Attending the 7th EITI Global Conference was a great experience for me. As a policy analyst, I have been able to engage with the dynamics at the Summit and report the dynamics I witnessed, in Policy Blogs and Briefs. My degree course (Politics with Research Methods) provided me with some useful analytical frameworks to engage with decision-making processes at the Summit, which I further elaborated upon in the policy analyses that I produced during the Summit.
I developed two important skills at the Summit: critical thinking and policy analysis. I owe the two lecturers (Jojo Nem Singh and Zaheer Khan) for helping me to nurture these skills. I improved my critical thinking by developing ideas into a systematic blog post, which aimed to introduce the issues raised in the conference to the public. I learned these skills through writing an analysis, discussing my arguments with the two lecturers, and editing other analysts’ work. I also learnt to produce a high quality policy analysis through this process, by elaborating both concepts and on-the-spot information at the Summit. These are important skills for a policy researcher in the real world.
I also obtained several invaluable experiences during the summit. At the summit, I engaged with many conference participants: researchers, NGO activists, government officials, and company officers. I had brilliant conversations with the Indonesian Ambassador to Peru, Civil Society Leaders, PWYP Activists from Indonesia, Phillippines, and Mongolia, several EITI Board members, Company officers, and NRGI Researchers who wrote some useful papers. Other than that, my analysis on EITI has also appeared at the Op-Ed page of The Jakarta Post, an Indonesia-based newspaper, just one day before conference. It was read by several EITI participants who commented on my piece at the summit, and congratulated me for my achievement.
The dynamics of the Summit were also interesting to be observe. At the Summit, I was able to observe the protests from Publish What You Pay, which was held outside the side event. With some important contacts, I was able to attend the CSO briefing with the EITI Secretariat and gain first-hand insights from the protest, which I elaborate in my latest blog post on Global Policy. Having engaged with Summit participants, I was able to follow the dynamics that were also held in Social Media between Summit participants, for example with the release of PWYP official statement regarding EITI and responses from EITI Board Members. It was a good experience and provides me some insights to enrich my analysis.
The GLI will and has positively aided my personal development for becoming a policy analyst and researcher. It also enables me to build networks with policymakers and stakeholders so I can follow-up in other occasions. Other than that, the GLI experience also enables me to observe specific topics for my future PhD research. The most significant thing that I had learnt during the Summit was the opportunity to write in a notable journal with high quality content. It really requires hard work (sleeping late at night, writing, debating the substances, editing, etc.), but it’s worth it.
Overall, I am keen to say that GLI is a great program. I hope GLI can enable students to produce a more high-quality policy analyses and provides student with first-hand experiences to engage with policymaking processes at an international level. I would recommend this program to all students at the Department of Politics.
Ahmad Rizky M. Umar studies MSc in Politics with Research Methods at the Department of Politics, University of Sheffield. He is thankful to LPDP Scholarship for funding his study at the University of Sheffield and thus enable his involvement with GLI. His op-ed article, which was published by the Jakarta Post, can be accessed here.