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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Location: Room 1
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 
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.

 
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?

 

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.

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“'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 
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.

 
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.

 

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 
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.

 
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.

 

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 
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.

 
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.

 

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.

 
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.

 
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.