Archive for Capstone Workshop

What will your Capstone Workshop look like?

Here at the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, we’ve kept busy by preparing for a new admissions cycle. Now that it’s August, the SIPA application will be opening soon. Make sure you’re signed up on our mailing list so you can get notified when the application goes live.

As usual, we’ll be posting application tips and advice to the blog throughout the admissions process. One piece of advice we can give for any program is to be specific in your personal statement, and about why you want to not just attend graduate school, but this particular program. For some, this means researching each program’s curricula.

A signature of the SIPA curriculum is the Capstone Workshop. Small teams of students work on these consulting projects, where they apply the theory they learn in the classroom to real-world issues. What can your Capstone look like? You can check out the full list here, and below, Julia Tumasz (MPA-DP ’19) and John Rouse (MPA-DP ’18) went on New York’s MetroFocus to talk about their Private Rainforest Reserves capstone case study film.

Check out the full interview here.

We covered this capstone about clean cooking in Uganda in this post. Here’s the Spring 2018 team that worked on it, along with a (beautiful) writeup on their project.

If you’re preparing to apply to SIPA to start in Spring or Fall of 2019 and want to see certain content on this blog that hasn’t been covered, be sure to reach out and let us know! Submit An Idea by clicking the link at the top or shoot us an email.

 

Capstone Workshop: Improving STEM education in Ghana

A signature of the SIPA curriculum is the Capstone Workshop, a live consulting project on a real-world issue for an outside organization. You’ll work with small consulting teams of other SIPA students under the guidance of an expert faculty advisor.

This is just two of the Spring 2018 workshops out of the 80+ projects each year, and your project could be in the public, private, and nonprofit sector

Building a Hands-on Science Culture Among Ghanaian STEM Teachers

Client: Practical Education Network (PEN)

Based on the finding that one-off teacher trainings alone are not sufficient to enable teachers to implement hands-on science, the Capstone team developed an incentive strategy to increase teacher uptake of in-class activities. The team also made recommendations to improve PEN’s monitoring & evaluation practices, including providing guidance on data collection, analysis, and storage. The team’s final deliverables include toolkits, step-by-step implementation, and measurement guides for immediate incorporation into organization processes. Learn more here.

Clean Cooking Energy Enterprise in Uganda

Client: United Nations Capital Development Fund

In Uganda, only 2% of the population has access to clean cooking technologies while the majority of households rely on biomass to cook, thus making the expansion of the clean cooking sector a major challenge in the country. To fulfill the client’s requests of providing diagnostics to help the companies attract further technical and investment support, the Capstone team undertook background research on the sector, conducted interviews with international organizations and local associations, and took a weeklong field visit to Uganda to meet with local entrepreneurs and produced a set of deliverables, including company prescriptions, company profiles and a website with database feature, to advise them properly on the ways in which they could scale up their efforts. Learn more here.

Check out the full list of SIPA Capstone Workshops here.

A View from the Class: The 2018 Award-Winning Capstone Workshop Team

The SIPA Office of Alumni and Development is pleased to share another installment of A View from the Class, a SIPA stories series featuring current SIPA students, recently graduated alumni, and SIPA faculty.

Here, we feature the Capstone workshop team that was awarded this year’s Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson Award for Human Values in International Affairs for their work with UN Women on the project “Using Twitter Data Combined with Traditional Survey Data to Measure Societal Dynamics Related to Violence Against Women in Brazil.” Awarded annually, the Gitelson award was created by SIPA alumna, Dr. Susan Gitelson to recognize outstanding work by SIPA students related to human values in international affairs.

For this project, six SIPA students were partnered with faculty advisor, David Dabscheck. UN Women was interested in the use of Big Data; specifically, to understand the potential of using Twitter data combined with traditional survey data to measure societal dynamics related to violence against women in Brazil, where the rates of homicide have continued to increase since 2007.

Alejandra Baez MIA’18: At SIPA, Alejandra concentrated in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with specializations in Latin America and Technology, Media, and Communications. A Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow, she will join the U.S. State Department in September 2018 as a Foreign Service Officer.

Wajeeha Bajwa MIA’18: Wajeeha grew up in Tokyo and Moscow and completed her undergraduate education in Germany before returning home to Pakistan to pursue a career in independent consulting. At SIPA, she specialized in Gender and Public Policy to complement her international field experience. She hopes to join an international organization working for women’s empowerment globally.

Gabriel Barrientos MPA-DP’18: At SIPA, Gabriel focused on quantitative analysis, education policies, and behavioral economics. Recently graduated, Gabriel is joining Concordia in New York City as a Partnership Development Manager, working with key partners, industry leaders, and other stakeholders to foster and strengthen public-private partnerships for social impact.

Veronique Ehamo MIA’18: At SIPA, Veronique concentrated in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with a dual specialization in Gender and Public Policy and Regional African Studies. From the Democratic Republic of Congo, she  will begin PhD studies in the United Kingdom this fall, focusing her research on the utilization of rape as a weapon of war in the North Kivu Region of Eastern DRC.

Lilah Greenberg MPA’19: A dual degree student at SIPA and the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW), Lilah is pursuing her MPA, concentrating in Human Rights with a specialization in Gender and Public Policy. In fall 2018, she will continue her studies at CSSW, focusing on human rights and contemporary social issues in the U.S.

Marie Wavre MPA’18: An attorney and MPA graduate in Development and Gender Policy, Marie received a Master in Public International Law from Université Paris Assas and an LL.M. in International Law and Justice from Fordham University School of Law. Marie is currently legal counsel for an immigration law office representing Tibetan refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

This could be your Capstone project one day

SIPA’s signature Capstone Workshops give students the opportunity to apply the practical skills and analytical knowledge learned at SIPA to a real-world issue for client organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Students from the Master of International Affairs and Master of Public Administration degree programs, working under the guidance of an expert faculty advisor, are organized into small consulting teams (generally about six students per team) across more than 80 projects each year.

While students won’t complete their MIA/MPA Capstone Workshop until their final semester at SIPA, there are ways to preview what the assignments are like. Here are two Capstone Workshops highlighting some of the compelling work that our Seeples do.

Preventing Social Conflict in the Peruvian Mining Industry

Capstone Client #1: Government of Peru, President of the Council of Minister’s Office

Faculty Advisor: Jenik Radon

Team: Ayaka Ishida Amano, Lidia Cano, Filippo Ghersini, Ana Gabriela Gonzalez, Marisol Grau, Jordan Grimshaw, Vidyu Kishor, Emmanuel Laboy, Alessandra Mistura, Joshua Trinidad, Clara Young Thiemann

Mining is one of Peru’s most important industries, responsible for a considerable portion of the country’s economic growth since the 1990s. However, this growth has come at a financial, environmental and human cost. Work stoppages and deaths have resulted from social conflicts that arise when members of the communities impacted by mining projects are excluded from the approval processes and the economic benefits. Government regulations aimed at preventing and mitigating the causes of these social conflicts have been largely ineffective. With renewed government focus on this issue in 2017, the team’s report harnessed the current political momentum and provided a guide for the new administration through the process of filling legal gaps, mapping administrative processes, improving state engagement with communities, and ensuring implementation and compliance with robust social license policies.

Assessing Offline Internet Technology as a Development Tool to Connect the Unconnected

Capstone Client #2: Wikimedia Foundation, Mount Sinai—Wikipedia Project for Offline Education in Medicine (POEM) in the Dominican Republic

Faculty Advisor: Anne Nelson

Team: Lucia Haro, Maria Gonzalez Millan, Katie Nelson, Jorge Salem Suito

Offline internet technology is an emerging ICT4D tool to expand access to information to the 60% of the world’s population who lack internet connectivity. Wikipedia is interested in expanding the use of their open source encyclopedia content around the globe, and assessing its usefulness in low-resource settings. The Dominican Republic, a country with an under-resourced health system and limited internet connectivity, is an ideal laboratory to test offline internet as a tool for development. The team interviewed healthcare providers in the Dominican Republic to learn what kinds of information they require, and to assess the usefulness of the ‘internet-in-a-box’ as a low-cost offline internet-enabled data storage device that allows users to wirelessly access open-source content. The project’s findings are that offline internet has considerable potential to bridge information gaps, especially in rural, low-resource settings. The team’s recommendations are being incorporated into a pilot project to field-test the device during summer 2017.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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