In doing so, it explores the contextual aspects of colonialism and gender, to help trace the critical nuances of gender inequality for an ingrained understanding of the dynamics of this relationship. From colonialism to globalization, this paper will dwell on the various facets of violations of women civil and human rights, the role of poverty/economic standing and culture in fundamentalist societies and in armed conflict zones in Asia.

 

Tensions between Colonial and Settler Worlds

Carolyn Laude
Carleton University

The Canadian Federal Government engages in exploitative resource extraction on Indigenous lands with little to no regard for the erosion of Indigenous lifeways. In February 2020, Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders claimed they had not given consent to the Coastal GasLink pipeline development given its potential to erode their inherent rights. Additionally, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination (2020) contested the “forced removal” and the “disproportionate use of force” against Wet’suwet’en peoples when peacefully protesting the Coastal GasLink pipeline development. State violence against Wet’suwet’en clan members exposed systemic racism. Eurocentric political, judicial and securitization measures of control are the pillars of the Canadian system of control. A tension therefore arises on how to address contested lifeworld views of land and sovereignty. The first has its philosophical roots in the inherent right to land and resources and self-determination flowing from the Creator and not government. Whereas settler-colonial liberal-capitalist democracy upholds sovereignty and land rights through the law and legislative and policy instruments. This situation implies that Indigenous and settler lifeworlds are “not only different, but different in kind” (Mills 2016). Through an analytical framework of reconciliation, ethical space and Nth-eyed seeing, my paper will offer a decolonial alternative to the liberalizing of Indigenous inherent rights. I argue the Wet’suwet’en lifeworld does not resist hegemonic epistemological and ontological conditions, rather it is a method of change and resilience that permits diverse legal, epistemological, and political spaces to co-exist. It recognizes the pluriverse wherein many truths and worldviews can share space without one being righter than the others. My research question asks: In what ways can a decolonial praxis of Nth-eyed seeing, reconciliation, and ethical space position “ways of co-existing” differently to re-conceptualize Wet’suwet’en and settler lifeworld views of land and sovereignty concerning resource development on Indigenous land?

 

Social Mobilization: A Key to Sustainable Development

Shoaib Sultan Khan
National Rural Support Network

Historically, development policy has been preoccupied with modernization and industrialization, at the expense of poverty alleviation. Globalization has exacerbated the situation leading to gross inequities. Any policy framework must make social mobilization of the poor central in order to be effective. The state, despite significant capital investments, has not cultivated the requisite relationships with grassroots stakeholders (either through planning or validation of 'development deliverables') which are requisite for success. Good governance and effective welfare state functions need to be supported by four pillars – administration, politics and local governance. The missing pillar is the social/socio-economic which if fostered, would see the household level engaged by state apparatus – ideally an institutional mechanism with the resources of the state and flexibility of civil society, such as the Rural Support Program. This presentation outlines an agenda for action which looks at institution building, community mobilization and opportunities for engagement and service delivery collaboration. Social mobilization involves organization, human development and capital formation. The process of engagement has generated plans, scorecards and investment at the local/micro level which in the case of the PRSN, has generated lessons and replicated models across South Asia. Details around score card communication, outreach, social auditing and capacity building are discussed.

 

Decolonization as transformation from Patronage to Partnership

Fayyaz Baqir
University of Ottawa

Nation State was the most important tool created by colonial powers for subjugate the native populations and colonizing the native mind. Colonial rulers created fear and awe in the minds of natives to sustain their pillage. Colonial ‘Nation State’ was different from the Nation State in the West in one critical way; it performed revenue collection, policing and national security functions but abandoned the welfare and human development functions to a large extent. Colonial State restricted ‘development work’ to commodification of economy and market development and control. It curtailed or eliminated the welfare function carried out by local communities and delegated the job of public works and infrastructure development, and service delivery to local Chiefs who were vested with hereditary authority by the Colonizers and carried out ‘development’ functions by commanding unpaid labour from their subjects. Post Colonial State carried out ‘development functions’ though a system of patronage based on use of discretionary authority, ‘confidentiality’ of government records and provision of services to the community as ‘a privilege not a right’. This sowed the seed of deep distrust between the state and the people and laid the foundation for a predatory and elitist development practice. The biggest challenge facing the professionals working in the communities was to make a transition from patronage to partnership, from fear and mistrust to collaboration and accountability, from secrecy to transparency and from asking for handouts to claim their due share in progress and growth. This transformation took place through the art and science of linking with the ‘other’. My presentation will be based on receiving access to water by the use of this linking strategy employed by a community leader in a small town in Pakistan.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm2.3.3: How to Make Space for Youth in International Development Work: Up-and-coming Ideas from the Up-and-coming - Workshop
Location: Room 3
Technical chair: Kate Grantham

Register here.

(conference registration required)

Room 3 
 

Yasmin Rajwani, Natasha Cortes

University of Ottawa, Canada

Youth can offer valuable contributions to development discourse and practice. Despite this recognition, youth often experience difficult channels to true involvement in international development practice. Amid a professional world that values years of experience and institutional qualifications, organizations are in need of adopting meaningful and mutually beneficial engagement mechanisms for youth as they step into the development space. In this workshop, we will explore ways in which organizations might be inviting of, rather than discourage youth engagement. This workshop will aim to explore common organizational gaps that may just be leaving out some of the most integral voices in development work. We will discuss the following questions: In what ways have we made space for these perspectives? And in what important ways are these voices left out? Are youth engagement programs well prepared to build the next generation of development leaders, or do they risk falling into recurring colonial cycles? How do we create effective and creative youth channels beyond predetermined spaces that improve PR?

Some of the main themes explored in this workshop will include: compensation and recognition of lived experience as an asset; considering which youth are invited into international development work, and decolonizing a system that excludes youth voices.

In this workshop, co-founders of the IDS Community Platform Yasmin Rajwani and Natasha Cortes will explore some of the push-and-pull factors for engaging youth in development, ranging from youth volunteer initiatives to recruiting entry level positions. This roundtable style workshop will consist of a brief presentation of the key issues at stake, followed by an open discussion, allowing participants to ask questions, engage in topics of interest to them, and interact with fellow attendees.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm2.3.4: Strengthening scholar-activist networks in development studies - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Technical chair: Adrian Murray

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Room 4 
 

Chairs: Georgina Alonso1, Adrian Murray2

1University of Ottawa; 2University of Johannesburg

In this workshop, we will hold an open, roundtable discussion on the scholar-activist role in development studies. We are interested in bringing together self-defined scholar-activists to discuss pushing a progressive internationalist agenda through our research, teaching and/or practice. In particular, we focus on anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive efforts. We also will discuss highlighting progressive theory and policy in the face of mainstream development and encouraging progressive internationalism.

Questions for discussion could include: What is the role of the academy in advancing global justice and how can this be done? What are the institutional barriers that scholar-activists encounter within and beyond the academy? How can we use the classroom as an organizing space? How can activism inspire critical hope among students who feel deflated by the world’s overwhelming problems and the inadequate responses proposed by mainstream development? How can we ensure that our radical writing and discussions go beyond theory to praxis? How can we foster better collaboration and collective action amongst ourselves and with social movements?

 
Date: Wednesday, 02/June/2021
10:00am - 11:30am3.1.1: Keyote - Décolonization and Developement : A Conversation with Felwine Sarr
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Maïka Sondarjee
Technical chair: Dominique Caouette

The keynote speaker for CASID 2021 will be Felwine Sarr, Duke University–leading Senegalese writer, economist, academic and musician–in conversation with Jeanne-Marie Rugira, UQAR.

Register here.

Livestream

Felwine Sarr Decolonization and International Development, is it possible?
The Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) is pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for our 2021 Conference will be the renowned Senegalese philosopher, economist, and musician–Professor Felwine Sarr, Duke University. In discussion with Rwando-Canadian scholar Jeanne-Marie Rugira, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Dr. Sarr will present his work on African imaginaries and decolonizing International Development Studies from a Senegalese perspective. Challenging us to decolonize our minds when we think about the very idea of ‘development’—as detailed in his widely acclaimed book Afrotopia (2016) —Sarr draws on Africa’s rich and varied philosophies, cultures and economies to broaden our collective horizon. Sarr challenges the idea that Africa is falling behind and is in need of ‘development.’ Instead, informed by various imaginaries of the possible, he offers a radically new way of envisioning the African continent’s future to reclaim its diverse heritages and values, and creatively mobilize the potential and resources of its people.

***The event will be bilingual, with automatic translation in English***

Room 1 
11:30am - 12:30pmLunch Day 3
 
12:30pm - 2:00pm3.2.1: Nourishing the World: Food, Agriculture and Development
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Larry Swatuk
Technical chair: Furqan Asif
Room 1 
 

Nourishing the nexus: A feminist analysis of gender, nutrition and agri-food development policies and practices

Siera Vercillo1, Sheila Rao2, Rosalind Ragetlie3, Jennifer Vansteenkiste4

1School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, University of Waterloo, Canada; 2Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University; 3Department of Geography and Environment, Western University; 4School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo

Current global agri-food and nutritional development policy narratives and interventions emphasize addressing gender inequality through the commercialization of food systems for reducing poverty and promoting healthy diets. Yet, there are many questions about whether commercialization will lead to gender equality in food and nutrition security. This paper applies feminist critiques of agri-food and nutritional development policy to explore how, and to what degree these policy narratives alleviate gender inequality in food and nutrition security, especially when translated to practice. Based on the analysis presented through examples of policies, vignettes and project experiences from Benin, Ghana, Tanzania and Haiti, we find that the widespread emphasis on gender equality for food and nutritional needs in policy tend to ascribe to a particular normative gender role narrative that includes static, homogenized conceptualizations of unpaid female care work and household food provisioning. These narratives translate to interventions that instrumentalize women’s labour by funding women’s income-generating activities and care responsibilities for other benefits, such as economic growth, child health and household food security without addressing women's work burdens and intersectional vulnerabilities. We argue that policy and intervention strategies require guidance from social relations in agri-food systems, and suggest that transnational feminist analysis of agrifood and nutrition systems centered on capabilities will better address the underlying structural causes of gender inequalities.



Experience of community volunteers monitoring and mitigating food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines: A qualitative study

Shoshannah Speers1, Lincoln Lau1,2,3, Hannah Neufeld1, Danilo Servano Jr.2, Daryn Go2, Warren Dodd1

1University of Waterloo, Canada; 2International Care Ministries, Philippines; 3University of Toronto, Canada

Beginning in March 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte implemented a succession of stringent community quarantines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While community quarantines were aimed at limiting virus transmission, these measures resulted in income loss and exacerbated food insecurity among individuals experiencing income poverty. To meet this emergent need, a Philippine-based NGO, International Care Ministries (ICM), activated their Rapid Emergencies and Disasters Intervention (REDI) Network and partnered with community volunteers across the country to reach families with essential supplies including fortified rice packs and seeds. This study aimed to understand the experiences of community volunteers addressing food insecurity in their communities by partnering with ICM through the REDI Network. Guided by an ethics of care theoretical orientation, this qualitative study entailed online semi-structured interviews (n=25) with community volunteers located in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines, purposively sampled to include demographic and contextual diversity. As the pandemic made in-person ethnographic data collection unfeasible, contextual understanding was facilitated through semi-structured interviews with ICM staff members (n=5) and examination of REDI program documents. Community volunteer interview data was analyzed thematically using an inductive approach. This study showed that volunteer characteristics (e.g. age, gender) shaped participant experiences with REDI. In addition, REDI implementation required collective action as volunteers reached out to offer and elicit help and support from others to accomplish REDI tasks. Overall, despite some implementation challenges, volunteers viewed the experience with REDI favourably and anticipated future participation. As the Philippines is highly disaster-prone and community volunteers hold a unique position as concurrent community members, REDI implementers, and front-line workers, findings will enable ICM to address volunteer needs, thereby enhancing their ability to meet emergent needs among income-poor individuals during the current and subsequent crises. Further, findings will inform other community mobilization initiatives during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.



The Global Land Rush and Agricultural Investment in Ghana: Existing Knowledge, Gaps and Future Directions

John Anku1, Nathan Andrews2, Logan Cochrane3

1University of Northern British Columbia; 2University of Northern British Columbia; 3Carleton University

The large-scale acquisition of land by foreign investors intensified following the 2007/2008 triple crises of food, energy and finance. In the years that followed, tens of millions of hectares were leased or sold for agricultural investment. This phenomenon has resulted in a growing body of scholarship that seeks to explain trends, institutional regimes, impacts, and the variety of actors involved, among other sub-topics, such as impacts on food security and livelihoods. Focusing on the case study of Ghana, this paper presents a systematic review that uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to critically assess the state of large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural development in Ghana. Our objective in this review is to provide a complete understanding of what we know about large-scale land acquisitions in Ghana while pointing to gaps and directions for future research. Contrary to the perception of large-scale land acquisitions being undertaken by foreign investors, the review shows that the largest group of investors are of Ghanaian origin - evidence that highlights the interesting roles of chiefs and other traditional authority as custodians of land and intermediaries of land transactions. Areas that are either under-studied or missing from the literature include climate change, biodiversity, food security, corporate social responsibility, gendered social differentiation and ethnicity as well as the role of different actors such as diaspora. These gaps call for future research that examines the land question from a multi-dimensional and multidisciplinary perspective.



Standards of Rebellion: CARICOM and Chilean Warning Labels as an Act of Defiance in the International Trade Regime

Hinton Lucy

University of Waterloo, Canada

This paper examines the capacity of states in the global south to protect domestic policy space for population health in the international trade regime. It takes the history of extractive colonial agriculture and the ensuing corporate food regime as its starting point (Friedmann & McMichael, 1989), taking the nutrition transition as a result of colonial and corporate patterns of food provisioning. I argue that rising rates of diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) must be linked to the historically hegemonic and evolving role of imperial trade relationships (Hawkes, 2006; Mintz, 1986). Using this as a starting point, I consider the case of a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) policy to adopt a Chilean style Front-of-Pack warning label (FOPL) to better inform consumers on processed, packaged foods.

FOPL aims to improve the food environment in an acceptably neoliberal style (Scrinis & Parker, 2016). However, CARICOM’s pragmatic decision to use the regional standard-setting process placed authority over national (and regional) domestic health policymaking directly in control of private sector actors who are primary importers and exporters of these foods. As part of the wider international trade regime (Murphy, 2015), standard-setting has long served corporate interests’ ability to limit domestic policy space for action (Clapp, 1998). A CARICOM success would increase the number of states adopting warning labels substantially and may serve a blow to corporate and imperial hegemonic interests at Codex Alimentarius, the international body responsible for labelling standards (Smythe, 2009). Movement towards these labels that intrinsically deny preference to foods from imperial and corporate hegemons, are now seen in CARICOM, Chile, and Ecuador. This paper concludes that this regional health policy represents more than an acceptable and incremental neoliberal policy for health – but may be read as an assertion of national sovereignty over health policy space, pushing back against colonial and corporate food regimes.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm3.2.2: North/South relations and inequities
Location: Room 2
Session Chair: Liam Swiss
Technical chair: Liam Swiss
Room 2 
 

North-South Asymmetries: Intellectual Property, Technology Transfers, and the Human Right to Health

Harry Deng

Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada

Informed by the modernization theory of Rostow, Milikan, and Rosenstein-Rodan, development as a form of post-WWII world-making deepened the structural divide between Global North and the Global South. One of the areas was the campaign to mesh technology transfer within the global intellectual property regime (IPR). This effort eventually came into force in 1995 when the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) took effect. While there were international and regional efforts to harmonize intellectual property laws prior to TRIPS, the protection of intellectual property rights varied significantly amongst countries – some decolonized countries had kept their old Acts and Ordinances from the colonial era while others had laws in place that peeved developed countries by explicitly refusing to grant patents to things like medical technologies. As such, TRIPS was the effort to reshape the laws of these countries and to secure the benefits of intellectual property ownership on a global scale for purposes of rent transfers from the Global South to the Global North. While human rights have posed a powerful challenge to TRIPS, there is a cruel and absurd irony of using human rights as the arbitrator between two legitimate human rights claims: from the creator who has the human rights claim to their invention and from the user who has the human rights to enjoy the advancements of science. Moreover, even with all the flexibilities built within TRIPS and bolstered by the 2001 Doha Declaration on Public Health, such as compulsory licensing, developing countries have never been able to take full advantage of them and these flexibilities are slowly tightening. Lastly, the proliferation of generic pharmaceuticals industries in places like India that have supplied essential medicines to the global poor are becoming unsuitable for this role.



Heroes of the Developing World? Emerging Powers in WTO Agriculture Negotiations and Dispute Settlement

Kristen Hopewell

University of British Columbia, Canada

Amid contemporary power shifts in the global political economy, a major question is what impact the rise of emerging powers, such as China, India and Brazil, is having on the rest of the developing world. The rhetoric of the emerging powers heavily emphasizes South-South solidarity, cooperation and shared struggle against the traditional dominance of the Global North in global economic governance. But are developing countries as a whole being empowered by the rise of new powers from the Global South? This article contributes to this debate by analyzing important recent developments in WTO negotiations and dispute settlement on agriculture. Agriculture has been a key issue of North-South struggle at the WTO, and it is one in which the emerging powers have portrayed themselves as leaders of the developing world, defending and promoting the interests of the Global South and crusading to make the multilateral trading system fairer and more responsive to the needs of developing countries and their farmers. I focus on three cases – the cotton dispute, subsidies and public stockholding – that have been at the center of WTO activity on agriculture since the collapse of the Doha Round in 2011. Drawing on these three cases, I show that despite presenting themselves as champions of the developing world, the emerging powers have been advancing their own interests, often at the expense of other developing countries.



How Colonial Discourse Distorts Anti-‘Development’ as “Conversion” Attempts

Clara Joseph

University of Calgary, Canada

Whether investigating a link between religious affiliation and economic growth (Offutt; Picker; Bowyer), or assessing the study of religion in development studies (Deneulin and Rakodi), or raising some questions about secularism as the norm for development studies (Carbonnier; Levy), scholars hark to the role of religion and the religious in modifying the terms of development. According to Gilles Carbonnier, “The lack of attention to religion and faith in development research and policy … stands in stark contrast to the paramount role played by religion.” In this spirit, my paper will introduce the case of a Catholic nun, Sr. Rani Maria, who worked among the poor and the exploited in the city of Indore in India and was murdered for “converting” Hindus. The nun had a Master’s degree in Social Work and was working among an extremely underprivileged indigenous (“tribal”) community and, as sources say, helping them to be self-reliant in the face of modern feudal lords and their thugs. Her assassin, however, testified that he had murdered her for trying to convert the tribal population. This conflict or conflation of commerce and conversion, economics and religion, and its rendering in online and print media have received very little attention in Religion and Development Studies. When the concerned religion is Christianity, the problem tends to fall into the colonial equation of Christianity in India as colonial and of Indian Christians as colonial converts. Sr. Rani Maria, however, came from a community of pre-colonial Christians who claim a tradition that goes back to the mission of the Apostle Thomas in India. My paper will, therefore, investigate the discourse of “conversion” as a colonial legacy and propose the need to re-assess the place of Christianity in India in order to fully understand the link between religious conflict and the role of “development.”



Inequitable Ruptures, Rupturing Inequity: Theorizing COVID-19 and racial injustice impacts on International Service Learning

Jessica A Vorstermans1, Katie MacDonald2

1York University, Canada; 2Concordia University, Canada

COVID-19 has presented a time of rupture; a moment wherein we have witnessed increased mainstream attention to racial inequity, alongside a deepening of existing inequities along other axes of identity including gender, nationality, disability and class. We are proposing that we collectively take seriously these ruptures as a starting point for re-imagining social learning; specifically in the context of service learning and learning that happens in the context of development work. We are using three ruptures as moments for imagining - and doing – otherwise: (i) Black Lives Matter and persistent racial inequity, (ii) class inequity exacerbated under COVID-19 both locally and internationally, (iii) mutual aid as increasingly necessary in a pandemic and as a possible relational way forward. These ruptures intersect and inform each other and we do imagine them as porous and complex.

We want to think about these intersecting moments of rupture as both a space for possibility as the pandemic and new orientations to travel might break down international service learning (ISL) completely, but also because these ruptures disturb the idea that ISL is in itself a harmonious or reciprocal practice.

We want to think through the deep inequities and reproduction of colonial relationships of power that structure ISL experiences in, but not exclusively, the Global South and ways this moment can create lasting ruptures in these reproductions.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm3.2.3: Anti-racist framework for the international cooperation sector - Workshop
Location: Room 3
Session Chair: Maïka Sondarjee
Technical chair: Adrian Murray
Room 3 
 

Shelagh Savage1, Musu Taylor-Lewis2, Mounia Chadi3, Taib Boyce4, Aislynn Row5, Gloria Novovic5, Maika Sondarjee6

1Dalhousie University; 2Canadian Foodgrains Bank; 3AQOCI; 4TKB consulting; 5Cooperation Canada; 6University of Ottawa

Systemic racism permeates all sectors, including that of international cooperation. The Canadian international cooperation sector has the responsibility to recognize the privilege of Canadian organizations, based in the Global North and in a position to advocate for global and national sector-wide shifts to ensure anti-racist principles in institutional, operational and programmatic areas of work. While especially addressing anti-Black racism, the oppression of Indigenous peoples and imperialist mechanisms of our societies, Cooperation Canada aims to help coordinate sector synergies alongside a range of anti-racist initiatives. Cooperation Canada recognizes the importance of strategic collaboration in efforts to dismantle systemic racism in Canada and abroad.

Over the past months, Cooperation Canada has been leading a diverse advisory group that has developed a comprehensive framework for anti-racist efforts of Canada’s international cooperation sector. The Framework outlines key commitments towards anti-racist efforts in shifting institutional structures and processes, as well as the work of sector organizations, particularly relating to partnerships, program design and implementation, advocacy, story-telling, and communications more broadly. To ensure accountability and forward-looking approach, the Framework will be facilitated by a Task Force for Accountability and a Working Group for strengthening sector capacity. The Task Force will produce annual reports and inform the priorities of the Working Group, whose activities will aim at strengthening the institutional and collective capacity of signatory organizations to make progress against the commitments outlined in the Framework.

This “Action for Change Workshop” has the objective of promoting scholar-practitioner engagement on the way forward in institutional, sectoral and individual anti-racist change. The facilitated discussion will allow for participants to share strengths, problem-solve challenges, and plan collaborative actions with a view on considering action for change.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm3.2.4: Building a Decolonizing "Development" Community of Praxis - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Technical chair: Jess Notwell

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(conference registration required)

Room 4 
 

Chair: Jess Notwell1, Yuriko Cowper-Smith2, Matt McBurney3

1University of Guelph, Canada; 2University of Guelph, Canada; 3University of Guelph, Canada

Decolonizing “development” studies and practice would require a radical departure from capitalist heteropatriarchal White Supremacist colonial modernity (Yazzie, 2019; Walsh & Mignolo, 2019; Simpson, 2017; Lugones, 2007; Quijano, 2006). Is it even possible? Respecting ways of knowing and being such as relational life (Yazzie, 2019), radical resistance (Simpson, 2017), and decoloniality (Walsh & Mignolo, 2019), this workshop contributes a strengths-based, collective exploration of the possibility through feminist, decolonizing and community-engaged scholarship and practice. First, through case studies from workshop facilitators’ own experiences, participants will deepen their understanding of what it means to implement practices, methodologies and pedagogies that: (1) prioritize feminist, decolonizing and community-engaged ways of work; (2) strengthen and sustain collaboration among academics, activists and practitioners; and (3) could contribute to the decolonization of “development”. Second, participants will share examples from their own practice, activism, research and/or teaching and use their strengths (knowledge, experience, networks) to identify strategies to shift each person’s praxis and create space for this shift within their organizations/institutions. Third, participants will draft core values and a relationships map as the foundation for initiating a Decolonizing “Development” Community of Praxis (COPx). Each participant will leave the workshop with two key take-aways: (1) personal action steps to transform their practice/activism/scholarship and organizational/institutional spaces, and (2) Community of Praxis collective action steps to support one another in this work. The intended audience of this Action for Change workshop are academics, practitioners and community members who work on, or want to work on, decolonizing development. We are requesting a double-slot in order to have 90 minutes for sharing and co-learning in the first part of the workshop as well as 90 minutes for developing the Decolonizing “Development” COPx which we hope to turn into a research cluster within CASID.

 
2:00pm - 2:30pmBreak Day 3
 
2:30pm - 4:00pm3.3.1: Digging clean: Mining discourses and practices
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Georgina Alonso
Technical chair: Furqan Asif
Room 1 
 

Amazon Oil Violence and Ecuador’s Extraction Response During COVID-19

Danilo Borja, Conny Davidsen

University of Calgary

Ecuadorian oil extraction in the Amazon rainforest continued throughout the pandemic, amplifying an exploitative development model with now increased local pressure and less visibility to the public. In this context, this paper examines acts and notions of violence between pro-oil actors (e.g., oil companies and governments) and oppositional actors in defense of local livelihoods and land rights. The analysis understands violence as physical damage as well as acts of dehumanizing, othering, and claiming ignorance about others, while strategically using neocolonial constructions and assumptions as an instrument to advance oil drilling.

Ecuador´s Yasuni Amazon region is a site of clashing interests: simultaneously a global ecological hotspot, a major fossil fuel reserve under the rainforest floor, and home to the Waorani (or Huaorani), one of Ecuador’s most recently contacted Indigenous groups with some tribes continuing to live in voluntary isolation. In 2010, the government introduced policy reforms to oil drilling practices that shifted welfare and oversight roles from oil companies to the state. However, the government failed to fill these new local responsibilities with effective public services on the ground. Violent interactions ensued, now intensified by the COVID-19 crisis that lays bare insufficiencies and frustrations between the state, oil companies and local Waorani groups that developed throughout historical exploitation.

Our paper illustrates how violence has changed dynamics between the political actors, juxtaposed against the region’s history of narratives, conflicts and outcomes of recent policy reforms related to distribution of oil rents. The study draws on extensive empirical data from local and national-level observations and interviews with key actors, as well as literature and document reviews.



A Socio-environmental Justice Perspective into Ghana’s Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Space and the Growing Proliferation of Chinese Miners

Richard Kumah

Queen's University, Canada

In approximately 80 developing countries across the world, close to 100 million people derive their daily livelihoods from artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). In Ghana, small-scale mining of gold constitutes a major source of employment for millions of rural folks and contributes significantly to foreign exchange earnings. However, due to limited mining expertise of local miners coupled with state neglect, the sector is often characterized by widespread informality, social and environmental damage. Over recent years, there has been increasing proliferation of foreign gold prospectors (the largest concentration being Chinese nationals), in this indigenous sector against the backdrop that this is a sector reserved by law for Ghanaian citizens. This development has been widely noted to be aggravating social tensions and environmental degradation in many mining communities across Ghana. Whilst scholars and pundits often advance various causal theories to explain the origin, dynamics and persistence of informal artisanal and small-scale mining in Ghana and its recent forms of manifestation, seldom is this phenomenon studied as a matter of justice: equity, fairness and inclusiveness in natural resource allocation and governance. Through the lens of environmental justice, I draw insights from political theory of justice to unpack various spaces of systemic injustices against indigenous miners triggered by a bias mining policy regime that favours multinational corporate mining. I argue that, first, these injustices impede good environmental stewardship and participation in mineral decision makings and produces mineral policies that do not adapt to the needs and conditions of local miners. Secondly, these injustices render majority of the sector’s workers impoverish and terribly undercapitalized. Consequently, foreign infiltration in this sector is a current manifestation of these deep-rooted injustices against indigenous miners that must be addressed.



The Clean Development Mechanism and Carbon Enclosures

Colin Palmer

Saint Mary's University, Canada

This thesis examines the role the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), an offsetting mechanism introduced by the Kyoto Protocol, played in facilitating carbon enclosure in the global South. The research focuses on the CDM as a case study, connecting a range of actors and disciplines in the service of decarbonization. The research in this thesis is both descriptive and explicative, comparing dominant assumptions about market environmentalism with critical political economy perspectives. The research, and this thesis, show that the CDM’s characteristics as a tool for capital accumulation resulted in uneven distribution of projects and green enclosure.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm3.3.2: Indigenous Struggles and Futures
Location: Room 2
Session Chair: Alisa Greenwood Nguyen
Session Chair: Clothilde Parent-Chartier
Room 2 
 

Indigenous Peoples’ right to consent to resource extraction in Canada and South Africa: What is the role of law in struggles to decolonize development?

Daniel L Huizenga

University of Toronto, Canada

In 2020 two struggles against imposed extractive development were unfolding in parallel: the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in Northern British Columbia, Canada, and the Xolobeni community in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Both communities had previously celebrated significant legal victories in their respective struggles for their right to self-determination and self-determined development. The Wet’suwet’en First Nation were successful in the landmark 1997 Delgamuukw Supreme Court judgment, while the Xolobeni community won the ‘right to say no’ in the Pretoria High Court in 2018. Yet both communities continue to document the forms of colonial violence they are subjected to. What is the role of law in the struggle to decolonize development? Can litigation be used to elevate local visions of development futures? What kinds of legal and colonial violence are reproduced in these struggles? This paper draws on a research project documenting the role of local struggles in the emergence of the ‘right to consent’ to resource extraction. This cross-contextual comparison is based on empirical research conducted in South Africa and desk-based research in Canada.



A Failure to Respond: National Sport Organizations and the TRC

Yasmin Rajwani1, Audrey R. Giles2, Shawn Forde2

1School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa; 2School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 Calls to Action identified societal measures necessary for a successful reconciliation process between Indigenous peoples and settlers in Canada, five of which were specific to sport. Half a decade after the Calls to Action were published, the response by national sport organizations (NSOs) in Canada has escaped scholarly attention. Through a lens informed by settler colonial studies, we employed summative content analysis to examine the ways in which – if at all – NSOs in Canada have implemented relevant Calls to Action. Our results indicate a lack of response, which we argue is settler silence, by most NSOs.



Le développement du tourisme atikamekw : vers un processus d’autochtonisation au Québec ?

Alexandre Veilleux1, Julie McClatchie2

1Université de Montréal, Canada; 2Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Les traces du colonialisme au Québec laissent actuellement les peuples autochtones aux prises avec des enjeux socio-économiques et territoriaux imposant des limitations face à l’autodétermination et la reprise identitaire. La Commission des droits de la personne du Québec souligne ce retard économique important, un sous-financement accru du gouvernement et une prédominance des enjeux territoriaux de dépossession des ressources par des acteurs allochtones. Face à ces enjeux, les acteurs autochtones développent des stratégies s'inscrivant dans un processus d’autochtonisation de l’État québécois. Celui-ci « exige de procéder à la transformation des structures institutionnelles existantes, des processus économiques et politiques dominants » (Salée, 2005, p.71) et d’assurer que ceux-ci « soient directement impliqué dans cette dynamique de transformation » (Bacon, 2020, p.7). L’une des stratégies employées par la communauté atikamekw est le développement touristique dû à son potentiel de freiner le retard de développement économique tout en permettant une prise en charge territoriale caractérisée par une protection accrue du territoire.

En s’intéressant au lien entre les stratégies de développement touristiques autochtones et le processus d’autochtonisation de l’État québécois, nous démontrons la pertinence de la production d’un capitalisme autochtone caractérisé par une forte représentativité économique ainsi qu’une conservation des valeurs propres menant à une réappropriation de la dimension économique par les peuples autochtones (Bunten, 2010). Ceux-ci s’assurent d’une autodétermination accrue dans le tourisme, d’une légitimation des identités et de la possession d’un espace protégé, tout en diminuant les écarts socio-économiques entre autochtones et allochtones. En tant que chercheurs allochtones, cet article se positionne à la jonction des courants postcoloniaux et décoloniaux, et relève de savoirs situés autochtones et québécois. La méthodologie est basée sur une revue de la littérature secondaire et grise s’intéressant au processus d’autochtonisation et au concept de capitalisme autochtone, et y combine une analyse de documents primaires des plans d’autogestion atikamekw.



Remoteness Myth and Power in Energy Extraction Frontiers

Ana Watson, Conny Davidsen

University of Calgary, Canada

Extractive frontiers are routinely situated in, or constructed as, ‘remote’ and ‘underdeveloped’ areas. From a political ecology perspective, this paper examines ‘remoteness’ as strategic concepts of land and access control. Past research has already examined how environmental impact assessments have contributed to colonization and the roll-out of capitalism in indigenous territories, producing a passive acquiescence of extraction projects. However, narratives of remote environments –and pristine nature-- also have ambivalent roles as they simultaneously enable extraction and contestation of traditional central elites and colonial practices. Peru’s Camisea project in the Upper Amazon is the oldest, largest and most influential liquid natural gas project in the country and has turned Peru into one of Latin America’s top LNG exporters. For decades, local indigenous communities in Camisea have been facing corporate, territorial, and institutional shifts of power in favor of transnational energy companies and national revenue interests. Camisea has been praised as exemplary for its environmental and social strategy to keep the extraction area ‘remote’ through an off-shore inland extraction approach that aims to minimize its local infrastructural footprint in the rainforest. However, the designed remoteness has propelled the Camisea company into an exclusive gatekeeper position for its remote Amazon logistics, exacerbating local asymmetries of power. Isolated from outside road systems, Camisea industry operations hold exclusive ownership and control over the infrastructures that connect indigenous communities to the outside world, under a narrative of avoiding environmental and social impacts. Drawing on qualitive analysis and an extensive document analysis, this paper scrutinizes Camisea as a case study to better understand how remoteness narratives can simultaneously enable and constrain natural gas extraction vis-à-vis indigenous rights in Amazonia.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm3.3.3: States and politics of development in Africa
Location: Room 3
Session Chair: Adrian Murray
Room 3 
 

Anatomy of the Clash of Nationalisms in Ethiopia: Can the Center Hold?

Abdella Abdulkadir Abdou

Brandon University, Canada

Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in Africa, is standing at a historic crossroads. Its multinational federal system is pulled in opposite directions of centralization and decentralization while the country is simultaneously struggling to end the poverty its people are mired in. The major political forces in the country come in the form of apparently irreconcilable forms of nationalisms whose intense conflicts may plunge the country into a quagmire. This paper examines the historical and class basis of conflicting nationalisms in Ethiopia. It employs overlapping nationalisms model to delineate the complexities of clashing nationalisms in Ethiopia. It discusses the dynamics of federal systems in general and the particular dynamics of the Ethiopian federation. It explores inclusive institutional arrangements that involves both spatial and temporal dimensions of power sharing that may reconcile contending nationalisms and put Ethiopia on a stable and developmental path.



Political Dynamics of Electricity Provision in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire

Mark Kwakye Frimpong

Concordia University, Canada

This paper examines variation in government performance in electricity provision in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. These two countries are early adopters of market-based electricity reforms, but sectoral performance differs significantly. More households and firms have obtained access to electricity in Ghana than in Côte d’Ivoire (66.9%). At 82.4 percent, Ghana ranks third in access in mainland Sub-Saharan Africa, a rate beaten by only South Africa (91.2%) and Gabon (93%) (World Bank 2020). However, while disruptions in electricity supply are more frequent in Ghana, the rarity of power outages in Côte d’Ivoire seems a miracle.

Why does performance differ so widely in countries that have adopted market-based electricity interventions? I argue that differences in electricity performance are rooted in the nature of party systems. Intense two-party electoral competitions in Ghana result in the politicization of electricity. In addition to using electrification as a strategy to build a winning coalition, political elites invite voters to evaluate their electricity performance and reward them at the polls. The two-party competitive electoral democracy has also empowered citizens, who hold politicians to account for their electricity performance. On the contrary, in Côte d’Ivoire, the dominant one-party regime facilitated the depoliticization of electricity by privatizing the utility and in the post-war era faces no electricity accountability and real political threats at the polls in the absence of a credible opposition.

My study uses process tracing to evaluate this argument over time. Empirical evidence is drawn from media coverages and interviews conducted with functionaries of political parties, members of parliament, journalists, civil society organizations, local scholars, and officials of power utilities during field research in Accra in Spring 2019 and in Abidjan in Fall 2019. This research fosters an understanding of the politics of public services provision and contributes to the literature on the political economy of development.



Redrawing the Borders: Violent Encounters, Transformations and the Political Economy of Peri-Urbanization Around Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Fikir Getaneh Haile

Queen's University, Canada

A country with one of the highest urban growth rates in the world, Ethiopia's governance systems are confronting various challenges associated with rapid urbanization. Addis Ababa, its political capital and largest city is currently home to over 4 million people, a number set to rise to 12 million by 2024. This growth exacerbates existing challenges and presents new ones, chief among them the scarcity of land to accommodate the growing population of the city. To tackle this challenge, federal and regional governments have attempted to expand the territorial boundaries of the city, challenging the regional borders of the ethno-federalist state and threatening the livelihoods of the subsistence farmers living in the surrounding areas. These transformations and the consequent confrontation between rural and urban land use patterns and livelihoods has made the city’s peripheral areas sites of tension, violence and conflict.

While the issues of land governance, urbanization and ethno-federalism have been key areas of research in the political economy of Ethiopia, the existing literature does not examine their linkage, largely ignoring the governance of expanding urbanization in ethno-federalist hotspots such as Ethiopia. Consequently, there is silence regarding the linkage between urban expansion, ethno-regional divisions and land access in Ethiopia. To address this gap in the literature, this study asks two major research questions. (1) How does the geographical expansion of Addis Ababa impact the territorial boundaries and stability of the ethno-federalist state? (2). How are the material and ecological costs of these ongoing transformations related to Addis Ababa's expansion distributed along axes of class and ethnicity?

The research reveals that Addis Ababa's expansion is exerting increasing pressure on the ethno-federalist state and is linked to political instability. The study additionally finds that Addis Ababa’s expansion has profoundly detrimental material and ecological impacts on subsistence farmers living in the surrounding areas.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm3.3.4: Presentation of the CASID Membership Survey
Location: Room 4
Session Chair: Kate Grantham
Session Chair: Jess Notwell

Join representatives from the CASID Executive Committee to view and discuss the results of the membership survey.

Room 4 
Date: Thursday, 03/June/2021
10:00am - 11:30am4.1.1: CASID AGM
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Kate Grantham
Technical chair: Adrian Murray

Join the CASID board and members for the association's Annual General Meeting.

Only CASID members in good standing can participate in this session!

Room 1 
11:30am - 12:30pmLunch Day 4
 
12:30pm - 2:00pm4.2.1: Human Rights Agendas: SDGs, Reproductive Health and Sexual Violence
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Nasya Razavi
Room 1 
 

The SDGs and Canada’s development assistance discourse post-2015: convenient alignment for a new aid era

Finbar Hefferon, Dr. Liam Swiss

Memorial University, Canada

This paper explores how the arrival of the globally agreed United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in late 2015 impacted Canada’s discourse on its international development assistance agenda. Through analysis of official government communications (ministerial speeches and official statements) across the tenure of three Global Affairs Canada International Development Ministers from late 2015-present, the study examines: 1) to what extent alignment with the SDGs has formed the basis for Canada’s renewed international development approach; 2) what factors and events, for example, the introduction of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy in 2017 or the reduction of the Liberal party to a minority government in 2019, may help explain the alignment with or divergence from of Canada’s foreign aid discourse from the SDGs?; and 3) which SDGs have been more heavily referenced, indirectly or directly, to help define Canada’s approach and frame development interventions? The paper expands on related analysis of the influence of the SDGs on Canada’s ODA allocation in the post-2015 era, helping to understand the influence of the global goals on shaping donor countries aid allocation priorities. The paper reveals there was initially close alignment in official messaging referencing the SDGs from 2015-2017, followed by a drop-off and recalibration towards the promotion of the Feminist International Assistance Policy. Our analysis suggests that the coinciding of the launch of the SDGs appears to have provided, at least for a brief period, a convenient vehicle for Canada to justify and launch a new era for its development assistance.



“The Memories Haunt Me”: Can Transitional Justice Address Sexual Violence Induced Trauma?

Deeplina Banerjee

University of Western Ontario, Canada

Transitional Justice includes a set of principles and mechanisms including, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRCs), the right to reparation, and the right to truth under international law. “The international community provides fragile new governments with important financial, institutional and normative support for reckoning with the past, attending to the needs of victims, and setting the foundations for democracy, human rights and the rule of law” (Nagy, 2008). Although Transitional Justice is proven useful in post-conflict contexts, feminist critiques argue, it has not adequately addressed the post-conflict demands of survivors of sexual violence. The ICTR and ICTY provided landmark judgments in defining rape and sexual violence as a crime against humanity. However, there remains a significant gap in extending reparative justice towards victims and survivors. Under a western liberal framework, there is a tendency among international stakeholders to impose “one size fits all” and providing decontextualised solutions (Nagy, 2008). Building on; the Bangladesh Liberation War, The Rwandan Genocide, and the Bosnian genocide, the paper will seek to address three questions: a) How has the transitional justice mechanism in post-conflict societies addressed the crime and trauma of sexual violence? b) Where and how were survivors of sexual violence positioned in/during the process of reconciliation and state-building? c) Can transitional justice be (re)imagined within a feminist collaborative framework? The paper focuses on bringing survivors at the heart of transitional justice negotiations and mechanisms to meet the sustainable goals of achieving gender equality and strengthening peace and justice institutions.

Works Cited

Nagy, Rosemary. “Transitional Justice as Global Project: Critical Reflections.” Third world quarterly 29, no. 2 (February 1, 2008): 275–289.



Can Agenda 2030 deliver on “localization”? Policy limitations of Agenda 2030 in the broader global governance system.

Gloria Novovic

University of Guelph, Canada

Localisation is a contentious yet an elusive target of humanitarian and development assistance, used to refer to anything from equitable partnerships with local actors, to shifting of resources and decision-making roles for development programming implementation but also design and broader agenda and priority-setting. Agenda 2030, as a global development framework, espouses the value of “country-led development” to ensure policy relevance and resilience. This paper examines Agenda 2030’s policy domestication in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda and its impact on the localization of international assistance. Based on 190 interviews with international and national civil servants, civil society actors, and academics, this paper argues that the consultative nature of the process leading up to Agenda 2030’s approval has, indeed, bolstered at the very least opportunities for policy dialogue that can foster greater localization. However, the resource and decision-making redistribution part of the localization agenda, cannot be achieved through Agenda 2030 alone. These meaningful shifts require institutional shifts in donor funding and the governance and operational structures of international non-government organizations.



Reproductive Health and Rights in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy: Bridging the Gap Between Women’s Empowerment and Reproductive Justice

Jacqueline Potvin

University of Guelph, Canada

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) explicitly advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including access to safe abortion, as a path to women and girls’ economic and political empowerment. Under FIAP, the Canadian Government has committed $650 million to advancing SRHR.

Given that SRHR has long been recognized by feminists as a crucial component of gender equality, these commitments have been welcome, and can be understood as critical for an international assistance policy that seeks to align itself with feminist ideals. Yet it is important to situate these commitments within emerging critiques that FIAP’s potential has been limited by its adoption of a neoliberal iteration of feminism that prioritizes empowering individuals over enacting systemic change (Mason, 2019). In this paper, I examine how this neoliberal feminist framework is reflected in FIAP’s framing of SRHR as a pathway to economic participation for girls and women in the Global South, which is itself predicated on a discursive conflation of ‘reproductive rights’ with delayed and limited fertility.

My analysis is based on preliminary findings from a critical discourse analysis of FIAP, and of FIAP funded programs explicitly identified as advancing SRHR. Drawing on the theory of reproductive justice, I examine the limitations of FIAP’s approach to SRHR, particularly in addressing the reproductive experiences of marginalized and colonized communities. Furthermore, I examine how FIAP acts as a site through which understandings of ‘responsible’ reproductive citizenship are circulated, with particular attention to how these norms align with the growing identification of adolescent girls as ‘ideal’ targets of development interventions. I conclude by reflecting on how feminist development scholars can move beyond problematization to bridge the gap between the empowerment, ‘choice’ based feminism deployed by FIAP, and an intersectional feminism that works towards reproductive and gender justice for communities in the Global South.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm4.2.2: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Canadian SMO Adaptation and Resilience
Location: Room 2
Technical chair: Adrian Murray
Room 2 
 

Chair(s): Carmen Ho (Assistant Professor at the Guelph Institute for Development Studies), Andréanne Martel (Inter-Council Network For International Cooperation (ICN) and Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC), Canada)

This panel aims to understand how Canadian small and medium organizations (SMOs) in particular have experienced the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to understanding the challenges SMOs face in relation to financial loss and their ability to implement their programs, we will showcase their strategies and practices in response to the pandemic. While SMOs may experience unique vulnerabilities, they also have unique adaptation strategies and forms of resilience.

The pandemic offered an opportunity to transform practices between Canadian SMOs and their partners overseas. It may have accelerated the localization process by transforming the way Canadian organizations collaborate and their relationships.

This panel brings together researchers and practitioners involved in a collaborative study undertaken during the first few months of the pandemic. Findings from this SMO study will be published in a report in March 2021, and this panel will be an opportunity to discuss the findings with those who commissioned, conducted and participated in it. A researcher who has previously studied Canadian SMOs will also be invited to comment on the findings form an external standpoint.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Canadian SMO Adaptation and Resilience

Andrea Paras
University of Guelph

Andrea Paras was the Primary Investigator on a University of Guelph study that surveyed 151 Canadian NGOs to investigate the early impacts of the pandemic on Canada’s international development sector. She led the research for the study that is the focus of this roundtable discussion.

 

Pivoting to Adapt to a Rapid Changing Context: Canadian SMOs' Resilience and Learning

Andréanne Martel
ICN/ACGC

A. Martel is leading Spur Change which is a capacity building and knowledge sharing program to support Canadian Small and medium organizations (SMOs) working in global cooperation. In early March 2020, Spur Change published a report on Canadian SMOs’ capacity needs and knowledge gaps. When COVID19 hit a few days after launching this report, Martel gathered together over 100 Canadian SMOs in early April to discuss how COVID was affecting them. Since then, she and her team collaborate with Canadian SMOs on a daily basis to support them while they pivot to adapt to the pandemic. Her team commissioned the study on The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Canadian SMO Adaptation and Resilience (SMO study report) which is being discussed during this panel.

 

How Feminist Principles Guided Pandemic Responses

Rachel Barr
VIDEA

VIDEA is a Canadian SMO located in British Columbia, which applies a human rights and social justice lens in its work with Indigenous youth and communities in Canada and abroad. VIDEA participated in the SMO study, and R. Barr will discuss how VIDEA’s feminist principles have guided its pandemic response.

 

TBD

Brian Tomlinson
AidWatch Canada

B. Tomlinson works since many years on issues related to Canadian and global aid priorities as well as global trends in the development effectiveness of civil society organizations (CSOs). For the past few years, B. Tomlinson has been working on areas of aid and development policies at the global level, Canadian international climate finance with C4D, as well as on shrinking civic space issues with international CSO allies. In 2016, he published one of the very few studies on SMOs crucial role in international development and public engagement across Canada. His report, commissioned by the ICN, influenced the creation of the Spur Change program. As part of this panel, B Tomlinson will provide comments on the findings of the SMO study report.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm4.2.3: Decolonizing Research Methods for the Global South - Workshop
Location: Room 3
Technical chair: valerie charest

Register here.

(conference registration required)

Room 3 
 

Chairs: Sumeet Sekhon1, Navjotpal Kaur2

1The University of British Columbia (Okanagan), Canada; 2Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Abstract:

For graduate students conducting fieldwork for the first time, balancing the emotional, ethical, and relational complexity of research can be challenging. Furthermore, when a student trained in the Western academy undertakes fieldwork in the global South, the stark difference between expectation and reality can be disorientating, which can present grounds for possible ethnographic errors. This workshop is aimed at deconstructing the principles, objectives, and values that constitute empirical practices/research methods in the West. More specifically, the workshop facilitators will use a decolonizing framework to explore the concepts of reflexivity, betweenness, situated knowledge, and positionality in terms of the practical challenges of conducting fieldwork in the global South. The goal of the workshop is to sensitize and expand Western research practices to the field realities of the global South, and to prepare early career scholars for unexpected encounters in the field. This workshop will be especially useful for those who are planning to work with marginalised and vulnerable populations as it will enable participants to acknowledge, and deal with, the emotional and ethical dilemmas they are likely to face in the field.

Participant engagement:

Participants will be organised into groups or pairs (depending on the number of participants), and asked to reflect on their experiences of fieldwork, or plans for carrying out fieldwork, using the concepts discussed during the workshop. Participants will also be asked to reflect on templates of ethics approval applications from their respective universities/institutions.

Intended audience:

Graduate students, early career academics, and practitioners with research interests in the global South.

Materials provided:

Each participant will receive an electronic copy of:

(1) Handouts to be used during the lecture portions of the workshop

(2) Questions and prompts to be used during the pair/group discussion portion of the workshop

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm4.2.4: Beyond the Academy: Career opportunities in international development - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Session Chair: Marie Gagné
Technical chair: Furqan Asif

Registration is now closed.

Considering a career in development outside the academy? CASID 2021 will host a roundtable discussion and workshop with a group of development graduates and professionals working in a diverse array of roles in within and beyond the field. The panelists will share their own experiences of making the decision to pursue alternative career paths, offering advice to students and recent graduates about how to chart a path forward beyond the academy. This will be followed by more in depth, workshop style discussions around key themes and sectors in plenary and breakout groups to more deeply explore these paths and processes.

Panelists include: Julie Crowley, IDRC; Kate Grantham, FemDev; Carly Hayes GAC; Paola Ortiz, SSHRC; Deborah Simpson, OXFAM Canada.

Room 4 
2:00pm - 2:30pmBreak Day 4
 
2:30pm - 4:00pm4.3.1 Decolonizing the academy: lessons from partnerships with indigenous communities
Location: Room 1
Technical chair: Georgina Alonso
Room 1 
 

Chair(s): Yuriko Cowper-Smith (University of Guelph, Canada)

The ostensible goal of academic pursuit is to push and challenge the fundamental boundaries of ‘truth’. Yet, as critical scholars have continuously contested and unravelled (Said, 1979; Tuhiwai-Smith, 1999; Absolon, 2011; de Sousa Santos, 2018; Mignolo and Walsh, 2019) certain regimes of truth have been used to uphold and privilege ‘truths’ that support imperial and colonial hegemonies/empires. Research is “a significant site of struggle between the interests and ways of knowing of the West and the interests and ways of resisting of the Other” (Tuhiwai-Smith, 1999, p.2). Thus, decolonizing research is critical for countering hegemonic knowledge production in academia. Yet, the challenge is to transform decolonial theory into decolonial praxis. Although decolonizing academia is currently picking up momentum, there is still much to be contested, debated, and learned. As such, this panel asks, ‘As individuals implicated in a colonial institution and larger society, how does one go about building a decolonial praxis’? In order to answer this question, the panel engages three scholars who have worked with indigenous communities from/in Palestine, Ecuador and Myanmar. By rejecting “academic elitism”, and instead embracing, “radical, politically engaged scholarship...grounded in the politics, practices and language” of communities (as cited in Sudbury & Okazawa-Rey, 2009, p. 2), these scholars will discuss the research methodologies that they have developed and employed in the context of their Ph.D. research. By focusing on the themes of authentic partnership; decolonial activism as Indigenous methodology; allyship; reciprocity; and decolonial love, we learn about the ways in which academia is challenged and enrichened when embodied knowledge and lived experience are considered on the same plane as conventional (colonial) ‘scholarship’.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Papas con cuy: decoloniality through reciprocity

Matt McBurney
University of Guelph

Decolonizing research methods and pedagogy is nothing new (Tuhiwai-Smith, 2012; Walsh, 2017), but it would seem that the practice and implementation of “decolonized” methodologies continue to be relegated to the margins of academia (Samson, 2019). Drawing from over 12 years of work with Kichwa Indigenous communities in Ecuador, this presentation examines the ways in which scholars can engage with and learn from Indigenous communities as equal partners through participation in everyday communal activities, such as mingas (communal work) and the sharing of food. Relationships of reciprocity are at the heart of Indigenous communal experiences and, therefore, it is important that academic researchers understand and participate in these experiences in order to break down the researcher/subject dichotomy that places a barrier between true knowledge exchange, learning, and relationships. Indigenous values, such as randi randi (reciprocity), relationality, complementarity, correspondence, and cyclicity, will be explored, as well as the normative practice of these values that form the base of Kichwa living and being.

 

Decolonial co-resistance: an Indigenous methodology

Jess Notwell
University of Guelph

This presentation explores Decolonial Co-Resistance as Indigenous research. Decolonial Co-Resistance as a methodology arose through co-resistance (Simpson, 2016) with Palestinian women frontliners (Shalhoub-Kevorkian, 2009) in struggles for the liberation of Palestine. My Ph.D. research documents the decolonial action of thirty Palestinian women as love, hope, connection, and liberation. Decolonial love for family, community and the land is the core of their everyday struggle for decolonization and freedom. Arising through the mentorship of several Palestinian women, who decided that I needed particular competencies in order to effectively conduct this research, Decolonial Co-Resistance is a praxis of those same decolonial actions. Simultaneously, it is an Indigenous way of knowing and being: it is relational, decolonizing, enacts reciprocity (Absolon, 2011), lives miyo-pimatisiwin (Makokis, 2011), and embodies decolonial love as a means and an end (Simpson, 2013; Sandoval, 2000).

 

Allyship and academia: joining the Rohingya-Canadian social movement

Yuriko Cowper-Smith
University of Guelph

Suet-ling Tang (2008) argues that it is possible for community-engaged (CES) researchers to “support community efforts in self-representation and self-advocacy” (p. 239). However, CES has also been charged with renouncing research goals for the goals of advocacy. By drawing on extensive Ph.D. research from 2017 to 2019 with the Rohingya Canadian social movement, I demonstrate in this presentation that when working within a social movement, a CES-based approach can offer rich and nuanced explanations; ones that do not obfuscate complexity, contingencies and intricacies. Indeed, this presentation unpacks how committing to justice-focused research, involving a long-term, grounded and embedded methodology, in fact, enhances the rigour and relevance of scholarship. By describing my methodological choices over two years of research I posit that this approach helps us 1) grasp a full understanding of the intellectual foundations upon which a diaspora-led movement has built itself 2) develop research models that are responsive to both community and research goals that can be used in the future.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm4.3.2: Open
Location: Room 2
Room 2 
2:30pm - 4:00pm4.3.3: Colonialism, Localisation and Participation
Location: Room 3
Session Chair: Nasya Razavi
Technical chair: Furqan Asif
Room 3 
 

The Social Side of Soils. A Farmer Centred Analysis on the Adoption of Cover Crops

Paige Allen, Ataharul Chowdhury

University of Guelph, Canada

The role of sustainable land management practices in the Canadian agriculture sector is a complex and evolving topic. Internationally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reiterates the importance of adopting sustainable land management practices to avert degradation and aid productivity. Protecting soils has been identified as critical in Ontario’s Soil Health Strategy. Although there are a number of studies focused on larger social aspects associated with soil conservation available globally, there is limited Ontario focused research.

There exists a gap in rural and agricultural research related to cultural and social factors of agriculture. Despite there being studies conducted that examine farmer motivations related to adoption, the majority focus specifically on economic factors, from the perspective of adopters. Therefore, this research examines decision-making and support services accessed by grain farmers in Southern Ontario related to the adoption of cover crops. Using a comparative methodology, this research interviews both adopters and non-adopters.

The importance of co-produced knowledge, programs, and policies is something that continues to be examined in both the academic and policy spheres. The mobilization of knowledge through knowledge translation and transfer seeks to create actionable research, and transform the process of knowledge production and exchange into a collaborative process. This research seeks to add to this process by affording farmers the opportunity to express their reasoning for choosing to either incorporate or not incorporate the practice of cover crops. There are many programs and policies in Ontario that focus on increasing the use of best management practices, and struggle to identify and incorporate non-adopters. By speaking with farmers directly we can better understand their rational for non-involvement, such as lack of agricultural representation, inability to fit into current system, access to adequate resources, and addressing larger communication issues. Understanding farmers perspectives is the first step in developing inclusive agricultural policies.



Creativity and conflict in Panorama, Colombia: a social justice lens in adaptation to climate-change opens perspectives on community-led development

Steffen Lajoie1,2, Danielle Labbé1,2

1Université de Montréal, Canada; 2Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Urbanization in the Global South

This paper explores how practitioners in community-led adaptation and development can engage a justice agenda that entails facilitation, relationship building, and mediation. Building on research in the field of planning, community-led/based development, and political-ecology, it demonstrates how practitioners can dig past gatekeepers and externally defined solutions and identify the diversity of problematics, risks, and vulnerabilities faced by local communities.

This argument emerges from a case study of locally led urban adaptations in a marginalized neighborhood in Yumbo, Colombia. The study used direct and participant observation and a mix of in-depth online and in-person interviews with students, local leaders, and practitioners to identify socio-political spheres of change in Yumbo involving local and extra-local actors. This then supports an exploration of how national and international development practitioners mobilize knowledge and engage with local leaders, their priorities, projects, and styles.

The research reveals conflicting initiatives, addressing a myriad of risks and engaging in diverse strategies. Some are explicit and mobilize multiple actors; others mix legal and extra-legal strategies; and others still, are forced into the shadows of extra-legal power dynamics and profiteering. By following the different “adaptation styles” of local actors, this paper illuminates ways hierarchies of vulnerability compete with each other and how established leaders can outperform others to mobilize their interests, bringing positive change for some while negating others and reinforcing inequalities.

This paper contributes to the growing literature on community-led adaptation and a practice based on diversity and creativity that does not sugar-coat existing micro-conflicts. It questions the knowledge individual practitioners bring to the table and how they articulate their contributions with local knowledges, power-dynamics, and politics. Ultimately, I propose to move beyond one-off framing and cookie-cutter technology fixes and adopt instead approaches allowing knowledges and solutions to emerge and gain traction with local, regional, and international policy.



Using Decolonizing Geographies to Decolonize the Development Field Through Decolonizing Education and Indigenous Community Participation

Mandie Rose Yantha

University of Waterloo, Canada

The evolution of development theory creates and enforces unequal power dynamics and structures, disparities in inequality, dependency, and the colonial idea that the Western world has got it right and all others should follow. The development field continues to reply on colonial knowledge and practices that have evolved overtime and continue to play a significant role in research, decision making, and overall goals of development. Geography has had the ability to encompass new ways of knowing and has helped be a bridge between the various bodies of knowledge. Decolonizing geographies can provide concrete approaches to decolonizing research and ways of knowing that can be directly applied to the development field. Approaches and methods that include local and marginalized groups by reframing their identity, needs, and this knowledge can assist with empowering and increasing capacity for successful development programs now and into the future.



Navigating Tensions: Lessons from a participatory research project.

Judyannet Muchiri

Memorial University, Canada

As we, as a sector, move towards adopting a more anti-racist approach, actors are reorienting their projects and programming to include approaches that better engage the communities they serve. Such approaches are central to decolonizing development; however, they are not without challenges. Using primary data from a research project that examines the effects of safe spaces on young women’s civic participation in Kenya, this paper focuses on the challenges and tensions that development actors and researchers face when their work takes a feminist approach that centers marginalized groups, their lived experiences, and their knowledges. Using such tensions as learning moments, I also offer some practices that development actors and researchers can adopt to inform transformative engagement with marginalized groups in their work.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm4.3.4: Prioritizing Indigenous Worldviews within performance management and evaluation - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Technical chair: Adrian Murray
Room 4 
 

Chair: Marissa Hill

Indigenous Innovation Initiative at Grand Challenges Canada

The Indigenous Innovation Initiative is an innovation platform, hosted at Grand Challenges Canada, that supports the development of innovation by and for First Nation, Inuit and Metis Peoples in Canada. To do this, we increase access to capital and culturally relevant support for innovators, by addressing the following key barriers to the economic participation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada through a decolonized social impact investing approach:

- Access to capital: Addressing the resource gaps and investment needs of innovators

- Building capacity: Supporting innovators with the Knowledges, skills and tools they need to succeed

- Cultivating networks: Connecting innovators to a meaningful and supportive ecosystem that increases their social capital

- Driving interest: Sharing individual and program stories of impact, success and learnings to inspire and empower the next generation of Indigenous innovation

In early 2020, we collaborated with First Nation, Inuit and Metis women, men, Two Spirit, queer and gender diverse peoples across Canada and completed a comprehensive literature review to inform development of a decolonized inquiry and learning framework that is specific to innovation within an Indigenous context.

Addressing the theme of "action for change," this workshop will support practitioners in understanding the core Values, Principles and Wise Practices that are the foundation of this inquiry and learning approach, and how to decolonize their own approaches and advance the decolonization of knowledge creation and utilization as it relates to supporting Indigenous innovation. This also addresses some of the long-standing tensions between Indigenous Worldviews and Western results-based management approaches.

 
Date: Friday, 04/June/2021
10:00am - 11:30am5.1.1: Transnational solidarities: ICT, Friendship and Diasporas
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: Larry Swatuk
Technical chair: valerie charest
Room 1 
 

Engaging in Foreigner Friendships: Learning English and more outside the classroom in rural Vietnam

Georgina Alonso1, Hiếu Thảo Nguyễn2

1University of Ottawa, Canada; 2Tra Vinh University, Vietnam

In recent decades, Vietnam has structured itself to be more open to international integration, which has encouraged increasing numbers of foreigners from the Global North and elsewhere to spend time working, volunteering or researching in Vietnam. Vietnam has also been developing a national strategy for encouraging English-language learning in line with economic growth plans that aim to move the country into upper middle-income status by 2035. This paper seeks to understand how friendships between English-speaking Global North foreigners on temporary placements abroad (volunteers, workers and researchers) and Vietnamese students studying English become entangled with national policy goals, personal and professional development goals, and the social status of English-language learners in rural Vietnam. Through a case study at Tra Vinh University in the Mekong Delta involving a survey and qualitative interviews with Vietnamese students, we unpack how Vietnamese students who are motivated to improve their English-language skills perceive the presence of English-speaking foreigners in their community and how the dynamics of friendship-seeking unfold. While much has been written about intercultural interactions based on temporary placements of Global North participants in Global South communities around the world, many studies have centred on the Global North participant’s identity, motivations, privilege, ethics, and/or impact. We chose to add to this literature by focusing principally on the underexplored agency of the recipient community in pursuing or engaging in intercultural friendships, even when these community members are not directly involved in the work or projects of the foreigners in their communities. We also seek to understand how the presence of Global North foreigners is perceived more broadly, the degrees of genuineness of friendship, and what benefits (and consequences) are gained by members of the recipient community through these friendships, especially in terms of English-language skill development.



Decolonization through Diaspora: Development Initiatives from the Second-Generation of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada

Akalya Atputharajah

University of Ottawa, Canada

As the decolonization of development has emerged as an increasingly important agenda, so has the reconsideration of various actors and their roles in the development sphere. Diasporas have long been considered important bridges between the Global North and South, for reasons such as their knowledge of languages, understandings of culture, interpersonal networks and more. However, they also have the potential to engage in processes such as the decolonization and localization of development, due to their multiple, overlapping positionalities. In fact, one way that some of the complexities of decolonizing development can be explored is through second-generation diasporas’ experiences with their initiatives to help people in their countries of ethnic origin. Through the lens of Bourdieu’s social fields, an examination of the space which spans the country of a diaspora’s ethnic origin and their country of settlement can help to uncover the power dynamics which influence diasporic members’ ideas about their own identities, and how those ideas impact their beliefs about their roles in development as well as the decisions they make to exert influence back onto their social fields through development initiatives. Using in-depth interviews with second generation members of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Canada, this paper explores the development initiatives from this group and how their ideas about their own identities impact and are impacted by their development experiences. This paper finds that that second-generation members of this diaspora recognize that their Canadian upbringings have influenced some of their ways of knowing, such as their understandings of development, but that their initiatives also help to decolonize development in ways such as fostering inclusion in the Canadian development sphere, promoting localization, and tackling racism in development.



The Role of ICTs and Mobile Money in Somalia’s Development Ecosystem

Mohamed Elmi

Ryerson University, Canada

Mobile money is rapidly transforming various sectors and economies worldwide. Somalia is one country that has been transformed by emergence of mobile money. In 2017, the World Bank estimated that 73% of the Somali population over the age of 16 use mobile money services. At the same time, Somalia relies heavily on the remittances to pay for children’s education, social services and provides an investment funds for small businesses. The United Nations estimates that close to 40% of families in the country are dependent on the $1.3 billion remittances per year. Accordingly, remittances companies account for a large segment of the financial sector in Somalia. And yet, both the remittance and mobile money systems function in spite of a lack of a traditional financial system. Mobile money and the underlying technology is at the heart of the supports the daily existence of millions of Somalis. How this system functions and its role as the economic backbone of the country is little understood. Thus, the aim this paper is to analyze the crucial role served by mobile money in the delivery of the billions of remittance dollars into the country. This study is guided by the main question: What role does mobile money and the Somali diaspora in the Greater Toronto Area, through the remittance system, play in Somalia’s development ecosystem?

In order to answer this question, we began this study by setting a baseline understanding of the Somali population in Canada and Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Next, a survey of 143 Somalis who have remitted internationally in 2017 was conducted. Finally, small–sample interviews were conducted with some members of Somali Money Transfer Organizations (MTOs) in the GTA to understand the business climate and the type of mobile money applications used.

 
10:00am - 11:30am5.1.2: Baby or bathwater? Conflations of development and underdevelopment in historical and materialist perspective
Location: Room 2
Technical chair: Jessica Cadesky
Room 2 
 

Chair(s): Jacob Nerenberg (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany)

Social scientists have largely embraced an understanding of development as a colonizing discourse that projects its modernist telos and marginalizes the world’s most vulnerable. While accurately describing features of many conflicts, the post-development orthodoxy has extended its reach at just the moment in history when some countries outside the ‘core’ show signs of finally ‘catching up’. Conceptualizations of development as inherently colonial break with traditions of thought that identified underdevelopment as a lasting effect of foreign domination—and as a process to be struggled against through (and after) decolonization. Challenging contemporary notions of decolonization that distance themselves from analysis of underdevelopment, this panel examines unfolding histories of contested efforts to ‘climb’ capitalist hierarchies of value. The panel links three theoretical insights. First, we understand underdevelopment as a process based on exploitation with features both spectacular (value seized from land and producers) and hidden (suppressed possibilities to increase the productivity of labour and foster internal circulation of the value it generates). Second, we identify so-called ‘dependent’ markets and ‘rentier’ states—where the circulation of value is based on claims to value captured from a given territory, rather than productive labour per se—as outcomes of impeded efforts to overcome underdevelopment. Third, we view the collapsing of differences between ‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment’ as a tactic of legitimation deployed to defuse opposition to rentier arrangements and the forms of exploitation they perpetuate. The papers will include case studies on issues such as the ascendance of ‘social protection’ policies in Venezuela and controversies over foreign direct investments in Indonesia, as well as global-scale assessments of the viability of national development as a form of resistance to imperialism.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Distributive Development: The Highest Stage of Rentier Capitalism

Aaron Kappeler
University of Edinburgh

In his seminal study Unequal Development, Samir Amin argues that the loss of control over the deployment of social labour and production of value in peripheral capitalist settings is one of the key features of imperialist relations at a global scale. The mass of peasants and slum-dwellers living outside the wage relation are just one side of a dialectic of underdevelopment that equally embraces zones of ‘super-exploitation’ where commodified labour in oil camps, commercial plantations, and export enclaves facilitates the transfer of value to global centres. Payment for this dual extraction often takes the form of rent controlled by local elites invested in obscuring the unequal exchange inherent in these transactions. In this paper, I explore the case of Venezuela and distributive politics that hinder transition from a regime of rent capture as well as iterations of postcolonial theory that seek to obviate the category of ‘development,’ thereby rendering illegible forces that make these societies unstable.

 

Dependent Investments: The Submerged Politics of Bifurcated Development in Indonesia

Jacob Nerenberg
Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient

In 2020, the issue of foreign investment became a hot-button topic in Indonesian politics. Mass protests and riots against legislation to facilitate foreign investment recalled previous moments when Indonesians had taken to the streets to oppose foreign economic hegemony. Activist communications and scholarly literature have narrated the issue of foreign investment as a matter of extractive capital using the banner of ‘development’ to justify raids on natural resources. Missing has been consideration of the fact that foreign investment in Indonesia predominates in value-added industry, while primary activities such as mining, timber, and agribusiness are largely controlled by domestic capital. This paper traces the historical construction of this bifurcation of investments to highlight the otherwise obscured dependence of labour productivity growth on both foreign capitalization and foreign-currency earnings from primary commodity exports. It analyzes a politically destabilizing manifestation of imperialism today: a type of inter-sectoral dependence, of development on underdevelopment.

 

Anti-Imperialist Development: Then and Now

Radhika Desai
University of Manitoba

Post-development discourse can only dismiss development as an imperialist project by overlooking what it always meant in national liberation movements and in the early post-war decades: autonomous national development. It was an inherently anti-imperialist project which is, perhaps, best articulated in Samir Amin’s concept of delinking. Based on my work on the geopolitical economy of capitalism driven forward by its uneven and combined development, which unites the work of the largely non-Marxist developmental state theorists with a Marxist understanding of the role of nations in a capitalist world, and on the inherently predatory and unstable character of the world dollar system, this paper will revisit the content and rationale of anti-imperialist development, particularly from a financial point of view. It will argue that, contrary to contemporary ‘globalization’ and ‘US Hegemony’ discourses that argue that such strategies are impossible today, they are not only possible but the only path to any broad-based and sustainable prosperity at a time when imperialism has, over the past many decades, taken on a more rentier form than ever.

 

Displacing Financial-rentier Imperialisms?

Pablo Idahosa
York University

Development, like capitalism and imperialism, demands to be historicized by periodising specificity. Development’s histories may have lost their way in the present by eliding and losing sight of the larger macro-processes through the distorting, but enabling lens of how the many national and local sites of intervention appear to be enacted. If development has always been about normatively and materially ameliorating the effects of the consequences of intervention, it has also always been to ensure that those subject to its behests are brought into the intersecting material and financial flows of imperialism. In looking at many parts of Africa, there have been continuities in the substantial appearance that the forms of imperial exploitation have taken—e.g. various forms of extractivism—or the class conduits through which they are enacted under or through the neo-liberalized states. However, if the intensity of these forms remain, they often do so through the reconfigured nexus of the financialization of global rentier capitalism: through the low tax regimes of extractivism and through the extraction of rentier income through tax havens.

 
10:00am - 11:30am5.1.3: Decolonization, anti-racism and adaptability in the development sector: An Exploration of three case studies - Workshop
Location: Room 3
Technical chair: Marie Gagné

Register here.

(conference registration required)

Room 3 
 

Chair: Lee-Anne Lavell, Judyannet Muchiri, Samantha Morton

Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, Canada

The Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC), a members-based organization whose members include post-secondary institutions and CSOs, invites practitioners, academics, and individuals to participate in a World Café to explore the possibilities and challenges of transformative “development” work with an aim to incite conversation and solicit feedback on three of ACIC’s programmatic initiatives.

In taking seriously what decolonization, anti-racism, and justice work requires of individuals and institutions, we will provide three case studies in relation to 1) how development work is changing during COVID-19; 2) anti-racism work in development; and 3) decolonization efforts in the Atlantic Canadian development context. Drawing on ACIC’s work in these areas, participants will engage in three small group discussions (15 minutes each in succession) before returning to the larger group for a facilitated conversation that will be reflected visually by a graphic recorder.

How development work is changing during COVID-19: This discussion will be guided by the Atlantic Resilience Research Report, which was compiled by ACIC in Summer 2020 to understand the creativity, adaptability, and challenges of Atlantic organizations during the pandemic, to contribute to our community of practice and showcase members’ stories.

Anti-racism work in development: This discussion will reflect on how organizations can engage meaningfully in anti-racism work at the organizational level to create organizational change, challenge existing power structures, and support organizations (members, volunteers, staff) to engage in anti-racism work at micro and macro levels.

Decolonization efforts in the Atlantic Canadian development context: This discussion will ask how organizations can support decolonization efforts while centering Indigenous perspectives in this work. The case study example will be the online Indigenous Global Leadership Program, which brings together Indigenous youth from across Canada to share their perspectives as youth changemakers, learn about global issues, and build their leadership skills for local and global change.

 
10:00am - 11:30am5.1.4: Publishing your article: a guide for young scholars - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Technical chair: Furqan Asif
Room 4 
 

A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi1, Stephen Brown2

1Trent University, Canada; 2University of Ottawa

Publishing your research can be a daunting experience for doctoral students and graduates. This workshop will work its way through the process of publication in scholarly journals, with particular reference to the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. It will include advice on submitting your article, receiving a response, responding to that response, tracking copy-editing, and publicizing your published article.

 
11:30am - 12:30pmLunch Day 5
 
12:30pm - 2:00pm5.2.1: Restorying climate change narratives
Location: Room 1
Technical chair: Nasya Razavi
Room 1 
 

Chair(s): Jonathan Langdon (St. Francis Xavier University, Canada), Blane Harvey (McGill University)

We are increasingly beginning to realize that “facts are not enough” in the push for meaningful action on climate change. The IPCC and other global bodies have been warning us about the increasing dire situation for over 25 years and yet actions remain grossly insufficient – the 2019 Convention of Parties in Madrid where countries failed to develop a framework to enact the Paris agreement being a case in point. Scholars, activists and others engaging in this struggle have recognised the importance of narrative, story, and rich personal accounts in humanizing and bringing to life the often distant and abstract evidence that is presented to us through climate models and projections. For instance, at the 2019 Transformations conference in Chile, the crucial link between artists and climate change narratives was central to the conference. Narrative forms of expression are being used for a range of purposes: expressing the loss and grief associated with impacts already being experienced; re-telling ways that communities or partnerships have succeeded in responding to the impacts they were confronting; articulating a group’s vision for alternative futures and the means of achieving them; and even building connection and solidarity between groups experiencing similar challenges in vastly different contexts. This session seeks to explore the power of story and narrative, understand how these are generated and shared, and reflect on how these stories relate to other forms of action. It also explores whose stories of a climate changed future are being told, whose are being marginalized, and how we can address this silencing.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Stories of change as a tool for collective learning

Elaine Huang1, Blane Harvey2
1McGill, 2McGill University

Actions that lead to meaningful change (whether through research, activism, or political processes) rarely unfold in a linear or straightforward manner. The “messiness” of real change processes can mean that learning from the experience is challenging and partial, limited to individuals’ vantage points, or oversimplified accounts of what unfolded. This paper reports on initial results from the use of a story-based approach to understanding outcomes in international collaborations on adaptation to climate change in Africa and Asia. We will explore how this model of story-based contribution analysis has helped to develop rich accounts of change, as well as of the learning and collaboration processes that catalysed the change, and how collective analysis of different stories of change can begin to reveal strategies for change that can inform future action on climate and development.

 

Restorying the past to defend sustainable livelihood futures: the case of the Yihi Katseme of Ada, Ghana

Jonathan Langdon1, Sophia Kitcher2, Sheena Cameron3
1St. Francis Xavier University, 2Yihi Katseme, 3OISE

For the past 11 years, a participatory action research project in Ada, Ghana has had stories at the research's core. Movement actions have come from these stories, and stories have become the way in which movement learning has emerged. This presentation will describe how combining narrative restorying with participatory research approaches generated storytelling and meaning making that has been a crucial dimension of social movement organizing and learning in Ada. This movement, known as the Yihi Katseme, or Brave Women, has been defending communal access to West Africa’s largest salt yielding lagoon from both internal and external threats of expropriation/privatization, as well as environmental degradation. This resource is the backbone of 60,000+ people’s livelihoods. The presentation will share several of the narratives that emerged from the research, and how restorying has enabled these narratives to evolve over time to reveal deepening community resilience, learning, and emergent strategies in not only meaning making, but also making changes to meaning through actions.

 

Mi’kma’ki 2030, opening spaces to imagine a decolonized, climate just future

Liliona Quarmyne1, Jonathan Langdon2
1Mi'kma'ki 2030, 2St. Francis Xavier University

Emerging out of the 2030 Declaration Network in Nova Scotia (a network that demands concrete climate action from government on all levels), Mi’kma’ki 2030 began as an artistic response to the question, “what does a decolonized, climate just future look like in Mi’kma’ki?” Mi’kma’ki is the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq – an area that comprises most of the Maritimes and part of New England. The artist collective that emerged in response to the question brings together BIPOC artists to build and interrogate these future visions, create new narratives, and foster resiliency in working towards a climate just future. This presentation will focus on the story of the collective so far, and public response to these decolonizing spaces – one of which reconfigured Halifax’s city hall into a sweat lodge. The importance of climate justice in shaping climate change narratives will also be articulated.

 

Storying as pathways to sustainable futures: A participatory scenario development method

Elaine Huang
McGill University

As homo narrans, our course of action is largely shaped by how we story our past, present, and imagined futures. However, the dominant approach to scenario development heavily relies on a few quantifiable or large-scale drivers. It has downplayed local processes and people’s agency to change, and constrained our imagined possibilities for sustainable futures. The lack of scenario narratives towards sustainable futures, as this presentation will argue, have also generated much anxiety (Findlater et al. 2018), skepticism (Huang, Harvey & Asghar, in review), and even climate fatalism (Mayer & Smith 2019), which can lead to further inaction. This presentation will share a visioning-focused approach to developing scenario narratives. By combining backcasting technique with participatory research, the method starts from people’s imagined futures to construct scenario narratives that are plausible and can be operated within planetary boundaries. The case of transforming the role of universities for SDGs will be discussed.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm5.2.2: Colonialism, Capitalism and the State: The case of Bangladesh
Location: Room 2
Session Chair: Marie Gagné
Technical chair: Liam Swiss
Room 2 
 

Development, Democracy, and the Environment: Contested Energy Future in Bangladesh

M. Omar Faruque

Queen's University, Canada

Bangladesh adopted a long-term economic plan in 2010 to be a middle-income country by 2021 and a high-income country by 2041. It identified rapid and diverse industrialization as a critical driver of accelerated economic growth. Accordingly, the government prepared a power sector master plan (2016-2041) to meet this goal, which stipulated increased use of coal for power generation (35 percent of the planned power capacity). It commissioned several large coal-fired power plants, now at various stages of construction. These policy changes were also the reflection of a growing influence of its development financiers, particularly China and Japan. Both countries have an enormous impact on the policymaking and financing of projects in the energy sector. Since 2011, this fossil fuel-based development intervention has generated vibrant environmental mobilizations contesting the government’s approach to a sustainable energy future, which civil society groups argue, is devoid of the democratic process of accountability, transparency, and deliberation. There is a growing demand both globally and locally for countries to move towards renewable and low-carbon energy future gradually. Bangladeshi policymakers are less committed to such a transition. How can we explain their rigidity? To what extent do the Bangladeshi political institutions explain the behaviour of the political and bureaucratic elites? This paper will draw on the institutional perspective of the political economy of development to analyze popular discontent over Bangladesh’s energy policy regime in the context of its political crisis (growing authoritarianism) and environmental crisis (climate change vulnerability). It will emphasize that the rent-seeking political behaviour affects the policymaking process, so much so that specific policy choices often reflect the entrenched interests of actors connected to the ruling elites. Therefore, its policymakers take a contradictory position: on the one hand they blame advanced industrial countries for Bangladesh's climate vulnerability while aggressively pursue fossil fuel-based energy future.



State-community Power Struggles in Forest Co-Management: The case of Rema-Kalenga Protected Area in Bangladesh

Sujoy Subroto1,3, Conny Davidsen1, AZM Manzoor Rashid2, Margarita Cuadra3

1Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Canada.; 2Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.; 3Department of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh.

Co-management models between local communities and the state have gained considerable attention over the past decades to address persistent challenges of protected area governance and reconcile ecological conservation with sustainable livelihoods and local development. This study examines how Bangladesh’s forest co-management structures have fared vis-à-vis continued asymmetrical power relationships between communities and the state in Bangladesh’s top-down forest governance system, specifically de facto forest governance structures in the case of Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary and its larger landscape zone. Empirical data were collected based on an exploratory qualitative methodological focus and Lockwood’s four good governance principles were adopted as an analytical framework which was further supplemented by Agrawal and Ribot’s power typology. Our findings reveal that Rema-Kalenga’s regional forest actors have been struggling to develop a shared understanding regarding the goals and distribution of power in protected area co-management. The study points toward two developments: First, a low realized level of devolution as Rema-Kalenga’s co-management institutions operate as mere unpaid ‘helpers’ under the shadow of the state’s centralized top-down governance in the Wildlife Sanctuary. Secondly, this study found signs of emerging dual governance in which local co-management institutions create their own spaces of engagement and de facto influence in the larger Rema-Kalenga landscape zone, in contrast to being visibly less functional in the core zone. Connections between these two spheres are sporadic, hampering ecosystem-approaches in Rema-Kalenga, and questioning the cohesiveness of co-management purposes in the studied area.



From colonialism to neoliberalism: Exploitation in Bangladesh's clothing industry

Nabila Idris

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

In this paper, I draw parallels between the colonial exploitation of Bengal's textiles industry and the neoliberal exploitation of Bangladesh's garments industry, culminating in the pandemic.

From as early as the seventh century, Bengal has been renowned for its textiles. In the colonial era, the prototypical multinational, the British East India Company, systematically wrung the textiles industry dry by squeezing out weavers, controlling exports, and flooding the captured local market with inferior British goods. Its neoliberal successors continue the enterprise in today's Bangladesh, which is a major hub of the global garments supply chain. I particularly focus on two multistakeholder policy efforts to institutionalise labour-friendly social protection in the country between 2012-2019.

Based on an adapted political settlements approach, using data from over sixty elite interviews and the analysis of hundreds of internal government documents, this qualitative study unearths the complex system of power and economic relations spread across the globe that hamstrung efforts to improve Bangladeshi workers’ social protection. It reveals an incestuous overlap between state and business, the powerlessness of national governments in the face of multinational entities, and the fundamental weakness of labour as a viable force in neoliberal global capitalism.

The failure to extend social protection to workers would prove disastrous during the coronavirus pandemic as its absence allowed global clothing brands and local elites to force on the workers a stark choice between lives and livelihoods. As a result, Bangladeshi workers returned to factories a full month before the lockdown was eased. The study is significant because it shows how colonial exploitation has not disappeared but simply morphed in modern times. Truncated social protection agendas that exclude workers can easily progress unchallenged in developing countries and, as the pandemic reveals, prove fatal in the long run.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm5.2.3: Aid and NGOs in a colonized world
Location: Room 3
Session Chair: Christine Gibb
Technical chair: Kate Grantham
Room 3 
 

The Development Bank as a Colonizing Project: Power, Culture and Inequality at the Top of the 'Development Food Chain’

Ritu Verma

College of Culture and Language Studies - Royal University of Bhutan, and Out of the Box Canada

If development is a colonialist project, it is deeply rooted in problematic tenets of capitalism. Development continues to perpetuate historical patterns of colonization first constructed and epitomized by transnational corporations such as the British East India Company, authorized agents and conduits of the Crown that expanded and built the colonial empire. Instead of by royal decree, they are driven by inter-governmental charters that establish influential centres of power and skewed relations of finance that expand capitalist accumulation and material consumption based on the premise of endless growth. Over time, they have played a hand in widening income inequalities for a small yet powerful segment of beneficiaries as targets of development, and those doing the actual targeting. This is exemplified at the top of the development ‘food chain’, a space dominated by powerful development banks. This paper explores the way development banks act as drivers of hegemonic development, shaping the way inequitable practices and colonial understandings of development and finance are conceptualized, shaped, prioritized, deployed and perpetuated to the disadvantage of those deemed ‘less developed’. In doing so, historical chains of resource exploitation, knowledge appropriation, material accumulation, unsustainable consumption and the missionary zeal of converting local populations to the ethos of modernity remain unbroken. Also central to the colonial world are social worlds, organizational culture, and ongoing patterns of development practice, policy and lending of development banks, including the construction of ‘expert’ knowledge and its material effects on the ground. The colonial life-worlds and lifestyles of bank practitioners living and working in aidland are therefore foundational. The paper reflects on ways development banks can be reconfigured and reconstituted by decolonizing their practices, policies, debt/finance schemes, institutions and organizational culture to ensure equality, inclusivity, empathy, and ultimately, redressing exploitation, appropriation, oppression, dispossession, marginalization and the myriad of power imbalances they perpetuate.



Criticality of Public Trust for Success of Development Agenda: Lessons from Afghanistan

Seyed Ali Hosseini

Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada

Development agenda has been promoted for decades for being a panacea for some structural problems like insecurity, poverty, hunger, and injustice. It also has been recognised, by academics, policymakers and practitioners, that among the reasons that it does not produce the promised outcomes is corruption in development projects. The focus of anti-corruption scrutiny has mostly been the recipient states, and especially government institutions, and the corruption in and accountability of the development assistance providers are not adequately researched and addressed. This qualitative research critically examines the effect of corruption among development assistance providers on the erosion of public trust and the success of development agenda in addressing insecurity, poverty and injustices through the case study of Afghanistan.

A recipient of major development aid in the last two decades, Afghanistan remains poor, insecure and one of most corrupt countries in the world. While there have been numerous reports about corruption of Afghan government and elites, a less researched aspect of corruption is corruption among the state and non-state international development providers. Pointing the finger of blame at the local institutions without addressing the problem in the foreign institutions reminds the colonial arrogance of blaming locals for lack of capacity to develop. This paper argues that unaddressed problem of corruption among development assistance providers as well as their support to corrupt Afghan partners resulted in erosion of trust between international community and the local population and, hence, undermined the peacebuilding and state-building efforts. Using poststructuralist view, it examines the anticorruption assumptions and performance of international aid providers, through examining the reports by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s reports (SIGAR) and other organizations. The research aims to highlight the importance of transparency and accountability of both providers and recipients of development assistance to make the agenda more inclusive and transformative.



“Legitimate survivor” … according to whom?

Christine Gibb

University of Ottawa, Canada

Development and humanitarian work have a long history of categorizing people. These categories have had myriad material and discursive repercussions for those included in and excluded from projects, as well as for development and humanitarian organizations and their donors. This paper examines the issue of defining so-called “legitimate survivors” in the aftermath of a disaster. After all, “legitimate survivors” are eligible for relief goods and services, resettlement housing, livelihood loans, among other benefits. But categorizing some individuals or groups as deserving of assistance, and others not, is never a neutral exercise. Rather, it serves the broader political, economic, environmental and social interests of diverse stakeholders. In this paper, I use disaster case studies from the literature and my own fieldwork to study how definitional criteria impact, and are impacted by, development projects. I ask questions such as: How exactly is legitimacy defined? Who articulates the criteria? How are claims to (il)legitimacy subverted? How might it be possible to decolonize the categories that delimit the boundaries of disaster relief, rebuilding and resettlement? These questions are not only important for populations affected by disasters and for the organizations serving them, but also for development practitioners, scholars and activists who struggle with setting project parameters and selecting project beneficiaries.



Bureaucratic pluralism as a source of development partnership: Exploring the case of aid spending across 'other' government departments

Rachael Calleja1, Nilima Gulrajani2

1Centre for Global Development UK; 2Overseas Development Institute, UK

Donors across the OECD-DAC have often channeled Official Development Assistance through other government departments (OGDs). OGD 'otherness' derives from the fact that these bureaucratic branches of government are not the 'principal' body with responsibility for global development policy or programming. This paper empirically investigates the tendency for bureaucratic pluralism in global development policy-making and implementation across the DAC, drilling down into data from the Canadian case in the post-2013 merger period. We suggest the use of OGDs as a channel for ODA disbursement may provide a new template for intra-governmental partnership, with implications for domestic coordination, policy coherence and the political accountability of ODA spending.

 
12:30pm - 2:00pm5.2.4: Decolonizing the International Development Studies syllabus - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Technical chair: Adrian Murray

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Room 4 
 

Chairs: Georgina Alonso1, Adrian Murray2

1University of Ottawa; 2University of Johannesburg

While the concept of development is contested and the goals and methods of development practice are debated, ostensibly the uniting principle of development is that it is about ‘making the world a better place.’ This workshop is based on the premise that development studies can do a much better job of empowering students with the tools to take informed and urgent action in this pursuit, particularly by focusing on decolonization and anti-racism.. We begin with a discussion of what ‘decolonizing’ international development education could look like, followed by breakout room brainstorming sessions centred on specific aspects of curriculum building.

The make-up of development studies classrooms is changing. While it is fundamentally important to push back against the white saviourism that many eager students bring to development studies, we must also recognize the diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and needs of racialized students, ensuring that learning content speaks to everyone. In an effort to address the diverse needs of students and combat the anxiety, cynicism, and pessimism that is increasingly common amongst development studies students--especially in the context of COVID-19, the climate crisis, the dismal job market and growing inequality--we propose a rethink of the core development studies literature. This would involve broadening the diversity of thinkers to include a wider variety of ontological perspectives, epistemological positions and identities. Indigenous literatures and worldviews in particular can help students envision alternatives to oppressive systems which can seem impossible to overcome.

 
2:00pm - 2:30pmBreak Day 5
 
2:30pm - 4:00pm5.3.1: Global Minerals Local Communities in Canada and the Philippines
Location: Room 1
Session Chair: John Edison Ubaldo
Technical chair: Kate Grantham
Room 1 
 

Chair(s): Angela Mariz Asuncion (University of Guelph, Canada)

The mining sector is both resilient and vulnerable; evolving in many instances at the nexus of large corporations operating at the local scale with communities that are impacted both positively and negatively by the industry. Our panel explores the many issues and opportunities that arise within these complex relationships. On the one hand, our work builds upon the premise that mining companies are multi- faceted actors, not monolithic entities that behave uniformly. Host communities', on the other, have diverse and complex development goals, interests and needs as they engage with corporate actors.

Experience over the last five decades suggests that mining contributions to economic development varies greatly across countries. In some it has been a major engine of development. In others disputes have erupted over land use, property rights, environmental damage, and revenue sharing. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs implemented through health, economic development, education and training projects, are increasingly relied upon to manage company-community relations. Yet conflicts persist in many settings, with significant costs for companies and communities. The challenge -- and it is a globally important one -- is to identify the best means of enabling socially and environmentally sensitive non-renewable resource development in a time when outside forces, including national governments, corporate interests, and environmental activism, constrain the ability of local populations to make regionally appropriate decisions and take action.

 

Presentations of the Symposium

 

Digging for Accountability: Structural Power Inequalities in Global Mining Discourse

Angela Mariz Asuncion1, Nicolas D. Brunet1, Dominique Caouette2
1University of Guelph, 2University of Montreal

In recent decades the Canadian mining industry has been increasingly scrutinized for being directly and indirectly involved in environmental devastation, forced displacement, systematic rape, slavery and billions in tax evasion, amongst other forms of corporate abuse. Discourse and power have played a fundamental role in the dominance of corporate social responsibility practice regulating the mining industry as opposed to legally binding legislation. Researchers have challenged global mining discourses, stating its origins are founded in modernization theory, white supremacy, and racist representations of Global South governance. By challenging dominant mining discourses and gaining a deeper understanding of the power it exercises (and resists), we create opportunities to transform the narrative into one that strengthens local agency and self-determination. This paper will provide an up-to-date review and critical examination of global mining discourse and its impacts on community agency, using Canadian mining operations in the Philippines as a case study for analysis.

 

After The Mine Has Left: The Case Of Maricalum Mining In Negros Island, Philippines

John Edison Ubaldo1, Kellyane Levac2, Dominique Caouette2
1University of the Philippines, 2University of Montreal

The municipality of Sipalay in Southern Negros Island, Philippines is copper deposit haven. Interest in the copper deposits came as early as the 1930s but nothing materialized until a mining company started operating in the 1950s. Residents who lived to witness the glorious days of the mines would recall how “wealthy” their community was as household income would meet more than their daily needs. Economic activities skyrocketed as the mining operations required more workers to answer the demand for expansion. The population of the municipality, later promoted to a city due to the income generated from the mines, increased exponentially over a short period of time with electric and water services provided to the local communities by the mine. A school and other infrastructural projects, funded by the mining company, were also built to aid the LGU and the community. While CSR was not in use at the time, it looked like Maricalum Mining Industrial Corp. (MMIC) was doing well by providing social services and taking care of their impacted local communities. However, by the time it closed in the early 1990s, after five decades of operation, the municipality had also suffered from the damages of numerous disasters including mining spills. And although the school continues to provide accessible education to the community, the electric and water services were cut off. Maricalum Mining operations left the municipality with a deformed topography that brings about danger to the community, millions of pesos in unpaid taxes, and hundreds of unemployed and retrenched workers who remain uncompensated to this day. This paper examines the paradoxes and contradictions of the mines’ achievements and downfall from the narratives of locals interviewed highlighting the double-edged nature of CSR efforts.

 

IAMGOLD Corporation: A look at the Toronto-based mining company’s responses to gender issues

Julie Guernier
University of Montreal

Usually known as a damaging industry for their social, economic and environmental impacts, in recent years mining companies have invested more attention and funds in sustainable development as well as corporate social responsibility. However, aren’t ʻsustainabilityʼ and ‘mining’ two magnets opposing each other in a way that would never make them compatible? Holder of three Towards Sustainable Mining Excellence awards as well as a total of four Towards Sustainable Mining Leadership awards, the mining company IAMGOLD Corporation is recognized as one of the Canadian mining companies most involved in sustainable and CSR business. Therefore, thanks to a content analysis of IAMGOLD’s health, safety and sustainability reports, this paper will explore the ways and extent to which gender issues are understood, measured and portrayed in the IAMGOLD’s sustainability reports. In doing so, this paper will attempt to identify IAMGOLD’s perceptions, approaches and interests related to gender concerns using an ecofeminist perspective.

 

The Canadian Talk: A documentary about development and mining

Erika Ranke-Farro
University of Montreal

Is development a positive thing? Half of the world's mining and exploration companies are Canadian. Most of these companies are located in Canada, but they also have significant overseas operations. Large Canadian mining companies are drawn to tax exemptions and regulatory control policies that are almost absent in countries of the South where corruption, neglect of human rights and destruction of the environment rules. This mixture can be described as explosive because it is characterized by the coexistence between huge Canadian mining companies that invest millions of dollars to massively extract precious metals and local communities. The objective of this documentary is to deconstruct and make accessible discourse on the social and environmental responsibility of mining companies by addressing through a series of interviews with specialists, activists, politicians and local communities the impact of mining companies on local communities.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm5.3.2: Canadian NGOs: What now?
Location: Room 2
Session Chair: Laura Parisi
Technical chair: Gloria Novovic
Room 2 
 

Canada’s Grassroots International NGOs: Who are they, what are they doing, and what role for the future?

John-Michael Davis

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, United States of America

International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) in the global North have rapidly grown in number over the past two decades, the majority of which are small-scale, privately funded, and volunteer-based “grassroots international NGOs” (GINGOs). Despite an abundance of research on “professionalized” INGOs, little empirical data is available to characterize GINGOs. While sparse, the literature on GINGOs has characterized these agents of development as a double-edged sword. On one hand, GINGOs are driven by altruism, a desire to right injustices, and personal relationships with individuals and communities in the global South, which can foster continuity and long-term learning. Moreover, since their budgets are small and sourced from everyday citizens, they evade the pressure of competitive funding cycles, having to contort development projects to match donor funding criteria, and the need to secure "quick victories" to report back to donor agencies. On the other hand, GINGOs are typically run by volunteers and non-specialists, which can lead to amateurism. The entrepreneurial spirit of GINGOs to take ownership of and command development projects can lead to inefficiencies, obscure broader power imbalances, and produce donor-driven, unsustainable, and potentially harmful interventions. This study constructed a dataset of 607 Canadian GINGOs based on the Canada Revenue Agency T3010 forms and organization websites to offer rich descriptive data on their structure, programmatic foci, and geographic distribution. The results offer a rich portrayal of GINGOs and explores their current and potential contributions towards international development goals.



Placing Women's Rights Organizations in the Driver's Seat: Oxfam Canada’s Self-Directed Capacity Assessment Tools and support for Organizational Capacity Strengthening

Lara Cousins, Deborah Simpson

Oxfam Canada, Canada

Oxfam Canada (OCA) focuses on organizational capacity strengthening because we believe that strong women’s rights organizations and civil society organizations are key agents of change in achieving gender justice and human rights. We consider there to be an inherent link between programming and organizational capacities, where organizations can do better gender justice work with their communities when their own internal structures, processes, and work are more sustainable, democratic, and gender-just. As part of our efforts to decolonize ‘development,’ we take a responsive approach to capacity-strengthening, recognizing that each organization is distinct, operating in its own context and at a different stage of organizational growth. We also use a self-assessment model, believing that organizations themselves are best suited to identify and gauge their own capacities and areas for strengthening, as part of a feminist approach to MEAL.

In 2009, OCA piloted a set of tools with diverse civil society partners, including a self-directed Capacity Assessment Tool (CAT). Our experience and feedback received from partners encouraged us to share them widely and led to their formalization through the development of OCA’s (2012) The Power of Gender-Just Organizations: A Conceptual Framework for Transformative Organizational Capacity- Building, and The Power of Gender-Just Organizations: Toolkit for Transformative Organizational Capacity-Building. From 2017-2019, OCA also developed additional thematic versions of the CAT, as well as an updated version of the original toolkit. In 2020, OCA commissioned an evaluation of the CAT and related processes. Whilst partners found the tool to be highly beneficial, they commented that OCA could do more to accompany partners in their capacity strengthening journeys. At CASID 2021, we would like to contribute to discussions surrounding if/how we can decolonize ourselves as activists and practitioners, through sharing experiences, reflections, challenges, and initial lessons learned in utilizing a self-assessment capacity-strengthening methodology.



International aid scandals: narratives, responses and the persistent white saviour complex

Finbar Hefferon

Memorial University, Canada

Scandals involving abuse, corruption and negligence regularly surface in the international aid sector. They can help shape popular perceptions of the sector and the West’s relationship with the Global South, while smearing efforts of the broader aid community. Recent media coverage and public criticism of the operations and development model of the now defunct WE Charity has renewed conversations of the damaging effects of ill-conceived western development interventions in the Global South. My research will improve our understanding of the framing and impact of such scandals, and the power dynamics between aid donors and recipients. In this paper I examine mainstream and social media coverage of these scandals from 2015-2020. First, I ask what themes are used in media coverage to frame aid scandals and examine the extent to which the coverage critically assesses issues of power, colonialism and exploitation between victims and perpetrators. Next, I assess various impacts of aid scandals on organizations and the broader aid sector. The research is grounded in postcolonial and post-development theory that critiques the Eurocentric and hierarchical nature of development and acknowledges “colonial continuities” that perpetuate colonial structures and practices in the sector. My research critically assesses the motivations and justifications behind aid workers’ interventions in the Global South and the accompanying moral imperatives and rationalization of good intentions to affect change - no matter the harm caused. By examining the narrative discourse surrounding aid scandals and their impact, this paper addresses critical sociological and political aspects of international development, while supporting more equitable, transparent and accountable models of development practice. The results provide an original contribution to the development literature to help understand the continued prevalence and consequences of aid scandals and the associated white saviour complex.

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm5.3.3: Digital Ethnography and the Digital Divide - Workshop
Location: Room 3
Technical chair: Adrian Murray

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(conference registration required)

Room 3 
 

Chairs: Shama Dossa, Laila Rajani

Habib University, Pakistan

In the age of lockdowns and physical distancing it is becoming harder to conduct research in the context of International Development. Limited access to participants and the safety of researchers are key considerations in exploring field based methodologies. Given the context of the Pandemic the field as we know it has changed. This workshop will focus on the possibilities and challenges of researching the pandemic drawing on a digital ethnography approach. Issues of ethics, recruitment, technological access, data making and analysis will be explored. The workshop will highlight some of the learning from a longitudinal study in Pakistan - Families and Communities in the Time of COVID (FACT) which is Part of a larger ten country study led by University College London. Participants will be encouraged to bring a research question they wish to work with to discuss options and ideas and brain storm methodological solutions.

Workshop Objectives

1) Participants will learn about the approach and its application in the contexts of a digital divide

2) Participants will be facilitated to apply the approach to a research question they have in mind to see if elements of the approach can be used

 
2:30pm - 4:00pm5.3.4: Digitizing Basic Services: Mentoring the social business franchise - Workshop
Location: Room 4
Technical chair: Furqan Asif

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(conference registration required)

Room 4 
 

Chairs: Faisal Haq Shaheen1, Fayyaz Baqir2

1Ryerson University, Canada; 2University of Ottawa, Canada

Pakistan continues to underperform on a number of social and economic indicators as compared to other countries at the same level of income. A significant part of this is due to the lack of service delivery. Most urban services are restricted to the formal sector, while the informal sector struggles with a lack of access and several barriers.

The formal sector has erected several barriers in part due to a lack of understanding of service and predatory ideology, policies, and practices of elites. Community level barriers revolve around a lack of integration between formal and informal knowledge, little documentation, limited analysis or guidance, politicization of solutions and class dynamics.

Utilizing the entry points: Water, Sanitation, and Solid Waste Management; the TKE network seeks to engage and train young community members to develop social business models which will strengthen and support lower tier service delivery in local government.

Applicants will qualify for getting a Franchise for ‘Adopt Your Town’ (AYT) if they compile a score card for basic services in at least one Union Council (UC)-lowest tier of local government- and mark the service scores on a base map. Once mapping and scoring of services for all of the UCs, TKE’s local partners in Pakistan will work with the selected candidate to sign a Service Management contract with the town government under which AYT will oversee and report on service quality to the town government, issue bills and collect payments at the household level as a subcontractor. In turn, AYT will receive payments for the services rendered to the government. AYT Management in Pakistan will receive a onetime contract fee and periodic payment of a management services fee from the AYT Franchisee.

This workshop will map out and critique the civic entrepreneurship model with peers and seek to improve upon design.

 

 
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