Annual Research Symposium

Annual Tobias Center Research Symposium

Join us to celebrate research, internships, and professional development supported by the Tobias Center over the past year.

The Randall L and Deborah F Tobias Center for Innovation in International Development Annual Research Symposium showcases the research and work of faculty and students across campus. This event is designed to facilitate community among IU scholars and practitioners interested in the study of international development.

Participate in research panels, the Global Development Consulting Student Showcase, and an internship roundtable.

Friday, December 8, 2023

9:00 am-3:30 pm

GA 1060

RSVP here

Carol Lin: Doing Field Work in China

Beatriz Lima Ribeiro: Ethnography of Intergovernmental Meetings: The Approval of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework during COP15

Jordan Blekking: Using SMS nudges to improve smallholder soil health salience and NGO programming in Western Kenya

Stephen Macekura: The Consultant Complex: Private Power and U.S. Foreign Aid

Kenneth Richards and Jonathan Kim: Political Constraints on Environmental Policy Instrument Choice and Design: Theory and Applications

Nikolina Zenovic: e-Mobility In Progress: Perspectives on the Smart and Sustainable Island Initiative in Astypalaia, Greece

Clémence Pinaud:

Andrés Leon: The Landscapes of Pacification: The History of the Regional Center of Military Training in Honduras and the Forever War

Come to this lunch event to learn how to find a summer internship in development, what these internships are like, and how to get them funded!

Come hear from undergraduate and graduate students about their experiences interning in international development. Speakers and internships include:

  • Syuzanna Martirosyan, United Nations, Ending Violence Against Women section
  • Tim McGowan, Human Development Forum Foundation, Thailand
  • Grace Gott, Asia Centre in Thailand
  • Grace Sarrazin, Planète Enfants et Devélopement, France
  • Annabel Prokopy, The Hijabi Mentorship Program, Kenya
  • Leah Heneveld, Escuela Amor de Dios, Chile

Learn how they found these internships and what their experiences interning in development were like. Also learn more about the Tobias Center Summer Internship program and how you can fund your summer internship experience!

Mike Dwyer: Grid Geopolitics: Land-based Climate Finance beyond REDD+

Stephanie Kane: A Freshwater Approach to Climate Resilience and Development in Great Lake Erie: Presque Isle and the City of Erie, PA

Nishant Buragohain: Why Does Development Programming Ignore Disaster Risk Reduction?

Come learn about the work of Global Development Consulting this semester. The consultants will present on the following projects:
  • Green Guardians: Curricular Materials about Waste Management for Children in India, in partnership with the NEPRA Foundation
    • Project Manager: Annabel Prokopy
    • Team Members: Cassandra Chor, Daniel Farrell, Miyako Semba-Norwalk, Mahi Patel, Cooper Kleinmaier, Cas Phillips
  • Development Aid for Water, Hygiene and Sanitation in Middle-Income Countries, in partnership with Cantaro Azul
    • Project Manager: Morgan Short
    • Team Members: Anna Pies, Emma Dabelko, Malena Fisk, Cameron Lowery, Carson Tipton, Isabel Hastings
  • Gaining Independence on a National Stage: Guidance for the Autonomous Bougainville Government, in partnership with Diplomacy Lab
    • Project Manager: Mohamed Izadine
    • Team Members: Gillian Zeuli, Skyla Hernandez, Sam Syroney, Micaela Fenn, Sam Kirley
  • Learning for Development: Building a MEL Framework, in partnership with the Tobias Center
    • Project Manager: Peter Wang
    • Team Members: Syuzanna Martirosyan, Braden Holt, Sui Par, Silvia Josefina Lombardo



Breakfast, lunch and afternoon coffee will be provided. RSVP here

Questions? Contact Dr Stephen Macekura,

Previous Symposia

10 – 11:15 am  Panel 1: International Development and Civil Society

Decolonial Museum Math: How American Museum Narratives Form Views of the ‘Other’ - Katie Streckert

Envisioning Alternative National Futures: The Communicative Capacities of Protests Against Politico-Environmental Extraction in Serbia - Nikolina Zenovic

Teacher Wellbeing in Myanmar - Elisheva L. Cohen, Rachel Gorman, and Moe Moe Tun

How Cultural Programs Reflect A Broader Border Conflict Between The EU and Russia - Andrew Carringer

11:15 – 12 pmPanel 2: International Development and the Environment

Policy Instruments for a Low-Carbon Energy Transition - Kenneth Richards and Zhongmin Evy Luo

Coding Climate Science interviews with Nvivo - Thomas Day and Sarah Meadows

12 – 1   Lunch and internship roundtable with students

Speakers: Benjamin Blyth, Thomas Day, and Emma Dabelko.

1 – 2 pm           Panel 3: International Economic Development in Asia

Empires of Cotton: Tracking the Developmental Impact of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor - Benjamin Blythe and Hamid Ekbia

Commercialization in Laos’ Electricity industry from 1975-2015 - Tim Clark

Responding to the global land rush? A comparative analysis of land titling in Southeast Asia - Olivia Campbell

2 – 3 pm           Panel 4: International Development, Health, and Governance

Changes in Socioeconomic Status Trajectories Before and After HIV Diagnosis: A longitudinal analysis during ART expansion in South Africa - Janet Jock, Erika Beidelman and Meredith Phillips

The Impact of Retirement on Alcohol Consumption for Men in Rural Africa - Janet Jock, Erika Beidelman and Meredith Phillips

What Explains the Personal Connections Linking Politicians and Business? - Rashid Marcano Rivera 

3 – 4     Panel 5: Global Consultants Student Showcase

10 – 11:00 am  Panel 1: Health, Bodies, and Behavior

Johabed G Olvera Esquivel, Improving Maternal Health through Prenatal Care Home Visits: Evidence from Mexico City

Yingjian Liang, Living Development on the Ground: Rural Youth's Aspirations and Experiences during School-to-Work Transitions in China

Oscar Lemus, Invisible Infrastructures: The Everyday Woman Entrepreneur in Post-War Guatemala

11:05 – 12:30 pm: Technology, Interventions, and Activism

Allison Schnable, NGO Knowledge Collective

Jennifer Goodlander, Islam, Art, and the Streets: Creating Communities in Yogyakarta

Lydia Lahey, Habitual Homes: Home-Making and the Humanitarian Paradox of Humanitarian Development

Tori Collins, Women and Water in Mexico City: How Men and Women Politicians Confront Water Crises

12:30– 1:15: Lunch 

1:15 – 2:30 pm: Food, Environment, and Insecurity

Jordan Blekking, Urbanization, Underemployment and Food Security in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa

Kathryn Lehmann, The Forest is Awakening: Labor, Violence, and Environmental Change in the Bolivian-Brazilian Amazon, 1945-2008

Godreyb Ssekajja, The Impact of Migration on Common Property Institutions: A Field Survey Analysis of Lake Victoria

Renzo de la Riva Aguero, Opening the Black Box: Explaining the Effects and Mechanisms of Municipal Performance in Climate Change