Interdisciplinary Development Research and Action Center

    The Individual or the Collective? Querying Assumptions About the Literacy Gap

    Haris Gazdar works on social policy and political economy issues. He has taught as well as conducted academic research in the UK, India, and Pakistan. Besides his academic and consultancy assignments, he has worked on an honorary basis as adviser to research programmes, government and non-governmental organizations, and political parties

    18/09/2014 - 5:00 pm-6:30 pm

    Megaprojects and Social Justice: The Contest over Place-making and Identity in Gwadar, Balochistan

    Hafeez Jamali holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin and is currently serving as the Director of Balochistan Archives at Quetta.

    16/10/2014 - 5:00 pm-5:30 pm

    Zambeel Dramatic Reading of ‘Samundar ki Chori’ (a short story by Asif Farrukhi)

    Asif Aslam Farrukhi is a writer and translator and has edited and compiled many anthologies of Pakistani writers. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Habib University.

    13/11/2014 - 5:00 pm-6:30 pm

    Changing Demographics & Their Planning-Related Repercussions

    Arif Hasan is an architect and planner, teacher, social researcher, and author of several books, including the much acclaimed "Understanding Karachi". He studied architecture at the Oxford Polytechnic, England from 1960 to 1965, and on his return to Karachi in 1968

    27/11/2014 - 5:00 pm-6:30 pm

    The Digital Divan: Computational Approaches to Urdu Poetry

    A. Sean Pue is a literary historian, translator, and digital humanist. He holds a Ph.D. in Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University. He is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University where he teaches classes in South Asian language and literature, global studies, and digital humanities.

    11/02/2015 - 5:30 pm-7:00 pm

    Pakistan’s Power Crisis: From Beginning to End

    The talk will cover Pakistan's energy crisis from its inception to the present. It will examine key changes in the policy environment that began in the late 1980s and how these shaped the course that Pakistan's power sector took over the next quarter century.

    05/03/2015 - 5:30 pm-7:30 pm

    Panel Discussion Possibilities and Struggles: Labour Rights and the Informal Sector

    Karamat Ali is a founder member and currently Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER). He is a veteran trade unionist who played an important role in the labour movement of the 1970s and since then has been committed to labour rights, education and capacity building of workers and regional peace advocacy and research.

    02/04/2015 - 5:30 pm-7:00 pm

    Washington vs. DC: The Impact of Limited Self-Government in the Capital of the (Self-Proclaimed) World’s Greatest Democracy

    Sapna Pandya, MPH is the Executive Director of Many Languages One Voice ( or “M-Love”, a Washington DC-based non-profit organization which builds the leadership and greater civic participation of the District’s low-income immigrants in solutions that impact their lives

    07/05/2015 - 5:30 pm-7:00 pm

    YCSD Teach-in “The Open Secret: Child Sexual Abuse in Pakistan.”

    This panel will discuss the problems of child sexual abuse in Pakistani society. Eminent academics, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and human rights advocates will offer insights into the prevalence of this issue, its causes, consequences, and possible avenues of intervention. Key stakeholders will share their expertise in the hope of raising awareness and promoting necessary policy response and program development.

    12/09/2015 - 2:00 pm-4:30 pm

    The Challenge of Rural Poverty in South Asia

    Despite the momentous demographic shift from rural to urban areas taking place across the global South, the incidence of extreme poverty remains a predominantly rural problem with 70% of the world’s poor living in rural areas. South Asia has the largest number of rural poor in the world with approximately 80% of the poor households belonging to rural areas, majority of them comprising women and children.

    15/10/2015 - 5:30 pm-7:00 pm

    Nepal’s Search for Constitutional Stability

    A federal, democratic, republican constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of Nepal on 20 September 2015, following seven years of effort including two elections. It is a ‘rights based’ constitution of the post-modern era, written by politicians rather than jurists and constitutionalists.

    05/11/2015 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

    The Future of Iraq

    In “The Future of Iraq”, Dr. Hassan Abbas will deliberate on the genesis and context of increasing instability in Iraq. Dr. Abbas will examine the geopolitical roots of the crisis to understand the parameters of expanding chaos in the Middle East as well as Saddam Hussein’s legacy and its ongoing impact on society. The prevailing ethnic and sectarian dynamics in Iraq have created a dysfunction. However, certain features of the new Iraq, such as the freedom to observe religious commemorations in Karbala, point towards how a successful Iraq can help defeat sectarianism and extremism.

    24/11/2015 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

    Environmental Fallout: Nuclear Power Plants in Pakistan

    Pakistan’s energy crisis is the most serious challenge that the country of over 180 million people is facing. The prolonged electricity outages experienced in the last ten years have negatively impacted the economy while resulting in popular outbursts against the ruling regimes.

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    12/12/2015 - 2:00 pm-4:30 pm

    Globally Responsible? The Ethics of Engaging with People at a Distance

    How might we engage with places that are at a distance from us? By distance I not only mean places that might be located far away or are inaccessible, but I am also thinking of places that through their material conditions repel us in some way, or from which we are repelled. Whilst in the past, such places would remain out-of-sight and out of our consciousness, increasingly they reveal themselves to us. Often this occurs through the use of digital technologies, from the impulse to map and create a digital globe of the whole world to the various social media platforms that transmit images and videos.

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    17/02/2016 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

    Death by Design: Malnutrition and Health Crisis in Tharparkar, Sindh

    A collective prayer was recently organized at the temple in Mithi to mark the death of more than 200 newborns and infants in Tharparkar district. Such deaths make “breaking news” on many channels but the media persons rarely go behind the headlines to inform us about the causes of this man-made crisis.

    09/04/2016 - 2:00 pm-4:00 pm

    The Politics of “Development” in Pakistan: An Anti-Politics Machine?

    Villages in Pakistan are sites where “development” policies and practices are employed to “develop” villages and villagers

    21/04/2016 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

    Sovereignty and Sainthood: The Politics of Saint Shrines in the Mughal, Safavid, and Ottoman Empires

    The political culture of the Mughal, Safavid, and Ottoman empires cannot be understood without taking into account the significance of saint shrines.

    11/08/2016 - 4:00 pm-5:30 pm

    Does Climate Change Worsen Hunger? – The Emerging Relationship between Global Food Security and Climate Change

    The relationship between climate change and food systems is a complex interaction. While climate change has a negative impact on agriculture, the modalities of modern agriculture contribute to climate change by accelerating Green House Gas (GHG) emissions

    26/08/2016 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

    CMD & IDRAC present ‘Alef is for Allah: Children, Cuteness, and Society in Pakistan, Iran and Turkey’ – A Talk by Professor Jamal J. Elias

    Childhood innocence and cuteness are cornerstones of societal constructions in many parts of the world. But beneath the brittle veneer of idealized childhood lies a range of problematic assumptions and constructions.

    05/09/2016 - 6:00 pm-7:00 pm

    Black Beards & Blue Helmets: Jihad, Peace-keeping, and Islamic Universalisms in the Bosnia Crisis

    The 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was a defining moment of the post-Cold War order, pivotal to the development of UN peacekeeping and the project of European integration. Less well-explored is Bosnia's significance throughout the Muslim world and the numerous solidarity efforts that emerged during the war. As a predominantly Muslim country in Europe, Bosnia presented opportunities and dilemmas for universalist projects in both the West and the Muslim world. This lecture traces two of the most important attempts to embody Islamic solidarity with Bosnia: foreign volunteers in the Bosnian army ("mujahidin") and military units seconded to the United Nations peacekeeping forces by predominantly Muslim countries, including Pakistan.

    03/11/2016 - 6:00 pm-7:30 pm
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