Since 2014, I have been serving as a mentor with the Central Asia and Afghanistan Research Fellowship (CAARF) Program at the Mountain Societies Research Institute of the Central Asian University in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. This project has entailed advising Maisam Najafizadaan, an Afghan medical doctor with a Master’s degree in health communication and currently in the final term of a doctoral program in Population Health at the University of Ottawa. He is also an analyst with Canadian Institute for Health Information, focusing on comparing the performance of the Canadian health system with peer countries.

During his five years of PhD studies, Maisam has focused on evaluation of the Community Health Workers Program [specifically the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS)] in Afghanistan. His dissertation has entailed collection and analysis of a large dataset that examines the impact of BPHS on maternal and neonatal outcomes in rural Afghanistan.

As a CAARF Research Fellow under my mentorship, Maisam has evaluated transformative processes of poverty alleviation through a social entrepreneurship initiative that seeks to enhance the livelihoods of carpet-weaving households in the largely rural province of Bamyan in Afghanistan. He presented initial findings of this research at the CAARF meeting in Bishkek in July 2015 and will deliver the full findings at the International Sociological Association RC28 Summer Meeting at the University of Bern in August 2016. The Mountain Society Research Institute will publish a policy paper of this work later this year and a manuscript is under review at World Development Perspectives.

Last updated May 3, 2016