I am a student in University
of Toronto’s Munk School of
Global Affairs pursuing a
Master’s degree specialising in global civil society and international institutions, with a specific emphasis on the role of women in development. I am here in India for my internship with the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA).
As part of my Master’s degree, I was required to complete an international internship. I am very interested in the complexities surrounding sustainable and effective development and I am particularly drawn to the role of women within this process. PRIA’s commitment to solutions rooted in long-term participatory research, as well as its acknowledgement of the importance of integrating gender-based considerations into its projects made this internship an ideal opportunity through which I could get a better understanding of these issues.
My area of research surrounds the issue of female foeticide and specifically tries to assess the effectiveness of government policies in addressing this issue. My research was limited to the Sonepat district in Haryana and within this region, I tried to establish the level of awareness of government policies, how often they were being utilised and what measures could be taken to increase implementation.
To access this information, I interviewed a variety of people ranging from village members, SMS leaders, social activists, elected representatives, reporters, doctors, principals, college students to presidents of NGOs. I also accessed secondary resources regarding female foeticide, both globally and within India, to supplement the information I was gathering through primary research.
I have learnt a lot as an intern at
PRIA that will be relevant to my studies and my career. I think that the experience, as an introduction to issues within the Indian context, is important for a student of global affairs. A comprehension of the nuances of the Indian governance, and the unique benefits and limitations that this system produces, is integral to understand a global system wherein India is an increasingly important and influential actor.
Further, this experience has been invaluable in understanding the importance of approaching development issues with a lot of respect for the unique context within which the issue is occurring.
In practical terms, I believe that the introduction to participatory research I received at PRIA will have a positive effect on my researching abilities and will influence the types of projects I engage in the future.