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ISID Announces the Recipients of its International Development Faculty Research Awards


Published: 11 Jun 2013

The Institute for the Study of International Development is pleased to announce the names and projects of the recipients of ISID’s International Development Faculty Research Awards:

Prof. Manuel Balan (Political Science):  New Left, Old Corruption? 
The impact of new Corrupt Practices on Development in Latin America’s New Left Governments.

In the past decade there has been a remarkable resurgence of the Latin American Left, as a number of countries democratically elected left-leaning Presidents. Despite the many differences among the countries that are part of the left turn, if there is one element that is common to all is the overall perception of high levels of corruption, which constitutes one of the key challenges to the region and to developing countries more broadly. It is therefore essential to understand whether corrupt practices have changed or remained the same. In other words, what has been the impact of the New Latin American Leftist governments on corruption? How have the changes in these practices impacted overall levels of development? Rather than assessing whether corruption has increased or decreased (a question that runs into all sorts of methodological and conceptual roadblocks), this project aims to determine whether there have been changes in the types of corruption taking place and to analyze the impact of these practices on levels of economic development. The project focuses on the cases of Argentina and Bolivia, comparing the Kirchner and Morales’ administrations with their predecessors. 

Prof. Sandra Hyde (Anthropology):  Responding to China’s Airpocalypse: Pilot Ethnographic Research on Environmental Justice, Rights and Biopolitics .

Research Problem – According to environmentalist Sam Geall (2013) sixteen of the world's twenty most polluted cities are in China and a serious water pollution incident occurs once every two to three days. Taking these statistics at face value, how are Chinese citizens coming to grips with environmental degradation, and how are they organizing to rethink development at any cost? What happens when non-governmental environmental organizations (NGEOs) begin to take up issues of environmental justice and thus move from disseminators of information to being advocates promoting new forms of politics, health and well-being? How do ideas of biopolitics confound this transformation and notions of the political in this post socialist nation?

Prof. Becky Lentz (Art History and Communication Studies):  Building Capacity in the Global South for Policy Advocacy on Internet Freedom.

How do “Internet freedom” advocates in the Global South define ‘effective’ policy advocacy? What types of challenges do these advocates face that diminish their efforts and effectiveness at national and global governance levels? Finally, what are the benefits and drawbacks of donor-driven programs using intermediary organizations to address capacity-building challenges? This project involves early-stage case study research on these questions, featuring a primarily donor-driven transnational capacity building initiative launched in summer 2012 called the “Internet Freedom and Human Rights (IFHR)” program. Coordinated by Global Partners & Associates based in London, with assistance from a team at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) in Washington, DC, the IFHR program seeks to strengthen NGO capacity, particularly in the Global South, for “effective” policy advocacy on Internet Freedom issues at both national and international levels. The IFHR program enjoys support from the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, the Media Democracy Fund, and the U.S. State Department. The research examines the opportunities and challenges in seeking to expand policy expertise and strategic advocacy that enhance civil society interventions in global discussions about current and future approaches to Internet regulation.


Prof. Paola Perez-Aleman (Desautels Faculty of Management):  Exploring Organizational Change: Shifting to Sustainable Production in Low-Income Contexts.

How do enterprises in developing countries build their capabilities to develop new products and production methods that are environmentally sustainable? What organizational processes enable these enterprises to shift to sustainable practices and improve environmental performance? How are local organizations changing? These questions are investigated in the context of global supply chains that involve rural small producers from developing countries, specifically in the coffee and cocoa industries. They face significant knowledge and resource disadvantages in a low-income context characterized by problems associated with the lack of crucial supporting infrastructure, government assistance, technical and financial services.  To examine the changes in routines at the farming and processing stages, my methodological approach relies on a combination of ethnographic fieldwork, including non-participant observations and interviews, as well as collection of archival material to gather data on production organization and practices, difficulties in making changes, upgrading strategies, and organizational changes. Primary data collection at production and processing sites will be in Nicaragua, a country that has experienced a dramatic rise of specialty coffee and cocoa (green) since the mid-1990s, and that is also among the poorest in the Western hemisphere.  The analysis will provide insights and implications for understanding economic development and organizational change processes.

ISID received a number of strong proposals.  The decisions were not easy and the Institute could not fund a number of very good proposals.


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