For the third time, the Philip David Gray Trust has sponsored an annual development economics workshop for the students of Stewart’s Melville College in Edinburgh. Held on 12 October 2017, the workshop focussed on the work of the World Bank in Vietnam.
Organised by Stewart’s Melville Head of Economics, Ms Stephanie Burns, the 3 hours of development economics activities began at 1:30pm with a short introductory lecture by guest speaker and FP of the school, John Farmer. He discussed the role of the Memorial Trust in Vietnam and the importance of the Trust’s role in financing Vietnamese students’ university courses so that it will give each of them the skills to help further the economic development of their country.
Working in teams, the twenty workshop participants were tasked with assessing the needs of the Vietnamese economy and then choosing a World Bank-financed infrastructure project which they felt best met the needs of the country and which would further assist its economic development.
Each team then presented their decision and analysis to the rest of the workshop followed by a short Q&A session with a set of four judges. It was the view of the judges that the depth of understanding shown by each team was excellent and that they used their knowledge of economics successfully to justify their decisions. Importantly, they were also able to address how the World Bank should approach some of the environmental and social concerns caused by large scale infrastructure projects such as displacement of communities and the destruction of natural habitat.
The judges selected one winning team though considered all five of the groups to be excellent. The members of the winning team are all in S4: Nelith Bandularatne 4A, Iain Hare 4A and Iain Rose 4K.