Thursday, 31 October 2013

Welcome to the IDS alumni blog

A message to all IDS alumni from IDS Director Lawrence Haddad

It is really good to be able to welcome you to IDS’ new Alumni blog. We wanted to create a new space for you to share ideas, opinions and news.

Launch of the IDS Alumni blog
I have been to four alumni reunions in the past 10 months (Washington, London, Geneva and Islamabad) and I am heading into a fifth in Delhi in November. At each reunion our alumni tell me they want IDS to help make it easier for them to not only stay in touch with each other and with IDS but to also share their views and experiences with other alumni, IDS staff, current IDS students and with the larger world.

Well, this blog is for you. It is your space for posting your opinions on the issues of the day, for reflecting on things you are doing at work and events you have attended, for sharing articles and papers that you think will be of wider interest, for connecting with classmates, and for reviving memories from your time at IDS. We will manage the blog, making sure it looks professional and is widely read, integrating it into our IDS website and across our social media platforms.

Please send us your blog posts
We rely on you to be sensitive about content and tone but many of you are probably already seasoned bloggers. If not please use this platform to try your hand at blogging. Our moderators can help with editing posts and making suggestions on style and content. Blogs have in recent times become as much a part of the IDS community as our more traditional outputs. We currently moderate seven different institutional blogs (this will be our eighth) which all receive around 3000 page views per month – sometimes much, much more. So we hope to quickly build up your audience, far beyond the Alumni Association itself. You will be doing far more than just talking to each other. We hope this blog site will in time become a got to place for a diverse range of academics, development practitioners and policy makers.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who responded to the recent Alumni Association online survey—we are using the responses to revive our Alumni strategy and the Alumni Association. We want a big build up to the IDS 50th birthday in 2016 and see our Alumni playing a key role in this momentous event.

I also want to thank those of you who have contributed to the IDS graduate scholarship fund. Several of you have made generous contributions and every contribution you make will be matched one for one by IDS. Other alumni have recently offered their time and expertise to become Alumni Ambassadors in their country. I am looking forward to working with these representatives of IDS to ensure the alumni network benefits former students of IDS and ensures IDS continues to have a global presence.

I have also just surveyed our 100 new students who arrived at IDS last month to embark on the same journey you did. I asked them why they came to IDS and I was really heartened to note that a very large proportion were recommended to IDS by alumni or by colleagues and friends of alumni. So please keep recommending IDS to potential students!

So colleagues, keep in touch and tell us what you are thinking, express yourselves! We are proud of you and we hope you are proud of your association with IDS. Remember, it is not just an Institute, it is a way of thinking about development—a way of thinking we are counting on you to spread far and wide.

To help you with your post we have written some tips and guidelines (pdf) for the alumni blog.

If you would like to submit a blog post for consideration please email Sarah Hayward