Two Law and Tech PhD students are finalists in Global Affairs Canada's International Policy Ideas Challenge

Posted on Monday, May 15, 2017

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to announce that Amìr Korhani and Laura Garcia, Ph.D. candidates, are finalists of the International Policy Ideas Challenge 2017 organized by Global Affairs Canada for their project “Optimizing Canada’s International Assistance Efforts with Blockchain Technology: An Assessment of Regulatory Challenges at Home and Abroad”.

In collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Global Affairs Canada (GAC) organized the International Policy Ideas Challenge to identify concrete innovative solutions to emerging international policy challenges faced by Canada. Amìr and Laura are one of the ten selected finalist teams across Canada that were awarded a grant to further develop their proposals into policy briefs, which will then be presented to Government of Canada officials.

Their policy brief will explore how blockchain technology can enable Canada to continue providing international aid whilst increasing transparency and accountability. With much of Canada’s international assistance efforts distributed to countries whose citizens are poor but whose governments rank high in corruption, their project proposes the use of blockchain technology in Canada’s international assistance efforts in an attempt to reduce, if not fully eliminate, the misallocation of funds by recipients of aid. The effect of receiving governments’ inefficient misallocation of funds is felt by the people of the receiving nation who are in dire need of assistance, the Canadian government that allocates a percentage of its budget to such assistance efforts, and the Canadian people who pride themselves on promoting international development through a collective sense of altruism.

Amìr Korhani, lead researcher, is a first-year PhD student in law at the University of Ottawa. His research is in law and technology, focusing mainly on disruptive technologies’ impact on society. Amìr has conducted research for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and interned at the CRTC and Global Affairs. He is currently working as a research assistant at the University of Ottawa. He obtained an LLM with concentration in Law and Technology from the University of Ottawa in 2016.

Laura Garcia, contributor, is a third-year PhD candidate in law and co-president of the Graduate Students in Law association (GSLEDD) at the University of Ottawa. Her area of research is law and technology, with a focus on privacy and location technologies. She is a graduate student member of Geothink, a SSHRC-funded research partnership studying Canadian geospatial and open data. She obtained an LLM with concentration in Law and Technology from the University of Ottawa in 2014.

Both candidates are supervised by Prof. Elizabeth Judge, a faculty member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society.

 

Congratulations to our graduate scholars! 

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