Dr. Leah McMillan Polonenko
PhD, Balsillie School of International Affairs Wilfrid Laurier University, 2011
MA, Saint Mary’s University, 2007
BA, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2005
Areas of Specialization: International development theory and practice; global governance; human rights; global social policy; human rights-based development policy and practice
Dr. Polonenko’s most recent work studies the impact of global social policies on local development. Her publication, “The Impact of Global Education Policy: Missing Out on the ‘Local’ in Southeastern Africa”, examines the impact of the Education for All policy in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia, and exhibits her passion to merge international development policy into sustainable practice. Dr. Polonenko is committed to maintaining research projects that connect research with policy and practice, with the overarching goal of alleviating the challenges of poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment.
Dr. Polonenko's current research examines the possibility for improved socio-economic and environmental practices in natural resource governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. As part of a North-South Institute project examining this challenging issue, Dr. Polonenko is compiling a Ghana case study for natural resource governance. In the long-term, she will introduce a comparative study that includes Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia.
Dr. Polonenko is a trained project evaluator and has worked for organizations in Ghana, Tanzanian, and a Miq’Maq community in Nova Scotia in this capacity. She has considerable training in gender sensitivity and community development, including courses at the Dubai Women’s College, United Arab Emirates, and the University of Legon, Ghana.
Dr. Polonenko is also the international development internship coordinator and advisor for all IDVP majors.