Exchange to Change January 2018 E2C January 2018 web | Page 12

12 IN THE PICTURE Introducing IOB’s latest addition… Ivan Ashaba On the 1 October 2017, Ivan Ashaba joined IOB as an Academic Assistant. Ivan is from Uganda and grew up in the capital, Kampala. I did a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences (Political Science & Social Administration) at Makerere University in Uganda. I worked with the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation after graduation and my work (briefly) as a talk-show host exposed me to question about the exercise of power and how it impacts ordinary people, especially the poor and downtrodden. Later, I got another job - working as a community officer with a nonprofit organization (Unbound) that worked with children and seniors in rural parts of Central Uganda. Despite my own humble background, I was shocked by the levels of deprivation I saw in the villages. Where I had once wallowed in self-pity, I later learned that I was better positioned to help communities in need. I travelled to Turkey to pursue a Master in Political Science at Ankara University. Studying at the Faculty of Political Science was interesting. From the Mavi Marmara raid by Israeli commandos, to Erdogan’s personalization of power, to the Kurdish Question, and to Turkey’s bid to join EU – class discussions often became tense. I returned home after E xchange to change J anuary 2018                        my studies and started working with Uganda Christian University as an assistant lecturer. In 2015, I came to Belgium on a VLIR-UOS scholarship for a Master in Governance & Development. Studying at IOB exposed me to a unique and interdisciplinary style of instruction. Interactions and competition with other international students sharpened my general aptitude. I wrote my thesis on security agencies and regime survival in Uganda - a topic that continues to fascinate me. In fact, I just am publishing a paper on regime survival and fragility in South Sudan. As part of my other research, we have just finalized the evaluation of Uganda’s 2016 general elections. This project was granted by Uganda’s Electoral Commission, with funding from UNDP. Generally, my areas of interest include incumbency & post- authoritarian transitions, elections & election management, security agencies (Army, Police), Regime Survival, Crime and the State etc.