Perspectives on International Development (IPID) is a newly formed
student initiative linking graduate students, scholars, and
practitioners with interests in development. IPID also sustains an
online student-edited journal, Reconsidering Development
in addition to the IPID student group. These activities constitute an
ongoing cross-department and cross-sector endeavor meant to continually
grow and evolve.
The student group and online
journal provide graduate students with opportunities to develop skills
in leadership and to promote their scholarship in the field of
international development. IPID's mission and goal seeks to continually
explore and expand upon three initial research questions:
- How does an interdisciplinary perspective shift our conceptualization of international development?
- What are the trends and issues affecting current approaches to international development?
- What is the future of this interdisciplinary field (including the role of the international community)?
is fitting that the founding charter IPID members and advisors come
from departments at the University of Minnesota with a tradition of
cross-disciplinary and cross-sector scholarship and practice, including
the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the program in Comparative and
International Development Education, and the Interdisciplinary Center
for the Study of Global Change.
The IPID student group's current leaders are:
President Peter Ehresmann, Master of Development Practice candidate
Peter, or "2-meter Peter" rather, as I was called in my 2nd home and
past life in China and am one of the 2nd year Masters of Development
Practice (MDP) pioneers. Prior to returning home to attend Humphrey, I
spent 4 years teaching English in Chinese universities in Jilin City and
Beijing, breaking up my time there by envisioning and organizing a
14-month musical bicycle expedition of 5, called FueledByRice.org
, from Beijing to Paris via India to make a small yet tangible
contribution to building intercultural understanding & peace. Since
interning and researching my undergraduate thesis in the slums of
Nairobi, Kenya on a Human Rights Fellowship in 2003, I have been deeply
considering the politics of poverty, environmental destruction, and the
ethics of the lifestyle choices we all make as the privileged few: How
do we actually balance economic growth with environmental
sustainability? Just what ought our end goals of international
development be? I most recently spent my summer (2011) in Cairo Egypt
working on garbage and recycling for the MDP field experience. I earned
my BA in Political Science at St. John's University, MN, and love
bicycling, the outdoors, photography, music, and living abroad.
vision for IPID is to grow and fill out our young 2-year old student
organization through your involvement in our standing committees and
potential sub-committees (such as for specific events like the
semesterly student speaker conference) as outlined in our Constitution. I
would love to see you take the initiative to help us build IPID with
your ideas, leading the planning of an event, or helping us better
collaborate with other student organizations. Even better, I hope you
run for a committee chair in the fall elections or for an officer
position in the spring! I am eager to discuss, debate with, and learn
Vice PresidentBrandon Wu, Master of Public Policy candidate
a second-year Master of Public Policy student at the Humphrey School of
Public Affairs, concentrating in Global Policy. Prior to coming to the
Humphrey, I worked as a researcher and grantwriter at Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
in Washington, DC, doing policy analysis and advocacy around U.S. trade
policy from 2005-2010. I have a B.A. in sociology from Yale University,
where I studied comparative historical sociology of international
My current research
centers on the conflict between national economic policy in Colombia,
including the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and the
economic, social and cultural rights of historically marginalized
Afro-Colombian communities. I spent my summer in Colombia working on
this research, and related activism, in Bogotá and the conflict zone of
Urabá. I'm now turning this research into a master's thesis and various advocacy papers
related to the Colombia FTA.
interested in looking at development through the lens of addressing
global inequality by challenging the power structures and entrenched
interests that benefit from the status quo. I blog about this sort of
thing at Power and Participation
. I'm also super excited to share and learn from other members of IPID over the course of this year!
Britta Hansen, Master of Development Practice candidate
am a second year Masters of Development Practice student at the
Humphrey School, while here I have focused my studies on international
agriculture and nutrition issues in the global south. I completed my
summer field work in Bolivia where I conducted an evaluation of small
scale irrigation ponds for improved agricultural production. My
background is in agricultural education and community development with a
focus on Latin America.Before starting my graduate studies I was
working with the Ministry of Education and the World Food Program in
Liberia where I worked with parent teacher associations on school
feeding programs. I spent two years in Bolivia working in ag extension
and nutrition education, while there I also completed an extensive
beekeeping project in the small community where I lived. Some fun facts
about me; I have lived or studied on all but two continents, I paddled a
canoe across Ontario and my family owns the first Christmas tree farm
in the state. I am looking forward to continuing my work with IPID and
being a part of the diverse University community.
Chet Bodin, Master of Public Policy candidate
My name is Chet Bodin. I'm the current Officer At-Large in IPID, and a
second year MPP student at the Humphrey School studying global policy.
For me IPID is about personal development as much as community or
economic development. I believe most of us understand there are
fundamental problems with the world, and see evidence of that in the
suffering, conflict and human rights failures that exist. With this in
mind, I maintain that the lasting growth we seek, arrives best when as
aspire to integrate with others. By sharing ideas, and making a
personal commitment to work and learn together, we are empowered to
pursue change with different cultures, nations and philosophies- not in
spite of them.
Personally, I value a socioeconomic model that puts a
premium on humanity, social awareness, public service and work ethic.
At IPID, I aim to understand the values of others to cultivate
introspection, and learn how to apply development policy that's in step
with people, their beliefs, their communities and surroundings.
year, as the Programming Committee Co-Chair, I helped to organize an
IPID Open House, two discussion panels on Sierra Leone and Iraq. More
recently, I've been concentrating on strengthening IPID's organizational
structure to have more members engaged in programming, as we expand our
membership and pursue our goals across campus. I'm looking forward to
the addition of new members whose experience, energy and ideas will
invigorate the group's capacity, imagination and ever-expanding
potential. Let's make IPID 2011-12 the best year yet.
Logan Dumaine, Master of Public Policy candidate
Strategic Relations Chair
Ameido Amevor, Master of Public Policy candidate
Kirsten Selvig, Law School
I am a first year law student at the U. I do not have any direct experience with international development, but I do have a fascination with the mechanics of power in international development (and the international community at large). I studied History in undergrad, and spent my fifth year studying abroad in Paris, France and Leeds, England. My time in Paris was a great mishmash of international students, French students, and very globally active faculty that allowed me a tiny peek into the clockwork of European power politics. In England, I focused on my thesis project, which looked at the lingering effect the British Empire has on British politics today. That year gave me a real appreciation for the way that historical problems have a funny way of sticking around long past their formal end-point, and a burning desire to get abroad again as soon as possible. My perspective is grounded in the Western world and how more developed countries struggle with the tension between humanitarian obligations and national security concerns/domestic political pressures.
I hope to expand IPID's presence on campus, especially in the law school. We law students do love to argue and we could always use a few more progressive consciences around to keep us ethical. I'm excited to get in arguments, uh, I mean discussions with people outside of law and gain a larger perspective on the issues of the world!
Gilles Amadou Ouedraogo, Master of Development Practice candidate
Gilles (Geo) Ouedraogo holds a B.A.
in international management from Gustavus Adolphus College with a minor
in Peace Studies. He is currently a student in the Masters of
Development Practice in International Development program at the
Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Viewing the application of Social
Justice as a key factor to the success of sustainable development, he
joined numerous student organizations during his undergraduate studies;
such as Amnesty International and Building bridges, which both raised
awareness on world issues plaguing our world. In addition to his
activism on campus, he embarked on a five month trip across India; one
of the fastest developing nations of our time; on an intensive course
entitled Social Justice, Peace and Development. As a result he
experienced microcredit first hand and instantly fell in love with the
concept. He started thinking of ways it could be adapted to a
sub-Saharan African model of economic, social and human development. He
has thoroughly enjoyed the Humphrey so far and has joined IPID as a
Co-Programming Chair to explore everything this dynamic organization has
Information Technology and Communication Chair
Rachel Garaghty, Master of Public Policy candidate
- Programming Committee - Handles all planning and arrangements for guest speakers, programming and trips.
- Finance Committee - Initiates and facilitates IPID fundraising efforts in coordination with all other committees.
- Strategic Relations Committee - Initiates and sustains IPID outreach efforts among University students, faculty and staff and all outside parties.
- Information Technology and Communication (ITC) Committee - Builds and sustains the IPID website and content.