Student Spotlight: Oxford Forum for International Development

We spoke to Nicky Crompton, co-president of OxFID, about the forum, and their upcoming conference.

What is OxFID?

The Oxford Forum for International Development is an annual student-led conference which has been running since 2008. It aims to bring together a wide range of speakers and attendees to engage on some of the most pressing issues of the day in international development.

What are the topics the forum are currently most thinking about?

The main theme for this year’s conference is Remapping Change: Where do we go from here? which we are exploring through our subthemes – Legacies of Power: Examining Attitudes and Practices; Shifting Landscapes: Partnerships in the Present Day; and Development Disrupted: Finding Opportunity in Crisis.

We’ve constructed the conference’s agenda broadly around these themes, as we believe it important to rethink some of the historical paradigms underpinning international development; assess the global changes we are seeing; and confront the challenges we face through innovation and inclusion. This follows on from last year’s conference which was entitled Beyond Pledges; the past year has seen significant change and disruption, though it is important that accountability and collaboration remain core to international development

Who might be interested in OxFID?

We hope that OxFID will appeal to students interested in pursuing a career in international development, as well as those more broadly interested in some of the themes we cover, which include climate, international relations and education (among many others). In previous years, OxFID has attracted students (at both undergraduate and postgraduate level), as well as professionals working in international development. The wide range of attendees is certainly one of the conference’s strengths; it is important to include the voices of different stakeholders in international development dialogue.

How can students get involved?

Students can purchase tickets (ranging from single session to full two day tickets) on to attend our conference. Moreover, in the coming months when the current committee steps down, there will be opportunities to apply to organise next year’s conference.

How did you get involved? 

I have long been interested in international development, particularly regarding issues relating to healthcare, climate and financial inclusion, and I organised a (much smaller) conference on international development during my final year at school. So, when I heard about OxFID towards the end of my first year at Oxford, I jumped at the opportunity to apply, and was Co-Director of Speakers for last year’s conference. Now well into my final year at Oxford, I’m still very much enjoying being involved in OxFID, now as Co-President. The other Co-President, Calista Chong, and I lead the fantastic committee organising this year’s conference, as well as having organised some online events towards the end of 2020 in the lead up to the conference.

What can student expect from the conference? 

Owing to restrictions posed by Covid-19, this year the conference will be taking place online for the first time. This enables us to host speakers from around the world and reach a more international audience. In moving to an online format, we were very keen also to ensure that the networking opportunities which are crucial to a good in-person conference were still possible this year; our online platform is great for this. Beyond the keynotes, panels and workshops, there will also be opportunities to meet fellow attendees, and to interact with our exhibitors during dedicated sessions.

For more information, you can visit the forum’s Facebook Page, or email to get in touch.

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