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Shuhada Organization, Afghanistan
Afreen Akhter worked with Shuhada Organization (www.shuhada.org), an Afghan women’s rights NGO, in central Afghanistan and in Kabul. Over the course of the summer, Afreen conducted capacity building workshops with Shuhada Organization in monitoring and evaluation techniques, proposal and report writing, data interpretation, and communications. Afreen also researched the effectiveness of women’s development initiatives in central Afghanistan through interviews and surveys with Afghan women.
Philanthropy Secretariat in the Office of the President, Liberia
Afua Entsuah worked with the Philanthropy Secretariat within the Office of the President of Liberia. The Philanthropy Secretariat was established in 2009 by the Government of Liberia and its foundation partners to facilitate and strengthen philanthropic actors engaged in Liberia. Afua was working with the program manager to plan the annual foundation’s meeting in September 2010, as well as following up on initiatives proposed from the 2009 Foundations Meeting. She also researched particular areas of interest and created responses to the needs of potential philanthropists and foundations. Lastly, she worked on developing a strategy for the Secretariat’s website to provide updated feature stories and monthly reports on philanthropic initiatives in Liberia.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Maldives
Alexandra Fielden was a summer intern at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the Maldives. UNFPA is the world’s largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs. UNFPA’s overarching goal in the Maldives is to contribute to enhancing the quality of life of Maldivians through improved reproductive health, gender equality and women’s empowerment. The internship involved working jointly with UN partners, the Maldives Directorate of Public Health (Ministry of Health), Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth on four main projects: A behavioral change communication (BCC) plan for reproductive health; evidence-based advocacy for reproductive health; reproductive health information and services for young people; and writing policy for the health sector response to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Andrew worked with TEPAV, Turkey's leading economic think tank, to create an Institute of Social Policy. This institute will conduct impact evaluations to inform government and NGO policy in education, health, and labor. A particular focus of TEPAV's social policy research will be in identifying effective solutions for increasing female labor force participation. During the summer, Andrew wrote TEPAV's strategy to create this new institute, and worked with the existing team to design and conduct rigorous analyses of social programs.
Sybill conducted a new study on the social causes of maternal mortality in Haiti. She worked with the medical and support staff at hospitals with OB/GYN doctors to collect data in two stages. First, she reviewed the medical records of women who had fallen victim to maternal mortality to assess medical causes. She then conducted qualitative interviews with the families of these women to understand the social factors that contributed to each woman's death. Her study laid the groundwork for designing social interventions to improve maternal health in Haiti.
Asian Migrant Centre, Hong Kong
Yoojin conducted an independent research project that looked into best practices of economically empowering migrant women in Asia. As a basis for this research, she spent the summer working at the Asian Migrant Centre in Hong Kong, assisting Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW) and Migration and Development (M&D) Programs. She then carried out case studies of other non-profit organizations in key host countries of Asia's female migrants such as Singapore and South Korea through field research and data analysis. Through this research, she explored innovative models of economic empowerment for the growing number of migrant women and families in Asia, with the ultimate aim of increasing their capacity in political and social arenas.
Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Government of India
Priyanka Sinha worked with a team of specialists from MWCD and the World Bank to re-structure various components of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program. ICDS is India’s largest early childhood nutrition and health care program for pregnant and nursing mothers. In particular, Priyanka helped to formulate a comprehensive training and capacity building strategy for ICDS functionaries and developed a results-based framework to monitor success.
Center for Micro Finance, India
Anitha Sivasankaran worked in Thanjavur, India with a research team of students and faculty from Harvard, and the Center for Micro Finance. The team conducted a randomized impact evaluation of a microfinance institution serving rural areas in the Thanjavur and Thiruvarur districts in South India. In particular, she focused on the impact of microfinance on female empowerment, and designed more objective and easily quantifiable measures of female empowerment based on observed behavior, that can be used to supplement evidence from surveys.
Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), Bhutan
Nina interned at the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), the Royal Government of Bhutan’s national policy-making and planning commission, in Thimphu, Bhutan. At the GNHC, she focused on developing an institutional strategy to mainstream gender equality into Gross National Happiness (GNH) policies and initiatives mandated by the Royal Government of Bhutan’s 10th 5-year Plan (2008-2013). In addition to learning first-hand how GNH principles are mandated at the national level, she also conducted field studies in rural Bhutanese villages to evaluate the role of gender in GNH initiatives related to poverty alleviation and rural development.
Melanie spent her summer with PRADAN, a women's empowerment and rural development organization in India. PRADAN currently works with approximately 200,000 marginalized women and their communities across eight states in central and eastern India to help them develop their skills and assets to lead more dignified lives. Melanie helped PRADAN develop a policy agenda, advocacy strategy, and institutional capacity to politically empower their constituents at the central, state, and district level. Before she left for India, Melanie visited Haiti to help facilitate the next steps of HKS student, faculty, and center involvement in Haiti's development.
Blog Disclaimer: The information contained in the blogs of the Cultural Bridge Fellowship Program does not represent the views, intentions, or strategies of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. The information is solely the personal opinion of the blog author. The Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard University may not be held responsible for any content included in the personal blogs, nor are they responsible for how the student develops blog material beyond the scope of his or her Cultural Bridge Fellowship.