Students Shape Programming at CARE and Oxfam
Cornell's Atkinson Center has again expanded its summer internship offerings. For the first time, ACSF is offering summer research fellowships with the nonprofit organizations CARE and Oxfam.
The CARE-Cornell collaboration kicked off a new multi-student summer research initiative with four Cornell grad students. The students are working with CARE country offices in Haiti, Malawi, and Zimbabwe to evaluate USAID-funded Title II food and nutrition security programs implemented by CARE. They are designing study methodologies and survey tools, traveling to conduct interviews, and analyzing results. Their time abroad ends with a group visit to CARE Headquarters in Atlanta to compile lessons learned. The four research fellows' projects will help CARE USA shape future programming and policy and inform future grant applications.
This summer, ACSF is also piloting a student summer research program with the humanitarian nonprofit organization Oxfam, which aims to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Two Cornell graduate students are conducting research on food security to support decision-making at Oxfam Uganda and Oxfam America.
CARE - Summer 2016 - Research Fellows
Elizabeth "Jade" Womack is a MS student in the Charles H. Dyson School studying Applied Economics and Management with a focus in International Development. At Cornell, Jade's research pertains to international development and labor economics. During her internship with CARE Haiti this summer, Jade is analyzing one of the USAID Title II sponsored programs, Kore Lavi. She is exploring cost-reducing measures to improve a Haitian school feeding program that supports local agriculture and small business enterprises. Jade is proposing cost-effective solutions for how the Kore Lavi school feeding pilot program can be scaled up and introduced to other areas of the country.
Fang Zhang is pursuing a MPA degree with a concentration in International Development. Fang is the Vice President of Cornell Women in Public Policy and an associate editor with the Cornell PolicyReview. This summer, Fang is working with CARE Malawi and CARE USA to conduct field research on the impact of El Nino and climate change on food security and gender dynamics in one particularly vulnerable community. She is studying what makes some households more vulnerable than others, how families have been coping with hardships, and to what extent CARE's programs are helping with the goal to inform CARE Malawi on their program approach.
Paola Roche recently completed her MPA degree with a concentration in Public & Nonprofit Management. Originally from Haiti, Paola is committed to sustainable development, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation of development projects to improve livelihoods and wellbeing. She previously worked with WhyHunger to identify issues and opportunities related to Caribbean social movements struggling for Food Sovereignty. This summer, Paola is working with CARE on the Kore Lavi, USAID's Food for Peace-funded Title II Development Food Assistance Program. She is conducting field research to better understand how gender dynamics affect food and nutrition security. She is investigating how men's involvement in the traditionally women-led CARE group affects the dimensions of Haitian household food security.
Amruta Byatnal is pursuing a MPA degree with a concentration in international development. She has worked as a journalist covering Indian politics, gender, and development issues. She has also worked as an Executive Editor of the Cornell Policy Review, co-advised a small agribusiness in Cambodia on export and pricing strategy, and studied maternal and child nutrition in India. Amruta is doing research this summer in Zimbabwe, with the Enhancing Nutrition, Stepping Up Resilience and Enterprise (ENSURE) program in partnership with World Vision. By employing qualitative and quantitative research methods, Amruta is studying the impact of USAID's Food for Peace funding on food security and women's empowerment.
Oxfam - Summer 2016 - Research Fellows
Janet Smith is a first-year PhD student in Development Sociology. Prior to coming to Cornell, she spent over three years in West Africa working with the Peace Corps in Senegal and Mali. Janet's research interests focus on how humanitarianism and development are executed by Islamic NGOs in the global context of the "War on Terror." Janet is spending the summer with Oxfam Uganda helping their Climate Smart Agriculture program to review their work on agriculture programs and collaborations with other NGOs and government agencies to ensure a collective, sustainable approach. She is assessing the state of knowledge of CSA programs, projects, and policies; the outcomes and impacts of climate smart agriculture programs; and emergent lessons from the implementation of CSA programs.
Joaquin Valdes is a MS student in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. He studies labor markets and rural development in Latin America, and he has worked with the Minnesota Population Center and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. This summer, Joaquin is working on two projects with Oxfam America. He is writing a white paper on valuing agroecological approaches to guide a budding collaboration between Oxfam America and the Markets Institute at WWFUS to measure the economic externalities and economic costs associated with transitions to sustainable and equitable agriculture production models. He is also conducting a systems analysis looking at the drivers and outcomes of inclusive and sustainable food systems in various countries.