KDI School of Public Policy and Management has been contributing greatly to the world by training future leaders in different fields such as public policy, development policy, public management, and so on. Today, the Alumni Association of KDI School of Public Policy and Management consists of more than 6600 graduates from all around the world, and they are making valuable contributions in all areas throughout the public and private sector, academia, research institutions, and NGOs. Maintaining consistent and ongoing relationships with alumni and reflecting on their success stories is not only crucial for the School but also a valuable source of aspiration and motivation for current students’ career prospect after graduation. Considering the importance of alumni relations, KDIS News Center will publish a series of “alumni-focused” articles which reflect the success of members of the alumni community after graduation from KDIS. With this in mind, the first article of the “ALUMNI FOCUS” series explores the success of KDIS graduates in academia.
1. Would you please introduce yourself for our audience?
Hello, my name is Inayat Ullah. I have a Ph.D in Public Policy from the Korea Development Institute (KDI), School of Public Policy and Management under the Global Ambassador’s Scholarship Programme in 2016. I am currently working as an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Department of Government and Public Policy, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in Pakistan. I have recently been selected as an International Scholar Exchange Fellow (ISEF) by the CHEY Institute for Advanced Studies in Seoul, Korea for the year 2022-2023. Before employment at NUST, I have served as a faculty member at COMSATS University Islamabad and the University of Peshawar for over five years.
2. As a Ph.D. scholar in Public Policy and academia, would you please tell to our readers about your research interest?
My dissertation research included three papers that focused on the impact evaluation of governance and sustainable development interventions in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In my first paper, I examined the change in community attitude attributable to community participation in the governance of protected areas. My second dissertation paper that draws on collaborative governance theory and the assumptions of game theory in the management of common goods finds that communities cooperate and participate in joint monitoring of common resources due to power imbalance between strong governments and weak communities. In my third dissertation paper, I find ideal conditions for a quasi-natural experiment in which I exploited a countrywide education survey to empirically evaluate the impact of an innovative smartphone-aided monitoring system of government schools in the northwestern province of Pakistan. Besides, I have presented my research work at various conferences in different countries such as Sweden, USA and South Korea.
3. How has KDI School influenced your career path?
KDI School has played a central role in the achievements of my research and academic goals. My recent publications in refereed journals are mostly outcomes of projects that I worked on during my Ph.D. and post-PhD period. For instance, recently, as a principal investigator, I have successfully completed a research project (worth USD $20,000) that focused on the impact evaluation of e-governance initiatives by the Punjab Government, Pakistan. Funded by KDI School, in this project, I have successfully led a team of seven researchers who worked on developing a rigorous research design that included a convincing theory of change followed by primary data collection from the field. In addition, during my studies at KDI School, I was able to win two funded research projects each focusing on core areas of governance and sustainable development outcomes.
When I was studying at KDI School, I did not realize the significance of the KDIS brand in the academic and research world mainly because we had to go through challenging course work and pressing deadlines. However, soon after graduation, I realized the value of the KDIS brand, especially whenever we applied for academic or research positions. The innovative skills, courses, and research techniques offered at KDIS are instrumental in my research career. For instance, KDIS offers funding for potential research projects, facilitates its Ph.D. alumni in enhancing their network, and offers remote services to its graduates to continue in their own fields. I must also appreciate the generous support by KDIS for offering STATA’s latest versions to all its graduated students through the school’s website besides other opportunities.
I am therefore very indebted to KDIS School for its tremendous support towards its graduates.
4. Would please tell our readers about your goals and aspirations which is accounted a concrete foundation to shape the world and pioneer the future?
My aim is to continue learning about how to improve the processes and practices of governance around the developing world and to assist governments and non-governmental organizations in making the lives of the poor better. For this purpose, I plan to establish an independent platform that offers reliable and easy-to-understand services to policymakers and practitioners to develop inclusive and people-friendly policies. I am very positive about the contributions of my friends and colleagues in making this happen.
5. What would be your advice for current KDIS students? And would you please share your memorable moments at KDI School.
Well, first of all, I would suggest the current students of the KDIS realize that you guys have got the best learning environment. From the smoking area to the dormitory’s kitchen to the discussion room, every single place offers an opportunity to interact with people and exchange ideas, cultural experiences, and stories that become unforgettable memories. So do not let this golden period in your life go in vain.
Secondly, the KDIS offers maximum opportunities to its enrolled students to travel across Korea and even abroad. Although some of you might face time constraints, I would strongly urge you to travel as much as you can. For instance, one of the memorable events of KDIS is the Korea Field and Research Trip, a three-day field trip that involves visits to some wonderful sites such as Hyundai and Samsung Manufacturing Plant, POSCO, and other historical and cultural sites.
Lastly, I vastly encourage students to involve in KDIS Community Clubs, celebrate special days such as the Holy Ramadhan, Eids, Christmas Day, Buddha Purnima, Diwali, etc with other fellow students and enjoy lovely and green environment of KDIs. Personally, I can’t forget the amazing Iftaar Events organized by the Muslim Community Club during our period at KDI School.
Audience May access published paper of the Inayat Ullah in the following links:
4. Journal of Environmental Research, and Public Health
To find out more about the KDIS alumni success stories and their contribution, please stay connected with KDIS.