Alumni Stories and Activities
First Asia Pacific Masters Alumni Human Rights Film Festival held in Pakistan
In Islamabad on 13 December 2014, six human rights related films related rights of minorities, labor rights, tribal clashes, women in police force and rights of transgender communities were screened at a “Human Rights Film Festival”.
The festival was arranged by Asia Pacific Masters Alumni for Human Rights and Democratisation (APMA) in collaboration with Riphah Institute Media Sciences and Riphah
Institute of Public Policy. The APMA is an emerging forum of graduates/students of Master of Human Rights and Democratisation- Asia Pacific (MHRD). MHRD is Asia Pacific’s premier regional degree in human rights and democratization which is being offered by the University of Sydney, in conjunction with four other universities in the Asia Pacific region. The Masters program is supported by the European Union.
Inaugurating the festival Director of Riphah Institute of Public Policy Dr. Rashid Aftab said that the Riphah University and its various institutes were open for collaboration with civil
society institutions as it can bring academia and practice together. “Films are effective means of promotion and protection of human rights and visual arts can bring life to abstract
ideas of human rights” he said.
APMA President Niaz Ahmed said that alumni initiatives were important tool to transfer benefits of academic programs to next generations. “Each year on human rights day, we
bring together graduates of the program from Pakistan to present our work to wider audience, so that we can expand our network and find new collaborators” he said. Niaz said
this was the first human rights film festival arranged by alumni and it will be arranged annually.
The selection of films was combination of those produced with contributions of the alumni as well as produced by renowned film makers like Oscar winning Sharmeen Obaid. The full program is available here. Enquiries can be directed to the APMA President, Niaz Ahmed via .
MHRD Alumni presents at American Evaluation Association Conference in Washington DC
Shiva Dhungana, one of the alumni from the MHRD Batch-3 was invited to present at the American Evaluation Association annual conference in Washington DC on monitoring and evaluation of media capacity for peace-building in October.
Shiva who works with a media development organisation Search for Common Ground, in his paper presented the advantages and disadvantages of implementing a participatory- coaching developmental approach to evaluate a local media capacity training for a peacebuilding project in Nepal. This paper reflects the monitoring and evaluation realities that a peacebuilding not-for-profit faces as they try to understand the capacities of local media professionals but also improve general peacebuilding practices.
Alumni Welcomes 4th Cohort of MHRD
In July 2013, MHRD Alumni Coordinator Niaz Ahmed was in Sydney to attend the induction week of the 4th Cohort of MHRD students. He spent a week with the new students, talking to them about his own experiences of MHRD, social, cultural and academic aspects of the program and much more. Niaz was one of the speakers at the event to welcome the new students of MHRD, Human Rights and Development and Masters in Human Rights.
In his remarks Niaz said MHRD community very closely connected with the world movement of human rights in many ways. “We are practitioners, researchers and academics spread over 30 countries of the world. We are three generations of the MHRD graduates, in the field now, working with a number of national, international, inter-governmental and government organisations, national human rights institutions, parliaments and businesses” he said.