IDRC International Doctoral Research Awards (IDRC-IDRA) build capacity and develop research skills in Canada and the Global South to improve the lives of people in the developing world. See profiles of the 2022 recipients below.
Elmond Bandauko, Western University
Elmond is a PhD candidate at Western University. His research examines how urban policies and practices in Harare, Zimbabwe are experienced, negotiated and resisted by street traders in their struggle to survive in an environment where their livelihood activities are criminalized and stigmatized as ‘nuisance’ and ‘undesirable’ in modern cities. The gendered implications of urban policies and street traders’ resistance and negotiation strategies will also be examined. This research aims to inform urban policy and practice on building inclusive and pro-poor urban economies as promoted in the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.
Marina Banuet Martinez, University of Alberta
Marina is a PhD student at the University of Alberta. Her research has focused on the health effects of environmental variations. She is particularly interested in how climate change influences health-disease dynamics in populations that are inequitably impacted by climate change, and on exploring the impact of climate change on nutrition and immunity. By integrating fishers’ local knowledge with scientific knowledge, Marina’s research will generate critical insight into climate change risks in Mexican fishing communities, providing a more complete view of climate-health risks.
Nchongayi (Chris) Begealawuh, University of Ottawa
Chris is a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa. His research is grounded in the prevalent under-representation of civil society, women and other politically marginalized groups in peacebuilding processes. It explores why civil society’s role in national dialogues is critical, more generally in Africa and particularly in the context of the ongoing armed conflict in Anglophone Cameroon. The project seeks to spotlight key ideational and material constraints/possibilities for a more inclusive national dialogue in Cameroon that could lay the foundation for lasting peace, democracy and development.
Abdul Cadri, McGill University
Abdul is a PhD candidate at McGill University. His research explores the role and potential of social networks in preventing harmful substance use among young people in Ghana. Applying a mixed methods approach, Abdul will investigate the relationship between social networks and substance use among senior secondary students and how they might be leveraged for prevention and mitigation. Together with youth and key stakeholders, he hopes to co-develop a framework to guide school-based substance use prevention interventions efforts that incorporate social network effects.
Alexis Carr, Simon Fraser University
Alexis is a PhD student at Simon Fraser University. Her research centers around the use of technology for informal learning, particularly in remote and rural contexts, with a focus on gender. The purpose of her research is to understand how farmers in Jamaica perceive and engage with mLearning, as well as the relationship between their perceptions and the acquisition/application of knowledge and skills. This research aims to introduce context-oriented pedagogy and learning design as essential elements for mLearning in the development sector, and ultimately contribute to the design and implementation of more gender-responsive agricultural extension policies and programs.
Anudeep Dewan, University of British Columbia
Anudeep is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia. Her research is focused on questions of land justice among Indigenous communities in eastern Nepal and how land relationships have changed through shifts in political and legal structures imposed by the Nepali state. Her research seeks to understand how Indigenous histories and memory of Indigenous land governance systems and legal systems can be constituted as a resource to build equitable land related policies to ensure rights of Indigenous peoples to ownership and control of land.
Roxana Escobar Ñañez, University of Toronto
Roxana is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Roxana’s research seeks to understand the ways in which the music and performance of Afro-Peruvian women in Lima have played a significant part in the city’s cultural identity. Her project aims to historize contemporary Afro-Peruvian women’s performance practices in criollo culture as integral to producing urban domestic and public spaces. In documenting the historical and geographical conditions that undergird the production of criollo identity in Lima, she seeks to contribute with a study that expands the current understanding of the Black geographies of Latin America.
Marcellinus Essah, University of Toronto
Marcellinus is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Marcellinus’ research explores how digital agriculture is contributing to or undermining the viability of small-holding independent food crop producing households in Ghana, including specifically their ability to achieve resilient food systems and food security at the household scale, and to produce sufficient surplus food to contribute to enhanced food security in the country more generally. The goal of the project is to understand how digital technologies are contributing to or undermining resilient food systems and food security among vulnerable smallholder food production households.
Geneviève Fortin, Université de Montréal
Geneviève is a PhD candidate at the Université de Montréal. Passionate about social justice, solidarity, and equity, she favours participatory and critical approaches in her global health projects. Her research focuses on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) from disadvantaged urban areas of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Geneviève seeks to understand how societal structures can influence adolescent agentivity and create vulnerabilities related to ASRHR. In collaboration with adolescents, she aims to identify priorities for structural action to mitigate the burden of these issues.
Kenneth Gyamerah, Queen’s University
Kenneth is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University. His research examines the role of African Indigenous knowledge systems and pedagogies in transforming the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science Education in Ghanaian primary schools. Working with Ghanaian primary school mathematics and science educators, the study would explore how African Indigenous knowledge systems and pedagogies can help reimagine and transform mathematics and science education and make these subjects more inclusive, relatable and accessible to diverse learners.
Prossy Kiddu Namyalo, University of Toronto
Prossy is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Her research applies mixed methods and implementation science approaches to examine how the Free Healthcare Policy contributes to advancing Universal Health Coverage in Uganda. Her research will assess the effectiveness of free healthcare policies and their impact on financial risk protection in low-income countries and an evaluation of how the free health policy has advanced health rights and UHC in Uganda, as well as the facilitators and barriers to implementing the free healthcare policy in Uganda.
Kokui Klutse, University of Toronto
Kokui is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. For her research, Kokui will explore developmentally supportive care practices in preterm infant care in Ghana. The study will investigate the extent of these practices in Ghana’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). As part of the study, Kokui will seek to understand the enablers and barriers to these practices from the perspectives of healthcare workers and family caregivers of preterm infants to improve the care given to these vulnerable infants and enhance their survival.
Emily Kocsis, University of Waterloo
Emily is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo. For her PhD research, Emily plans to explore the socio-ecological resilience of Indigenous small-scale farming households in the Western highlands of Guatemala through an examination of the nexus of agroecology, gender and rural livelihoods. In doing so, Emily hopes to develop a contextualized understanding of agri-food actors and processes, and how these systems interact with, and shape health and development outcomes.
Isaac Lawther, University of Toronto
Isaac is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto. Isaac has been researching Chinese and African affairs since 2015 with a focus on Chinese aid programs that support development in agriculture and infrastructure. Isaac’s research explores the use of digital surveillance tools such as new interception technologies and large state-run camera systems. His research is based in Ghana and Kenya and spotlights the governance structures surrounding the police forces and national security services that are adopting these new surveillance technologies, as well as how to improve democratic, inclusive, and accountable governance in the digital age.
Sonia Michaelsen, Université de Montréal
Sonia is a PhD candidate at the Université de Montréal. Her research interests focus on the intersections between violence, migration status, and refugee policies. Her doctoral research focuses on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) amongst South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. More specifically, she is comparing refugees living in settlements to urban refugees and exploring whether different types of SGBV are more prevalent depending on the environment, and the risk factors for SGBV differ depending on the environment.
Kamaldeen Mohammed, Western University
Kamaldeen is a PhD Student at Western University. For his research, he utilizes remote sensing and participatory GIS techniques to understand how trees and forests can be harnessed for climate-resilient and equitable food systems in smallholder communities in Malawi. His research examines how tree-based food can be scaled up to reshape food systems to support healthy diets for all in rural sub-Saharan Africa amid climate change.
Erynn Monette, Queen’s University
Erynn is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University. Her research examines how culture influences health care needs and service delivery in rural communities. Her research uses ethnographic and community-based participatory methods to identify palliative care needs in a rural community in Belize and the social and cultural resources that could be used to meet them. The results of this research will contribute to strengthening community palliative care services in low-income contexts so that they can withstand the pressures of pandemics and other public health emergencies.
Loyce Mrewa, Western University
Loyce is a PhD candidate at Western University. Her research investigates whether the International Criminal Court (ICC) should consider neotraditional justice mechanisms in its evaluation of positive complementarity when it confronts sexual and gender-based crimes. It uses Liberian Peace Huts as its case study. Complementarity mandates the ICC to defer to local courts when they are able or willing to investigate or prosecute and only takes jurisdiction when local courts cannot. Community-led Peace Huts promote flexible understandings of justice by offering communities various services, including mediation.
Dan Orcherton, Athabasca University
Dan is a PhD student at Athabasca University. His doctoral research focuses on Climate Smart Landscapes (CSL), practical community-based measures that reduce exposure and sensitivity of systems to stressors and strengthen the capacity of communities to adapt. This project will enable Pacific Island communities to have a better understanding of the different options for planning, policies, investments and practices which may be suitable for transforming different agricultural sectors, landscapes and food systems to be more resilient to a changing climate. The desired outcome from this project is to strengthen the adaptive capacity of local communities by co-generating and sharing new knowledge on agroforestry adaptation options; thereby increasing their resilience to a changing climate.
Maame Peterson, University of Manitoba
Maame is a PhD candidate at the University of Manitoba. Her research focuses on Farmer-Herder conflicts in West Africa. The aim of her research is to investigate the association between citizenship rights and Farmer-Herder conflicts University of Manitoba in Ghana, particularly the theoretical and practical implications of this association. Her study will also explore issues of xenophobia, specifically the socioeconomic consequences of being othered. Further, her study will investigate the role and agency of women in peacebuilding in the Farmer-Herder conflicts discourse. This research aims to highlight the potential contributions of grassroots, especially the role of women and youth, to sustainable peace.
Philip Quarshie, University of Guelph
Philip is a PhD candidate at the University of Guelph. His research will investigate how digital agricultural technologies are helping farmers in Ghana and Rwanda adapt to climate and non-climatic stress to promote sustainable food system outcomes. This research will enrich discourses and enhance policy processes for climate change and agricultural productivity in a post-covid-19 era by addressing global food insecurity, rural poverty, and environmental challenges associated with food production. Insight from this research is relevant to defining the future of Africa’s food systems.
José Saldaña Cuba, McGill University
José is a PhD candidate at McGill University. He conducts his research on indigenous legal resistance against extractive activities in the Southern Mining Corridor in Peru. In this participatory research, he analyzes the impacts of mining in environmental and indigenous rights, the capacity of international law to provide solutions to human rights abuses and he evaluates the potential contribution of Peruvian indigenous legal institutions to a further understanding of global environmental justice.
Nokuzola Songo, University of Toronto
Nokuzola is a PhD student at the University of Toronto. Through her doctoral project, Nokuzola explores the use of Feminist Political Geography’s intersection with Transitional Justice to strengthen post-conflict reintegration policies. Her research engages with themes of democracy and inclusive governance by illuminating black women’s experiences of conflict-induced internal displacement. Nokuzola employs inclusive creative methods such as photography and videography to portray the essence of survivor testimonies.
Roda Siad, McGill University
Roda is a PhD candidate at McGill University. Roda’s research interests are in the intersection between technology, forced migration and humanitarianism. Her doctoral study examines the use of blockchain and other emerging technologies in refugee camp service delivery. Her research considers how digital technologies are shaping the everyday governance of refugees in Kenya and Uganda. Informed by perspectives from Science and Technology Studies and Critical Data Studies, this research seeks to understand how public and private actors conceptualize and deploy new technologies and advances the literature on the implications for refugee communities.