Three Minutes to Win It
During the Canadian Political Science Association 2018 annual conference held in May, Yvonne Su was declared the winner of the Graduate Student Three-Minute Thesis Competition.
Su, a PhD candidate in Political Science with International Development Studies, spent six months in Tacloban City, Philippines – an area devastated by 2013’s Super Typhoon Haiyan – investigating post-disaster recovery and the effect that remittances (the transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in their home country) had on household recovery.
She then undertook the monumental task of reducing more than 600 surveys and interviews conducted during her research and presenting it in just under three minutes.
“I took this as a challenge, to be able to distill the main ideas of my research down to three minutes. Sometimes you think you are being clear in your writing, but when you have to verbalize ideas, you end up connecting a lot more points and it actually helps make things more concise.”
In the Philippines, a country where 20 per cent of the population subsists on less than two dollars a day, remittances can make or break a family. When disaster strikes, this becomes even more apparent. Yet, the United Nations and other NGOs used remittances as criteria for excluding certain portions of the population from financial assistance. Su believes that these organizations need a better understanding of social support networks like remittances to inform their humanitarian efforts.