Jessica Agnew, PhD, MSc, MPH Assistant Director of Research, Operations, & Program Management Center for International Research, Education and Development
Ralph P. Hall, PhD, S.M., S.M., MEng Undergraduate Programs Director and Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) Associate Director, School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) Virginia Tech
Blockchain technology is heralded for its ability to improve traceability, trust, and trust in agri-food value chains. For the optimist and the skeptic of blockchain, we explore the complexities of using this emerging technology to strengthen agri-food value chains to create social and nutritional impacts. This 1-hour talk will explore results and lessons from the field in Western Kenya as to how blockchain might be used as a tool to improve food and nutrition security, women’s leadership, and youth engagement within the value chains for African indigenous vegetables (AIVs).
Please find below a recording of our international USAID LASER PULSE webinar entitled To Block or Not? Exploring the Use of Blockchain in Last Mile Agriculture Communities.
WebinarDescription – Blockchain technology is heralded for its ability to improve traceability, trust, and trust in agri-food value chains. What is lesser known is whether it is a viable technology for those value chains that originate in last-mile agriculture communities. This webinar explores the contexts in which blockchain offers real solutions to strengthening value chains and its potential for creating social impact, like improved food security or engaging youth in agriculture, and where it does not. For the optimist and the skeptic, this two-hour webinar aims to discard the trendiness of the emerging technology and take a pragmatic view of the opportunities to use blockchain to strengthen last-mile agriculture.
This unique program will provide students with a transdisciplinary perspective on sustainable development and is intended for rising seniors and graduate students interested in planning, policy, economics, business, innovation, environmental studies, and law. The program will explore the many dimensions of sustainability and how national, multinational, and international political and legal mechanisms can be used to further a transition towards sustainable development.
The program has three unique learning environments.
The first section of the program will consist of a summer school based at the University of Pisa, Italy, which will run in parallel with two other summer schools led by the Center for Politics, Ontologies, and Ecologies (POE) and the European Society for Ecological Economics. Given the proximity of the summer schools, joint sessions will be held where the faculty engaged with each program will share their research with students from the other programs. These sessions will enrich the content of each program and provide an opportunity for intercultural exchange between students (and faculty).
During the third and final section of the program, students will travel to the Apuan Alps (close to Pisa in Italy), where they will share what they learned from the summer school and ESEE conference and discuss/debate future economic/societal transformation strategies. This final reflection will take place in the mountains, where group discussions will be held outside (weather permitting), and students will have the opportunity to hike in the Italian Alps.
Webinar: October 26, 2021, 8am-10am (EDT). Register (for free) here.
Traceability. Transparency. Trust.
Food systems built on these principles generally are known to attract higher price premiums by increasing consumer confidence and value for the products. This creates income earning opportunities for producers and upgrades the quality of agri-food value chains. Blockchain technology is heralded for its ability to improve traceability, trust, and trust in agri-food value chains. What is lesser known is whether it is a viable technology for those value chains that originate in last-mile agricultural communities.
This webinar explores the contexts in which blockchain offers real solutions to strengthening value chains and its potential for creating social impact, like improved food security or engaging youth in agriculture. For the optimist and the skeptic, this two-hour webinar aims to discard the trendiness of the emerging technology and take a pragmatic view of the opportunities to use blockchain to strengthen last-mile agriculture.
An Interactive Performance-Lecture Exploring Community Wealth Building
For many, our current economic models no longer ensure our basic human needs are met. However, other worlds are possible, but we can’t create those worlds without you. Join performance artist Steven T. Licardi and I as we imagine, explore, and develop alternative economic models in the form of Community Wealth-Building. This performance-lecture will incorporate games, theatre pieces, and visual art making that will help us to feel our way into these new worlds. Come and be a part of the future!
The fourth paper from Dr. Raj GC’s dissertation was recently published in Water International. This paper explores a myriad of ways in which a multiple-use water services (MUS) approach to rural water provision could be incorporated into Nepal’s planning and governance systems. The first 50 downloads of the paper are fee (via this link).
The development of multiple-use water systems (MUS) in Nepal has mostly relied on international/non-governmental organizations. Despite the growing interest in MUS within the country, the approach has not yet received space in government policy and programmes, limiting its wider implementation. We seek to understand both the challenges to, and strategies for, scaling-up MUS, especially with regard to how MUS could be incorporated into Nepali institutional and policy processes arising from the adoption of a three-tier (federal, state and local) federal governance system. Our recommendations are informed by a study of MUS in the middle hills of Nepal.
The three other papers from Dr. GC’s dissertation research can be accessed below:
The construction of the new library at Mzuzu University is underway. The images below were shared by Felix Majawa (Mzuzu University’s Chief Liberian). We will share more updates as the construction progress continues.
The paper focuses on how the concept of capacity development was applied to one of India’s largest urban infrastructure programs – the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). While the Indian government considered a lack of capacity to be the main problem in project delivery, there is little evidence that explains the relationships between capacity and project delivery. This case study presents the findings from 58 interviews with project engineers, managers, and administrators about the hurdles they experienced at each stage of project delivery and seeks to understand these hurdles through the lens of capacity development. The study identifies the influence of capacity factors on project delivery and the converse influence of project performance and outcomes on capacity development. Ultimately, this study reveals the complex two-way interactions between capacity and project delivery.