Archive for DPMI

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Reflections on DPMI 2017 Washington, DC

26 participants successfully completed three-week Certificate in International Development and Social Change program on June 23, 2017. The participants constituted United College Scholars, Middlebury Institute and Middlebury College Students, and international development professionals. As a field visit, the participants got opportunities to visit several development organizations in DC and explore the trends in the development sector. Read the testimonies of the United World Scholars below: 

I applied for the DPMI program because of its relevance to my current role at a microfinance technology startup. Tasked with creating and implementing pilot interventions I was actively searching for frameworks with which to formalize the design process within my organization. In addition to learning and practicing with tools on program design, I gained critical leadership skills, design thinking exercises, and was given time to develop my theory of change within the development sector. A major highlight of the DPMI program was getting to know the other cohort members- especially the UWC participants.

The group work exercises allowed us to learn from each other’s academic, professional and personal experiences with development. Beryl’s weeklong simulation was also a deeply immersive learning experience. I appreciated the visit to the Organization of the American States (OAS) as an opportunity to visualize an alternative path within the development sector. Ultimately, the DPMI program, along with the framework and tools imparted will be relevant irrespective of which sector they are approached and utilized through.  

Amita Ramachandran, Macalester College, ’15 (Economics & International Development)

 

When I applied for the DPMI program, I was a senior International Politics and Economics major at Middlebury College. I directed most of my academic career towards an interdisciplinary pursuit of subjects related to international development. My interest in the field has been largely shaped and informed by my experiences at home in the Philippines; I constantly think about how I might contribute to the betterment of my country and society.

Three weeks of DPMI was crucial in my efforts to build connections between the theoretical approach I was exposed to in a liberal arts education, and the practical tools and skills applied in the field. It was inspiring to learn from such seasoned instructors and facilitators, the frameworks that are widely used in addressing global and systemic problems. While it might be a few years before I pursue a career in international development, I am grateful to DPMI for allowing me a close look at some of what international development work could involve.

Gabbie Santos, Middlebury College ’17 (International Politics & Economics)

 

 

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Amy Nguyen is taking DPMI beyond the classroom.

Hello! My name is Amy Nguyen, and today I will be sharing my experience in the Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation (DPMI) program in Monterey this past May.

A bit about me: Within the Development Practice and Policy (DPP) program, I am working towards a Master in Public in Administration (MPA) with a specialization in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Design. Prior to MIIS, I worked for the organization, Relief International (RI) (www.ri.org), where I am a still a member of its Performance Accountability and Learning team.

DPMI was a big draw for me when I applied to MIIS. I liked the idea of learning not only how to design projects, but also how to flip the traditional design process: how to make it more dynamic, more iterative and more community-oriented.

The two instructors, Beryl Levinger and Evan Bloom, have designed a unique, very hands-on learning environment. Over the span of the two weeks, we did all our work in teams: in the first week, to identify a development challenge facing a country and design a project, and, in the second week, to design a social innovation through collaborating.

These team projects took my mind to incredible places: first, to the coastal Ayeyarwady region in Myanmar, and, then, to the mountainous community of Barillas, Guatemala. Both projects involved understanding and addressing challenges facing farmers. Throughout the two weeks, we mixed and matched approaches, learning traditional tools and methodologies (e.g. as results frameworks and indicators) along with emerging ones (e.g. human-centered design, social network analysis).

My DPMI cohort was a fantastic group of working professionals and students. Each of us brought a different lens to the table: health, gender, migration, environment, education, and others. We asked hard questions. We brainstormed. We listened. And, just as importantly, we had fun. Somewhere in the mayhem of Google Drive folders, sticky notes, and team ground rules, our cohort was buzzing with energy and a sense of purpose. It felt like we were learning new approaches to think and work through development challenges… with some of the very colleagues whom we may be working alongside in the future.

DPMI has opened up new areas of work for me at RI. I am becoming more involved in the development of our new global partnerships strategy. This summer, I am completing my practicum with our Myanmar country team, focusing on ways to strengthen program quality through monitoring and evaluation (M&E), design and strategy. All of my deliverables will be tied to content from the DPMI modules. I’m excited to see my newfound skills and knowledge spring to life; as Beryl would say, I am excited to “hit the ground thinking.”

 

People, systems, and process matter a lot to me. Upon returning back to school, I felt it was important for me to become exposed to the methodologies, tools, and approaches that honor that principle. In the development field, we spend a lot of time in the development feeling stuck: The problems are great, and they are many. It is easy to feel beholden to the traditional way of doing things. DPMI beckoned us to do differently, and I am a better practitioner now because of it.

Monday, May 1st, 2017

How My DPMI Plus Experience Paid Off More Than I Ever Expected

Sarah Terherst completed DPMI Plus in the Spring of 2017. She is currently working as the Field Program Coordinator for the Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Accelerated Growth projected based in Niamey, Niger.

I’m one of those weirdos who has known what they wanted to do for a long time. I wanted to work in “development” before I ever knew it was an actual sector. When I was very young I lived in Togo and saw extreme poverty and subsistence farming first hand. Since then I’ve wanted to work in what I used to call “sustainable agriculture” which is now coined as “improved livelihoods” and “resilience.” When I joined MIIS I believed it would be the tipping point of my career, tying together all of my past experiences and launching me into my desired future career: program manager, in the field, somewhere in Africa, working on food security. So, naturally, I jumped at my first opportunity to take DPMI which then propelled me into the DPMI+ program.

 

I strongly believe that one of the best things that MIIS has to offer is the Career and Advising Center (CACS) and my journey here is a testament to that. When applying for my DPMI+, I reached out to my favorite professors as well as Gael and Scott at CACS and applied to over 30 positions. Scott spent a lot of time with me, explaining how food security projects worked overseas and told me about certain organizations who implement USAID-funded projects. He even reached out to some of his contacts on my behalf which led to an interview for the Livestock and Market Development Internship position at Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA). I was offered the internship and headed out to Washington D.C. shortly after the new year. Just three months after I started my internship I became a full time employee for CNFA working on a different project. I am now a Field Program Coordinator for the Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Accelerated Growth (REGIS-AG) project based in Niamey, Niger.

 

For me, my DPMI+ experience led me exactly toward my career goals. And, I’m incredibly grateful to still have access to resources like Beryl, Scott, and Gael as I start a new role in a new place. As I’m given new tasks or come across challenges within the project, it’s great to have their insight and guidance at my fingertips.

 

I think my biggest advice to students considering DPMI+ would be two-fold. First, if you want to work in development definitely take DPMI. Understanding how development projects work; how they are designed, implemented, scaled, and how impact is measured is ESSENTIAL and gives you a great framework to work from. Second, while you are applying for your DPMI+ assignments only apply to organizations where you want to work. Don’t look at your DPMI+ as just another way to get more experience that you hope someday will matter to a recruiter.  Search for internships and opportunities that are actually in the sector and/or role you want to be working in. Pursue your career through DPMI+. I’m not gonna lie…internships are not glamorous…at my internship in D.C. I emptied and loaded dishwashers daily. But, at the same time and in the same role, I learned how USAID-funded projects operate, I gained a wealth of knowledge about livestock and agricultural projects, and I landed a full time gig.

 

I have in no away arrived. I feel more like I’m starting over. I’m in a new country, working on a new project, and speaking in a different language. I think the picture here is a perfect summary of my time so far in the field. Notice: the other two women beside me are not hysterically laughing. That is because they actually know what’s going on around them…they know exactly which appropriate customs should take place at this baptism and they completely understand the French as well as both local languages being spoken around them. Meanwhile, I’m just cracking up having a good ol’ time while I blunder through my time here. It’s a blast and I’m loving every minute.

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

DPMI Plus Spotlight: Addy Jimenez Haga

DPMI Plus Spring 2017 is underway and we have the inside scoop from current DPMI Plus participant, Addy Jimenez Haga, IPD. She is currently working in Peru for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).
How did you find your practicum position?
During my first semester at MIIS, Scott Webb sent out an internship opportunity with UNLIREC – which happened to be in Peru. I pinned this message and kept it into consideration when choosing an organization for my DPMI Plus practicum. The fact that UNLIREC is in Peru is a added bonus since I spent two years in northern Peru as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
What has been the most challenging work task you have been given in your current position so far and why? 
I have been working on an Operational Forensics and Ballistics Manual; I assisted on mapping the 26 Zonas Veredales in Colombia for logistical strategy in the disarmament process; I have been disaggregating dozens of news articles connecting  private security guards with homicides, suicides, femicides and accidents while using a firearm; and I am in the process of building an M&E tool for the centre… but the most challenging aspect of it all, is the culture shock of being in a rich-feedback and team-oriented environments like what we have at MIIS, to autonomy and independence. I miss having 3-4 rough drafts that have been edited by a faculty member, and all of the brilliant minds working together to produce the best deliverable possible. Nonetheless, this has been an enriching experience and my expectations have been exceeded.
 What skill did MIIS teach you that you have found to be useful in your current work?
Courses that I have applied in the disarmament Centre are  Program Evaluation, Proposal Writing, Finance Functions, Citizen Security in Latin America, Network Analysis, and Organizational Sustainability. The skills include designing effective indicators, observing dynamics within the office and imagining its weighted network (i.e. who is the cutpoint? who is the person connecting everyone?, who has the highest eigenvector? whose brain should I pick to brainstorm career opportunities?), feeling confident when reading a logical framework, finding quantitative data, and how to make M&E sexy/appealing.
How do you see this position helping you in your future career?
I was not sure if working for the UN was something I would enjoy. I love fieldwork and will continue searching for career paths that include it. But I have also been incredibly impressed to witness, live, the relentless hard work and dedication from those at UNLIREC. I am gaining a diplomatic discourse, understanding the uphill battles of working with beneficiaries while gaining patience, and a better understanding of the phases, challenges, and the importance of communication of project cycles.
What advice do you have for someone currently looking for a DPMI Practicum?
Start thinking of regions, organizations, and/or sectors of interest early on. And in my case, I chose an internship that I once found to be somewhat deviating from my passions with the hopes of narrowing my career objective. *Side note: it actually added disarmament to my passions.
What is something you learned you enjoy to do, that you did not previously realize?
I am learning about guns! which I never thought I would be drawn to. Arms trafficking and violence caused by a weapon has broadened my lens to see development from a different angle. Security and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean are increasing, and being part of an organization that believes security to be a human right, is an honor.
What are your plans after practicum is over?
I will start searching for job opportunities next month that hopefully include a niche of international development and monitor and evaluation.
Thank you Addy and we wish you continued success!
To learn more about UNLIREC, check out their website.

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Internship advice from former IPSS and DPMI Plus Fellows

IPPSers and DPMI Plusers will soon begin a new adventure at their internships in Geneva, Washington D.C, New York City, San Francisco, Peru, and Bolivia.  These respective internships are essentially an audition for work at UNHCR, the State Department, Catholic Relief Services, IRC, and/or UNICEF to name a few.

As this years fellows are not the first to embark on such an adventure, we would like to share advice from previous years cohorts.

Last year, we asked fellows, what challenges did you experience that MIIS didn’t really prepare you for?

IPSS and DPMI Plus Fellows mentioned the following challenges: 

-email chains with over 10 cc’ed co-workers and navigating who to cc on which email.

-saying yes to everything and taking on too much

-social media management

-not being assertive about project selection

How can IPSS and DPMI Plus fellows mitigate these challenges?

IPSS and DPMI Plus fellows offered the following suggestions:

  1. Have a strong backbone
  2. Stay organized
  3. Keep an open mind
  4. Don’t take on too much
  5. Manage your expectations
  6. Be creative and come up with an innovative project proposal
  7. Remember that knowledge gained at MIIS is not the end-point
  8. Learn office culture and adjust your style accordingly
  9. Send an introductory email with a list of your skills and interests
  10. Nurture relationships.

Forbes, LinkedIn, and TED also have a number of recommendations:

  1. Ten ways interns can create a great first impression
  2. TED Talk with Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are 
  3. The ultimate intern to-do list 
  4. 6 simple steps to make a good first impression 

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

IMMERSIVE LEARNING INFO SESSION

WHEN: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th at 12:00 PM

WHERE: CASA FUENTE 434

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Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the MIIS experience. While you are here, you are able to participate in a wide range of international and domestic immersive learning opportunities during the January term and spring break. Practica provide students with opportunities to explore real world contexts as freelance consultants, field researchers, and junior-level professionals.

Immersive Learning recently announced 2017 Practica and now invite you to an informational session to discuss the variety of opportunities available. Where can you picture yourself —Colombia, Czech Republic, East Asia, Egypt, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, Spain or here in California?

For complete details on 2017 opportunities visit http://go.miis.edu/practica.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

DPMI+ Fellow Jeanine Willig on her experience at Social Impact

Jeanine Willig (far left), DPMI+ Fellow & IPS 2016 student

Organization:  Social Impact

Title: Performance Evaluation Intern

Location: Washington, D.C.

Social Impact contracts with lots of different organizations, mainly for performance and impact evaluation and capacity building.  As a Performance Evaluation Intern, Jeanine’s been working to support the impact evaluation team on Social Impact contracts with USAID.  Last month, Jeanine helped conduct a literature review for FHI360’s Rural Teacher Retention Program in Ghana.  She also worked on an impact evaluation of a WASHPlus project in three districts of Bangladesh that are highly impacted by climate change and experience constant flooding.  Jeanine loves the variety of projects she gets to work on at Social Impact and says she never gets bored.  “I have days where I look up and I haven’t noticed the time go by,” Jeanine says.  “It’s been a HUGE learning curve.  I can’t believe it’s been a month already.”

Jeanine has recently signed up to assist with the evaluation of a Millennium Challenge Corporation anti-corruption project in Honduras.  The goal of the project was to help the Honduran government meet anti-corruption standards in order to be eligible for funding for development.  The evaluation with which Jeanine will assist involves quantitative and qualitative methods to measure impact and entails a comprehensive 23 evaluation questions (typically impact evaluation involves three to six evaluation questions).

How did MIIS prepare you to succeed as a Performance Evaluation Intern at Social Impact?

Jeanine credits Beryl Levinger’s Program Evaluation class with preparing her most directly for her work with Social Impact, which so far involves heavy use of data-evaluation methods, understanding and analyzing qualitative data, and “really getting into the nitty-gritty.”  Another class that was particularly useful was Ed Laurance’s Intro to Human Security & Development.  The “on-time assignments” in this class gave her the skills to be able to research and sort through information rapidly and effectively.  When asked what advice she had for MIIS students interested in similar work, Jeanine recommended that all students take Data Analysis (she wishes that she had).  She also said, “Finance and budgeting is such a NEED in this industry.  People who currently do it are doing it because no one else can and they have just taught themselves.  Skills in finance or budgeting will make your job application stand out.”

Any other advice for current students?

Jeanine wants other MIIS students to keep in mind that “people will care about you and last minute stuff is okay.  When an advisor says that you’ll find a spot, have faith.  Having a good attitude about the job search is important.  You’ve got to keep it in perspective.  Keep your ears open – there are things out there you don’t know about and opportunities you can’t even imagine, so just keep an open mind.  There’s so much out there.”

Find out more…

You can read more about Jeanine’s experiences on her blog.

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

IPSS, IONP, DPMI Plus, IEM Practicum, FMS, and Student Exchange Placements for 2016 Announced

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 3.27.24 PMFor spring 2016, a total of 61 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey students will participate in our distinguished semester long immersive learning programs, to be placed around the country and the globe. Domestically, students are as close as the San Francisco Bay area and as far away as Washington, D.C. Internationally, they are spread across five continents.

Programs include the International Professional Service Semester (IPSS), the International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP), DPMI Plus, the International Education Management (IEM) Practicum , the Student Exchange Program, and the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) Program.

Below is a list of current participants, their organizations, and their locations.

 

International Professional Service Semester (IPSS)

Name

Placement

Location

Shen Li WTO Geneva, Switzerland
Melis Okter CA Sea Grant: Coastal Commission San Francisco, CA
Jennifer Adams State Dept. ASST SEC, OCEANS & INT L ENVIR  & SCI AFFS and Montery Bay Aquarium Policy Division Washington, D.C.
Emma Tonge NOAA Oakland, CA
Mairi MacEachern UNGC Network office Toronto, Canada
Whitney Berry IUCN Geneva, Switzerland
Zachary Foco FAO Rome, Italy
Marina Binsack San Francisco Bay Joint Venture Sacramento, CA
Sophia Kirschenman Conservation International Social Policy and Practice Division Washington, D.C.
Thomas Stagg NOLS Patagonia Chile
Jamie Stanton UNIDIR Geneva, Switzerland
Elin Orre UNODA CAB New York, NY
Hussain Alhowaidi UN Office at Geneva: Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit Geneva, Switzerland
Margaret Coleman US State Bureau of Human Rights, Democracy, and
Labor
Washington, D.C.
Daniel Pavitt Conservation International Peace and Development Partnerships Washington, D.C.
Miranda Salinas Alliance for Peacebuilding Washington, D.C.
Li Ma Stimson Center Washington, D.C.
Kathleen Lucitt IRS Criminal Investigations Branch (International Operations division) Washington, D.C.
Stephanie Gentle IUCN SEE Belgrade, Serbia
Jenny Cho Council on Foreign Relations Washington, D.C.
Phil Goldstein Department of Defense/Pentagon Washington, D.C.
Emily Summerlin San Francisco Business Council on Climate Change San Francisco, CA

International Organizations and   Nonproliferation Program (IONP)

Name

Placement

Location

Hussein Alhowaidi United Nations
Implementation Support Unit of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BWC)
Geneva, Switzerland
Geraldine Mande United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, NY
Satomi Tamura United Nations Conference on Disarmament (CD) Geneva, Switzerland
Irene Yu Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Vienna, Austria

DPMI Plus

Name

Placement

Location

Judie Henderson Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) Rwanda
Laura Preston Peace Corps Cameroon
Madison Shepard SHE-CAN Mill Valley, CA
Sophie Dresser OneVillage Partners Sierra Leone
Jeanine Willig Social Impact Washington, D.C.
Alina Aslanian International Organization for Migration Bangkok, Thailand
Sonia Esquibel Catholic Relief Services Zambia
Karla Gregorio Program Fellow Oakland, CA
Susan Asselin Peace Corps Senegal
Alcide Guillory III GSIPM Immersive Learning Team Monterey, CA
Julia Meli International Organization for Migration or Search for Common Ground Middle East and North Africa
Tom  Ford Peace Corps Nicaragua
Amanda Kruse

Peace Corps

Burkina Faso

International Education Management (IEM) Practicum

Name

Placement

Location

Kaela Conroy Brown University – Office of International Programs Providence, RI
Tessa Fancher Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
Maria Gleason-Maddox University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Center for Global Education Madison, WI
Michelle Gloster PLUS Education U.S. Corp USA
Talia Gottlieb Pearson College UWC Canada
Emily Greenblatt Intercultural Communication Institute  Portland
Alcide Guillory III GSIPM Immersive Learning Team Monterey, CA
Courtney Jackson American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) Bethesda, MD
Sydney McLoughlin  To be determined
Peter Seilheimer California State University at Monterey Bay Monterey, CA
Abbey Wallace CIEE Portland, ME

Student Exchange Programs

Name

Placement

Location

Jordan Fernandez Middlebury Schools Abroad Amman, Jordan
Janet Addoh Middlebury Schools Abroad Madrid, Spain
Eli Hatch Waseda University Tokyo, Japan

Frontier Market Scouts (FMS)

Name

Placement

Location

Julianne Scott Pulsera Project Granada, Nicaragua
Tony Chow  To be determined
Angelina Skowronski  To be determined
Ben Grimmig  To be determined
Clover van Steenberghe  To be determined
Kenji Tabery  To be determined
Nenneya Shields  To be determined
Sherry Sybertz  To be determined

Best of luck to all of you!!!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

J-term in Chile, Peru, Rwanda, Nepal, and Spain

For J-term 2016, we had 70 students travel to  Chile, Rwanda, Peru, Nepal, and Spain.

Team ChileConner Anderson, who is on the Chile Practicum on human rights and Chile’s vulnerable populations, sent me the following photo of his cohort (to the left).

In their first three days in Chile, 23 Middlebury Institute student delegates have had the pleasure to meet with several Chilean champions of human rights, including politicians, professors, judges, community activists, everyday citizens, all working to make progress in this time of transition for Chile, but not at the expense of forgetting the injustices of the past.

Conner Anderson wrote the following about his journey so far, “We have been learning about the human rights violations under the dictatorship of Pinochet in Chile. But what has had such impact is that these aren’t just theories and stories, these are the emotions, the actions, and the lives of those that not only were impacted by the injustices, but are also those fighting to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”  Conner also wrote about one of the most impactful interactions the students have had so far was with Gabriella Zuñiga, a wife of a Disappeared, who told the student delegates, “To remember is to pass it again through your heart.”

Rwanda

Melissa Hewitt, who is currently attending the cultural immersion portion of Design, Partnering, Managing, and Innovation(DPMI) training at Partners in Health Rwanda, wrote, “Our trip to Rwanda has been inspirational and an incredible learning experience. We have been able to see and experience the transformation the country is currently undergoing. I feel that the lessons I am learning will stay with me and influence me for years to come.”  Ayako Yamada, also participating in DPMI Rwanda, wrote, “Before coming to Rwanda, even with the pre-assigned readings, I was blown away with how little I knew about Rwanda. All I knew was about the genocide and I’ve learned that Rwanda has been a successful country in slowing down the spread of HIV and managing it.  But I didn’t know as much about ICT and gender equality.  It has shown me how little I was paying attention to Africa.”

Stay tuned for more comments from Nepal, Peru, and Spain!

 

 

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Internship advice from former IPSS and DPMI Plus Fellows

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 10.33.30 AMIPPSers and DPMI Plusers will soon begin a new adventure at their internships in Geneva, Washington D.C, New York City, San Francisco, Chile, and Zambia.  These respective internships are essentially an audition for work at UNHCR, the State Department, the Peace Corps, Catholic Relief Services, the IAEA, and/or the IUCN to name a few.

As this years fellows are not the first to embark on such an adventure, we would like to share advice from last years cohort.

Last year, we asked fellows, what challenges did you experience that MIIS didn’t really prepare you for?

IPSS and DPMI Plus Fellows mentioned the following challenges:Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 1.16.29 PM

-email chains with over 10 cc’ed co-workers and navigating who to cc on which email.

-saying yes to everything and taking on too much

-social media management

-not being assertive about project selection

How can IPSS and DPMI Plus fellows mitigate these challenges?

IPSS and DPMI Plus 2015 fellows offered the following suggestions:

  1. Have a strong backbone
  2. Stay organized
  3. Keep an open mind
  4. Don’t take on too much
  5. Manage your expectations
  6. Be creative and come up with an innovative project proposal
  7. Remember that knowledge gained at MIIS is not the end-point
  8. Learn office culture and adjust your style accordingly
  9. Send an introductory email with a list of your skills and interests
  10. Nurture relationships.

Forbes, LinkedIn, and TED also have a number of recommendations:

  1. Ten ways interns can create a great first impression
  2. TED Talk with Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are 
  3. The ultimate intern to-do list 
  4. 6 simple steps to make a good first impression 

 

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

DPMI and DPMI Plus Application Deadline for January Trainings is October 31

DPMI WI 2014

Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI) is 3-week training open to development professionals, career-changers, and graduate students.  The modules include (1) Managing Development Projects, (2) Social Change and Participatory Development, and (3) Strategic Partnership and Social Entrepreneurship. DPMI uses a cross-sector approach, taking promising practices from the development field and combining these tools with successful concepts drawn from the private sector.

DSC_7964The focus of this course is to apply and practice leadership methods within the areas of international development project management and social change.  We are looking for a diverse group of individuals whose passion revolves around the development and empowerment of communities at large.  Apply for January programs offered in Monterey and/or Rwanda by October 31.

 

20140117_154420With DPMI you will….

-Learn ground-breaking and ‘tried and true’ tools to solving problems, motivating staff, and establishing partnerships.

-Use the tools and standards set by major non-profits that break down and quantify processes through the lifespan of a project.

-Gain critical project management skills.  And learn how to put your training into action.

After participation in DPMI, Middlebury Institute students have the opportunity to go into the field for 3-9 month professional internships and be part of the DPMI Plus program. Read more about this opportunity on our DPMI LinkedIn Blog. Apply for DPMI Plus by October 31.

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

DPMI Info Session this Thursday

dpmi

This Thursday, September 10th, there will be and informational session on the Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI) Program. The program will earn you a certificate in International Development and Social Change. The session will cover all of the DPMI training offerings and give you a chance to hear from past program participants. To learn more about the program right now you can visit: go.miis.edu/dpmi

When: Thursday September 10th

Time: 12-1pm

Where: Morse B106

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

DPMI Plus Fellow Mia Schmid works to improve water security in India

Mia Schmid

Mia Schmid is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at the Middlebury Institute with a concentration in learning, evaluation, and accountability.

Mia Schmid believes that “monitoring and evaluation of social development projects needs a radical reorientation to locate community organizations at the helm of the learning process.”

Mia is currently on her DPMI Plus assignment,  a semester long immersive learning opportunity for graduate students at the Middlebury Institute, working in 120 degree heat in Jodhpur, India. Her first project involves launching a new initiative focused on water security within 6 villages in the Thar desert.

Schmid will also document program strategies related to women’s self help groups and vocational training programs, develop a field reporting tool, and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan for a new pilot program.  Learn more about her experience on her blog>>>. 

 

 

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

IEM Practicum-DPMI Plus fellow collaborates with progressive language school in Mexico

Luz Vasquez

Prior to studying at the Institute, Luz served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador in the Community Organization and Economic Development Program.

Luz Vazquez-Ramos, candidate for a dual graduate degree in Public Administration and International Education Management, is currently working as a Special Projects Manager for the CETLALIC Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico for her IEM Practicum and DPMI Plus fellowship.  CETLALIC, self-described as the most politically and socially progressive Spanish language school in Mexico, was founded in 1987 by Salvadorian and Nicaraguan refugees.  Every language course is taught following Paulo Friere methodology, an approach designed to teach Spanish, Mexican culture, and generate a sense of solidarity with Latin America.  The program also offers students an opportunity to participate in a variety of social justice programs.   In a recent exchange with the GSIPM office, Luz wrote, “As a former student of CETLALIC, I have learned about current and past social justice movements through CETLALIC, however I never understood the intentional and direct connection to El Salvador and to Nicaragua.  I am beyond touched and humbled by the work CETLALIC has done.”  This summer and into the fall semester, Luz will be developing a new study abroad program specifically created for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students.

Through her background and work at CETLALIC, Luz has become inspired to develop greater solidarity among undocumented immigrant youth in the United States and the academic community in Mexico.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

DPMI alumnus puts training to work in food security efforts in Ethiopia

IMG_1772Sitting down with Care Deputy Chief of Party and January 2015 Monterey DPMI Alumnus, Girma Hailu

During a 3-day trip to Addis Ababa after the DPMI Kenya training, I was able to meet-up with January 2015 DPMI Monterey alumnus, Girma Hailu in his hometown of Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia.

Girma has been serving as Deputy Chief of Party, Food Security for Farmers (FSF) for CARE in Ethiopia since last fall.

The CARE Food Sufficiency for Farmers project (FSFP) is a 5 year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and executed by CARE Canada through CARE Ethiopia. The project aims at ensuring sustainable food security of chronically food insecure women, men, girls and boys in selected districts of the Oromiya and Amhara regions. The project works in collaboration and builds on the Ethiopian government National Food Security Programs and targets over 34,000 households; among which 13 percent are female-headed. The project will be implemented through 3 main components: i) improving the enabling environment for food security; ii) diversifying economic activities for food insecure households and iii) improving resilience to climate risks.

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Monday, June 15th, 2015

Greater Middlebury alumni community comes together in Nairobi

IMG_1640 IMG_1633 IMG_1636 IMG_1635 IMG_1639A June 9th reception in Nairobi drew over 25 members from the entire Middlebury community including alumni from Middlebury College, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), the MIIS Frontier Market Scouts fellowship, and the MIIS Program on Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation (DPMI).

The event was held at the Aga Khan Graduate School of Media and Communications in the 9 West building in the Westlands neighborhood of Nairobi, the site of the June 2-11 DPMI Kenya training. The group welcomed the wonderfully diverse group of DPMI Kenya trainees to the alumni community. DPMI Kenya participants in the June training hail from over seven different countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Niger, Venezuela, the Philippines, South Africa, and the US).

Highlights from the event include how effortlessly the group of alumni from different Middlebury backgrounds connected as well as the short speech made by guest of honor, Dr. Beryl Levinger, a Distinguished Professor and Development Policy and Practice Program Chair at MIIS. During Beryl’s speech, she likened what many alumni are doing in the development and social enterprise space to a quote from Thomas Edison on the process of inventing the light bulb, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Beryl then told the group, “You fail many times trying to find the right approach. The common thread is that you are all here trying to make a difference.”

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Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Throwback Thursday: DPMI Rwanda 2015

Check out this great footage from DPMI alum Anissa Bensaid during her time in DPMI Rwanda. What do you think about DPMI Rwanda? Let us know your thoughts!

 

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

20 Participants from Across the World Complete DPMI D.C.

DPMI DC 2015

20 students and professionals from all parts of the globe gathered in Washington, D.C. to attend a three-week intensive training program on the best practices for development. With such a diverse group, representing 13 different languages and cultures, discussions were rich and ideas flowed freely.

Throughout the duration of the program, participants were able to take advantage of their location and visit organizations such as the Institute of Peace and the World Bank. Case studies from Haiti, Zimbabwe and Nepal were also utilized to highlight opportunities for design and innovation. The most fascinating component for many participants was the opportunity to employ the skills they were learning, such as empathy mapping and social marketing campaigns.

Further delving into development  and innovation, the participants recreated the dynamic of  partnering diverse organizations to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. In this simulation, groups were created representing different organizations, who then sent representatives to facilitate partnership agreements. Through the creation of these groups and partnerships, the D.C. cohort was able to conduct significant research both on the organizations and issues at hand. The end result was a combination of very realistic  partnerships and innovative projects.

The DPMI D.C. cohort cannot wait to utilize their newly found skills in the field.

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Immersive Learners Champion Seven Countries through Nine Programs

I sat down with Maritza Munzón (MPA/IEM ’15), and Rafael Hernandez (MPA ’15) at a local coffee shop last week to interview them about MIIS’s Immersive Learning Programs. Maritza has traveled on five trips to six countries through MIIS (Peru, Cuba, Kenya, Mindanao, and East Asia), and Rafael has gone to four (Peru, Cuba, Rwanda, and East Asia). Both had a lot to say, much more than I can fit into this interview; I can’t encourage you enough to talk with your peers about their experiences abroad.

Q: What made you choose the immersive learning programs you chose?

Maritza: For me it’s always about “why not?” It is always a question of “if I don’t go, will I regret it?” And the answer is almost always “Yes”. So I do everything I can to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. MarRafFurthermore, because I am in the IEM degree program and want to conduct these trips myself one day, the best way to learn how to do this is to go on as many as I can!

Rafael: I was eager to begin traveling right away when I got here. That was the reason I picked this school over many other options – the traveling component. Right off the bat I could go on this Peru trip, that had a practical application of policy analysis, – and so I went.

M: I don’t think many people have traveled the way we travel here at MIIS.

There is only so much reading you can do about culture, practice, and so on, but you need to embed it in your muscle memory to learn and understand.

Q: Have you gone on any trips together?

Both went to Peru (but in different communities), as well as Cuba, and East Asia.

M: Peru started my obsession with these trips; the experience got my feet wet and then I wasn’t scared, anymore, to do the others.

Q: Are there any programs you especially wish you could have gone on?

R: I would have liked to go to the Philippines.

M: I would have done the El Salvador trip if I had the time. But I am always torn between what is familiar and what is less accessible. El Salvador is within my reach because of language, so I decided to take the leap and go on trips that I was less likely to do on my own:  Kenya, East Asia, and the Philippines.

Q: How did the programs and learning styles compare?

Both: Cuba was more like learning tourism, while Peru and East Asia where more research based: we did academic research in Asia, and field research in Peru.

M: I was a guinea pig for many of the trips – for example:  Kenya, Peru, and East Asia. Cuba was established. Being on a program in its first incarnation is a valuable experience for someone learning about how these programs are conducted.

R: I learned a lot about different types of intelligence and understanding. You know there is the computer competency type, where you either know it or you don’t. And if you don’t, you can ask help from someone who does – and there are no ego problems associated with that. Cultural competency, on the other hand, and especially at this school, is more complicated in that way. Then there is emotional intelligence (EQ) versus the IQ. When you go to speak to someone in a village, everyone on these trips is so concerned about being politically correct, which makes them all self-conscious. I found that the best way to take to people is honestly and openly.

Q: Since you have gone on so many of these programs, do you have any constructive feedback?

R: Like I said, these trips are one of the reasons why I chose this school. And we are so grateful for these experiences.

M: Growing up the way I did, I would have never been able to do this on my own. And I am grateful, and the best way I can give back is by applying my IEM knowledge and skills and giving constructive feedback. I was able to design a pre-departure training for the Peru trip, which was very well received, but not yet implemented. Based on our experience in Peru, Cortney Copeland and I designed a pre-departure workshop and assessment for that trip through our IEM Design and Assessment Class. In the workshop we wanted students to bond with the people in their groups, learn each other’s working styles and strength, while also getting to practice giving the surveys and entering the data. There are always hiccups with international travel and our goal was to develop cohesive groups before departure to help student better work through some of those unpredictable moments. The assessment consisted of a simple survey that students took before and after the trip to better inform staff and faculty of what is working and what needs improvement.

One of my frustrations with the organization of these trips is that the system that puts these trips together does not value the experience that the students going already have. Because the information isn’t coming from a respected magazine or periodical, but from the mouth of a student, who has had the personal experience or cultural experience growing up – but they didn’t write a paper on it, so…. We don’t get a diploma for growing up bilingual or for living similar lives to that of the people we are studying.

R: So if professors and institutions have a way, for better or worse, of validating those experiences, for example, “here is Maritza, she grew up in a culture that…..” and by doing that, it validates the person, and symbolically validates the peers that have experienced this. People come back like “I was shocked to see this and that”, and that is the only thing that gets the spotlight. But there are people who have lived this their whole lives.

M: Out of the bad comes the good. MIIS is proud of its international diversity on campus, but now there are also conversation on national diversity and socioeconomic diversity as well, which is something that came out of a critique on one of these trips. We go on these trips, and learn, and some things are difficult, but the important thing is to take the bad with the good and make something out of it. For some of us, that meant creating the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which highlights domestic diversity on campus and is working on assessing the needs of all students, whether international students, first generation college students, student of color, LGBTQ, or second career seekers. We not only wanted to address diversity by identifying the needs of all students on campus but to make sure it is something that continues to be addressed in the institution after we are gone.

Professors should also make a point to make focus groups mandatory. A format of how to measure the trips as a whole, but also each trip individually, so it can be improved upon, but that responsibility also shouldn’t sit solely on the professor’s shoulders.

Q: Any advice for students who will travel on these programs in the future?

M: Some things you can’t prepare for. Keep an open mind, don’t sweat the small stuff. Like dirt, bugs-

R: – and cold showers –

M: – and so on because it distracts from the experience. Don’t fight the discomfort.

R: You don’t need language to communicate with people. You shouldn’t necessarily know a language perfectly – keep the willingness to go at the forefront. Don’t be catered to: we chose to go, to help. Be the one helping, not the helped. Own your decision to go.

Language should not be a barrier to communicating with people. In fact, I learned from my inability to speak the local language, which became a resource of information, connection, and interaction. When I ask you, “how do you say this?”, I become your student and switch the power dynamic. People love to teach you, to speak from authority. There is laughter, and it breaks the ice and opens new things. They think, “Here is a person who wants to know my language.” It helps equalizing the playing field.

Q: Is there something you never travel without?

M: I carry medicine for altitude sickness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, congestion, and allergies; but I also carry hydration salts and EmergenC to try and prevent getting sick as well. You never know how sick you are going to get and might not be able to get to a pharmacy right away or be able to communicate what you need so its good to carry some meds you trust. Oh! and Baby wipes.

R: Baby wipes! Pen and notepad.

*shows us his pen and notepad, which, sure enough, are in his back pocket*

M: That’s what I picked up, now I’ll do that.

R: I like to record sounds from the trips, it brings you back. *plays recording*

M: Learn how to say a greeting, and please and thank you in the local language.

R: So important!

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smaller headshotKatya Gamolsky (joint BA/MA ‘17) is a first year student who works for the Immersive Learning Programs Office. She recently went on the Los Angeles trip that focused on Homelessness, with Dr Iyer, and will be attending DPMI DC this summer. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to know more about our Immersive Learning Programs, please email her at immersive@miis.edu.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Update on the Sarah Meek Travel Grant for Work in Africa

Summer and Fall Applications Invited
Apply your skills and knowledge in the field

What: $1,500 travel grant for work or research in Africa

Requirements:
1.) Complete a research or professional project benefiting a social change organization in Africa for a minimum of two months. This project can be part of an internship or job.

2.) Develop a narrated photo slideshow or video documenting the knowledge gained from your experience.

Application Process:

1.) Submit a 1-2 page proposal outlining the following by April 8:

a. Project Beneficiary
b. Project Context/Background
c. Project Goal and Objectives
d. Deliverable Format

2.) Awards will be given based on the clarity, feasibility and relevance of the project to social change in Africa. Applicants will be notified by April 24.

3.) Awards will be given as reimbursement for travel to Africa.

Other Considerations: You may still apply if you do not have a confirmed internship. Only enrolled students may receive a travel grant. If two students will be conducting the research together, the award will be split between the two students with a cap of $1500 per award. Travel grants can be awarded in good faith before deliverables are complete.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss the eligibility of your planned project for this award, please make an appointment with Professor Ed Laurance at elaurance@miis.edu. He can also be reached at 831-402-2631.

These awards are made possible by a continuing donation from the family of Sarah Meek, a MIIS alum of 1996 whose life was cut short while working to improve social conditions in Africa.