2008 Cultural Bridge Fellows

 


Laura Bacon | LIBERIA
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Laura Bacon worked in Liberia's Ministry of Gender and Development as the Special Assistant to Deputy Minister Annette Kiawu and Minister Vabah Gayflor.  This position involved assisting with the implementation plan for the National Gender Policy, composing policy briefings for the Ministers, conducting research on current policies, preparing presentations for the Minister, and analyzing the gender effects of various policies presented to the Ministry by other sectors of the government.

 


Jamille Bigio | JORDAN
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Jamille Bigio worked under of the overall guidance of the Head of the Inter-Agency Information and Analysis (IAU) Unit, which reports to the HC/RC/DSRSG.  She provided socio-economic analysis related to the development and humanitarian situation in Iraq. Her responsibilities involved collecting and analyzing information from a range of sources, including COSIT / KRSO, UN Agencies, sector outcome teams (SOTs) and NGOs and integrating it into various outputs that are effectively disseminated. Jamille also provided support and guidance to the SOTs in producing measurable outcome indicators and developing strategies through the quarterly monitoring survey conducted by the IAU with NGO partners. She developed networks with research institutes and universities working on Iraq to harness their information and analysis.

 


Megan Carroll | JORDAN
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Megan Carroll worked with the Foundation’s Institute for Family Health (IFH) in Amman. IFH has been providing health care services for mothers and children since 1986. As the Institute grew, it began to place special emphasis on women through the Women’s Health Counseling Center. In 2006, the Institute started providing services to displaced Iraqis, a greatly underserved population. As the demand for services for the displaced grows, IFH is struggling to find a balance between continuing care of women (their initial focus) and meeting the needs of a new population. Megan looked at how the Foundation is expanding to meet these new demands and to what extent the displaced population is being served (i.e. Where are the gaps? and make recommendations for improvement). She was especially interested in access to psychological and domestic violence counseling services as there is a much greater need than resources allow. Megan worked under the guidance of two women: Dr. Manal Tahtamouni (IFH Managing Director) and Hana Mitri Shahin (Executive Director, Noor Al Hussein Foundation).

 


Kyle Dietrich | BURUNDI
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During the summer of 2008, Kyle Dietrich worked with Peace in Focus (www.peaceinfocus.org), a non-profit organization that he co-founded in 2007. Kyle conducted two photography and conflict transformation workshops with underserved and at-risk youth: one in Boston, Massachusetts in June/July and one in Bujumbura, Burundi in July/August. Each workshop lasted roughly two weeks and brought together 15-20 youth from diverse backgrounds in each community to learn the power of photography and healthy relationships in engaging their communities in a dialogue for peace. In particular, the workshops aimed to facilitate learning in self-expression, creative non-violence, cross-cultural sensitivity, and leadership with the goal of building a constituency of youth and youth organizers working to advocate for social change in their communities. Kyle also conducted thesis-related field research and a summative evaluation of the workshops through focus groups, one-on-ones, and surveys.

 



Francesco Ferretti | INDIA 
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Francesco Ferretti continued his work from the summer of 2007 with Sr. Sudha Vargese’s NGO Nari Gunjan (Bihar, India). Nari Gunjan aims at empowering women and girls of the caste community (Dalit – Musahar) with education, microfinance, sanitation, and HIV prevention programs. Francesco worked to help enable gender empowerment from a social, political and economic standpoint.

 


Sheila Lalwani | INDIA 
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Sheila Lalwani worked at the State Department and Human Rights Network.  Her internship provided a unique opportunity to affect policy related to women. During her time at the State Department and Human Rights Network, she primarily focused on the following areas: human trafficking, girls’ education and marriage rights.

 



Diane Mak | LIBERIA
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Diane Mak worked in Liberia’s Ministry of Finance with Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, the country’s Deputy Minister for Revenue. Under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Liberian government finished the draft of their Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), and over the summer of 2008, Diane supported the Ministry’s work in implementing some of the development-focused policies articulated in the PRS. These included areas such as revenue policy, administrative regulation development, impact modeling and private sector development. The 8-week internship gave Diane the chance to build on her core MPA/ID coursework in economics and provided her with the opportunity to work directly with the leadership of a post-conflict country committed to building peace and to improving the lives of its citizens.

 



Ami Novoryta | BANGLADESH
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Ami Novoryta worked with BRAC’s Education Program on a new adolescent development and livelihood assistance project, as part of a team involved in designing a hybrid adolescent education, awareness building and micro-enterprise development program. BRAC is a Bangladeshi-led international development organization founded in 1972 whose mission is to promote human rights, dignity and gender equity by building poor people’s social, economic, political and human capacity.  Her specific duties included research and evaluation of current adolescent education program components, analysis of life-skills training and borrower profiles of adolescents, research into new skills such as financial education and support in program curriculum development.

 


Jen Scott | INDIA
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Jen Scott’s internship placement with Action Aid India was structured around the organization’s policy level, media level and community level engagement with the issues faced by displaced tribal women in connection to natural resources access. Her internship focused on three aspects of Action Aid’s strategic programming: supporting research activities and capacity building interventions with field teams in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chatisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa; assisting Action Aid’s Policy Unit (based in Bangalore) with data analysis and written input to a key report on opportunities for greater participation in the development planning process for populations affected by mineral extraction projects; and working with the Action Aid media team to produce a three-minute advocacy film on tribal communities, to be screened as a pre-film commercial in UK cinemas.

 


Preya Sharma | LIBERIA 
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Preya Sharma worked in the Ministry of Finance as the Private Secretary to Minister Sayeh for two months. Her internship was based in Monrovia, Liberia. Preya’s primary role was to assist Minister Sayeh in preparation for two key events; Budget 2008 and a major donor conference. Working closely with the Minister she provided three distinct services: forecasting and briefing to pass Budget 2008 through fiscal policy and macroeconomic analysis; producing tailored products for the Minister in terms of memos, speeches and briefings in preparation of negotiations and meetings; and sharing practices to build capacity and develop processes to create an effective organization.

 



Margo Steiner | BURKINA FASO
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As an intern for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Margo Steiner spent her summer interviewing Burkinabe women who have participated in the NDI’s program designed to strengthen women’s participation in politics on the national and local level in Burkina Faso. Margo’s work is based on an evaluation at the conclusion of the program’s first year to ensure that activities are responding to Burkinabe needs, and would adjust the design of activities for the second and third years of the program accordingly.

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