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Fall 2016 Practica

Summer 2017 Practica

Program Design and Assessment in International Education in Kenya


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).

Urban Development and Public Services Delivery in India


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.

About the Professor: Dr. Mary Breeding is an international development consultant. Her work focuses on the relationship between democratic institutions and public service delivery to better understand how new opportunities for achieving social impact emerge. Her work cuts across sectors from education and health to international migration and trade. Dr. Breeding has over a decade of experience and has worked with a variety of employers and clients ranging from the World Bank to Georgetown University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from American University in 2008.

Assessing Community Impact and Evaluation Training in Indonesia & Thailand


Description: This practicum will take place in Indonesia and Thailand. It provides students with the opportunity to facilitate trainings in program evaluation and conduct a community-level impact evaluation of VIA's Global Community Fellowship Program and the Indonesia-U.S. Youth Leadership Program (IUSYLP). Placements of the Global Community Fellows 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 Indonesia. Students will also evaluate the impact of IUSYLP, a conflict resolution and leadership education program that brought roughly 20 youth and educators from Indonesia to the United States and 10 U.S. youth and educators to Indonesia for a 1-month exchange over the past 3 summers (from 2014-2016). 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 Indonesia, the team will travel 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. After spending roughly four days in Thailand, the group will then travel on to Indonesia, where they will conduct the community-level evaluation of the impact of the Global Fellows' presence and of IUSYLP there, Upon students' arrival back in DC, they will analyze the data from their evaluation in Indonesia and compile a report assessing the impact of the Global Fellowship Program and IUSYLP, 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. Participants will implement the evaluation and analyze 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.

About the Professor: Alex Cromwell is an Instructor at the School of International Service and the School of Professional and Extended Studies. His research and teaching interests include peace education, youth and peacebuilding, leadership, program evaluation, intercultural competence, identity, and conflict transformation. He is also a Ph.D. Candidate at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, where he conducted his research in Pakistan focused on the long-term effects of peace education in conflict contexts. He specializes in programs with youth from conflict areas, with over 10 years of experience with youth programming, and has worked with groups from the Middle East, South and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the United States. He is currently the Co-Director of the Indonesia-U.S. Youth Leadership Program, which brings Indonesian high school students to the United States and American high school students to Indonesia for a conflict resolution and leadership education program. He previously taught courses at George Mason University on conflict transformation and identity.

ONLINE - Design and Outreach Strategy for Internet Stakeholders


Description: 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


Description: 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. 

Spring Practica

  • Climate Change Communication
  • Affecting Institutional Culture Change for Intercultural Competence
  • Global Health: Family Planning
  • Intelligence Analysis with Prof. Deni
  • Intelligence Analysis with Prof. Peritz
  • Dangerous Decline of Democracy
  • Central America Security Challenges and Opportunities
  • Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
  • Leadership and Management of Peacebuilding NGOs
  • Issues of Multinational Enterprise
  • U.S. Agricultural Policy
  • U.S. Policy toward Egypt
  • Human Rights and National Security
  • Global Political Economy & Sustainable Development
  • Service Success: Refugee Workforce Placement
  • Securing Sustainable Gains in Afghanistan