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Scholarship Programme News (2007-2008)

ISP student gathering in Moscow
The new CEO of the AKF Moscow office, Farid Daya, invited ISP students in Moscow for a meal in October. All those in the group photo are from Tajikistan and doing Candidate of Science degrees (the equivalent of a Western PhD) at Moscow universities. In the photo, from left to right, are: Dr. Nigina Rakhmikhudoeva and Dr. Zainura Vafobekova, who are both doing speciality training in Cardiology at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Dr. Farangis Alibakhshova, who is pursuing a degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Borkhotun Iskandarokhanova, who is finishing her studies at the Institute of International Relations in 2008, and Jamshed Muborakshoev, who attends the Moscow Power Engineering Institute.


Hitesh Mehta (ISP 87-89), a Landscape Architect and Ecotourism Planner, who works out of Florida, has been written up in Sustainable Industries, the Independent Source for Green Business Leaders. Here is the link:

An interesting book review of Robert Layton’s Order and Anarchy: Civil Society, Social Disorder and War by Manoj Misra, a current ISP student doing an MA in Sociology at the University of Alberta, can be found on the Canadian Sociological Association website.

Pallavi Aiyar (ISP 00-02) is now back in Beijing after her three-month fellowship at Oxford University and has sent the links to her most recent articles on India and China relations from The Hindu. The first is on the complexities of the Sino-Indian engagement and what can be expected from the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's China visit in January; another focuses on the business engagement between the two countries, which are among the world's fastest growing economies; a third is on a joint China-India medical mission which reveals a historical link between medical practitioners of the two countries and the tattered state of China's public health system in the present ; and a fourth piece is on energy collaboration between the two countries.

Recent Theses

Sajjadullah Baig (ISP 06-07), “Life-Cycle Assessment of Wall Systems”, MSc thesis for a degree in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development at Imperial College, London, August 2007.

Before beginning his course at Imperial College, Sajjadullah had worked for the Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP) of the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services (AKPBS) in Pakistan. This project was involved in developing techniques to improve the thermal efficiency of homes in the mountainous Northern Areas of Pakistan. Sajjadullah’s work in the Northern Areas led to his interest in studying home insulation methods in the UK. Growing concerns about climate change and the depletion of natural resources worldwide have resulted in calls to make the building industry sustainable, and have led to national and international legislative measures on energy efficiency in housing and optimal reuse of materials. To achieve energy efficiency in the construction industry, many technical corrections are being made to buildings, such as insulation and other thermally efficient measures. Increased use of insulation over the last decades has resulted in a decrease in the energy required to heat and cool buildings, thus decreasing the burden on the environment. The aim of Sajjadullah’s Master’s project was to carry out a life-cycle assessment of materials used in the construction of walls and to develop an integrated tool to compare their thermal and environmental performance.

Shazia Nota (ISP 06-07), “Micro-insurance, Risk Management and Poverty: A Critical Examination”, MSc in Development Finance at the University of Manchester, September 2007. Shazia maintains that micro-insurance as a risk management tool has gained in popularity over the past few years, since it acts as a safety net for the poor by limiting the chances of their falling into the never-ending cycle of poverty. In the absence of formal insurance, the poor use different mechanisms to insure themselves against the unexpected emergencies, which help in the short run but do not provide the complete protection they need. By looking into the feasibility of these informal mechanisms and comparing micro-insurance with credit and savings, this study looks into the applicability of the three mechanisms in meeting the financial needs of the poor.

Dilrabo Jonbekova (ISP 06-07), “Training Strategy: A Case Study”, MA in Human Resource Management at the University of Leeds, September 2007. In response to recent changes in the political systems of the ex-Soviet countries, many non-governmental agencies have sprung up to foster economic development, protect the environment and pursue various other objectives. These NGOs, often with complex missions and operations, increasingly require skilled employees to achieve their aims and objectives. Therefore training has become crucially important within the non-profit sector to develop the necessary skills. Dilrabo’s study investigates the nature of the training strategy within a Tajik NGO and attempts to gain insight into the connection between training and the overall performance of the organization.

Qayyum Ali Shah (ISP 05-07), “Food Safety Control in a Catering and Restaurant Situation”, MSc, Food Quality Management, Wageningen University, The Netherlands. According to Qayyum’s thesis, food safety in a restaurant or catering business depends on a complex set of conditions, including the freshness of the food being prepared, the cooking/reheating/storing methods used, the qualifications and training of the food handlers, and the organizational environment. His research project studies how the human input influences food safety. His thesis deals with the performance of kitchen managers and staff with regard to food safety in three restaurants in Burgos, Spain.

Alumni Donations to the ISP

A cheque for $2,500 arrived in a holiday greeting card from Azim Rawji (ISP 91-95) in January 2008. Many thanks for Azim’s continued generous support of the Foundation’s scholarship programme.

Alumni News

Dr. Vinay Viswanatha, who attended the Washington DC alumni meeting in early May 2007, has returned to India after his Master in Public Health degree course at Johns Hopkins University and joined the Community Health Cell (CHC) in Bangalore, an organization that has worked for over 20 years in the field of community health and health promotion in Karnataka. Vinay is involved in an exciting four-year research project entitled “Revitalizing Health for All: Learning from Comprehensive Primary Health Care Experiences.” It is one of 13 projects funded by the Canadian Global Health Research Initiative, a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Health Canada, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). “Revitalizing Health for All” is a multi-site project spanning five continents and integrates research, training and policy advocacy. The project is based on the understanding that comprehensive primary health care holds the greatest potential for health systems to assist in redressing today’s most critical health and development issues. One of the publications being reviewed by CHS, which is responsible for research in the Asia region, is “Lessons Learned from Primary Health Care Programs Funded by the Aga Khan Foundation”, which reports on six public health projects in Asia and two in Africa.

Vinay is also involved in a programme of community planning and monitoring of health services in Karnataka state and in the “People’s Movement to Revitalize Primary Health Centers in Karnataka”. Vinay found his course in Baltimore to be a wonderfully enriching professional and personal experience and, as one of his sponsors, the Aga Khan Foundation is very pleased that he has chosen to apply his newly acquired knowledge and skills to health initiatives in his home country.

Recent Theses

Seema Kazi (ISP 02-05), Between Democracy and Nation: Gender and Militarisation in Kashmir, PhD degree thesis, London School of Economics, 2007.

Seema Kazi’s thesis focuses on the militarisation of the secessionist movement in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which involves Kashmiri militants and Indian military forces. She argues that the greatest and most grievous price of using the military for domestic repression in Kashmir and for military defense of Kashmir is paid by Kashmir’s citizens and society. Drawing on women’s subjective experience of militarisation, Kazi’s thesis highlights the intersection between state military processes at a national level and social transformations at the local and societal level. She concludes that Kashmir’s humanitarian tragedy underlines the failure of militarization to ensure security for the state, and security and justice for Kashmiri citizens.

Teshamulwa Okioga (ISP 06-07), “Water Quality and Business Aspects of Sachet-Vended Water in Tamale, Ghana”, Master of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2007.

This dissertation reports on microbial water quality analyses conducted on 15 samples of factory-produced sachet water and 15 samples of hand-tied sachet water, sold in Tamale, Ghana. Overall, hand-tied sachet water was found to be two times more microbially contaminated than factory-produced sachet water. The research showed that sachet-vended water is extremely popular in the area, is drunk both at home and outside of the home, and is the main source of water away from home. The business is very lucrative, with vendors making 100% to 400% profit.

Alumni Donations to the ISP

The Aga Khan Foundation gratefully acknowledges the donations of Firoz Narsidani (ISP 98-00), who has sent a cheque for $600 to be used for international scholarships in 2007-08, and Dr. Alireza Mirshahi (ISP 94-00), who has contributed EUR 500 and is a frequent contributor to the scholarship programme.

New ISP Scholars in 2007-08

The Aga Khan Foundation is pleased to announce the new recipients of its international scholarships:

Ghassan Alaranji (Syrian), MPhil, Public Health, University College Dublin
Shodigul Alimshoeva (Tajik), MA, International Management, University of Bradford
Mirza Amiri (Afghan), MA, International Economics and Finance, Brandeis University
Azizullah Baig (Pakistani), MSc, Development Economics and Policy, University of Manchester
Anna Ekins (Canadian), MA, Social Work, University of Toronto
Zafar Esmail (Indian), MSc, International Securities, Investment and Banking, University of Reading
Romin Fararoon
(Afghan), MA, International Development Management, University of Bradford
Yousef Ghiami (Iranian), MSc, Logistics and Transport Management, University of Göteborg, Sweden
Amin Gilani (Indian), MArch, Architecture, University of Washington
Aly Haidar (Syrian), MSc, Agricultural Economics, University of Reading
Samah Haidar
(Syrian), MSc, Information and Communication Technology for Development, University of Manchester
Bashar Hasan (Syrian), PhD, Computer Science, University of Essex
Shodmon Hojibekov
(Tajik), MA, International Development Management, University of Bradford
Rahim Hooda (Indian), MS, Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Kakulu Kakulu (Tanzanian), MSc, Development Finance, University of Manchester
Naheeda Karmali (Kenyan), MA, Teaching and Curriculum, Columbia University (deferred for a year)
Zoheb Kerawalla (Indian), MS, Technology and Information Systems, Purdue University
Nisar Keshvani (Singaporean), PhD, Education, Institute of Education, London
Zakeesh Khan (Pakistani), MSc, Evidence-Based Social Interventions, University of Oxford
Yaseen Ladak (Indian), DPhil, Systems Biology, University of Oxford
Saidimu Leseeto (Kenyan), MSc, Corporate Risk and Security Management, University of Southampton
Mohammad Magout (Syrian), MSc, Financial Mathematics, University of Edinburgh/Hariot-Watt University
Hamid Merchant (Pakistani), PhD, Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, London
Kenneth Migwanya (Ugandan), MS, Epidemiology, Case Western Reserve University
Rahima Mukairshoeva (Tajik), MSc, International Health Management and Development, University of Birmingham
Ahmed Rattani (Pakistani) DPhil, Systems Biology, University of Oxford
Simeen Sabha
(Bangladeshi), MA, Social Anthropology and Development, School of Oriental and African Studies
Firuza Saifiddinova (Tajik), Candidate of Science, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Slavonic University, Bishkek
Timor Sharan (Afghan) MPhil, Development Studies, University of Cambridge
Ameet Tyrewala (Indian), MS, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University
Zainura Vafobekova (Tajik), Candidate of Science, Cardiology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
Aly-Khan Visram (Canadian), MSc, Public Health in Developing Countries, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Vishwesh Viswanathan (Indian), MRP, Regional Planning, Cornell University
Vinay Vutukuru (Indian), MPA/ID, Public Administration and International Development, Harvard University
Wajid Waliani (Pakistan), MSc, Wireless Communication Systems, Brunel University, West London

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