The CSC brings you three new alumni Case Studies that vividly demonstrate how Commonwealth Alumni are applying the skills and knowledge sharpened on Scholarship to lead and influence change and to successfully deliver developmental activities that have improved livelihoods in their communities and beyond. These Case Studies complement the nine case studies published earlier in 2022 and provide further evidence of the outcomes and impact of the Commonwealth Scholarships. A big thank you to the alumni for sharing their developmental impact stories!
Bright Kwadwo Sowu has successfully led various projects that have reduced corruption in Ghana, an endemic disease that has crippled socio-economic development and negatively affected people’s livelihoods. His work has directly led to an increase in reporting of instances of corruption as well as the effective resolution of complaints, and the strengthening of institutional accountability to ensure a high level of transparency in the governance of the country.
George William Ilebo has led innovative initiatives to promote the Environmental Policy Agenda and to empower societies to support nature conservation to enhance global biodiversity and human well-being.
Ananya Bhattacharya is co-founder and director of Banglanatak dot com, a social enterprise working across India (and beyond) to promote inclusive sustainable development using culture-based approaches. She has implemented various projects geared towards safeguarding India’s intangible cultural heritage while simultaneously promoting the development of creative grassroot enterprises and cultural tourism.
‘Coming back from the Scholarship I feel like I’m in that development-oriented field. And there’s such a direct link between the practical issues and development theory. I feel proud to have contributed to influencing change in my community. I’ll remain in the field of governance because I believe the African continent has a lot of resources, but the challenge is for the leadership to use those resources for the benefit of the people. That will remain an area where I’m contributing towards, making leaders account for their stewardship.’ (Bright Kwadwo Sowu, Ghana, MSc in Development Studies, 2012)
Tackling Environmental Challenges in Liberia
‘I applied the knowledge that I gained from my MSc Forestry studies, especially on social issues in forest management, research methods, and agroforestry systems and practices. I also learnt [while on Scholarship] that one needs to evaluate the contribution and impact of initiatives on the beneficiaries, especially the local communities. We work with former hunters, who have been turned into conservationists, because we have a community-based approach to natural resources management. We empower and educate them on nature conservation, and now they volunteer to collect data for us.’ (George William Ilebo, Uganda, MSc Forestry, 2012)
Safeguarding Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development
‘During my scholarship I was trained on sustainable development, and it has been extremely useful. Working for sustainable development of low-income and marginalised communities, I have been able to connect the theoretical framework [learned during the Scholarship] with what’s happening on the ground. A key achievement has been strengthening the recognition of culture as an enabler and driver of sustainable development.’ (Ananya Bhattacharya, India, MA Sustainable Development, 2003)