Development in Motion

On the Future of Development

As a field built upon reform, development has taken many forms and approaches since its post-World-War II origins. Increasing awareness of the shortcomings within development have helped it to evolve from the unidimensional, largely economic framework it was born out of in the Global North. And yet development continues to change- both in discourse, as neglected voices work to themselves known, and in practice, as the workforce and its demand changes. The ever-changing nature of the field warrants a myriad of questions surrounding those with their eyes set on the development workforce: What does the development field, in its call for increased focus on grassroots efforts and “bottom-up” approaches now demand from young hopefuls, especially those from the Global North? What roles do major factors within the development sector, like multilateral organizations, technology, and activism play in shaping job creation and overall attitudes towards development careers? How can values of inclusion and equality, as well as progressive shifts in power relations, which have long been called for in development, become integrated in ongoing development efforts and what changes will this bring for the development sector? With a mix of practitioners and academics, this panel will address the current demands and changes within the development field and what the next generation of development workers/theorists will have to consider in this highly complex, multidisciplinary, and dynamic field.


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Isabelle Kim, University of Toronto

Isabelle is a proud alumna of the IDS Coop programme (2000), and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) where she did her MA (2003) and PhD (2007) and has been teaching graduate-level courses in cooperative learning and research methods since 2009. She has 21 years of work experience in the fields of community development, health, education, the arts, and research in Toronto, Peru and China. Isabelle's most recent experiences in the field of international development were at Development and Peace and Presbyterian World Service in Development (PWS&D) where she worked on public engagement and advocacy in Canada; girls' education and women's health and food security programmes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Isabelle currently works as Director of the Centre for Community Partnerships ( at the University of Toronto. She lives in the Beach with her husband and three children.


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Niloufar Pourzand, York University

Pourzand has a PhD in Sociology, Gender & Ethnic Studies from the U. of Greenwich in the UK.  She has worked for 34 years with the UN & UNICEF in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Eastern Caribbean, Indonesia and India, before returning to Canada in August 2016.  For UNICEF, she has worked in various capacities including as Gender & Education Officer (Iran), Child Protection Chief (Afghanistan), Social Policy Chief (Indonesia), Deputy Representative (Tajikistan and Eastern Caribbean)  and Chief of the Field Office of Uttar Pradesh, India.  Uttar Pradesh is India’s largest State with a population of 210 million. Since her return to Canada, Dr. Pourzand has been the first Professor of Practice at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York U and will now be teaching a Masters Seminar in Development Studies at York U.  In addition, she has been undertaking consultancies with UNICEF in its Middle East and North Africa region in 2017 - in Tunisia and in Jordan - on Child Protection and Child Marriage and is also engaged with a number of other activities with a focus on social development, gender equality and refugee rights. Dr. Pourzand is originally from Iran, is married and has two adult daughters, and now lives in Toronto.

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Hilary Clauson, Aga Khan Foundation Canada

Hilary Clauson's introduction to international development took place in a primary school classroom in Kenya, and her development career began with an Aga Khan Foundation Canada Fellowship to Bangladesh, supporting preschool education in some of Bangladesh’s most disadvantaged communities. She then joined AKFC in Ottawa as Program Officer responsible for education and civil society projects. She has also worked for the Government of Canada's Canadian International Development Agency and International Development Research Centre. She is currently Program Manager responsible for sexual and reproductive health and rights projects in West Africa with Plan International Canada. Hilary’s university days saw her attend five universities on three continents in two languages, including earning a Master’s degree in African Studies from Oxford University.