For two-time Research Award recipient (2012 and 2014) Ahmed Rashid, his IDRC experience “gave me the confidence to conduct high quality research in social sciences.”
In 2012 Rashid explored the influence of think tanks on policy in Bangladesh, as well as their relationships with international donors and media. In 2014, he explored two-way student exchanges between Canadian and developing-country universities.
“My most memorable experience both times was going to the field,” he says. “As the awardee for the Think Tank Initiative, I traveled to Bangladesh and interviewed representatives from non-governmental organizations, think tanks, donors, and media. For the research on study-abroad programs, I talked to administrators, professors, and students in universities across Canada.”
Rashid found that flexible study-exchange programs with a longer history and clear expectations were the most successful. The opportunity for students to gain “experiences outside the classroom and to undertake collaborative activities with Southern counterparts” was critical and “helped deepen their understanding of issues,” he says. “These programs should be increased.”
Now a development analyst, Rashid considers that “working within the IDRC teams strengthened my program support and management competencies and prepared me for new and more challenging tasks and responsibilities.”