International Development Conference - 18 Feb 2019
On February 9, members of the IDSAY had the opportunity to attend the 7th installment of the International Development Conference at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The day was filled with panel discussions and seminars discussing a variety of topics. Members of the York University Delegation had the opportunity to attend sessions of their choice with the majority attending the sessions discussing Development Work in Conflict Zones, Global Citizenship, the Future of Development and Water Security. Workshops that took place included a Grant-Writing Workshop and Sustainability in the Office.
MicroInsurance & Microfinance Speaker Session - 07 Feb 2019
As students in international development, we learn about the benefits of microfinance and microinsurance through case studies of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. We do not, however, go deeper into understanding the mechanisms through which products are designed, who the major recipients are and challenges organizations face when bringing these products to market in the Global South.
Our second speaker session, “Microinsurance and Microfinance: Discussing the long-term benefits, sustainability, and role in development in the Global South, aimed at shining a light on this often-misunderstood niche. We were especially proud to invite, Karl Braun, an executive member for OikoCredit Canada. OikoCredit is a social impact investment cooperative based in the Netherlands with a primary interest in empowering low-income peoples in the global south through the provision of loans, equity investments, and capacity building. The conversation was moderated by IDSAY President, Samir Janmohamed.
The discussion began by first providing the audience with an understanding of microcredit and microinsurance emphasizing on the difficulties of bringing these products to market. These included working around societal opinions and finding companies to work with on the ground. In addition, we discussed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the challenges faced in meeting them and how OikoCredit as a coop was working towards ensuring they are successfully met through the implementation of their projects around the world.
We ended the conversation with Karl providing attendees with advice for their time in university and careers. Much of this centered around the need for students to engage deeply with their communities and to give back in any way possible. Through this giving, we are reminded of our own ability as individuals to bring about change while also remaining grounded.
NGO Speaker Session - 22 Nov 2018
At the inception of the club in January 2018, we understood the importance of learning outside the classroom by engaging with other students and professionals in the field of development. Hence the “Speaker Sessions with IDSAY” came about. The aim of these sessions would be to further discuss topics brought forward in the classroom while also demystifying the misconceptions many students in Development Studies build during their time in school.
Our first speaker session was titled “Demystifying NGOS: Questioning their Actions, Sustainability, and Accountability.” We were proud to invite Tamer El-Fouly, a Monitoring, and Evaluation specialist and Chyslyn Pais, Leadership Giving Officer at Amnesty International. The panel was moderated by IDSAY President, Samir Janmohamed and Vice-President, Menakshi Babulall.
Questions asked revolved around the experiences of the panelists while working in the development field, the difficulties faced when working within bureaucratic systems, challenges of remaining true to an organization’s cause while providing results to keep donors happy. Student’s and participants learned of the great challenges that NGOs and civil society organizations faced with regards to achieving their goals and targets in addition to receiving advice from the panelists on their career paths.
Meet & Greet - 25 Oct 2018
This was our first event as a recognized club at York and was an opportunity for members of the International Development Studies Faculty to meet and engage with students in the IDS program outside the classroom. It was also an opportunity for the IDSAY executive for the 2018 -2019 academic year, listed below to be introduced to the general membership while also telling members about how to become involved and upcoming events.
- President – Samir Janmohamed
- Vice-President – Menakshi Babulall
- Treasurer – Humayra Safa
- Director of Public Relations – Noorin Pattni
- Director of Programming – Elizabeth Alabi
- Director of Marketing – Malaika Abow
- Secretary – Mehnaz Hossein
- 1st Year Representatives – Malaika Abow and Utku Can
- 2nd Year Representatives – Zuhali Suhrob and Precious Osadjere
- 3rd Year Representative – Naureen Lakhani
- 4th Year Representative – Umaimah Adan
- IDS - B.Eng. Representatives – Ganjina Vanjova and Kanishk Singh
In attendance were Founders College Head, Professor Pablo Idahosa, the International Development Studies Program Coordinator Professor Uwafiokun Idemudia, Professor Merouan Mekouar, and Undergraduate Program Assistant Elvisa Zjakic.