Mariel Torrez Montenegro
When you decide to study communication in a developing country such as mine (Bolivia), it is very difficult not to get compelled to work in the development sector. There is always a great need of professionals in the area who can add up to the development efforts happening simultaneously across the board. My first professional experience in the field, for example, was at the local Ombudsman Office. This put me in contact with a diversity of vulnerable groups in such life-changing way that after that there was no other choice for me than contributing professionally to this sector. Whether working for an international donor agency, non-governmental organizations or foreign private companies with development-related concerns. I was there for the long run.
Therefore, when I had the opportunity to go back to school and study closely the changes that were happening in the development sector from an ICT driven perspective, I didn’t hesitate. I got a master on New Media and Society (2017) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and decided to pursue later a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the same university. Nowadays, I’m focused on the study of policy globalization in the ICT4D sector as a Ph.D. candidate-researcher at the SMIT – Media Unit. I intend to understand the circulation of knowledge, policy tools and institutional models on ICT4D amongst the networks formed by international cooperation donors and developing countries in Latin America using policy analysis. And, comprehend, in return, the divergent convergence of policy models experienced in this field. Once more, I’m here for the long run.