Six SIPA Students and UNICEF Awarded First Place at U.S. Agency for International Development Competition

Most of the news on the blog lately has been about admission related news and notes, but there is always a lot going on at SIPA that is newsworthy.

Workshops are opportunities designed for SIPA students to work in groups with external organizations to put their learning to real world use.  You can think of workshops as group internships.  These opportunities are set up by faculty members and the workshops provide practical learning and also give SIPA graduates a solid way to provide practical examples of their skills sets in job interviews.

Sean Mahoney Blaschke, Sarah Kirsten Bokenkamp, Roxana Maria Cosmaciuc, Mari Fredrika Denby, Beza Hailu, and Raymond Short, all second year SIPA students who are participating in the Workshop in Development Practice (also known as the Economic and Political Development/Human Rights Workshop), were awarded first place in the ‘Development 2.0 Challenge’ held by USAID.  The SIPA team is partnering with UNICEF to pilot a system to monitor the health and nutrition status of children in Malawi using text messaging over mobile phones.

The students will work with UNICEF and local partners through April to develop and test this “RapidSMS” system, initially at three growth monitoring centers in Malawi before expanding nationwide.  The goal is to help the Government of Malawi and its partners track trends in child malnutrition more accurately and in real time.  Prof. Pratima Kale, who has a long history of work with UNICEF, is the faculty advisor for this

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Photo courtesy of UNICEF Web site