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Spring 2017 Practica

Summer 2017

Program Design and Assessment in International Education in Kenya

Professor: Amanda Taylor

Description: UNESCO and other major international organizations continue to place high-quality education at the center of their development agendas, and for good reason: high-quality education - especially for women and girls - supports the achievement of multiple economic and human development goals for communities and nations across the globe. But in order to achieve high quality education, on key factor must first be addressed: the development of high-quality teachers. This practicum will place participants at the center of this increasingly important work. In partnership with The Dignitas Profect, an innovative and robust NGO working to develop teacher and community leadership in the urban slums of Nairobi, Kenya, practicum participants will develop a culturally-responsive and comprehensive educational program evaluation toolkit in support of the organization's efforts to assess their teacher leadership development program.

About the professor: Amanda Taylor's research and teaching focus on the intersection of culture, power, and education. She is particularly interested in the role of race in shaping educational policy and practice as well as community organizing for school reform. Her work has been published by Oxford University Press, the Free Press, and in peer-reviewed journals including Urban Education and Equity & Excellence in Education. Before joining the faculty at SIS, Dr. Taylor taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Relay Graduate School of Education, and in public and international high schools. She served as the Director of Graduate Enrollment Management at SIS for six years and has consulted for the District of Columbia Public Schools, Mass Insight Education, and the Civil Rights Project (now at UCLA).

For more details, click here.

Urban Development and Public Services Delivery in India

Professor: Mary Breeding

Description: Throughout the developing world, the delivery of public services is sometimes irregular and unpredictable. Is water available today? Will our street have electricity this evening? Will my daughter's teacher show up for school today? This practicum will explore causes and consequences of unpredictable and intermittent public service delivery in one urban setting: Bangalore, India. We will explore the political economy of urban public service provision in Bangalore, India to address questions related to access, equity and quality of public service delivery. Students will have the opportunity to work remotely with a client to help address questions related to the delivery of a specific public service (e.g. water or education). This work will involve: (a) developing an understanding of the local context, policies, challenges and concerns related to the delivery of a public service; (b) exploring research-evidence on international best practices related to service delivery; (c) developing a framework for addressing local challenges; and (d) working with the client toward a useful deliverable to assist them in their work. This course provides students with two unique opportunities: One, students will get firsthand experience working on urban development topics. Two, students will be exploring various elements related to service delivery. These include: resources and budgets, information-flows, decision-making processes, service delivery mechanisms, and accountability for service provision.

For more details, click here.

Assessing Community Impact and Evaluation Training in Myanmar & Thailand

Professor: Alexander Cromwell

Description: This practicum will take place in Myanmar and Thailand. It provides students with the opportunity to facilitate trainings in program evaluation and conduct a community-level impact evaluation of the Global Community Fellowship Program, a program developed by the practicum's client, VIA. VIA is a non-profit organization that specializes in cross-cultural understanding and transformative education programs in Asia and the United States. Their professional fellowship placements range from grassroots community-based organizations to multinational NGOs and U.S. government agencies. Participants in the practicum will be evaluating the impact of these placements in Myanmar. After multiple meetings in Washington D.C., where students will prepare training materials for the Global Fellows and develop an evaluation plan for assessing the program's impact in Myanmar, the team will travel to Myanmar, where they will conduct the community-level evaluation of the impact of the Global Fellows' presence there since 2006. After spending roughly ten days in Myanmar, the group will continue on to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where the Global Community Fellows' incoming cohort will be attending their initial training. The team will spend roughly four days there, delivering trainings in monitoring and evaluation methods (and other possible topics such as cross-cultural understanding, TBD) to the Global Fellows. Upon students' arrival back in DC, they will analyze the data from their evaluation in Myanmar and compile a report assessing the impact of the Global Fellowship Program, which they will submit to VIA. The practicum will provide students with practical experience for how to plan and conduct a program evaluation for a client, from interfacing with the client to determine theories of change and program goals, to designing an evaluation that identifies appropriate indicators for measuring outputs and objectives associated with these goals, to implementing the evaluation, and finally analyzing the data collected to later deliver a report to the client. Specific evaluation methods that students will employ will likely include interviews, surveys, focus groups, and participant observation. Students will also learn how to design curriculum for and conduct trainings in concrete skills such as program evaluation and other topics TBD.

For more details, click here.

ONLINE Design and Outreach Strategy for Internet Stakeholders

Professor: Eric Novotny

The client is a high technology consulting firm that provides a wide variety of services primarily for philanthropic purposes to major NGOs. The project will involve the student team designing and developing an outreach strategy and plan for an existing university coalition that has developed a new Internet access technology. This technology promises to ensure the continued free flow of information worldwide. The objective of the Practicum is to identify the relevant stakeholders and to design an outreach strategy to gain acceptance of this new technology. Background: The work would support a consortium led by The University of Michigan (including U Colorado and U Waterloo) to develop a new Internet access technique called "Tap Dance." Specifically, the student team would support the consortium's task to "Engage with Target Users, Deployment Partners, and other Stakeholders." The purpose will be assist the University of Michigan coalition on the project by performing a series of tasks delegated to their partner UpTurn: 

1. Perform research into the policy and legal aspects of the deployment of Tap Dance in the major ISPs in the USA (or in other countries) 

2. Develop an outreach strategy for the major CDNs and transit ISPs for the deployment of Tap Dance 

3. Develop an outreach strategy for the larger university community to deploy Tap Dance in their own domains  

4. Propose a membership and structure for an advisory group of stakeholders 

5. Develop a plan for establishing a formal not-for-profit organization to manage policy and technical issues with a coalition of stakeholder in decoy routing 

The deliverables may be in the form of contact plans, identification of key players (organizations and individuals), various marketing pitches or presentations, written promotional materials and message templates, and a CIS to track contacts, follow-up, and results.

About the professor: Eric J. Novotny has been appointed Senior Advisor, Democracy and Technology, at the U.S. Agency for International Development. In this position, Dr. Novotny designs and manages a large portfolio of programs that use advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) to stimulate economic growth, improve democratic processes, and reform governance policies in developing countries. Some of these efforts are stand-alone technology and governance projects while others will embed advanced ICTs in larger development projects in applied areas such as service delivery and critical infrastructure. USAID has assistance programs in 80 countries worldwide.

ONLINE Supporting Female Entrepreneurs in Pakistan

Professor: TBD

Dynamic Pakistani women have long influenced the history of their country -- from Fatima Jinnah, one of the leading founders of Pakistan, to Benazir Bhutto, the first female Prime Minister of a Muslim country. However, women's contributions to the business sector in Pakistan have remained unrecognized, providing obstacles to economic freedom and barriers to accessign healthcare, education, and better futures. Global statistics rank Pakistan 141st out of 142 countries in female economic participation and opportunity, a decrease in several percentage points over the past decade. Pakistan is also the country with the lowest percentage of female participation in business ownership (WorldBank Gender Gap Study), with only 1% of companies being founded by women. This practicum will provide students the opportunity to work with women entrepreneurs based in Pakistan, developing their business plans to scale their operations and markets and leading the way for future women in business. Students will first learn the basics of business planning and then engage in a consulting process with entrepreneurs to best understand their current challenges and support their initiatives.

Fall 2017 

Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding

Professor: Hrach Gregorian

Time: Wednesday 5:30 - 8:00pm* (course times subject to change)

Description: This practicum focuses on key aspects of contemporary peacebuilding: specifically on rebuilding, or building, social and political infrastructure in fragile and conflict prone states. Students work with international nongovernmental organizations, such as the Dakar-based Soros Open Society initiative for West Africa; government agencies, such as The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) at the United States Department of State; and for-profit clients such as Creative Associates International. Topics include civil society building, empowerment of youth and women, economic and political governance, rule of law, human rights and countering violent extremism.

About the professor: Hrach Gregorian is the President of the Institute of World Affairs, a DC NGO that for decades has been engaged in conflict resolution and peacebuilding training, research and consultation in the US and overseas. He was a Director at the US Institute of Peace from 1988 to 1993, and is a co-founder and current board member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

Intelligence Analysis

Professor: Aki Peritz

Time: Tuesday 5:30 - 8:00pm* (course times subject to change)

Description: The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is the client for this practicum on intelligence. The class produces an intelligence report intended to serve as a DIA product to be posted on their internal website serving the intelligence, defense, and State Department communities. The topic is selected after discussions with DIA management and based on intelligence priorities.

About the professor: Aki Peritz is a Senior fellow at George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, and an adjunct professor at American University. He is a former US government analyst and coauthor of Find Fix Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns that Killed bin Laden & Devastated Al Qaeda. He recently worked at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and at Third Way, where he synthesized complex national security issues for Members of Congress. Aki has written for and provided insight on national security topics to numerous media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, National Public Radio, BBC World, Bloomberg, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Foreign Policy.

A Wicked Problem for US National Security

Professor: Sally Shelton-Colby

Time: Thursday 5:30 - 8:00pm* (course times subject to change)

Description: This practicum will study Turkey and will develop policy recommendations for the U.S. Government. Specifically, it will study (a) the deterioration of Turkey's democratic system; (b) the Turkish Government's role in Syria; (c) the Turkish Government's fractious relationship with Turkish Kurds and Syrian Kurds; (d) the Turkish Government's tense relationship with the European Union; (e) Turkey's seemingly warming relationship with Russia and what that means for Turkey's role in NATO; and (f) the tensions in the U.S.'s relationship with Turkey. New issues in the U.S.-Turkey relationship may arise prior to and/or during the course of the spring 2017 semester. Students will make policy recommendations for U.S. Department of State officials (likely to be the "client") and will include the pros and cons of each policy recommendation.

About the professor: Ambassador Sally Shelton‐Colby has held a number of senior positions in the public, corporate and nonprofit sectors and in international organizations. She has been Deputy Secretary‐General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France; Assistant Administrator for Global Programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S. Ambassador to Grenada, Barbados and several other Eastern Caribbean countries; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America; and Legislative Assistant to Senator (later Secretary of the Treasury) Lloyd Bentsen. She was Vice President of Bankers Trust Co., where she was responsible for managing the bank's political risk in developing countries during the third world debt crisis of the 1980s.

Cultural Diplomacy and International Exchange

Professor: Sherry Mueller

Time: Wednesday 5:30 - 8:00pm* (course times subject to change)

Description: International exchange programs are an essential component of public diplomacy. Practicum participants will learn about major actors and resources in the field. They will study a conceptual framework for evaluating the effectiveness of exchanges. They will also focus on efforts to conduct advocacy on behalf of U.S. Department of State sponsored flagship exchange programs, such as the Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program, by building partnerships with elected officials.

About the professor: Sherry Lee Mueller, Ph.D. developed and taught the first course in public diplomacy at SIS in 1981 (and continued teaching throughout the 1980s) as an adjunct professor. She returned in 2012 as Distinguished Practitioner in Residence to pioneer a course in cultural diplomacy and international exchange. Her professional career included serving as Director of Professional Exchange Programs at the Institute of International Education and President of the National Council for International Visitors (now Global Ties >U.S.) She has served as a U.S. State Department speaker on NGO leadership in Saudi Arabia and Japan. In Spring of 2015 she served on an IBTCI, Inc. bi-national team evaluating an AID funded scholarship program for Indonesian graduate students.

ONLINE Great Power Competition 2.0

Professor: Paul Manicelli

The Department of Defense is undergoing significant shifts in strategic planning and prioritization to focus on emerging strategic competitors. This practicum will focus on the emerging long-term strategic competition between the United States and other state actors such as Russia and China. Students will research and write a research report, provide an executive summary, and present their findings and recommendations to members of the Department of Defense examining some aspect of state-to-state strategic competition in order to aid in shaping its activities across the elements of national power in order to address emerging challenges.

About the professor: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Manicelli is the China country Director, Deputy Directorate for Politico Military Affairs Asia, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, J5, the Joint Staff. In his current position, he monitors, assesses, and evaluates developments in U.S.China security and foreign relations to develop planning guidance and recommendations for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Military Departments, and Unified Commands. His responsibilities include interfacing with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, State Department, National Security Staff, and Intelligence Community to coordinate inter agency policy and strategy options for U.S. leadership.

ONLINE Issues of Multinational Enterprise

Professor: Catherine Bocskor

Students gain experience in the field of international business consulting by undertaking research projects for US and foreign multinational enterprises, giving the clients advice on real-life business and regulatory problems. The Practicum emphasizes research, data presentation and analytic skills, while teaching the students how to work together as a team. Students learn how to manage the clients' demands and expectations while working closely with high-level business executives who take a personal interest in the students' growth and learning experiences. Practicum students also learn new oral and written presentation skills to enhance their resumes.

About the professor: Catherine Bocskor is in-house counsel for a Washington-based multinational corporation. In 2012 she taught macroeconomics, international business and business law at Prince Mohammad University in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. During the 1990's her law practice was in Budapest, Hungary where she also formed and managed two investment funds. This experience led to her research interest in Transitional Justice. Prof. Bocskor has now returned to teach at SIS, her undergraduate alma mater.

Summer 2017

  • Program Design and Assessment in International Education in Kenya
  • Urban Development and Public Services Delivery in India
  • Assessing Community Impact and Evaluation Training in Myanmar & Thailand
  • ONLINE Design and Outreach Strategy for Internet Stakeholders
  • ONLINE Supporting Women Entrepreneurs in Pakistan

Fall 2017

  • Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • A Wicked Problem for US National Security
  • Cultural Diplomacy and International Exchange
  • ONLINE Great Power Competition 2.0
  • ONLINE Issues of Multinational Enterprise