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News & Blog > News > Meet IDS Scholarship Student 2022-2023

Meet IDS Scholarship Student 2022-2023

Meet Rabab Jafar, winner of our 2022 IDS Graduate Scholarship Award! Learn about Rabab's journey to IDS and what her plans are after graduation.
22 May 2023
Written by Taylor Monckton
Rabab (left) chatting to Linda (right).
Rabab (left) chatting to Linda (right).

IDS would like to say a massive thank you to all IDS Alumni who have supported the IDS Scholarship Fund. Your donations are essential to help students like Rabab get to IDS and enjoy the unique experience of studying here.  It is only with the generosity of IDS alumni that we are able to offer these scholarships. To find out more, including how to donate to the Scholarship Fund, please visit the Support Us page.

We are delighted to welcome Rbab Jafar as this year’s IDS Graduate Scholarship Award winner. Rabab joined us in September 2022 and is studying the IDS MA in Poverty and Development.

"IDS had hundreds of applicants for these scholarships, reflecting young people’s huge need to find funding to help them achieve their Higher Education ambitions.  It is humbling and amazing to read these applications and to see the great pool of talent that exists in the world.  To be able to select such creative, innovative and inspired scholars, who have a vision for creating positive change fills me with joy and pride.  I am so grateful to the IDS Alumni who have made these scholarships possible and who, together with our scholarship students, work with IDS to help address inequality, poverty and injustice and in so doing help create a world in which we can all live secure, fulfilling lives." Linda Waldman, IDS Director of Teaching & Learning.

Read on to find out more about Rabab's journey to IDS.

Journey to Development

My career in development began when I was accepted onto a two-year fellowship program for Teach For Pakistan which provides young professionals with an opportunity to work closely with children in low-income and underserved communities. I was placed in an under-resourced government school to bridge my students’ achievement gap in the classroom and beyond. During the fellowship I worked extensively with the school administration and my students’ community to end corporal punishment, increase parental involvement, and foster crucial life skills in my students.

After my two-year fellowship, I was recruited by SABAQ, an EdTech initiative, as a Curriculum and Content Associate. Here I developed the English digital curriculum for SABAQ’s learning app, aimed at improving access to education to out-of-school children in rural Sindh as well as designing evaluations for revising content and strengthening classroom management. As SABAQ scaled up, I was promoted to Communications Specialist, where I worked on expanding its brand and focused on boosting outreach and building networks for collaborations and funding opportunities.

From there, I went onto become a Communications Officer at the EU-funded Programme for Improved Nutrition to explore social and behavioural changes in improving nutritional outcomes in rural communities. Here, I implemented a comprehensive communications strategy encompassing a wide range of stakeholders including 390,000 rural households to government officials as well as local journalists as part of advocacy to amplify the need to work towards better nutrition. I oversaw the development of information, education, and communication material which included the social and behaviour change communication toolkits created to instill positive dietary and hygiene practices and promote improved farming methods within communities.

Prior to studying at IDS, I managed multiple programmes at the Network of Organisations Working with People with Disabilities in Pakistan with the intention of strengthening the representation of persons with disabilities by working with the appropriate government departments. I worked on advocacy which was geared towards improving the standards of living and the provision of disability-related support and assistive devices for persons with disabilities in Pakistan. I now want to utilize my experience of advocacy by focusing on poverty alleviation strategies and working towards influencing stronger policy across Pakistan which is inclusive of women, therefore leading to an improvement in the wellbeing and livelihoods of those who continue to struggle with chronic poverty.

Studying at IDS and Future Aspirations

By studying the MA Poverty and Development Course at IDS, I aim to critically explore the influences, participants, and institutions that shape development and inform poverty reduction strategies and gain a comprehensive understanding of development frameworks, theories, and perspectives. Studying at IDS will enable me to grow as a development practitioner and build the necessary research and management skills to effectively design and implement poverty reduction interventions focused on fostering women into active agents of change. I will expand my understanding of the dynamics of social inequality, poverty, and growth to facilitate a shift in the knowledge and power of rural women, particularly in the South Asian context. The diverse modules in this course, especially those focusing on programme design and evaluation, will allow me to examine the complexities and issues of poverty eradication and enable me to put forward nuanced solutions targeted towards increasing female participation across economic, social, and political life as part of larger poverty reduction strategy.

Returning Home

On returning to Pakistan, I aim to be actively involved in advocacy and policy to influence poverty alleviation initiatives, especially those that are state-led, to be more gender-responsive. I endeavor to advocate for wider gender integration across interventions tackling related social issues such as nutrition where engaging women can play a critical role in making poverty reduction efforts more responsive and sustainable over the long term. I want to be involved in interventions addressing the social, political, and economic gaps and barriers that women face as they are the pivotal force in establishing healthier and more educated households that can break the otherwise intergenerational cycle of poverty. After building my experience in programme implementation, I intend to move into programme design, incorporating community-driven development approaches to poverty reduction to amplify community voices and encourage active citizen participation, skills that will have been instilled in me from studying the MA Poverty and Development course at IDS.

We wish Rabab every success for her studies at IDS and her future beyond.

About the IDS Graduate Scholarship

We want to ensure that the most able students have the opportunity to study at IDS and go on to positively effect global change. We offer a number of full-time scholarship places on our international development Masters degrees. These include the IDS Graduate Scholarship  which is available to encourage high achieving scholars from the Global South to study for a master’s degree.

The IDS Graduate Scholarship 2022 is supported by a number of generous funders including IDS Alumni, the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, the Dr Purna Chander Kotagiri Fund and the Albertina Fund. The scholarships are available to international students from low- or lower-middle-income countries who have accepted a full-time place on an IDS master’s degree. Priority is given to students who have the greatest potential to make a difference in their home countries after completing the degree. 

Find out more about our scholarships

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