By CID Staff

group of people posing for photo, some with certificates
CID's 2023 global interns at Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research (PIER), together with PIER staff and HKS professor Rema Hanna.

What is CID's Global Internship Program?

Each summer, the CID Global Internship Program provides international development internship and training opportunities for Harvard students. The aim of the program is to build students’ capacity to use economic evidence in approaching problem-solving, while providing students with a toolkit to make meaningful contributions to development projects. The student interns often continue their interest in the development projects they are introduced to through their internship for years afterwards.

During the summer of 2023, twenty-four students gained experience working with nine host organizations in eight different countries, from Thailand to Morocco to India, as part of the CID Global Internship Program. Hear from five of our 2023 CID interns about their experiences below.

Perspectives from the Field: CID's 2023 Interns Share their Experiences

three people gathered before temple in Indonesia
Kritika Nagappa and other interns in Indonesia.

“I primarily worked on a project led by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UN Women with Universitas Indonesia. I was graciously mentored by Professor Diahhadi Setyonaluri, a demographer and avid researcher of gender in the labor market. Together, we looked into women in the workforce and methods to increase female participation in the formal labor sector. 

The CID Global Internship Program equipped me with tools to make an investment in myself and in the communities around me. For that, I am most grateful and proud to be a part of CID and all the great work it does.”  

– Kritika Nagappa, 2023 intern at Indonesia Bureau of Economic Research (IBER) 

"In our field research experiences, we went to the North, Northeast, and South of Thailand, talking with over 100 farmers and dozens of managers of the Agricultural Bank which provides credit to the rural population. In each region, there would be very diverse accounts by the farmers, ranging from very low-income landless farmers to others who grew a variety of crops and livestocks in their own land. But across all cases there were important commonalities. The most cited reason for the persistent debt was income fluctuations, which in turn led farmers to not repay loans so that they would have money during an unpredictable future shock like drought and floods.

young man giving presentation before a screen
Eduardo Vasconcelos giving his final presentation at PIER.

Working in Thailand's Central Bank was a delightful and transformative experience, for which I will be forever grateful to Harvard's Center for International Development, to PIER, and the staff in both institutions. It was a humbling and enriching experience to attentively listen to the farmers' accounts of their financial livelihoods. Furthermore, as an enthusiast of development economics who still has so much to learn, it was incredible to ask thoughtful questions and learn from the most accomplished Thai economists who decided to give back to their country after studying in the best economics departments throughout the world."

- Eduardo Vasconcelos, 2023 intern at Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research (PIER), Thailand

“Throughout the past eight weeks, I had the opportunity to apply my marketing and user research skills to make a tangible difference in the social sector while gaining invaluable insights into the education industry. 

As my remote internship with Agastya draws to a close, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a meaningful cause. Over the course of eight weeks, this internship has provided me with a profound understanding of the social sector and the transformative power of education. It has been a remarkable demonstration of how technology can bridge gaps and drive positive change. This experience has also left an indelible mark on my sense of purpose, and I am more determined than ever to advocate for quality education and equal opportunities for all in the future.” 

- Bella Zhou, 2023 intern at Agastya International Foundation, India

"I never imagined enjoying attending “school” over the summer, but this past summer proved me wrong in many ways. As an intern for the Morocco Employment Lab (MEL), an opportunity provided through Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for International Development and funded by the Mignone Center for Career Success, I worked and lived in Rabat for two months. One of the highlights of my internship was the “école d’été” or “summer school,” the largest event MEL has organized to-date. Having helped the MEL team prepare logistics in the weeks leading up to the summer school, and moreover seeing our work come to life with the arrival of the event, was truly a rewarding moment to experience. Participants from all over Africa – including researchers, academics, nonprofit leaders, and more – congregated in Rabat in early July for four days of informational lectures and workshop sessions.

panel sitting in a room presenting
Panel discussion at the Morocco Employment Lab summer school.

Though the scale of the summer school required a heavy load on the logistical end, the conversations I had and the people I met made the experience incredibly rewarding nonetheless. All of the new perspectives I heard were only possible by bringing such a large, diverse group of individuals together, and that was really the beauty and value of an event as unifying as the summer school."

- Kaitlyn Tran, 2023 intern at Morocco Employment Lab

“Over the course of two months, I had the opportunity to contribute to a project addressing high levels of agricultural debt for Thai farmers. Over 90% of farmers in Thailand have debt and 47% of farmers have “persistent debt” meaning they will likely not be able to repay debt before reaching retirement age. I along with two other Harvard interns was specifically tasked with researching the evolution, efficacy, and loan performance of group lending/joint liability loans in the Thai context. 

woman holding flag
Devangana Rana holding a Move Forward party flag at a pro-democracy rally.

My time in Thailand cemented my passion for international development, gave me exposure to research in development economics, and continues to motivate me to pursue other opportunities in the field. I am forever grateful for this transformative experience.”




- Devangana Rana, 2023 intern at Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research (PIER), Thailand

Student Outreach
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Image Credits

Kritika Nagappa, Eduardo Vasconcelos, Devangana Rana, Kaitlyn Tran

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