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PhD students of the ICDD hold annual meeting in Kenya

Over 30 students from 16 countries meet at Egerton University (Njoro Campus, Kenya) from 18-24 March 2012 for a workshop on food security and other development issues.
They are PhD candidates of the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD), a global think tank network which contributes to the fight against global hunger and poverty through research and education. Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the network involves Egerton University as well as universities in India, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Germany.

“This workshop is special”, says Luciana Hachmann from Brazil, PhD representative and doctoral candidate at Kassel University (Germany): “Our PhD group meets once or twice per year with ICDD faculty members at one of our partner universities. We usually discuss theories and methods relevant to our doctoral research. But this time we will try applying those to concrete problems like the recent food crisis in East Africa or decent work issues in the Kenyan context.” To provide first hand insights on the latter issue, Egerton University invited representatives from the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) and the Ministry of Labour to an open panel discussion on the current state of the decent work agenda in Kenya. It will take place in the afternoon of 20 March.
Moreover, the hosts of this year’s ICDD PhD workshop are organising a one-day excursion to several farms. “We think it is important that our doctoral candidates also get a feeling for the work and life of people in the agricultural sector, which in many countries is key to economic and social development,” says Dr. Joseph Matofari, Senior Lecturer in the Food Science Department of Egerton University and member of the local ICDD faculty: “Such excursions always spark very stimulating discussions among our students on what concepts like ‘decent work’ can actually mean in practice.”

The workshop also brings together junior and senior researchers with civil society partners involved in the ICDD network. For instance, Christoph Hansert, head of the DAAD’s regional office for Africa, will join the workshop this year. Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherrer, ICDD Executive Director, says: “The ICDD was founded in 2010. Our network of partner universities was able to initiate manifold research and education activities around the world since then. We are pleased that we can already celebrate our first completed doctoral thesis at this year’s PhD workshop. We are very much excited about the opportunity to meet faculty and students at Egerton University.”

Mrs. Birgit Felmeden
ICDD Executive Manager
tel.: +49 (0)561 804 7391

Mr. Christian Möllmann
ICDD Graduate School Coordinator
tel.: +49 (0)561 804 7391

Christine Mandel | idw
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