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Organization: Harvard Kennedy School
Mentor: Professor Rema Hanna, Economist
Over the course of the summer, Sara was exposed to all aspects of economic research using data collected from field work. She worked on two projects in which Dr. Hanna was a coauthor: the first looked at a health intervention designed to encourage families in Orissa, India, to adopt clean stoves (more than three million people globally use stoves that produce polluted air connected with a variety of health problems that disproportionately affect women and children). The second project looked at the effects of encouraging seaweed farmers in Indonesia to experiment with farming techniques. Sara was involved in all aspects of the research. This included analysis of the collected data to determine the efficacy of the project through advanced regression analysis and other statistical methods using the program STATA. As data analysis neared completion, the work transitioned to contributing to developing conclusions and supporting the authors in producing an academic paper and non-academic practitioner reports about the results.
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.
Allison Muehlenbeck, MPP 2011
Club de Madrid (Women's Political Participation and Leadership Program), Madrid
Allison Muehlenbeck worked with the Women's Political Participation and Leadership program at Club de Madrid, an independent organization devoted to developing democratic values and leadership around the world. As a Council of Women World Leaders Fellow, she primarily focused on helping to develop mechanisms to maximize the participation and contribution of women in national and regional peace and security decision-making and political dialogue in the Greater Horn of Africa.
Campaign for Candidate for Governor of Florida, Alex Sink
Molly spent the summer as an Outreach Coordinator for the Alex Sink for Governor Campaign in Florida. Alex Sink was the state’s elected Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was running to become Florida’s first female governor. As an Outreach Coordinator, Molly was responsible for helping to recruit, train, and mobilize volunteers across the state. She developed and sustained relationships with grassroots volunteers and engaged supporters of Alex Sink. Molly spent a good part of her childhood in northeastern Florida, where she currently has family. She was delighted to work for a female candidate dedicated to making a difference in the state and who will serve as a role model for her future work in public service.
MA State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry (MA D-12)
Manisha spent her summer interning with Massachusetts State Legislator Linda Dorcena Forry (MA D-12). Representative Linda Dorcena Forry is one of two Haitian American representatives at the state-level for Massachusetts. She also chairs the state committee for small businesses. Manisha contributed to legislation that was being debated. She also assisted with a report on small business development that was launched in the fall. Manisha helped with development in the Haitian American community, as well as coordinating with the relief funding and assistance being distributed to Haiti.
White House Intern, Office of the Vice President
Kate was selected to be a White House intern. She worked for the Office of the Vice President, which consists of personal staffers as well as policy advisors, and is akin to a miniature White House Staff that operates semiautonomously within the Executive Branch. This internship provided insight into life inside the beltway, as well as valuable professional experience. Kate was particularly excited to get a glimpse into the inner workings of the federal government.
Office of the Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom
Mallika was in the Office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. She specifically worked with the Mayor’s Public Safety Advisor focusing on issues of community-police relations. Combining her law and policy training, Mallika is deeply interested in the intersections of issues of race, gender, and security, at the local, national, and international levels. In the Mayor’s office, she had the opportunity to work at the city level on perceptions of policing and security in different minority communities. She was also involved with the Community Justice Center, inaugurated under Mayor Newsom’s purview last year, which combines social services, including drug treatment, medical care, employment assistance, as well as education services, to achieve restorative justice.
Campaign for Candidate for Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson
Jane spent her summer working for Jocelyn Benson, candidate for Michigan Secretary of State. Jane researched emerging election reform policies throughout the nation and within the state, and her research helped to inform Ms. Benson’s platform. She also traveled throughout the state and visited various Secretary of State’s offices to analyze constituent access and convenience to state services, including issuing vehicle registrations, licensing automobile drivers, and regulating notaries public. Jane gained firsthand experience of the rigors of the campaign trail by accompanying Ms. Benson to various gatherings and meetings and addressing constituent concerns.
Katya Melkote spent the summer of 2010 working in New York City with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). She researched and analyzed data on women and adolescents in the areas of reproductive health, protection, and education. Her findings will serve as the basis for future UNICEF publications and programming. These findings will also be important to legislators and public leaders worldwide who will use this data to assess the status of women and children in their countries in order to formulate policy decisions, programming, and public opinion.
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC)
In the summer of 2010, Devin served as a legislative fellow at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public agency geared towards the expansion of the renewable energy industry. Primarily, he explored various governmental options for intervention to promote growth in this area. Researching regulations and statutes in many other states across the country, he contributed to the development of wind siting and solar thermal programs right here in Massachusetts. With the approval of Cape Wind, Devin also worked on the state purchase of a barge that is specially designed for offshore wind projects.
Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of Education, Joan Sullivan
Christina worked under the guidance and supervision of Joan Sullivan, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of Education. She worked on a broad range of issues, with a particular focus on school turnaround models, state education legislation, and parent engagement strategies. She was responsible for working with the office's partners and her research on turnaround models will be used by the Mayor's Partnership for Los Angeles Schools as it codifies its own turnaround approach. Ultimately, Christina wants to use the skills that she gained as a teacher, a summer intern, and an Oval Office training participant to contribute to the raising of student achievement in her home city's highest need schools.
U.S. House of Representatives, Resident Commissioner Pedro R. Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico)
Mayra worked in the Washington, DC office of Resident Commissioner Pedro R. Pierluisi, the sole representative in Congress of the four million Americans residing on the island of Puerto Rico. She conducted research on public policy issues of significant importance to the island’s future, such as its political status and economic development. She helped draft bills for introduction by the Congressman, and aid in constituent services. Working in the House of Representatives allowed Mayra to become better acquainted with the chamber’s procedures and culture, while learning how to garner support for initiatives or bills from other Congressmen and Senators and gaining insight about the Committee on the Judiciary, where Resident Commissioner Pierluisi is Vice-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Hannah Lantos worked on a baseline survey of an agro-forestry project in northern Mozambique for Technoserve. Technoserve helps women and men in the developing world to start and continue to develop small and medium sized enterprises that can help them develop themselves, their families, and their communities. Hannah was based in Maputo but traveled to the north to meet with local entrepreneurs, women’s groups, government officials, and community members. She focused on how to integrate the project into the local area so that people would understand the potential benefit of forestry and poultry projects to women. Hannah also focused on how to communicate effectively with the government so that the project is well integrated into the country’s development goals.
Catalyst, Inc., New York, NY
Varina Winder spent the summer of 2010 working in the New York office of Catalyst, Inc., specifically with its Advisory Services team. Catalyst is a leading nonprofit membership organization working to advance women and minority business leaders. Through its extensive research practice and its Advisory Services, Information Center, Speakers Bureau and Corporate Board Services teams, Catalyst works across the globe to help companies build more inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and businesses. Varina specifically worked on two projects, including (1) helping Catalyst’s Spanish and Latin American clients launch, revitalize, and leverage employee resource groups such as women's professional networks; and (2) working with the Advisory Services team and helping Catalyst clients adopt a 'Diversity and Inclusion' lens as they consider and strengthen their talent management processes.