Honorary Fellowship presented to former UNICEF representative

Ian Hopwood, former UNICEF representative and Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University

Ian Hopwood, former UNICEF representative and Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University

19 July 2019

An International Politics alumnus and former UNICEF representative in Senegal has been presented with an Honorary Fellowship of Aberystwyth University.

Ian Hopwood has worked in the field of development for over 40 years, mainly in Africa and Asia.

As UNICEF Representative in Guinea, Zambia and Senegal, he was actively engaged in child rights advocacy, aid effectiveness and UN reform, poverty reduction strategies and Millennium Development Goals action plans.

He has continuously sought to improve evaluation quality and organisational learning, and to strengthen links between research, policy formulation, programming practice and evaluation, and was UNICEF’s Evaluation Chief from 1996-2000. 

Since retiring from UNICEF, he has guided the Senegalese Evaluation Association (of which he is Honorary President) and lectured on monitoring and evaluation and the rights of children at Sciences Po in Paris and Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar.

Ian Hopwood was presented as Fellow of Aberystwyth University by Professor Milja Kurki from the Department of International Politics on Thursday 18 July 2019.

The full conferral presentation is available below, in the language in which it was delivered.

Presentation of Ian Hopwood by Professor Milja Kurki:

Ganghellor, Dirprwy Is-Ganghellor, graddedigion a chyfeillion.  Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno Ian Hopwood yn gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.

Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, graduates and supporters.  It is an honour and a privilege to present Ian Hopwood as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Ian Hopwood has made invaluable contributions to development policy and practice in Africa and in Asia and has helped shape the development aid agenda of UNICEF at crucial moments in the organization’s history. His contributions have focused on improving the lives of children and youth, in particular the attainment of their rights to health and education.

Ian started his career in development work as a UK United Nations Association International Service volunteer with UNICEF in Cameroun in 1972.  He has been an active if discrete participant in situations of historical significance. As a UNICEF Project Officer in 1975-77 he was part of the first UN presence based in post-war Hanoi. In 1979-80 he was a key member of the Joint UN-ICRC Mission in Phnom Penh bringing relief to a devastated “post Pol Pot” Cambodia.

Subsequently he was UNICEF Representative successively in Guinea, Zambia and Senegal, where he has provided policy advice on a wide range of child rights issues and has been actively engaged in innovative work to improve development effectiveness and UN coherence, with a focus on sector reforms and the Millennium Development Goals. 

Between 1996 and 2000 he served as Evaluation Chief in UNICEF HQ in New York. In this role he helped shape and implement UNICEF’s policy agendas, in particular their evaluation policy, incorporating field practice and organizational learning.

Since retiring from UNICEF, he has continued to be active in both practice and scholarship on development operating from his base in Dakar, Senegal. He has guided the Senegalese Evaluation organization, taught at Sciences Po, in Paris, and Cheikh Anta Diop University, in Dakar, and has undertaken consultancies for Save the Children, OECD-DAC EvalNet, the CLEAR Initiative, the African Child Policy Forum and UN agencies. He has also authored/co-authored a number of major reports, such as the African Report on Child Wellbeing in 2016. He is especially motivated by his work to coach and mentor creative and talented young African professionals who will carry the continent forward.

He is originally from Caergwrle (Flintshire), and is not ashamed to admit that he has been a lifelong supporter of Wrexham Football Club. His interest in Africa and in development work for social justice was shaped in crucial ways during his time in Aber. It is in Aber that Ian Hopwood discovered:

  • Africa: through the overland 1969 UCW Cameroun Expedition,
  • the UN: through
    • the teaching of Ieuan John,
    • his leadership of the UN Students Association, and

       3) social justice and development concepts through

  • the Third World First initiative
  • his editorship of Interstate journal in the department of IP and
  • the mentoring of Mike MccGwire, an important past member of staff who we still honour in the department today in the form of the MccGwire Prize

Ian Hopwood is an exceptional contributor to the global development community and at the same time an exceptional exemplar of, and a role model for, the globally committed Aber community.

Ganghellor, mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno Ian Hopwood i chi yn Gymrawd. 

Chancellor, it is my absolute pleasure to present Ian Hopwood to you as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Aberystwyth University Honours 2019

Nine individuals are being honoured by Aberystwyth University during the 2019 graduation ceremonies, which take place at the University’s Arts Centre from Tuesday 16 until Friday 19 July.

Honorary Fellowships are presented to individuals who have, or have had, a connection with Aberystwyth or Wales, and who have made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field.

The 2019 Aberystwyth University Honorary Fellows are (in order of presentation):

  • Alan Phillips, retired peripatetic music teacher who worked for Ceredigion Music Service for 35 years
  • Professor Frank N. Hogg OBE, the first Principal of the College of Librarianship Wales
  • Ruth Bidgood, Welsh poet and local historian
  • Professor R Geoff Richards, Director of one of the world's leading orthopaedic research institutes, the AO Research Institute in Davos (Switzerland)
  • Emyr Jenkins, first Director of the National Eisteddfod and former Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales
  • Professor Virginia Gamba, leading expert in the field of disarmament research and policy formulation
  • Ian Hopwood, who has worked in the development field for over 40 years in UNICEF HQ and in field assignments in Africa, Asia, and the Arab Gulf States
  • The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, former First Minister of Wales and Leader of the Welsh Labour Party 2009-18
  • Judith Diment, a leading global figure in the campaign to eradicate polio