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IDS Best Thesis Award for 2016, Alejandro Posado

The Centre for Critical Development Studies is pleased to award the 2016 Best Thesis Prize to Alejandro Posada for his work The Village Lottery: A Study of Index-Based Agricultural Insurance in Tamil Nadu, and the Reshaping of Farmer Vulnerability.  As the title indicates, Alejandro’s thesis investigates the development impacts of weather-indexed agricultural insurance (WIAI), which is increasingly promoted as a means for alleviating the poverty of small-scale agricultural producers and improving their resilience to climatic risk.  Through a case study of agrarian development in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Alejandro argues, the WIAI solution is unlikely to achieve the promised benefits because it fails to consider and address to social and historical roots of farmer vulnerability.  Instead, he maintains that WIAI provides greater security to agro-input suppliers and financial service providers while (re)creating their ability to appropriate agricultural value.  The thesis is well-researched, sophisticated, and powerfully argued.  It’s a truly impressive thesis and well-deserving of this award.  Alejandro's thesis was supervised by Professor Ryan Isakson with further support from the instructor of IDSD01Y, Professor Anne-Emanuelle Birn.

Congratulations, Alejandro!