In an article from CNN, Catherine Mbengue, a trustee of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) and former senior UNICEF official, discusses a new report from Harvard entitled “Children’s Chances: How Countries Can Move from Surviving to Thriving“. The report highlights the success of many Africa countries to remove barriers to primary education, like school fees and limited infrastructure. But the report also reiterates the need to shift from education access to quality learning.
“When we look beyond the issue of accessibility to the quality of education our children receive,” Mbengue notes, “the region has among the lowest education requirements for teachers, with 50% of countries requiring lower secondary school teachers to have completed no higher than a secondary education (so teachers have barely more education that their students).” African leaders must call for higher quality of education for all children, at all levels, in the post-2015 development agenda.
Thursday, February 7th, 3:30 – 5:00pm
Mulberry Conference Room – Puck Building
The International Public Service Association will be holding its spring general meeting next Thursday, February 7th at 3:30pm. The meeting will be held in the Mulberry Conference Room at the Puck Building. All students are welcome to attend and learn about our upcoming events, ways to get involved, and help plan events for this semester.
As someone who hasn’t followed the most straight and narrow path of international development work, I was happy to see this aid worker also took a winding road. Cathy Ayer from IRS shares how she fell into aid work and give tips to those of us coming straight out of graduate school. Find your inspiration to fill out those fellowship applications here.
An excerpt from WSAFA President Omoruyi Austin Aigbe’s blog:
Many scholars in Africa have always noted that the Africa’s colonial legacy has contributed to the socioeconomic, security and political challenges, the tension and hostility among the many ethnic groups, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Political historians have traced security challenges- conflict and instability in most Africa nations, especially in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, and elsewhere to colonial programs of division, discrimination, collective exclusion, and manipulation of ethnic identity envisioned to ensure power and control over vast natural resources.Africa’s natural resources wealth, which ought to be a blessing, is in fact a curse; this was captured in Collier (2007) The Bottom Billon, - the conflict trap, the natural resource trap and bad governance in small country. To be true with it, natural resource in Africa has become a source of tremendous suffering, which Collier referred to natural resource trap. There is a strong and clear correlation between natural resources, conflict and security challenges in Africa…
Does Africa have enough time for the benefits of this fast economic development to reach the poorest people? What role does security and politics- democratic governance play in this discourse?
Join the Wagner Student Alliance for Africa (WSAFA) and International Public Service Association (IPSA) on Wednesday December 5 2012 as Ambassador John Campbell, former United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, takes a look at the correlation between economic development, Security and Politics- democratic development in Africa. And moving forward, what should Africa nations be doing to sustain and build upon the current state of development in the region.
By Pete Freeman
Fellow Wagnerd, Ryan Brown (Class of ’12), and I have started an organization called Global Kitchen along with current Steinhardt Food Studies student, Leah Selim. Global Kitchen (GlobalKitchenNY.com) is a social enterprise born out of a love for food, culture, stories, and shared meals. All these elements are brought together in our immigrant-led cooking classes, which celebrate our chef instructors’ culture, passion for food, and traditional recipes. All our instructors run their own food businesses, so classes are a great opportunity for them to gain valuable marketing exposure for their businesses.
The ability to bring people together, united through food, fosters genuine dialogue and storytelling. Our instructors’ stories about growing up in their native country, the cultural significance behind the dishes, and the origin of ingredients all come together to form an interactive and meaningful experience unlike any ordinary cooking class. This evening of rich storytelling is almost like travelling to another country without the jetlag!
Our next class will be held Friday, November 30th at 7:30 pm at Dun-Well Doughnuts off the L train in Brooklyn (DunWellDoughnuts.com/). The class will be led by Veda Sukhu, who will be preparing Guyanese curry, homemade roti, and a tasty traditional Guyanese snack. This demonstration style class is highly interactive with ample opportunity for you to try your hand at making roti. Don’t miss out! Tickets, which include a full meal, can be purchased for $45 here. In addition, the class is BYOB so feel free to bring some wine or beer.
We’ve had some great experiences with Global Kitchen thus far. After raising nearly $8k from our crowdfunding campaign we were able to launch our first public class which featured Egyptian koshary, hummus and tabbouleh salad from one of our instructors, Ragab Rashwan. See our Facebook page for pictures! Class attendees relished the occasion to help prepare the sauce, pound garlic, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the finished product. Each class concludes by sharing the meal cooked that evening with fellow class participants and the instructor. This was our favorite part of the class- listening to Ragab’s stories of growing up in Egypt, chatting with one another, and enjoying delicious food (along with some wine of course!).
We also did a pilot class in May, where we saw the beginning of a transformation in our chef instructor, Veda. This was her first time leading a cooking class, and beforehand she was a bit nervous. But as soon as she began preparing vegetables for the curry, the switch flipped on, and she was as comfortable as merely chatting around her kitchen counter. For Veda to see that she has knowledge and skills that are highly valued made quite a rewarding experience for her. Afterwards, she had this to say: “Seeing everyone enjoying the food we prepared gives me great pleasure…Thanks a million for this opportunity.”
Given your interest in IPSA, it seems safe to assume you share our love for new food and different cultures. There are a number of ways you can get involved with Global Kitchen. We are actively looking for more dynamic chef instructors from any culture who are looking to grow their own food business (e.g. food truck, selling in local markets, catering). One can never have enough great recipes, so send any great authentic ethnic ones you come across to info@GlobalKitchenNY.com. Like us on Facebook, subscribe to our newsletter (http://eepurl.com/qcquX), and visit our website (GlobalKitchenNY.com/). Finally, if you are interested in engaging with our quickly growing team or would like more information, send me an email at pjf267@nyu.
Last Tuesday, IPSA, the Asian Pacific American Student Alliance, and the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding hosted “Peacemakers In Action”, a presentation by two grassroots activists honored by the Tanenbaum center for their work advancing peace in regions torn by ethnic and religious conflict.
First to present was Dishani Jayaweera of Sri Lanka, who shared her experience growing from a student to an activist during her country’s long period of civil upheaval.She also spoke candidly about notions of guilt and duty, suggesting that people who, like herself, are members of more powerful or influential factions in society should embrace the responsibilities that come with privilege and wield their social capital to moral ends.
The second presenter was Rev. Jacky Manuputty of Indonesia. The reverend described the steps he took to build a cross-faith network of religious leaders for peace in the Moluccas region, stressing the value of forming close personal bonds of friendship when undertaking such daunting and sometimes dangerous campaigns. His was a case of leadership by example, where he and other religious leaders of conflicting groups publicly co-operated on difficult issues, hoping to inspire their communities to do the same. He also spoke to the importance of local knowledge, highlighting how a deep understanding of local society helped his grassroots, indigenous movement to avoid the pitfalls that larger and better-funded groups from overseas had encountered.
During a joint question-and-answer session, Ms. Jayaweera and Rev. Manuputty led a touching conversation on the profoundly personal nature of peace and conflict, ending the presentation on the uplifting note that indeed the best way to secure a true peace is to make friends out of one’s enemies.
We invite you to make comments about this event and the ideas presented at it on this blog post.
From Wagner’s Conflict, Security and Development Series: Fall 2012.
By Ashley Nichole Kolaya
AT NYU WAGNER, WE SPEND a lot of time discussing topics like urbanization, infrastructure, social policy, and citizen security. We usually leave the business talk to the folks at Stern. Eduardo Moncada of Rutgers University (and formerly of Wagner) would say that omission is exactly our problem.
Latin America has two unique distinctions in the world of geopolitical statistics: first, it is the most urbanized region in the world. Second, it is the most violent. Organizations like the UNDP and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme release flurries of reports about these topics on an annual basis. What we don’t hear about, however, is the role that business plays in all of these development concerns. Eduardo Moncada is on a mission to change that…
Governing through violence and using dictatorial means to deal with socio-political challenges have led to the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The wind of change is now heading toward Russia and China.
On Thursday, March 22, 2012, International Federation of Electoral Systems (IFES) held an event in Washington, D.C, on the recent Russian election cycle. Debate focused on the parliamentary and presidential elections and how the resulting public reactions inside Russia are impacting the development of democracy in the country. Conversations also looked at how these factors may influence national elections taking place in neighboring countries this year.
It may be a stretch to propose that Russia is on the verge of change, but it is clear there is something different in the air. There have recently been a series of protests sweeping throughout Moscow resulting from alleged vote rigging in the December 2011 parliamentary and March 2012 presidential elections. These events have made their mark on many people in Russia, from journalists, students and academics, to more politically opportunistic professionals.
People are speaking out and gathering more freely; something that seemed impossible seven months ago. Major protests are being planned demanding that Vladimir Putin step down. Several individuals have been detained, including opposition leader Ilya Yashin.
In China, the Communist Party has undermined the rule of law and lost the confidence of the people. The Associated Press reported on March 21, 2012, that the Chinese government wants lawyers to take a pledge of loyalty to the Communist Party, a move that has been criticized by human rights lawyers who have defended critics of the ruling party.
When an administration lacks credibility, it lacks solid ground for trust from the people. However, the basic technique of the Communist Party is to acquire and preserve its control by being dependent on its dictatorial means. The Communist Party thrives by engaging in violence, which has become a panacea in keeping the people under their dictatorship. They maintain their authoritarian government by completely neglecting the doctrines of the rule of law. It is often said that the leadership in China came on board out of the “barrel of a gun”; this is their basic theory and principle. The lack of freedom of speech and other political freedoms were a major basis for the Tunisia uprising, which eventually spread to Egypt, Libya, and Syria etc.
When, on March 26, 2012, a 27-year-old activist set himself on fire inNew Delhi during a demonstration to protest a visit by China president Hu Jintao, observers commented that this is a sign of change coming to China. NDTV reported that the young man died on March 28, 2012, thus becoming the first individual outsideChinato participate in a suicidal mission, “adding his name to a list of 30 others who have committed same since March beginning to protest alleged authoritarianism by China in Tibet and demanding freedom for their homeland.”
Russia and China have the opportunity to learn from history. Can they maintain authoritarian rule and suppress the will of the people, or will they want to go the way others have gone? These questions will be a focus in the upcoming IPSA conference at NYU.