January 2017 - Letter to CASID Members

CASID begins 2017 with some excellent news. A few days before Christmas, IDRC gave its final approval to a proposal that we have been developing with the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) over the past 18 months. The three-year project aims to build greater synergies between Canada’s international development studies and practitioner communities through a variety of joint workshops, research efforts, secondments and a major annual conference. An experienced program officer, Andreanne Martel, has been engaged to manage the project and there will be a more formal introduction to her and the project in the days ahead.

The project will also allow CASID to continue its support to the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. The Journal has had an excellent year, with significant increases in full-text downloads and a rise in its five-year Impact Factor. An analysis of development studies journals published in the summer showed that the CJDS had the highest share of contributors from the global South and the highest share of female members of its Editorial Board of any development studies journal. The Journal already looks like having a stellar 2017.

The past year required some serious belt-tightening, but we were able to hold an excellent and well-attended Annual Conference during Congress in Calgary. We were also able to subsidize the travel of more than a dozen students, and we introduced a second annual essay prize, open to students from universities that are institutional members of CASID. was a new venture for CASID in 2016, and I’m pleased to say that already in 2017, in addition to renewals from last year, we have signed up five new members: the Ottawa-based NGO CODE, Royal Roads University, Menno Simons College, Capilano University and Trent. And we are currently in discussion with several others. If your institution is not a member and you think there might be interest, let me know.

Our past President, Rebecca Tiessen, took on the daunting task of organizing the 2017 Conference, and she has already nailed down panels, speakers, room allocations and directions to the nearest Tim Horton’s. A prominent theme will be “Next Generation Scholar/Practitioner Collaboration for International Development”, in line with our new project with CCIC. Our dates at Ryerson are May 31 to June 2, so please mark these in your calendar and plan on joining us for a great conference.

Ian Smillie
President, CASID