Interview with Bipasha Baruah – President of CASID
You are the current President of CASID while also maintaining a professorship at Western University, and a position as Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues. This triple duty obviously makes you a very busy person! Are you able to find connections between your roles, and could you explain why it is important to maintain each of them?
My research has always been based on extensive empirical data collection and analysis on contemporary issues in global development. As such, my research always made contributions to theory, practice, policy and advocacy. I see my roles in teaching, research and professional service as very complementary and mutually inclusive.
CASID is hosting its Annual Conference May 31-June 1st at the University of Regina. Your theme this year is “Exploring and Unpacking Diversity in Development”. Could you give us a sneak peek into what we should expect from the Conference this year?
This is an important opportunity for CASID to reach outside Ottawa to different regions in Canada where international development communities thrive. More than 60 students, practitioners and faculty members will be presenting their work on diverse topics in international development. Our keynote speaker is Dr. A. Atia Apusigah, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
Every year CASID challenges students and members to host and organize regional events related to development. Would you be able to highlight a couple of the most creative, innovative or exciting regional events that your members or students have organized?
In 2018, CASID will host 10 regional events in four provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and BC) across Canada. The purpose of these events is to bring academics, students, development practitioners and the general public together to discuss current development issues. This year’s roster of events include a Public Policy Summer School organized by Dalhousie University and University of Ottawa that will bring together 15 – 20 students to work with civil society organizations and public servants in Ottawa on research to policy communication issues; a Child Rights conference organized by the Student Association of International Development (SAID) at the University of Waterloo; a conference on gender and development at the University of British Columbia; and a training session organized by the University of Montreal and REDTAC that will enable teachers at CEGEPS and high schools to use videos on migration, land grabbing, and gender and development in the classroom.
CASID and CCIC have recently celebrated the 1-year anniversary of the three-year IDRC-funded Next Generation Leadership program (2017—2019). Through this program, CCIC and CASID have begun to identify and test new ways of breaking down silos between development practitioners, researchers, academics, students and policy developers. Could you indicate why CASID decided to partner with CCIC on this project?
CASID is sometimes thought to be an “academic” institution, but 25% of our members are from the “practitioner” community. Another 25% are students, many if not most with an interest in becoming practitioners. This means that they and the other 50% of our membership in the academic community need to have their feet firmly planted in the realities of international development and the problems it seeks to address. The Next Generation program with CCIC is an important part of making that happen.
Are there any other CASID initiatives that CCIC members and supporters should know about?
CASID also offers Certificate Seminars on a range of topics including humanitarian aid, women’s empowerment, and implementing the SDGs. To date, more than 250 participants have completed the Certificate seminars. Participants include students, practitioners, and those in the job market and upgrading their skills and competencies. The most recent certificates (5 in total) have been held at University of Ottawa between 2017 and 2018. Information about the Certificates are circulated on the CASID listserv. Find out more here.
The Career Paths and Employment Outcomes Study was a collaborative initiative between CASID and the Canadian Consortium for Colleges and University Programs in International Development Studies (CCCUPIDS) that involved administering a survey to 1901 graduate of IDS programs in Canada. The study provides information about the kinds of employment IDS graduates find and what skills they consider valuable for obtaining work. The findings from this study can be found here.
The Canadian Journal of Development Studies (CJDS) is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, bilingual forum for critical research and reflection on the complex problems of international development theory, policy and practice. It is published quarterly by CASID in partnership with Routledge. It is the only Canadian scholarly journal devoted exclusively to the study of international development. CJDS is currently one of the most highly-ranked social science journals in Canada, and globally one of the most highly-ranked journals in development studies.