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fall 2015

Assessing and Developing Usability for Foreign Aid Data - Diplomacy Lab (Fall 2015)

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Assessing and Developing Usability for Foreign Aid Data - Diplomacy Lab (Fall 2015)

Client Profile

The U.S. is one of the largest donors globally for foreign assistance. In an effort to bring transparency & accountability to U.S. Foreign Assistance, the Department of State manages and coordinates the website ForeignAssistance.gov (FA.gov).

FA.gov currently provides budget, financial, and programmatic data from across ten agencies (representing 98% of the total foreign assistance portfolio) that are contributing to U.S. efforts on issues such as health, peace and security, democracy, environment, and humanitarian/emergency assistance. The site includes many different data elements including activity titles, descriptions, partner names, dates of performance, and locations.

Definition of Problem

The site is finalizing a complete redesign, with new interfaces and functionalities, and we want to develop and use cases for the data contained on this site. We are asking universities to review the information in the dataset and develop ideas on how to use the data to identify trends and draw conclusions. Universities can also take on projects to standardize or hack the data to improve the quality, i.e. standardizing vendor names (for example, MSF vs. Doctors without Borders vs Medicines Sans Frontieres).

Initial Steps and Options

The DAT should plan to analyze the ForeignAssistance.gov dataset. The team would develop ideas for using the data to identify trends and explore ways to compare, contrast, or combine data with other datasets. For example, the team might seek to link the data to the new Lives Saved Scorecard, pioneered by U.N. special envoy Ray Chambers, for financing the health MDGs. The team will most likely focus on data from one specific country or region.

Definition of Success

The Diplomacy Lab is enthusiastic to see projects that show how FA.gov data can be combined or analyzed with other datasets to tell a story on Foreign Assistance or US Diplomacy. Foreign Assistance data can be used in its entirety or segmented by country, agency, or sector

Recommendation

Presenation


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Healthcare Delivery Expansion in Rural Mexico - Partners in Health (Fall 2015)

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Healthcare Delivery Expansion in Rural Mexico - Partners in Health (Fall 2015)

Client Profile

Partners in Health (PIH) is a global healthcare NGO founded in 1987 to provide a preferential option for the poor in healthcare. The organization originally developed as a community health project in Haiti and has since expanded to several countries around the world—Mexico being one of the most recent in 2012.  In Mexico, PIH operates through its sister organization, Compañeros en Salud (CES).  CES partners directly with the Mexican government to strengthen healthcare delivery in the rural state of Chiapas (the southernmost and poorest state in Mexico) by providing mentorship to recently graduated Mexican medical students serving in primary health clinics, training community health workers to support chronic diseases patients, and accompanying patients requiring higher level care as they navigate the health system.  

Definition of Problem

A young organization, CES is still working to develop new programs and expand its existing services in order to better deliver care to rural communities in Chiapas.  Beginning in 2012 with clinics in just two communities, the organization now operates clinics in ten communities and supports community health workers in six.  For many years, it was nearly impossible to find medical doctors to serve the rural clinics in Chiapas. Today, CES’s global health education model attracts medical students from top medical schools throughout all of Mexico.  Through its “Right to Health” reference program, CES is able to assist patients requiring more specialized attention beyond just primary care coverage.  Given the diversity of these operations, there are many paths for CES to pursue in the future, and it is still uncertain where the organization should best invest its resources to maximize impact.  CES would like to work with a Development Advisory Team to investigate and evaluate different strategic options for the organization’s future.

 Initial Ideas and Options

  • Explore the costs and the benefits of options such as:
    • Expanding the number of clinics supported in Chiapas
    • Expanding the types of health coverage provided
    • Expanding services to another state in Mexico
    • Increasing focus on the policy level
    • Increasing focus on medical education
  • Work closely with CES staff to understand the organization and its current operations.
  • Identify organizations that have faced similar dilemmas in expansion and development.  Write short case studies that draw lessons from those experiences.

Definition of Success

 A systematic report exploring options for CES’s future activities, based on evaluation of each of the above potential options and comparative analysis of similar organizations, that helps us to understand how each strategy would increase our impact, and provide the basis for dialogue within the organization to consider these strategic options.

Recommendation 

Presentation

Report

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Communications Plan on Reimagining Disability - L'Arche (Fall 2015)

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Communications Plan on Reimagining Disability - L'Arche (Fall 2015)

Client Profile

L’Arche is an international non-governmental organization that works to provide support for people with intellectual disabilities so that they take their rightful place in our societies as active citizens. As an international organization, it seeks to promote diversity and solidarity across geographical and psychological borders. L’Arche is present in 147 communities in 35 countries around the world.

See all Development Advisory Team projects with L'Arche

Definition of Problem

Since the rise of ISIS, it has become terribly clear that web videos, as a form of mass communication, can be used as weapons of mass destruction. Yet web videos can also be used as tools of mass development.  Notwithstanding important progress in some parts of the world, people with intellectual disabilities live in the shadows of a persistent view—present in all cultures—that they are the undesirables. L’Arche has designed a project to leverage the power of film and the connectivity of social media to move the needle on the invisibility and humiliation of the intellectually disabled across the globe.  From September 6, 2015 to September 2016, L’Arche is launching a web series of 24 short documentaries running 3 - 5 minutes and shot in 12 different countries on 6 continents. The series seeks to reduce disability-related stigma and discrimination by correcting misperceptions about disability and positively changing the public discourse among viewers. 

Initial Steps and Options

  • From a strategic point of view, how do you make this go viral, and how do you transform viewership into action? Create a plan for the distribution of L’Arche’s content (which platforms should be used and how) and advise L’Arche on how to make their content actionable.  Included in this plan should be an SEO strategy (Search Engine Optimization), which would require conducting keyword research on the subject of disability and L’Arche. Using Google trends and Google adwords, analyze what people are typing into search engines in the given countries and advise L’Arche on how to create content and build links so their content will be seen.
  • Read extensively about the work of L’Arche and organizations interested in changing perceptions on people with intellectual disabilities. Look at social marketing campaigns to change perceptions and behaviors regarding issues such as smoking, obesity, etc. (Karen Gutierrez is teaching a fall 2015 one-credit course through the Eck Institute on social marketing and would be a good resource person.) 
  • If you’re not familiar with SEO, these two online tutorials are free through OIT: “Fundamentals of SEO” http://www.lynda.com/Analytics-tutorials/SEO-Fundamentals/187858-2.html  “International SEO Fundamentals” http://www.lynda.com/Analytics-tutorials/International-SEO-Fundamentals/377449-2.html

Definition of Success

A strategic plan, with specific recommendations, that helps the series of L’Arche videos go viral and links them to a growing movement to change perceptions and reduce disability-related stigma and discrimination. 

Recommendation

Presentation

Slide Show

Report on Online Strategy

Report on Offline Strategy

Potential Key Words


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Networks for Social Development - Enseña Chile (Fall 2015)

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Networks for Social Development - Enseña Chile (Fall 2015)

Client Profile

Enseña Chile is based on the successful Teach for America model, recognized for creating a corps of leaders committed to improving access to excellent education regardless of socio-economic circumstances. Many join straight after finishing college, but others have gathered professional experiences outside the education sector. All applicants need to have demonstrated skills in leading and motivating teams, such as campus initiatives, community organizations or sports teams. Enseña Chile was founded by Tomás Recart in 2007 in Santiago, Chile. The organization provides quality education to 14- to 18-year-old high school students by bringing outstanding university graduates with leadership skills into classrooms of low-quality schools in poor areas for a period of two years. 

Definition of Problem

On a long-term basis, Enseña Chile is promoting a movement/network of Enseña Chile alumni that will be active at key positions in society with the possibility to positively influence a change in the educational system of Chile. Enseña Chile has adapted the model for the Chilean and Latin American context. By bringing bright college graduates and professionals to teach in underprivileged schools, they provide a significant contribution to bridging the inequality gap. Although Enseña Chile believes that good teachers have similar characteristics independent of culture, the organization has been adapting the Teach for America model both in the way these competencies are measured and trained, as well as in teacher training.

Founder Tomás Recart is convinced that in order to achieve social and economic equality it is necessary to systematically incorporate new leadership into the educational system and build broad and diverse networks in doing so. 

Initial Steps and Options

  • Enseña Chile is currently working to develop a network in which principals and ECh regularly work together and foster long-term relationships in which ECh would continue to supply the same schools with teachers. ECh feels they hear all the time how OECD and US schools and school systems share work/information and build networks.
  • Additional advisors: Stephen Zerfas and Mitch Kochanski, Bridgespan, San Francisco & Andrew Weiler, McKinsey and Company, Minneapolis

Definition of Success

An operational guide on best practices for building effective networks in the educational sector from other countries. Which are the best ideas that might be directly related to Chile?

Recommendation

Presentation


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Engaging Engineers in Development - College of Engineering (Fall 2015)

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Engaging Engineers in Development - College of Engineering (Fall 2015)

Client Profile

Engineering has been offered at the University since 1873, when Notre Dame became the first Catholic university in the country to have a school of engineering. In fact, Notre Dame boasts a long history of engineering developments in a variety of fields … from the construction of the first hand-driven wind tunnel in America (aerospace) and the successful transmission of one of the first wireless messages (communications) in the country to the discovery of a new class of actinyl peroxide compounds (energy) and demonstration of magnetic logic (computing).

When the College of Engineering was officially founded in 1920, most of the students were pursuing civil engineering, due to the nation’s need for surveyors and designers of roads, bridges, and railroads. Today, graduate and undergraduate students continue to explore a wide variety of fields through the five departments housed within the college as they search for ways to address some of society’s most pressing needs.

  • Number of Teaching and Research Faculty: 169
  • Number of Undergraduate Students, Sophmore-Senior: 1,214
  • Number of Incoming First-Year Students: ~500
  • Number of Graduate Students: 521

Definition of Problem

Undergraduate engineering programs are typically demanding programs with multiple requirements.  Notre Dame’s undergraduate program is extremely technically demanding.  A number of engineering students, for example, have wanted to pursue the rigorous training of the engineering program while taking advantage of other options, such as the university’s undergraduate minor in International Development Studies or training in human-centered design and design thinking.  At times, they have been unable to take advantage of these options because of the large number of required courses. Notre Dame is currently engaging in a curriculum review where, among other things, some of the traditional requirements are being re-examined in hopes of making space for other opportunities for students.  One area of interest is providing more “soft” skills that directly impact the work of engineers in addressing complex problems of great social importance. Some of these “soft” skills include design thinking, human centered design, negotiation skills, social and political analysis, and more.  

Initial Steps and Options

  • Work closely with Jay Brockman and Tracy Kijewski-Correa, as well as engineering graduate student advisors Erik Jensen and Kevin Fink (who are in the master’s program in civil engineering at ND) to define more clearly the project and proposed outcome.
  • Identify and analyze other undergraduate engineering programs that have done a good job providing this kind of training (for example, with engineering programs in international development or “humanitarian engineering” or others).

Definition of Success

A clear analysis on best practices nationally and internationally, as well as opportunities and constraints in thinking about ways to enhance Notre Dame’s current engineering curriculum.

Recommendation

Presentation

Report

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Program for conflict resolution - Education Bridge (Fall 2015)

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Program for conflict resolution - Education Bridge (Fall 2015)

Client Profile

Some pastoral communities in South Sudan have for a long time encouraged cultures of violence. These cultures are problematic as they incite youth to engage in violent activities that disturb communal peace and interfere with development in these communities. Education Bridge believes using educational seminars and workshops that introduce youth to non-violent means of conflict resolution and negotiation is one of the ways to break these destructive practices and encourage positive community engagement.

Definition of Problem

Education Bridge would like a DAT team to help look at other successful conflict resolution and negotiation programs in other countries and design a weeklong seminar that incorporates some of the best practices for use by Education Bridge.

Initial Steps and Options

  • Talk to Ngor Majak (a junior at ND who is helping build a school in South Sudan) and one of Education Bridge officials to understand more about the problem and explore many questions that could help you design a culturally relevant seminar.
  • Research and evaluate four or five successful conflict resolution and/or negotiation programs (ideally targeting young people). Study their practices in depth and determine how elements from a few of them could be best incorporated in the Education Bridge Seminar, keeping cultural relevance in mind.
  • If you incorporate games, try them out and have fun!
  • Help put together a curriculum that a team could really use.

Definition of Success

Help build an excellent program and teaching materials that would serve for a weeklong seminar that both uses existing materials from other organizations and develops/refines them in a culturally sensitive package relevant for South Sudan. 

Education Bridge hopes to incorporate some of the best practices and methods for conflict resolution and negotiation globally and make them available for students ages 14-20 in ways that both influence their thinking about violence and conflict, as well as help change behaviors.

Recommendation

Presentation

Slide Show

Executive Summary

Report

Background Materials

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Improving literacy outcomes in rural schools in Haiti - ACE (Fall 2015)

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Improving literacy outcomes in rural schools in Haiti - ACE (Fall 2015)

Client Profile

The Alliance for Catholic Education has been working closely with the Congregation of Holy Cross in Haiti (CSC Haiti) since 2011. CSC Haiti runs two flagship K-12 schools in Haiti in Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince and also has a network of 20 additional rural, under-resourced schools in the Northern and Southern regions of the country. CSC Haiti wants to improve the quality of education in these rural schools, where access to resources and quality teaching staff is a challenge due to the schools’ remote location and inability to adequately compensate faculty and staff. ACE in Haiti has made it a strategic priority to work alongside CSC Haiti to improve the quality of education in these rural schools.

See all Development Advisory Team projects with ACE

Definition of Problem

Rural and under-resourced CSC schools in Haiti face many challenges that drastically limit the quality of education students receive.  Some of the significant challenges include: limited training for teachers, extremely limited access to texts and instructional materials for both students and teachers, and limited use of native-language instruction. One of the most pressing challenges is ensuring that all students become proficient readers with strong comprehension in early grades. Literacy achievement in the early grades is the foundation of all other learning and is highly correlated with lifelong educational attainment. Forty-nine percent of Haitian students cannot read a single word when they enter the third grade, with devastating life outcomes (Gove 2010; USAID 2012).  To address teacher quality, the importance of native-language literacy development, and the pervasive need for quality instructional materials, USAID and others have developed relatively low-cost, scripted programs.  One program, ToTAL, is being used in some under-resourced Haitian schools to teach students basic phonemic awareness, decoding, and fluency skills in Haitian Kreyol with a transition into French. The program addresses early grade instruction in students’ native language to build a foundation for literacy with a transition into French instruction.

 ACE would like a DAT to help with the following questions:

  1. What are the most promising education programs that aim to improve literacy outcomes for all students in highly under-resourced developing counties (e.g. Africa, India, Latin America)?  Do these programs include native-language instruction?
  2. How are teachers with relatively low literacy levels trained to implement the identified education programs?
  3. How do these programs train teachers and provide coaching and/or ongoing support?
  4. What are innovative approaches showing success in addressing early grade literacy gaps, such as access to texts, pre-literacy skills, instructional quality, parent engagement, and other related issues?

Initial Steps and Options

  1. Identify effective literacy intervention models of relevance (literacy programs that include teacher training) in other development context countries (or in Haiti).  Identify what these programs have in common and key variations, including funding, evaluation, and cost per student or school.
  2. Identify how teachers were trained to participate in the promising programs and the level of ongoing support teachers received.
  3. Learn more about what the World Vision working group mini-grants are researching on innovations in early grade literacy.

Definition of Success

ACE would like Development Advisory Team to produce  a report on innovative programs that have impacted early grades literacy skills for under-resourced school populations, including information on how teachers were trained and supported by the program.  These case studies will serve as potential models and thought partners for ACE Haiti’s ongoing work to significantly improve the quality of literacy education for students in highly under-resourced CSC schools.

Recommendation

Presentation

                                                                   Report


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Innovative Behavioral Change Strategies - BRAC (Fall 2015)

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Innovative Behavioral Change Strategies - BRAC (Fall 2015)

Client Profile

BRAC is one of the largest development organizations in the world, with over 100,000 employees worldwide. It strives to alleviate poverty through empowerment and create opportunities for the poor. BRAC works on many different fronts in order to combat issues of poverty: focusing on empowerment of women and farmers, grassroots organization, health, education, inclusive financial services, and self-sustainment.  Over the last decade, the organization has extended its work beyond Bangladesh to 11 additional countries. 

See all Development Advisory Team projects with BRAC

Definition of Problem

Behavioral change is a huge component of all of our activities. Started in 2013, the Material Development Unit (MDU) provides service and technical assistance for materials to the BRAC’s programs. In this regard, MDU follows a renowned strategic and communications `P’ process created by John Hopkins University. BRAC is well known for ceaselessly introducing new services and ideas to clients, and it is MDU’s responsibility to identify cost effective, sustainable, client-oriented tools.

While BRAC is well known for effective behavior change, it believes that there are some new ideas and directions that have been introduced to behavior change communications (BCC) that BRAC is missing now. BRAC is currently exploring human-centered design, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

What are the different models or opportunities that BRAC can achieve? BRAC tries to create precise customer-oriented tools. What is the ideal process BRAC should try to leverage flow of mobile money users?  Other projects include: helping female migrants reintegrate into their communities, motivating women experiencing domestic violence to seek services, etc.  Many people at BRAC are unaware or skeptical of these new methods. BRAC wants to gather some evidence that will persuade BRAC’s leadership to help us get started, and give us some ideas about how to start.  

BRAC would like the project team to help us understand:

  • What are the common approaches to designing behavioral change interventions used by commercial companies or NGOs, especially with rural, poor clients?
  • What are the existing case studies and persuasive examples of the application of these methods to development work (like BRAC)?  It would be helpful to have some sense of the costs, impact, etc.
  • What tools are out there to help us get started?  What should BRAC try and how? (This could be especially focused on our work with mobile money adoption.)

Initial Steps and Options

  • We have gathered a little knowledge from some notes and books, especially Nir Eyal’s Hooked. Suggest students take a look at this book or his other writings/videos.
  • Look at BRAC’s website to learn more about what we do.

Definition of Success

We would like a report that catalogues: innovative methods, case studies, samples, and open-source tools.  It would also be helpful to have a presentation geared towards senior management with recommendations.

Recommendation

Presentation

Slide Show

Report

Development Advisory Team Biographies


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