The Underblog

Our World This Week

Stuff you should know about.

Stories From The Field

IDS students get around.

IDS Program of the Month


Alumni of the Month

Undercurrent staff? Super keeners.

Too Inexperienced To Know What You’re Good At

International development graduates occupy a purgatory in the development field: thoroughly trained to identify ethical problems, they can have a hard time producing imperfect solutions; thinkers on a systemic, global scale, they are best suited for the executive level but have little of the corresponding experience or skills to get there; possessing a broad social […]
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Story from the field: “The Words of a Twelve Year Old Girl That Forced Me To Question My Role in Development”

The Words of a Twelve Year Old Girl That Forced Me To Question My Role in Development By: Chelsey Acierno In January of 2013, I participated in an exchange through SFU to the University of Cape Town in South Africa in which I was fortunate enough to secure an internship with a grassroots HIV/AIDs organization. Having […]
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Story from the field: “Lessons Learned”

Non-Governmental Actors in Ibarra, Ecuador: “Lessons Learned”  By: Melissa L. Ball When I initially arrived to the city of my assigned research placement with a small migration office, named “the Pastoral Migratoria”, I wasn’t sure of what to expect. Standing in the middle of a crowded bus station in downtown Ibarra – with its boisterous […]
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Story from the field: Impoverished Yes; Impotent No!

Impoverished Yes; Impotent No! By: Ellen Sparling I met Geza, a United Nations Peace Ambassador from Ethiopia in 2011. Naturally, though dealing with a language barrier, we hit it off over our passion for travel, culture, and social justice. Over time, we decided it was time to humbly approach the vast issue of water inequality […]
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Mentors Spring 2014

Mekala W. Education, Community Building Zack G. Public Engagement on Global Issues, Project Development and Delivery, Voluntourism, Culture & Social Change Beth T. Agricultural research for development, gender research, small-scale fisheries, food security, regional focus on East Africa (Uganda) Ellen Morgan health, humanitarian work, natural resources policy Lesley G. gender, public health, sexual and reproductive […]
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Story from the field: “The Remand Home”

The Remand Home By: Alecia Greenwood Uganda, to me, is a country full of contradictions. I met people that were loving and peaceful, yet I knew many of them had been delivered from a time of violence and hatred. They were denied the liberties that they deserved, and yet they rose above the suffering. In travelling […]
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Bridging the Gap

When I joined The Undercurrent as a volunteer last Fall, it was just a journal.¹ It represented an opportunity for me to volunteer just a few hours a week on something related to my studies. Now, as we reach The Undercurrent’s tenth anniversary, the journal is so much more than a journal—it’s a bridge between Canadian […]
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Story from the field: “Someone Else’s Mile”

Someone Else’s Mile By: Amanda Brissenden​ While working for Engineers Without Borders Canada in Kisumu, Kenya, I found myself traveling to visit a variety of water systems in the surrounding regions. This often meant jumping on a matatu, the local public transport, and arriving in a new town to search for people to talk to […]
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Story from the field: “The Americans Are Coming”

The Americans Are Coming By: Claire Sieffert In the second week that I worked at a Ugandan clinic for HIV/AIDS patients, the organization was due for a check-up. The donors had decided it was time for the clinic’s regular inspection to guarantee the good that they were purchasing was acceptable. Pre-visit, our colleagues’ mantra was “the […]
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