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Summer and Intersession Programs

Assessing Community Impact in Myanmar and Evaluation Training in Thailand

Mandalay, Myanmar and Chiang Mai, Thailand

As Myanmar engages in significant political and economic reform, students will have the opportunity to conduct a community level impact evaluation (from start to finish) of a community fellowship program, in a country where development will be an imperative for many years to come. Traveling to a post-conflict context such as Myanmar provides students with the opportunity to conduct an evaluation of a program that works with ethnic groups from all over the country, allowing for the analysis of international interveners in communities affected by conflict and prejudice. Throughout the course students will be asked to reflect on their own cultural orientation and how it impacts their interactions with people in the local context. This will give students applied experience in conducting evaluations on programs that involve cross-cultural interaction. Students will also have the opportunity to conduct a training in Chiang Mai, Thailand, substantially building their resume.

A picture of Mandalay in Myanmar.

Faculty Director

Alexander Cromwell

Academic Details

Practicum 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 students will employ will likely include interviews, surveys, focus groups, and participant observation. Students will also learn how to design curriculum for the conduct training in concrete skills such as program evaluation and other topics TBD. 

2017 Course Dates*

Pre-Departure In-Class Meetings:

Mid-Late June- Multiple meetings, to be held in the evening over course of two weeks

Travel Dates*:

June 27th- Arrive in Myanmar for approximately 10 days.

July 8th- Arrive in Thailand for approximately 3 days. 

July 11th- Conclusion of program in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Final Report Due to Client:


*dates are subject to change

Program Costs

Expected student expenses include: AU tuition, program fee, international travel (flights), visa fee (if applicable), and most meals. 

Program fee: $1700 $850

Students will be charged the full program fee for their participation in the program, but will receive a scholarship on their student accounts to offset this cost. Check back soon for additional information regarding costs and the program fee.

Who Should Apply

Students from all SIS programs are encouraged to apply. Students should have a background, demonstrated through coursework or applied experience, in program evaluation*, quantitative or qualitative research methods, in addition to program and/or curriculum design and implementation.

*Students with a limited background in program evaluation will have the opportunity to enroll in a 1-credit skills institute, prior to departure, to prepare for the course. 

Practicum Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in any SIS Practicum, MA students must be in good academic standing (including a 3.0 cumulative GPA) and have completed 18 credits of graduate coursework by the end of the spring 2017 semester, prior to participating in the Practicum. Dual degree students (e.g. MA/MBA, JD/MA, and KU/MA) must have completed at least 9 of the minimum 18 credits to participate. Students from any MA program can apply to this practicum.

Application and Deadlines

Application deadline: February 22nd 

Please visit the Practicum site to get started on your application to the Practicum Program. Be aware that applications received before the deadline will not be reviewed sooner, nor will they receive special consideration because of early submission. We strongly advise you to take your time to submit a quality application. More information on how to submit a strong application is available through the Practicum site.

If accepted, students will be required to submit a non-refundable deposit of $250 to SIS, through a check or money order made payable to American University, to secure their place in the Program.

Information Sessions

January 23, 2017 4:30-5:30 PM Location: SIS 112F

February 2, 2017 11:00-11:45 AM Location: Online- Login details TBA

Application and Deadlines

Summer 2017: February 22, 2017-- no applications accepted after this date.

Funding Your Study Abroad

Graduate grants and scholarships

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