Best Global Practices for Tobacco Control - National Institute for Respiratory Diseases, Mexico (Fall 2019)

Best Global Practices for Tobacco Control - National Institute for Respiratory Diseases, Mexico (Fall 2019)

National Institute for Respiratory Diseases, Mexico

Project Background:

The Tobacco Clinic (TC) at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER) aims to provide support to all smoking patients so that they can quit such a habit in Mexico. Currently, TC provides care to more than 300 patients with an 85% success rate once treatment is finished, 50% at 6 months and 35% at one year after treatment. Through a multidisciplinary team of medicine, psychology, nursing, and nutrition, the Clinic has a cognitive-behavioral program made of 10 group or individual sessions for 5 weeks. This program also includes medical consultation along with pharmacologic treatment to improve therapy outcomes. The whole Clinic’s program is available to the general population: any patient can enter the program. The cost of the sessions is decided according to a socioeconomic level study which varies between $20 and $200 USD. In case pharmacologic treatment is required, the patient will probably spend between $40 and $400 USD depending on his or her needs.

Furthermore, there is a monthly support session for ex-smokers to strengthen addiction cessation through three objectives: 1) Continuous professional interaction with patients so that follow up can be completed; 2) Connection with people ranging on different stages of the smoking cessation process; 3) Provide information regarding the impact tobacco has on patients’ health so that abstinence can be reinforced.

Besides its welfare component, the Clinic has a very important clinical research component, trying to associate different consumption patterns with genetic and functional variations, symptoms and patient prognosis. The TC is currently including dual users (patients that smoke both tobacco and marijuana) in its research and care groups. Moreover, the Clinic is nowadays the headquarters for the Interinstitutional Committee for Tobacco Control, a working group that gathers key stakeholders in private, public and hospital Institutions around Tobacco Control policies.

Definition of Opportunity:

Despite its 30 years of experience, the TC has not compared its model to other successful models for tobacco cessation. Nor has it expanded its influence through e-health. The TC has a limited impact mostly because its population comes almost exclusively from the patient population from inside INER. This limits most of its focus on patients older than 50 years with an already existent pulmonary and/or chronic disease. Thus, there is a need to attract younger populations. Moreover, there is a wide gap of knowledge regarding a patient who has drug addictions that can affect the lung such as inhaled polymers, cocaine and others. For this, the Clinic is currently trying to launch an app that can provide support for patients who want to quit smoking and at the same time feed the TC with data useful for research. Additionally, our Interinstitutional Committee has important and yet unused talent due to a lack of social communication and PR strategies.

Initial ideas:

Comparative work from what the TC does, compared with what other evidence-based centers are doing is extremely useful. Moreover, being able to compare what differences exist between developing and developed countries can help the Clinic find the middle ground that could scale its impact. Specifically exploring the following topics:

  • Best examples of Tobacco Cessation Group Session strategies

  • Tobacco Cessation Center’s outcome tracking and impact measurement

  • Use of e-health strategies to scale the Clinic’s impact

  • Successful Strategies for Tobacco Control Committees.

What does success look like:

Specific deliverables regarding the four areas shown above would help the Clinic greatly. Any further development of each one of these comparative tasks into an actual application to the TC would be most welcome. For example, if based on a comparative table of other Tobacco Center’s main impact measures, the team could aid the Clinic in creating its own or our joint project would really make a lasting difference.

Using Data to Drive Impactful Investments - Puente, Dominican Republic, (Fall 2019)

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Using Data to Drive Impactful Investments - Puente, Dominican Republic, (Fall 2019)

Project Background:

Puente leverages mobile data and local volunteer networks to identify community needs and match them with smart, sustainable solutions. Our impact primarily comes from helping partner organizations operate efficiently (by accessing and using better data) to solve more problems with available resources. However, we’re also equipped to lead our own projects and bring in partners that can expand the project’s scope and scale. This case study provides a nice overview of how Puente identifies and solves problems in communities where we work.

Founded in 2018 by a team that includes two Notre Dame alumni (class of 2015), Puente now works across several regions of the Dominican Republic with operations based in the city of Constanza. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a lean, young, diverse team that is excited to work with ND students this semester.

Definition of Opportunity: Puente has surveyed communities across the Constanza region and possesses data on a wide range of unmet needs. Our goal is to act on this data while it remains current by designing one or more interventions to target needs exposed by our survey data. Puente hopes to invest up to $10,000 in community development projects by year-end, so students will use data (and local insights from Puente’s team on-the-ground) to answer the question: “how should we invest $10,000 to improve one or more Constanza-area communities?”

Initial Ideas:

We seek to work with motivated students on a real-world project that can have an immediate impact on populations in need. Our goal is to design a project from the ground-up, which involves identifying and validating community needs, understanding potential interventions, designing an execution plan, and much more. We hope to provide a dynamic, hands-on experience to students interested in learning more about what it takes to implement community development projects internationally.

Students will initially work with Puente’s leadership team to analyze survey datasets and geospatial maps, looking for unmet needs and actionable project opportunities

Needs identified in the data will then be validated by Puente’s local team, who will also evaluate the community’s motivation, cohesion, and resources

Students will simultaneously research and compare the various interventions available to address needs in Puente’s datasets

We must understand how our project can have the greatest impact on the most people given budgetary constraints. Comparing the expected benefits and costs of interventions like water filters, latrines, roof repairs, educational programs, etc. will help us decide where resources should be directed first

After validating community needs and matching them with interventions, students will work alongside Puente’s team to write one or more real project proposals

Puente then hopes to fund and implement the projects through both internal capacity and a network of NGO and foundation partners

What Does Success Look Like?

A successful semester results in Puente being able to move forward with one or more actionable project proposals. Project proposals that frame interesting opportunities or are beyond Puente’s range of capabilities may also be impactful -- we can continue pursuing them after the semester ends, and share them with partners more equipped to execute. In either case, the work we do this semester can result in changed lives for many families and communities in the Constanza area.

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Expanding Global Surgery as Part of the Global Health Agenda - Program of Global Surgery and Social Change and WHO, Philippines, (Fall 2019)

Expanding Global Surgery as Part of the Global Health Agenda - Program of Global Surgery and Social Change and WHO, Philippines, (Fall 2019)

Organizational Background:

The Program in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) is a collaborative effort between the Harvard teaching hospitals, Harvard Medical School/ Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Partners In Health (PIH). This organization emerges out of work of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, that was led by Dr. John Meara at Harvard Medical School (and a 1986 ND graduate). PGSSC’s objective is to advocate for Universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed. The strategy is two-fold: 1) Global Surgical Systems Strengthening through Research, Advocacy, and Implementation Science, using the Frameworks developed as part of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, and 2) Developing Leaders in Global Surgical and Health Systems through Research, Advocacy, and Care Delivery. PGSSC's research focuses on surgical and health systems strengthening that is measurable, transparent, and locally-driven. Click here for the Strategic Plan that focuses on implementation science, research, advocacy, and training leaders.

The Opportunity:

The World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) has developed a strategic health plan for the region. At the recent World Health Assembly in Geneva, Dr. Kasai, the Regional Director for WPRO indicated his interest to integrate surgery into the regional health plan, and specifically promote the National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anesthesia Plan (NSOAP) model for countries of the WPRO region, potentially including Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and/or Mongolia.

Initial Steps:

One of the initial steps in the development of NSOAPs is a baseline analysis of a country’s current surgical capacity. Review the Tanzanian background research document that created a baseline for the Tanzania NSOAP as a first step to moving forward on the NSOAP process in the WPRO.

Identify with the client the most relevant countries to research.

Conduct a systematic review of academic literature and government policy documents, including form the Ministry of Health websites, to build a baseline on access to and the state of surgery in each of the selected countries.

What does success look like?

The development of research to support a set of future scenarios or pathways that PGSSC might use for potential partnerships with the WHO regional office to support the development of surgical policy, as well as the strategic use of their experience, expertise, and capacity to maximize their organization’s impact on global surgery goals.

Civic Participation Skills and Mobility - Via Educacion, Mexico (Fall 2019)

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Civic Participation Skills and Mobility - Via Educacion, Mexico (Fall 2019)

Project Background:

Vía Educación is a non-profit organization in Mexico seeking to improve people’s quality of life by promoting sustainable social development through education. The organization believes that every person is capable of improving their opportunities in life as well as those of their communities.

Vía Educación developed a methodology for social transformation based on building problem-solving capacities on communities of youth and adults. The methodology aims to increase individual and collective self-efficacy among community members; develop civic competencies through solving relevant community needs; and strengthen social capital. This methodology is the backbone of the organization and is applied in a variety of programs and settings in Mexico.

Definition of Opportunity:

With that in mind, the Investigation and Evaluation team at Vía Educación would like to explore the link between these acquired skills (teamwork, democratic and citizenship participation, conflict resolution, assertive communication, collective organization skills, among others) and mobility (social, educational, economic). An emerging body of literature suggests that civic engagement may affect peoples’ wellbeing. Are our participants expanding their opportunities in life? The team would like to further learn about this, and even possibly incorporate a tool we could apply with our alumni network and current participants to test this potential relationship.

What does success look like? Success for us would look like a clearer picture of the relationship between civic participation skills and mobility (e.g. a couple of pages concisely stating what literature has to say about this relationship as well as the mechanisms behind it – that is, if there is a positive relationship, how do civic participation skills contribute to expanding an individual’s opportunities in life?). We also would appreciate a concrete tool that we could use to test in the field to measure this relationship in a variety of settings (e.g. urban, indigenous, marginalized, rural communities, etc.) and populations (from students in high school to teachers and authorities in Mexico’s public school system as well as neighborhood community members).

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More Humane Repatriation - USCCB,  El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala (Fall 2019)

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More Humane Repatriation - USCCB, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala (Fall 2019)

Project Background:

The U.S. government has apprehended and deported more unauthorized migrants from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) than those from Mexico in the last five years, according to the latest 2019 report released by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). In 2017 alone, there were 163,000 apprehensions of migrants from the Northern Triangle countries, compared to 128,000 apprehensions of Mexicans, a pattern that continued into 2018. With this shift in the country of origin the demographics and migration patterns of individuals crossing the southern border have also changed. In the past, migrants coming across the border were over- whelmingly single males. More recently, far more families, members of the LGBTQ community, women and unaccompanied children comprise these migration streams. And while in prior periods the migrants were crossing mainly for economic reasons, the recent arrivals to the border include sizable numbers of migrants seeking asylum or humanitarian protection, straining the U.S. and Mexican asylum systems and intensifying political debates on immigration policy.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice data, migrants from the Northern Triangle countries filed approximately 40,000 asylum claims in U.S. immigration courts in 2016, nearly five times as many claims as those submitted in 2012. 

The US Conference on Catholic Bishops has traditionally helped resettle more refugees in the United States than any other organization.  The Department of Migration and Refugee Services works closely on issues of migrants in all dimensions of their journey. The Office is interested to look systematically at issues of deportation (repatriation -- forced migration and voluntary as well) to El Salvador, Honduras, and/or Guatemala from the US. The USCCB would like to examine the threats, challenges, and gaps in services related to the situation of people deported from the US, during the repatriation process, and following their return to their home countries.  In particular, the USCCB is interested in understanding more about the systems, strategies and mechanisms in place to help support individuals during this often arduous process. 

Definition of Opportunity: This project will be in partnership with Notre Dame’s Initiative for Global Development (NDIDG) that has a project working to strengthening research capacity in countries in the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador). 

Initial Step: 

Review and build on initial research done by USCCB/MRS on this topic. 

Review relevant policy statements from the region, including statements by Episcopal Committee in Honduras and NDIGD policy brief.


What Success Looks Like:

Begin to build a partnership among Notre Dame, USCCB/MRS and the IGD, on bringing research capacity to bear on this important issue. The hope is this background work will provide the foundational research for a team of Integration Lab (i-Lab) Master of Global Students who will work for the full 2020 calendar year on this issue, including travelling to the region.

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Building Networks and Alliances to Address “Wicked Global Problems” - Latin American Leadership Academy (Fall 2019)

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Building Networks and Alliances to Address “Wicked Global Problems” - Latin American Leadership Academy (Fall 2019)

Project Background:

Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA) seeks to promote sustainable economic development and strengthen democratic governance in Latin America by developing a new generation of leaders. LALA creates international and socioeconomically diverse cohorts of the most promising graduating high school students who have demonstrated an unshakeable commitment to social change. LALA is launching leadership boot camps throughout Latin America to create local hubs of social impact and find values-aligned youth. In the near future, LALA hopes to open an eighteen-month program, which blends entrepreneurial leadership, a liberal arts education, and social and emotional learning. The program connects participants to mentors, resources, and opportunities, and LALA envisions a diverse continental ecosystem that collaborates across differences to bring shared prosperity to Latin America.

Definition of Opportunity:

Silos are the bane of systemic change. A shared fear among policymakers, community organizers, and entrepreneurs alike is that all their hard work adds up to nothing due to missed opportunities for networks and alliances. As LALA’s visibility grows in Latin America, so too does our responsibility to support, respond to, and collaborate with changemakers across the region who are addressing its most seemingly intractable issues -- “wicked problems.” After two successful years of boot camps and a gap year academy on the horizon, LALA receives proposals for partnerships with organizations across the continent every day. Our vision is to become the region’s flagship leadership organization by making strategic alliances with institutions that are doing similar work. However, we need a framework that would help us systematically find these organizations and negotiate partnerships that are both mutually beneficial and valuable to the region.

Initial Steps:

We need a systematic strategy to identify specific issues and to identify and classify programs and organizations in Latin America that intersect with our issue areas in the countries that we serve and identify the young people who care about them. For example, we have identified five priority areas, and a team might focus on one or multiple issues, depending on their backgrounds and interests:

Central American communities suffering drug trade violence. Eg. Tijuana, Acapulco, San Salvador, Guatemala City, Distrito Central.

Unprecedented Latin American migration crisis , including 3.4 million Venezuelans and . Mostly from Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and settling in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, and Peru.

25% of region's urban population live in slums. Eg. Alagados, Paraisópolis, Rocinha, Comuna 13, Moravia, Nezo-Chalco-Itza, Villa El Salvador, and others.

Although 40% Indigenous and Afro-descendants remain a disproportionate share of poorest . Eg. Quechua, Aztec, Aymara, Muisca, Tairona, Mayan, Shuar, Yanomami, Kogui, Guarani, Afro-Colombians, Afro-Brazilians.

Rural poverty in Latin America has increased for the first time in a decade.. Eg. Pará, Piauí, Ceará, Bahia, Chocó, Huancavelica, San Pedro, Chiapas.

What does success look like:

Latin American Leadership Academy wants to enhance its understanding of possibilities for strong networks to combat social inequality in the region. We want to develop a network of partnerships with people and institutions that have the strongest commitments to supporting education and social change. And we are committed to bringing young people (14-18 years old) who are connected to these issue areas into our existing LALA network of 450+ alumni. These issue areas are supported by many organizations from across the globe and we want to map the outreach and partnerships that will allow young people to access our leadership development opportunities more readily. From this exploration of best practices, we would like to launch strategies to nurture, thicken, and enhance the connections in our Latin American ecosystem. Broadly speaking, this team hopes to map successful examples of network building in support of social impact initiatives that might serve as models to help improve LALA’s decision-making and better inform our network building aspirations.

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Building International Partnerships for Students and Teachers - Education Bridge (Fall 2019)

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Building International Partnerships for Students and Teachers - Education Bridge (Fall 2019)

Project Background:

Education Bridge seeks to create flourishing South Sudanese communities through education and peacebuilding. As part of this mission, Education Bridge opened its first school, Greenbelt Academy, in Bor, South Sudan in February 2017. Led by South Sudanese Notre Dame graduate Majak Anyieth ’17, the Greenbelt Academy currently serves over 400 students in grades 9-11, with plans to double the school population and have grades 9-12 over the next years. The Greenbelt Academy seeks to provide quality secondary education as well as to develop a generation of South Sudanese who are not only well prepared academically, but who also see themselves as peacemakers and transformational leaders.

Definition of Opportunity:

Education Bridge has worked with Notre Dame DAT teams over multiple semesters on projects related to developing a peacebuilding curriculum, building enhanced opportunities for girls, contributing to organizational sustainability, and international partnerships. For example, this past year’s DAT resulted in Education Bridge high school students attending Notre Dame’s Pre-College Program (on ND scholarships), as well as a similar program at Yale. Education Bridge now wants to explore the possibility of continuing to build networks internationally in the service of its students and teachers that expand opportunities, as well as formalize relationships that support the development of the overall organizational culture of Education Bridge.

Initial Ideas:

Education Bridge will work with a team of ND students to research how other non-profit organizations, especially those running educational and/or child development programs in the international context, have effectively built mission-driven international networks. We would like to focus on students' opportunities and/or faculty/staff professional development opportunities.

How can we connect our students with a wider set of global possibilities, whether through technology or by travel, that will help expand their understanding of the world and their possibility to make a transformational change? We believe we can draw lessons from the African Leadership Academy and other institutions, and want to explore student exchange, model UN, leadership development and the like. How can we build on the success this past semester with the partnerships with Notre Dame and Yale? We might like a usable database of summer educational programs in the US students can explore (ND Pre-College might be very valuable for acquiring information).

One key question is how to make our students and faculty competitive especially through the university application process. A big part of our international partnership model is related to universities and we need to understand what universities look for in these kinds of candidates and partnerships. A good model for partnering will help us build lasting relationships with universities that will go a long way.

How can we find relevant development opportunities in support of teachers and administrators? We could also imagine a “Greenbelt Fellowship” that might draw talented educators and professionals to work with the Greenbelt Academy to help develop and train current teachers, develop new curricular and extracurricular activities, and more generally expose the school to more innovative pedagogy and technology.

What does success look like?

The development of a number of good models and concrete contacts and ideas for building networks and sustainable partnerships will be relevant for Education Bridge students and teachers, as well as concrete proposals that Education Bridge can utilize and implement as part of its strategic planning process to become a more dynamic and sustainable organization.

Contact Persons: Majak Anyieth, Founder and President of Education Bridge. Majak is a 2018 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He is also a Dalai Lama Fellow, an Echoing Green Social Entrepreneurship Fellow, and a StartingBloc Fellow. The team will also have access to talk with Education Bridge board members and supporters, most of whom are in South Bend IN.

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Project Ricardo: Clean Water Access For Arcabuco, Colombia - NDIGD (Fall 2018)

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Project Ricardo: Clean Water Access For Arcabuco, Colombia - NDIGD (Fall 2018)

Client Profile

The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) combines the existing world-class teaching and research faculty of the University of Notre Dame with a dedicated staff of experienced international development professionals, administrators, and researchers. Together we address the challenges of building just and equitable societies by leveraging the University’s signature strengths to promote development and human dignity worldwide. 

Partner Description

"The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) is forming a team of 8 undergraduates to support research to improve clean water access in Arcabuco, Colombia. The student team will travel to Arcabuco twice during the 2018-2019 calendar year (Fall Break and Winter Break). 

Initial Ideas

The student team will travel to Arcabuco on two separate occasions during the 2018-
2019 academic year for field research.

Definition of Success

Students will gain valuable, real-world experience by working with the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) on an innovative, applied research project to improve local water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) systems in Arcabuco, Colombia.

Meet the Team

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  Building a new curriculum on climate change working with Madras schools - BCAS, Bangladesh (Fall 2018)

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Building a new curriculum on climate change working with Madras schools - BCAS, Bangladesh (Fall 2018)

Client Profile

Climate change is a global issue that does not recognize borders. There is perhaps no place where this is more apparent than Bangladesh, which is exposed to a myriad of hazards: flooding, cyclones, temperature and rainfall variations, drought, water logging, and salinity intrusion in water and soil. Bangladesh is often considered the country most vulnerable to climate change in the world.

Definition of Opportunity

The Keough School Integration Lab is partnering with the Bangladesh Centre of Advanced Studies (BCAS) to help advance its important policy work focused on climate-vulnerable populations. This i-Lab BCAS Project specifically assesses the climate vulnerability of different sub-populations, especially women and children, across the ecosystems of Bangladesh in order to evaluate current national policies and develop climate vulnerability maps that can further inform future policy making. Critically important is increasing public awareness about climate change, particularly among the poor and those who are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

Initial Ideas

Given the need for greater awareness and education, the team has begun to think about the possibility of developing a curriculum for climate change and disaster risk reduction, especially looking at the role that Madras schools, that provide education to the majority of the poor population,  might play.

Definition of Success

Working with BCAS, the development of a accessible and informative curriculum that could be used by Madras schools in Bangladesh that addresses issues of climate change and disaster risk reduction in operational ways.

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Building a new university-based, interdisciplinary center for global health - ITESM, Mexico (Fall 2018)

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Building a new university-based, interdisciplinary center for global health - ITESM, Mexico (Fall 2018)

Client Profile

The Tecnológico de Monterrey and its network of campuses throughout Mexico is committed to providing quality education, world-class research, and building innovative models for the benefit of society. With the leadership of ITESM’s School of Medicine and the School of Government, the University is looking to build a new interdisciplinary center for global health training and research with strong links to practice.

The DGHSM aims to be a global center of excellence that generates health through training, research, innovation and knowledge translation, addressing in a profound and interdisciplinary way the existing inequities in Mexico and the world, based on health as a human right.  The DGHSM aspires to lead in training, research, implementation and public policy development in Global Health and Social Medicine in Latin America, through the creation of integral solutions to address social factors and strengthen health systems with a preferential option for vulnerable populations.

Definition of Opportunity

ITESM’s DGHSM is currently exploring the possibility of partnerships with the Program on Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) and the Partner In Health’s sister organization, Compañeros en Salud in Chiapas, Mexico.  The Program on Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) is a collaborative effort between the Harvard teaching hospitals, Harvard Medical School/ Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Partners In Health (PIH).  This organization emerges out of work of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, tled by Dr. John Meara at Harvard Medical School (a 1986 ND graduate).  PGSSC’s objective is to advocate for Universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed. Compañeros en Salud is affiliated with Partners In Health and works in rural Chiapas Mexico to provide quality health care to underserved communities and hopes to serve as an inspiring model to train and accompany health professionals and community health workers, and to deliver quality health care in low resource settings in Mexico and elsewhere. Both PGSSC and PIH have deep ties to Notre Dame, and have served as clients on DAT projects over multiple semesters.

Initial Ideas

The ITESM Department of Global Health & Social Medicine is looking for models of university-based, interdisciplinary centers that work in the international context in close partnership with health service providers and policy makers.

●      ITESM is interesting in exploring different models of partnership that have been established for developing, first-rate, interdisciplinary global health centers that have strong links to practice, that highlight different institutional structures, incentives, and potential partnerships.

●      ITESM hopes to explore and expand partnerships with international development and health organizations, such as Compañeros en Salud, the Harvard Medical School and the University of Notre Dame, consistent with its strategic objectives.

●      ITESM is interested in implementing a framework to develop international partnerships.

Definition of Success

That ITESM uses the systematic examination of different examples and models for building an interdisciplinary, university based Center for Global Health with a strong link to practice in ways that it might serve as a roadmap for a path forward.

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 Building a powerful network of young leaders and accompanying them across the continent - Latin American Leadership Academy (Fall 2018)

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Building a powerful network of young leaders and accompanying them across the continent - Latin American Leadership Academy (Fall 2018)

Client Profile

Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA) seeks to promote sustainable economic development and strengthen democratic governance in Latin America by developing a new generation of leaders. LALA creates international and socioeconomically diverse cohorts of the most promising graduating high school students who have demonstrated an unshakeable commitment to social change.

LALA is launching leadership boot camps throughout Latin America to create local hubs of social impact and find values-aligned youth. In the near future, LALA hopes to open an eighteen-month program, which blends entrepreneurial leadership, a liberal arts education, and social and emotional learning. The program connects participants to mentors, resources, and opportunities, and LALA envisions a diverse continental ecosystem that collaborates across differences to bring shared prosperity to Latin America.

 

Definition of Opportunity

As the LALA ecosystem expands, attracting new members to the community (youth participants, social entrepreneurs, facilitators, advisors, etc.), we need creative ways to stay connected, both in local hubs and at a distance, essentially building and sustaining effective networks. More than just “keeping track” of what people are doing, we aim to create a community of mutual support and guidance (i.e. accompaniment). So far, after our one-week boot camps, alumni have used Whatsapp groups to keep in touch about projects they are developing, to celebrate accomplishments, and share resources about college applications, educational opportunities, local politics, etc. However, Whatsapp is visually messy, has a limited audience, and can restrict engagement to a superficial level.  

Latin American Leadership Academy wants to enhance its understanding possibilities for strong networks to combat social inequality in the region. We want to develop a network of partnerships with people and institutions that have the strongest commitments to supporting education and social change.

 

Initial Ideas

LALA would like to know: what are other organizations doing successfully to “keep their communities connected”? Some ideas that were brainstormed: “Humans of LALA” posts, a podcast, a LALA interface with notifications, among others.

 

Definition of Success

From this exploration of best practices, we would like to launch strategies to nurture, thicken, and enhance the connections in our Latin American ecosystem. Broadly speaking, this team hopes to map successful examples networks building in support social impact initiatives that might serve as models to help improve LALA’s decision-making and better inform our network building aspirations.

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Contributing to the Sustainability Model for Nutrition - Sherlock Knowledge Lab CREN, Brazil (Fall 2018)

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Contributing to the Sustainability Model for Nutrition - Sherlock Knowledge Lab CREN, Brazil (Fall 2018)

Client Profile

Malnutrition is a significant challenge facing children worldwide, and it has been increasing in the past decades: today, one third of the world’s population (2.1 billion) is either undernourished or overweight/obese. While best practices for addressing nutritional challenges among children and adolescents abound, the rising rates of malnourished children internationally indicate that treatment efforts are still lacking.

Addressing the challenge of malnutrition is not merely a matter of enabling access to resources, but it is about understanding the root causes that are inextricably linked to behaviors influenced by family, community, lifestyle, and complex environments. It depends on understanding the relationship of malnutrition to other areas of health and to social and educational interventions.

 

Definition of Opportunity

In 2017, Gisela Solymos, co-founder and former CEO of CREN, Center for Nutritional Recovery and Education, Nitesh Chawla and his team from the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science & Applications, and Walter Link and his team from the Global Academy Foundation have integrated efforts to develop the concept of a Knowledge Hub (KH) that provides a framework for capturing data, knowledge, and experiences to help drive positive outcomes in child health and malnutrition.

The action-oriented hub is intended to support entities working in the field to more accurately capture the reality of the contexts in which they are developing interventions and to obtain a real-time assessment of their efforts. For this purpose, the hub will:

  • gather different types of knowledge from diverse fields related to the health and development of children, their families, and their communities;

  • conduct research and experiments relevant to these topics and their concrete application;

  • publish papers, books and audio-visual materials for diverse types of media;

  • convene dialogues between relevant stakeholders to advance knowledge and understanding and generate concrete action steps;

  • offer learning and training opportunities in diverse forms, including in-person and virtual programs and audio-visual offerings;

  • share its knowledge with governments, NGOs, global leaders, and other key players in the field.

 

Initial Ideas

We look forward to working with a team of Notre Dame students to advance our project’s ideation and organizational strategy through research into the following:

  • What are the best practices of organizations focused on innovative work with child malnutrition in developing countries?  What are the innovations and how have they been deployed? What interventions and strategies do they use to share these ideas and make them operational?

  • Do they use technology such as electronic medical records, mobile apps, etc.? How do they use it?

  • What is their "business model"? (describe how they work)

 

Definition of Sucess

The generation of a professional presentation of the best organizational practices related to addressing malnutrition, and in turn, supporting and exploring the Knowledge Hub’s unique potential contributions to the field.

 

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Building International Partnerships - Education Bridge, South Sudan (Fall 2018)

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Building International Partnerships - Education Bridge, South Sudan (Fall 2018)

Client Profile

Education Bridge seeks to create flourishing South Sudanese communities through education and peace building.  As part of this mission, Education Bridge opened its first school, Greenbelt Academy, in Bor, South Sudan in February 2017. Led by South Sudanese Notre Dame graduate Majak Anyieth ’17, the Greenbelt Academy currently serves over 200 students in grades 9-10, with plans to double the school population and have grades 9-12 over the next two years. The Greenbelt Academy seeks to provide quality secondary education as well as to develop a generation of South Sudanese who are not only well prepared academically, but who also see themselves as peacemakers and transformational leaders.

Definition of Opportunity

Education Bridge has worked with Notre Dame DAT teams over multiple semesters on projects related to developing a peace building curriculum, building enhanced opportunities for girls, and contributing to organizational sustainability. Education Bridge now wants to explore the possibility of building networks internationally in service of its students and teachers that expand opportunities, as well as formalize relationships that support the development of the overall organizational culture of Education Bridge.

Initial Ideas

Education Bridge looks forward to working with a team of Notre Dame students to research how other non-profit organizations, especially those running educational and/or child development programs in the international context, have effectively build international networks in service of their mission.

  • How do the best non-profit educational organizations think about building high functioning networks in service of their mission?

  • How can we connect our students with a wider set of global possibilities, whether through technology or by travel, that will help expand their understanding of the world and their possibility to make transformational change? We believe we can draw lessons from the African Leadership Academy and other institutions, and want to explore student exchange, model UN, leadership development and the like.

  • In support of teachers and administrators, how can we find relevant development opportunities for them?  We could also imagine a “Greenbelt Fellowship” that might draw talented educators and professionals to work with the Greenbelt Academy to help develop and train current teachers, develop new curricular and extracurricular activities, and more generally expose the school to more innovative pedagogy and technology.

Definiton of Success

The development of a number of good models of building networks and sustainable partnerships will be relevant for Education Bridge students and teachers, as well as concrete proposals that Education Bridge can utilize and implement as part of its strategic planning process to become a more dynamic and sustainable organization.

 

Meet the Team

Education Bridge Biographies.png

Recommendations

Next Steps 

Comment

 Continuing Understanding and Implementation of Accompaniment Strategies - PIH (Spring 2018)

Continuing Understanding and Implementation of Accompaniment Strategies - PIH (Spring 2018)

Client Profile

Partners In Health (PIH) is an NGO that was founded on the principle of a preferential option of the poor in healthcare. Headquartered in Boston, the organization originally developed as a single community health project in Haiti, and has since expanded throughout Haiti and into a dozen other countries including Peru, Russia, and Mexico. PIH works in partnership with governments and local communities in each of these countries. The main goals of the organization are to provide healthcare to those most in need, to work to alleviate the causes of disease, and to share the ideas and lessons learned. 

 

Definition of Problem

 One of PIH’s key ideas is an approach to service through the model of accompaniment. The accompaniment approach to aid delivery is based on pragmatic solidarity with the poor.  It proposes to build long-term relationships and mandates walking side by side in partnership rather than leading.  This accompaniment model informs all of PIH's work; however, many within the organization of some 12,000 people are not terribly familiar with the accompaniment concept, and even among those who are familiar, most lack a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the idea of accompaniment and its applications to their work and lives.

 

Initial Ideas & Options

We will begin by working closely with the PIH Director of Human Resources in Boston, Cynthia Maltbie, and the Director of Clinical Practice and Quality Improvement, Anatole Manzi. This project proposes to organize the existing work that has been done on accompaniment training, and explore how it might be best utilized within PIH, especially in the relationships between the staff in the headquarters in Boston in partnership with those in the field.

 

Definition of Success

Refine and engage effective training/dialogue materials and other ways of engaging the PIH community on the understanding and use of the concept of accompaniment in all their work.

 

Development Team

 

Exploring the Notre Dame Opportunities for Collaboration in India - Notre Dame International (Spring  2018)

Exploring the Notre Dame Opportunities for Collaboration in India - Notre Dame International (Spring 2018)

Client Profile

The University of Notre Dame enjoys extraordinary worldwide presence, a good portion of which is mediated through its unique network of Global Gateways: centers and other institutional arrangements around the globe.  The current five Global Gateways—located in Beijing, Dublin, Jerusalem, London, and Rome—provide academic and intellectual hubs where scholars, students, and leaders from universities, government, business, and community gather to discuss, discover, and debate issues of topical and enduring relevance. Each Global Gateway has dedicated staff who collaborate with their counterparts at Notre Dame’s campus to support Notre Dame programs and outreach. Notre Dame International coordinates the management of the Global Gateways and supports faculty in developing and sustaining programs at them.

 

Definition of Problem:

 The University is considering establishing expanding its presence in India, where it currently has a “Global Center.” Established in January 2016, the Mumbai (India) Global Center is part of the University of Notre Dame’s Asia Initiatives. The Center is building the University’s visibility and engagement with India’s top educational institutions, and works with different campus units and organizations to implement activities and projects across India.

 

Initial First Steps:

We will begin by conducting a number of interviews with key stakeholders who will be important to interview to better understand the landscape and possibilities.  These interviews include faculty of Notre Dame both on campus, in India, and in South Asia.  

 

Definition of Success

Through this class project, we propose to map the range of faculty, staff, student and alumni engagements and relationships in India, and then explore possibilities for a more robust set of partnerships and engagements with India.  ND’s presence in India has a unique opportunity to look beyond ND's traditional Gateway functions and to explore how we might be more intentional with our collaborations with local government agencies, industry partners, development organizations, and educational institutions.  As we explore the opportunities related to India, we will make a special effort to explore possibilities for opportunities related to international development and to design thinking.

 

Development Team

 

 

Hello, World!

Hello, World!

 Improving Opportunities for Girl's Education in Nigeria - Girl Child Concerns (Spring 2018)

Improving Opportunities for Girl's Education in Nigeria - Girl Child Concerns (Spring 2018)

Client Profile

Girl Child Concerns (GCC) is a Nigerian Non-Governmental Organization, established in 2000, dedicated to improving the lives of youth, particularly of girls, through improved education opportunities while ensuring availability of board-based education for all young people.  Through a comprehensive approach, GCC provides scholarship opportunities that not only offer formal education but also help equip girls with life skills. In addition to attending school, every GCC scholarship student attends an annual skills development retreat for four days to foster inspiration and motivation within the girls, as well as develop personal relationships. These life skills workshops encourage the girls to build an agenda on what they want to learn (for example, the strategies for passing exams, or addressing concerns about early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and more).  Scholarship recipients also commit to give back by committing  to help at least five other children, as well as to participate in a legislative education campaign that involves getting girls to share their experience and speak directly to lawmakers.    

Definition of Problem 

Girls’ education is disfavored in many communities in Nigeria due to cultural perceptions, and compared to boys, girls have an extremely high dropout rate. Without education, girls often end up in poverty, dependency, and early marriage.  In addition, the community is robbed of the skills and talents these girls would have contributed.  There are many reasons for these numbers, including cultures that undermine the importance of girls’ education; conflict in the country, in particular in areas long held by Boko Haram that have forbidden girls from attending school; perceptions of gender roles among girls and in the general community; poverty; and forced child marriage. 

Initial Steps and Options:


We will first review challenges to girls’ education in Africa, and then put this research in the context of Nigeria (through an earlier DAT project, there is excellent background information on promoting girls’ education in South Sudan, and the team will access to the individuals leading this initiative).  We will then host various interviews with our partners at the GCC, staff at the Keough School, and various experts of the Nigerian school community.   

Definition of Success

 In the end, GCC would like contextualized recommendations on how GCC can attract, maintain and successfully engage girls’ students in school and build opportunities for their futures in line with best practices globally, learning from the interviews and dialogue with those who know the context as well.
 
 

Development Team

                                                         

Expanding Global Surgery - PGSSC (Fall 2017)

Expanding Global Surgery - PGSSC (Fall 2017)

Client Profile

The Program on Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) is a collaborative effort between the Harvard teaching hospitals, Harvard Medical School/ Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Partners In Health (PIH).  This organization emerges out of work of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, that was led by Dr. John Meara at Harvard Medical School (and a 1986 ND graduate).  PGSSC’s objective is to advocate for Universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed. Their  strategy is two-fold:

  • Global Surgical Systems Strengthening through Research, Advocacy, and Implementation Science, using the Frameworks developed as part of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery.       

  • Developing Leaders in Global Surgical and Health Systems through Research, Advocacy, and Care Delivery.  

PGSSC research focuses on surgical and health systems strengthening that is measurable, transparent, and locally-driven. 

 

Initial Ideas & Options

PGSSC has been opportunistic about the issues and countries where they have engaged, trying to take best use of the capacity they have to promote their strategic objectives. The PGSSC is interested, in its planning for the future, to explore and expand partnerships with international development and health organizations, such as Partners In Health and the World Health Organization, as well as universities, such as the Harvard Medical School and the University of Notre Dame, consistent with its strategic objectives.

 

Definition of Success

The development of a set of future scenarios or pathways that PGSSC might explore for potential partnerships, as well as the strategic use of their experience, expertise, and capacity to maximize their organization’s impact in the future.

Development Advisory Team

Recommendation

Accompanying the Migrant through Mexico - USCCB (Fall 2017)

Accompanying the Migrant through Mexico - USCCB (Fall 2017)

Client Profile

The US Conference on Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration sets broad policies and direction for the Church's work in the area of migration. The Committee oversees and provides guidance to Migration and Refugee Services, which is comprised of five offices: 

These offices represent the bishops' interests in policy formulation and communication, advocacy, education, refugee resettlement, and other specialized services to at risk and vulnerable populations, such as victims of trafficking and unaccompanied minors. The Committee actively promotes migration-related interests with public policy-makers at the national and international levels. Committee members and staff periodically testify before Congress and meet with Administration officials to advocate the bishops' positions. Among the high priority policy concerns of the Committee is refugee protection and finding durable solutions to their plight. In this context the Committee occasionally arranges site visits to refugee areas of the world to witness the conditions of the refugees and to call for adequate responses on the part of the international community.

Definition of Problem

The summer of 2014 witnessed a significant uptick in the number of unaccompanied migrant children and families who originated in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. While an average of 6,800 unaccompanied children were apprehended in each year from 2004 – 2011, the number jumped to roughly 13,000 children in Fiscal Year 2012 and rose to just over 38,000 in 2013. 68,541 unaccompanied children were detained in FY 2014 and, although a decrease was evident the following year (39,970), the numbers again increased in FY2016 (59,692). Family units experienced a similar ebb and flow in total numbers during this same period.

Although an array of Catholic, non-Catholic religious, and secular immigrant welcoming centers function throughout Mexico, the number of Catholic centers is the largest. The institutional Church alone coordinates seventy-five welcoming centers and, in addition, there are the number of centers run by religious orders and local Catholic institutions. Determining how many there are, where they are located, what services they provide, to whom they provide it, etc., is not entirely clear.

Initial Ideas & Options

Due to the size and complexity of the network, important advocacy and service-oriented efforts are constantly evolving; getting a better handle on where these centers are and efforts they are engaged in in support of migrants will provide much needed information to fill existing gaps in our knowledge.

Definition of Success

This effort will help to respond to the challenges of (1) ensuring enduring communication with what is an extremely mobile population; (2) the need for institutional mapping; and (3) scaling up capacity of the existing network. It would also be of interest to find out how the Mexican government is responding to these efforts, and whether policies are in place that would either support or inhibit their work.

Development Advisory Team

Recommendation

Behind the brands - Oxfam America (Fall 2017)

Behind the brands - Oxfam America (Fall 2017)

Client Profile

Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. With 70 years of experience in more than 90 countries, Oxfam takes on the big issues that keep people poor: inequality, discrimination, and unequal access to resources including food, water, and land. We help people save lives in disasters, build stronger futures for themselves, and hold the powerful accountable.

In 2013, Oxfam launched the Behind the Brands (BtB) campaign to challenge the ‘Big 10’ food and beverage companies on their social and environmental policies and practices, and to amplify the voices of key stakeholders such as farmers, workers, communities, consumers and investors calling on them to take action. The Big 10 companies include: ABF/Illovo, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Inc., Mondelez, Nestle, PepsiCo, and Unilever.

Over the last few years of the campaign companies have made significant new commitments to improve social and environmental standards in their supply chains. Oxfam is currently planning deepened engagement with companies to ensure that their business units and suppliers make progress in line with commitments, and to accelerate the transformation towards a more sustainable, equitable food system that empowers in particular smallholders and women (“BtB 1.1”). We additionally aim to encourage all supply chain stakeholders including the Behind the Brands companies to go further and to adopt new business models that ensure that more of the power and the value reach the farmers and workers within the chain, in particular women farmers and smallholders.  

Definition of Problem

The aim is to catalyze transformational change from the company all the way down to the farm in source countries. It includes four intertwined strategies: 1) Engagement with companies on implementation of commitments; 2) Extend commitments to associated traders in company supply chains; 3) Drive transformative change, hold companies accountable, and create new models for change in six target countries; and 4) Establish better food sector governance.  The target countries include Brazil, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malawi and Thailand.

The proposal is for a team of students to conduct research and evaluation activities that support the BtB 1.1. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework. The MEL framework allows Oxfam to track the impacts of commitments down to the ground in priority countries.  The overall objective is to reach and begin improving the lives and livelihoods of millions of small-scale producers, workers and communities by 2020, with specific milestones identified for the key themes (gender, climate, land, small-scale producers); by strategy (company engagement, trader engagement, country engagement and global agrifood systems).  

The aim not just to monitor Oxfam performance, but to contribute to the emerging field of how corporate contributions and supply chain engagement makes a difference on the ground and in particular in the lives of poor people, and in particular the rural poor (farmers) and women.  The MEL framework is designed to demonstrate progress towards exploitation free, more equitable supply chains, in a way that documents both actions attributable to Oxfam and broader changes catalyzed by these actions that are instrumental in shifting key company, trader and supplier practices towards a future that is exploitation free and more equitable.  The framework establishes rigorous indicators that demonstrate or document the number of people reached by Big Ten brand companies and traders, and better protected in theory by corporate-level commitments (e.g. all producers/workers in their supply chains); the number of people reached by implementation of these commitments in priority countries, including those better protected through national level private sector or governmental enabling policies, and those directly engaged by Oxfam country offices; and impact evaluations that demonstrate that the approach of implementation of supply chain commitments leads to positive benefits for producers, workers and communities in priority countries.  

We believe that the ability to measure progress, and demonstrate the social and environmental impact of company commitments will not just be of value to Oxfam, but for other organizations and institutions such as foundations, governments and aid agencies that have invested in market based approaches—and, to the global companies that have made significant commitments.

Initial Ideas & Options

The Notre Dame team will trace the sugar value chain in India and/or Brazil from top (focusing on BtB companies Coca Cola and Pepsi) to bottom (following company impact assessments to the local communities affected by corporate commitments.) All work will be carried out in coordination with Oxfam program and MEL staff. 

More specifically, the team will over the  semester do a literature review exploring:

1) Produce commodity profiles for each of the three commodities (sugar, palm oil, and cocoa) in India and Brazil. The profiles should examine social, economic, environmental and political risks for each commodity in India and Brazil. They should include data on: total number of producers, total number of women and women smallholders in the supply chain, associated emissions, and reported land conflicts. The profile should characterize commodity production at the national level, and highlight key issues for land, gender, climate and smallholders.

2) Assess the extent to which the policies of BtB companies and a selection of their traders differ at the global and national levels. This baseline diagnostic of company commitments involves desk research – to be conducted prior to commencing fieldwork – and the team will source publically available documents with assistance from Oxfam staff. This comprehensive diagnostic will inform company engagement efforts, in signaling where gaps exist between global commitments and action in-country and with traders. A goal of BtB 1.1 is to ensure national policies reflect best practice.

This initial review process will serve three key purposes: 1) it will be a source of baseline data for the program MEL framework; 2) it will provide Oxfam with information it needs in its influencing efforts with the companies; and 3) it will provide the Keough School's i-Lab Global Partner Experience (GPE) team with an understanding of the company action plans and national-level variation, which will inform their later fieldwork. The diagnostic should consist of a matrix with an accompanying narrative.  The deliverable may include:

  • Data and indicators: Estimate the number of producers and local communities in company supply chains, if possible disaggregated by small-scale producers and by gender.
  • Help map the best pathways forward for the GPE team working with Oxfam in 2018

Definition of Success

Our Behind the Brands teams in both countries are now in the final stages of planning multi-year interventions. We look forward to working with a team of master’s students in 2018, and to work this coming semester engaging with an undergraduate team on the background research and content of this proposal. We welcome ideas for how to ensure students have the most meaningful experience.

Development Advising Team


Recommendation

Enhancing Understanding & Engagement in Accompaniment - PIH (Fall 2017)

Enhancing Understanding & Engagement in Accompaniment - PIH (Fall 2017)

Client Profile

Partners in Health (PIH) is an NGO that was founded on the principle of preferential option of the poor in healthcare. Headquartered in Boston, the organization originally developed as a single community health project in Haiti, and has since expanded throughout Haiti and into a dozen other countries including Peru, Russia, and Mexico. PIH works in partnership with governments and local communities in each of these countries. The main goals of the organization are to provide health care and education to those most in need, to work to alleviate the causes of disease, and to share the ideas and lessons learned . 

Definition of Opportunity

One of PIH’s central ideas is an approach to service through the model of accompaniment. The accompaniment approach to aid delivery is based on pragmatic solidarity with the poor.  It proposes to build long-term relationships and mandates walking side by side rather than leading.  This accompaniment model informs all of PIH's work; however, many within the organization are interested in a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the idea of accompaniment and its applications.

Initial Ideas & Options

·      Identify the key principles of accompaniment that can be shared within the organization (globally there are some 15,000 people working with PIH) to promote awareness and understanding of accompaniment and its applications. Identify the most effective training, engagement, and other modalities to help build awareness and engagement around this idea within the organization.  

·      Focus on opportunities related to the University of Notre Dame that highlight accompaniment in connection with liberation theology as seen in the book In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez.  There are mutiple opportunities for drawing from the work of past Notre Dame student teams on this topic, as well as an anticipated volume on the concept of accompaniment led by Paul Farmer, with co-editors Jennie Block and Steve Reifenberg. 

Definition of Success

Development and use of new, effective training materials and other ways of engaging the PIH community on the understanding and use of the concept of accompaniment in all their work.

Development Advisory Team

 

Recommendation