The Truth Behind Migrant Workers: an Anthropologist’s Perspsective

Ioulia FentonBOOK REVIEW

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Workers in the United StatesUniversity of California Press

This week, INESAD’s Ioulia Fenton published a book review on the popular anthropology blog PopAnth of a gripping new anthropological book entitled Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies:

As I began my journey to becoming an anthropologist, one of the first pieces of wisdom shared with me by a professor was: “Be prepared, because you will spend a lot of time explaining what it is that you do.” And this has generally been the case as most people struggle to visualize the daily life of an anthropologist. While some have a vague idea that anthropology is an academic discipline requiring fieldwork, most fall back on popular stereotypes presented in the media: “So, are you basically like Indiana Jones?” a business student asked me.

While this kind of generalisation may upset some anthropologists, it does reveal a certain basic truth: anthropologists do have a special sense of adventure for venturing into the unknown, facing the feared, and discovering treasures of knowledge to bring to the world.

However, most anthropologists would stop short of putting themselves in mortal danger, except for the hardy few who would halt at nothing to get to their truths. Seth Holmes, Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology and Public Health at University of California Berkeley, is one such Indiana Jones type and his latest book “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States” is a gripping tail of danger, social oppression, struggle, and resistance. Read More »

News: SimPachamama Launch, New Infographic, Media Buzz

SimPachamamaCoverPageSmallSeptember 2013 is official launch month of SimPachamama, the simulation tool that models the behavior of an Amazonian community. In it, the player becomes the mayor of such a town and has to balance policy priorities in order to maximize community wellbeing, while reducing deforestation. The game, and two other didactic scientific tools developed by the team of researchers, called OSIRIS and CISS, predict that a modest deforestation tax of around US$450/ha and a matching system of  payments for deforestation reduction from rich countries to poor ones, could raise US$1 billion every two years and help reduce deforestation by 29% annually, while increasing the income of the participating poor by the same amount. Read the official Press Release HERE.

How to Live Well in Bolivia InfographicTo help make the policy recommendations easier to digest, INESAD has developed an infographic to accompany SimPachamama’s launch. You can download and share How to Live Well in Bolivia graphic HERE or click on the image to right to view.

Throughout September, the SimPachamama team that includes researchers from INESAD, Conservation International Bolivia,  the London School of Economic and Political Sciences (LSE), and others, is publishing numerous articles that explain different aspects of the game and the debates that surround deforestation, climate change, and communities. Here is a sample of what has been published so far:

Communities need more than money to stop clearing their forests, new research shows.

What is Agent Based Modeling?

SimPachamama and the Happy Planet Index

Finally, to mark the launch, INESAD and its partners have had a two-pronged strategy. A Press Conference was held in La Paz, Bolivia on August 19, which attracted 31 media representatives from 20 different organizations. The coverage that followed went far and wide including more than a dozen articles in all the main Bolivian newspapers, such as La Prensa, La Razón, and Noticias Fides. You can download the impact note HERE.

English language media was targeted on SimPachamama’s official launch date: September 01, also generating a buzz. Here are one or two article example:

Americas Quarterly: Can games influence development policy?

Mogabay News: $450/ha tax on deforestation could help curb forest loss in Bolivia, suggests new simulation Read More »

Last Call for Papers for Development Economics Conference

BCDE 2013There is less than a week to go until the submission deadline for papers for the Fifth Bolivian Conference on Development Economics (BCDE) conference to be held on November 14 and 15, 2013 in Santa Cruz. A travel stipend of 700 USD will be offered to some of the successful applicants. Interested parties are encouraged to send their articles by no later than August 19, 2013.

For full details, please see the original call for papers here: Read More »

INESAD on the Radio: Real Food Empire

Real food empireToday, Real Food Empire—a radio podcast on environmentally and socially sustainable farming and eating—featured an interview with INESAD’s Ioulia Fenton.

The program discusses the institute’s work on climate change and human wellbeing, reviews Ioulia’s own research interests in food and agriculture, and highlights what Bolivia has to offer to those seeking inspiration for sustainable living. It touches on two specific articles: one on the merits of agroecological farming versus industrial agriculture and another on the need for smart agricultural planning in the Andes in response to and preparation for changes in climate.

With viewers all around the world, the program’s maker Stephanie Georgieff—who is involved with Slow Food U.S.A—shares her enthusiasm for INESAD and its work. In the program, she particularly praises INESAD’s Development Roast as a ‘living library’ of accessible articles related to sustainability and development. And expresses her hope that U.S.-based policy makers would make use of initiatives such as INESAD’s SimPachamama climate change policy game—which will be officially launched in September 2013—that teaches the player the effects of different policies on an Amazonian town.

You can listen to the entire podcast for free here: Read More »

INESAD News: The Potential of Bamboo for Carbon Sequestration in Bolivia

INESAD NewsA newly-released INESAD Working Paper reveals how bamboo forests in Bolivia have a significant role to play in the global fight against climate change. The multi-author paper, entitled “A Measurement of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Guadua Angustifolia in the Carrasco National Park“, is based on a study of an unmanaged and previously unstudied bamboo forest. INESAD researchers found that this forest has the ability to store around 100 tons of carbon per hectare, in the stems, branches, and leaves of the bamboo, which is more than some species of tree such as Chinese Fir.

The carbon stored in a forest comes from the carbon dioxide (CO2) that it absorbs. CO2 is a harmful greenhouse gas produced by the burning of fossil fuels, which accumulates in the atmosphere and traps heat. This artificial change in the composition of the atmosphere is what causes climate change. Hence forests play a vital role in mitigating climate change, because they absorb CO2 which would otherwise end up in the atmosphere.  See Exactly How Do Trees Fight Climate Change? for more details about this process. Read More »

INESAD News: Welcome Angelina Gherardelli

Angelina Gherardelli

As part of its continuous growth, INESAD and Development Roast are bringing on board a host of new interns. Join us in welcoming one of our newest additions, Angelina Gherardelli:

Since her teenage years Angelina has actively participated in programs such as Un Techo para Chile, a youth-led non-profit organization that works with poor families of Chile’s slums to build communities and secure dignified places to live. Angelina was able to witness first-hand the humble conditions that thousands live in. This work, and her travel experience, led her to observe the persistent and growing socio-economic inequalities in her home country and abroad, motivating her to study development.

In December 2012, Angelina completed her Master’s in Development Studies, specializing in Environment and Sustainable Development, at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), in The Hague, The Netherlands, which allowed her to connect her love for nature with her concerns for social justice. Studying at the ISS gave her the opportunity to be immersed in a multicultural environment and to gain an analytical view of the most pressing environmental issues and their intimate connection to social grievances and struggles. Read More »

INESAD News: Welcome George Marshall

George MarshallAs part of its continuous growth, INESAD and Development Roast are bringing on board a host of new interns. Join us in welcoming one of our newest additions, George Marshall:

Bertand Russell once wrote: “The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible and let your reactions to the things and persons who interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.” George Marshall has aspired to realize this as an educator in East Asia for the past seven years, first teaching English in South Korean universities and more recently teaching advanced placement economics to gifted Chinese high school students. He completed his MSc in Finance (Economic Policy) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and his BA in Economics at McGill University in Canada.

He has recently been studying the connections between subjective well-being and objective welfare measures, improving efficiency in fair trade markets and the role of education—especially standardized education—in the development process. Outside of formal education, he enjoys traveling to new places by bicycle, playing classical guitar, and learning languages. Read More »

INESAD News: Welcome Adanna Chukwuma

As part of continuous growth, INESAD and Development Roast are bringing on board a host of new interns. Join us in welcoming our newest addition,  Adanna Chukwuma:

Adanna ChukwumaAdanna Chukwuma joins the INESAD team from a year long health policy fellowship with Global Health Corps.  During her fellowship, she was placed within the City of Newark where she assisted senior staff members in the Mayor’s Office and Department of Child and Family Well-Being in analyzing health-related policy options and developing strategies for reducing health disparities. She was also involved in advocacy for global health equity through various platforms such as the Social Innovation Summit 2012 where she was a featured speaker.

Prior to this, Adanna had practiced as a medical doctor in Nigeria for several years. She spent one of those years as a member of the National Youth Service Corps providing medical services and leading health promotion campaigns in rural North-eastern Nigeria. Her services were recognized with distinguished community service awards from the State Governor and the President of Nigeria. Her experience on the field, caring for women and children whose ill-health was shaped by factors such as poverty and gender dynamics prompted an interest in the wider determinants of health and well-being. Read More »

INESAD News: INESAD Marks its 7th Anniversary With a Bang

Version en EspanolLéelo en español aquí 

Happy 7th Anniversary INESADJuly is a month of celebration at INESAD. It has been seven years since the institute began its life and it has come incredibly far. It has earned a sterling reputation for rigorous research and policy impact, a fact that was reflected in the 2012 international think tank survey of more 6,500 institutions by the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). UPenn’s Think Tanks and Civil Society Program (TTCSP) named INESAD the best think tank in Bolivia and placed it in the top percentile of think tanks in the World that focus on environmental issues.

The energy and commitment to their work make INESAD staff stand out. It was their ability to achieve a lot with very little that made INESAD a prime candidate for the International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC) Think Tank Initiative (TTI) that first provided a significant grant for INESAD’s institutional development in 2010.

Since the TTI boost, INESAD has grown from a handful of employees to a lively and bright office of more than 20 people. And, through internships and visiting research posts, it has provided dozens of young researchers with the opportunity to get involved with hands on, important work in areas of climate change and economic development, both on the ground and remotely. Read More »

INESAD News: Welcome Jillian Cordes

Jillian CordesAs part of continuing growth, INESAD and Development Roast are bringing on board a host of new interns. Join us in welcoming our newest addition: Jillian Cordes.

Jillian going into her last year of undergraduate studies at Northwestern University in Illinois, United States. She is studying Economics and Global Health and enjoys the different perspectives the two fields bring. Jillian has done a lot of international travel but it was her trip to Haiti a few years ago that really sparked her interest in international development and health inequalities.

She spent the past summer studying in Santiago, Chile taking classes at the local university and working with a grassroots health organization that focused on promoting community empowerment and raising awareness of health risks. Jillian is excited to be working with INESAD and to read and write about the various issues faced in Latin America. She hopes it will help her to better understand the complexity of the development issues faced in the region. Whenever Jillian gets some free time, it is typically spent either swimming or sailing.  Read More »

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