Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
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.