This year, the International Development Conference will highlight the theoretical development studies and policy research that play a predominant role in shaping development projects. When concrete, tangible policies and projects are implemented, theory and practice often fail to coincide. Development solutions and initiatives, as well as daily livelihood decisions, executed by an array of actors - from large development players to individual households - affect the lives of citizens and underdeveloped areas throughout the world. As such, critical reflections on ongoing development efforts, common consumption decisions and ingrained aspects of the world economy highlight that, while considerable victories have been attained to achieve a more just, prosperous and equitable world, attempts at reforms and aids are not without their drawbacks. 

The controversy surrounding the involvement of religious aid organizations may politicize and undermine efforts to eliminate poverty and obtain relief. Attempts to regulate small scale gold mining, while environmentally necessary, may fail to address the dilemma of gold demand in shaping the persistence of artisans gold mining. Efforts to democratize and increase the transparency of the international trade regime may succeed in incorporating sustainability as a core principal of global commerce, but tedious institutional reform may not reflect the urgency of climate change. Alongside the IDC 2017’s thematic discussions, which will explore these and more concrete development efforts through a critical lens, the conference will also host a selection of Canadian NGOs, businesses, and student researchers to showcase the diversity and innovation of new ideas and efforts shaping the development sectors today. 




Fanta was born in Guinea but raised a little bit everywhere. Before moving to Canada, she had visited a number of African countries and lived a little bit of a transient childhood living in Guinea, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. As a result, Fanta gained an interest in conflict and development, especially as it relates to the relationship between countries and organizations of the Global North and the Global South. Fanta is a Program Associate in the JHR team. She works collaboratively on the Program in the Democratic Republic of Congo and she helps organize JHR’s Youth Engagement Program. She is a previous JHR intern who is also a graduate of the University of Toronto where she studied Peace, Conflict, & Justice studies, Political Science, and History.