Name: Patty Abozaglo
Course taken: Post graduate Diploma in Development Studies (completed 1996)
MA in Development Studies (completed 2008)
Current work title / position: Regional Liaison Officer for Horn & East Africa with Trócaire
“I liked the cultural diversity in Kimmage. Students were coming from so many different countries so I had the opportunity to learn about countries in Africa and Asia. Coming from South America this was totally new to me. I also liked the appreciation and value given to my experience in development in Peru, my home country. The staff and overall environment in Kimmage were all so helpful and hospitable that helped us, students, to settle in a new country and culture.
Subjects were interesting and we had the chance to use our experience and expertise when we made comments or prepare assignments. Another very important factor was the combination of various aspects of development: theory and practice including development theory and aspects of self-care or self development bringing a holistic perspective to development studies.
The course gave me the theoretical framework and qualification to validate years of experience in development in Peru. Having qualified as a lawyer and working in human rights for a number of years, Kimmage widened my horizon, giving me a framework on development theory and aspects of development work such as PME, various methodologies, skills to work with /lead various groups with a holistic perspective. After that, my work involved strong lobbying and advocacy and programme management in several South American countries with emphasis on Colombia.
Later on, the MA allowed me to reflect on many years of development practice in the area of human rights and to link up these with and peace/conflict issues. It also gave me a foundation to look at holistic practices which have later allowed me to examine conflict trauma and practices to address this issue in development work. All these are now part of a Conflict Sensitivity toolkit for Trócaire that is in the process of been published. This was part of my work as a Peacebuilding Advisor, which I started after I finished my MA. Currently I am using my skills in a new position focused on East Africa. Tasks for this post include building better relationships and communications between Trócaire HQ in Ireland and the programmes in East Africa. It would also include lobbying, advocacy and the monitoring and evaluation of the integration of conflict sensitivity approaches in the programmes that Trócaire supports in this region”.