Archive for MAIPD

Friday, December 7th, 2018

DPMI+ Spotlight: Kelly Zimmerman

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself!

I am a second year IPD student at MIIS currently wrapping up a six-month DPMI+ Fellowship in Bangkok, Thailand with the UN Women Independent Evaluation Service (IES) at their Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. I served the Regional Evaluation Specialist Sabrina Evangelista as her Program Evaluation Intern.

How did you find UN Women? Why were you interested in working with them?

UN Women has always been on my radar as an organization I wanted to understand better from the inside to determine if it would be a fit for me. The posting for this position was shared by a member of the MIIS CACS team and further endorsed by two recent MIIS alums who also did DPMI+ placements with UN Women before being hired on as full-time consultants.

Why did you choose to go abroad for your internship, rather than stay within the US?

Unlike many of my peers at MIIS, I haven’t spent years living and working within the development context from a remote village or bustling urban center at all ends of the earth. While my work was international in nature, I bound to a desk for years wishing I had more primary experiences in the geographies I was focused on and with the communities I wanted to serve. Leveraging various immersive learning opportunities at MIIS to go abroad has been a very important part of my graduate school journey.

What courses at the Middlebury Institute helped prepare you the most for your current position?

The Women and War workshop offered by Dr. Iyer is one of the most personally meaningful classes I’ve taken so far at MIIS. It was my impression that my colleagues liked it as well, to varying degrees, but that we universally appreciated and valued the difficult conversations that it sparked between us, exposing the rare and beautiful gray space that exists amidst the head-nodding that can overtake an environment with so many like-minded students. A regret, perhaps, is that the male perspective was largely absent from these incredible debates and discussions, as gender and power relations are at the core of almost all development work (ahem, fellas, register for this class!).

In a very practical sense, I also gained invaluable exposure to tools and theories that I used every day at UN Women from the Program Evaluation Sprintensive Module offered by Dr. Levinger.   

What projects did you work on? How did they relate to your personal mission?

I had the sincere pleasure of working for a supervisor that blessed me with the perfect blend of guidance and autonomy throughout my time on assignment. I was empowered to make meaningful contributions to a regional evaluation assessing UN Women’s organizational architecture as well as in drafting the 2019-2021 Regional Evaluation Strategy for Asia and the Pacific, both of which provided me with a wide lens to better understand the complex nature of the global development system and how to work towards achieving results within a decentralized context.

What lessons or skills did you learn “on the job?”

Regardless of where you’re coming from professionally when you arrive at MIIS or your DPMI+ Fellowship, your skills will translate. Period. You absolutely don’t need to have lived in a remote village or at the end of the earth to make meaningful contributions to class discussions or a development organization as a DPMI+ Fellow. In fact, I have found that having spent several years operating outside of the development space has been an asset, allowing me to share a different perspective in the workplace and often even to offer a complementary skillset to those around me with similar backgrounds.

What are your plans now that you have completed your time at UN Women?

After slowly and methodically proofreading my final DPMI+ deliverables before I submit them, I will fly home after sweating in Thailand for six months to roll around in the snow for a few weeks before returning to Monterey to complete my last semester at MIIS.

Would you recommend DPMI+ to other MIIS students?

The DPMI experience allows for an incredible array of opportunities and comes with an amazing network of alumni around the world doing great work. I would absolutely recommend building on the DPMI experience through a DPMI+ Fellowship abroad.

I would specifically recommend reaching out to UN Women in Bangkok if you are interested in Program Evaluation!

Thanks Kelly!

If you would like to know more about DPMI+, please email dpmiplus@middlebury.edu or visit here.

Friday, November 30th, 2018

January Term Skill-Based Workshops

Hello Everyone,

Over J-Term MIIS offers several skill-based workshops. While these classes are designed for outgoing IPSS students, they available and encouraged for any and all students who would like to improve their qualitative and quantitative skills over the break. If you are looking for opportunities over J-term, feel free to sign up! These classes are not restricted to GSIPM as well, so GSTILE students looking to improve quantitative or interview skills are encouraged to enroll as well.

These classes are located under the IPSS tab inside Bannerweb, and are included in your Spring term tuition and credit load; auditing is available as well.

High-Value Organizational Consulting (IPSS 8530 A, 1-2 credits, Pass/Fail) Jan 3-4, 9:00am-5:00pm

This workshop will be taught by organizational expert and successful government, nonprofit, and private-sector consultant, Dr. Beryl Levinger.  Participants will learn tools for analyzing an organization, its culture, its approach to meeting mission, and ecosystem analysis.  They will also master key skills for effective organizational consulting including client reconnaissance; client relationship management; and the creation of value-added consultant deliverables.  The 15 contact hour workshop in January can be taken for 1 or 2 credits. Students wishing to earn 2 credits for this workshop will turn additional deliverables in the first month of their internship – these deliverables will help them apply the tools they have learned in this workshop to better understand their host organizations. Instructor: Dr. Beryl Levinger.

Designing and Evaluating Interventions (IPSS 8531 A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan. 12-13, 9:00am-5:00pm

This workshop will cover basic tools and steps involved in designing successful interventions (i.e. projects and programs) and effectively evaluating these interventions.  This workshop will prepare students to assist the growing number of organizations across various specializations that are trying to establish more systematic design and evaluation systems. Instructor: Emily Morris; Monitoring, Evaluation & Research Technical Advisor, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC).

Quantitative Data Analysis in a Professional Setting w/ Excel (IPSS 8532A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan 5-6, 9:00am-5:00pm

This course is designed to meet the needs of graduate school level students who are looking to improve their understanding and abilities to collect and analyze data using Microsoft Excel. Collection and analysis are covered in the same course because proper planning and collection of good quality information requires understanding of data analysis and vice versa. The course will be broken up into three distinct modules that are each catered to the skill set of the respective audiences: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Instructor: Kevin Morenzi.

Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (IPSS 8533A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan. 8-9, 9:00am-5:00pm

Students will acquire and practice tools essential for systematically analyzing qualitative data as a professional in the government, nonprofit, or private sectors. “Learning by doing” will be the main instruction approach. Examples from typical assignments from professional setting such as needs assessment, policy analysis, and M&E will be used to facilitate learning. Instructor: Scott Gregory Pulizzi

 

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

DPMI+ Spotlight: Chndy Rogel

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi, I’m Chndy Rogel. I am an international student from the Philippines who moved to California to pursue a Master’s degree in International Policy and Development, with a specialization in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Design. I recently graduated and completed my DPMI+ assignment in Washington, DC as an intern for the Research and Evaluation Department of the Global Education, Employment, and Engagement Unit of FHI 360. While at FHI 360, I programmed mobile data collection tools, conducted data cleaning, and performed qualitative and quantitative analysis for global education projects in West Africa and Central America.

How did you find FHI 360? Why were you interested in working with them?

When I was fresh out of college in the Philippines, I’ve wanted to apply for positions at FHI 360. However, the programs in the Philippines were primarily in health and I do not have any background in health projects. While searching for internships towards the end of my third semester at MIIS, my career advisor reminded me of FHI 360. I went to their careers page and found a research internship with the Research and Evaluation Department of the Global Education, Employment, and Engagement Unit.

I was drawn to working with them because of the variety of sectors they work in and their expertise in monitoring and evaluation. I have limited experience with education projects and I wanted to get exposure to global education through the internship at FHI 360.

What courses at the Middlebury Institute helped prepare you the most for your current position?

The courses that prepared me the most are Introduction to Policy and Data Analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis, Program Evaluation, and DPMI.

What has been an unexpected challenge you have faced while at FHI 360?

My most important takeaway is committing to finishing what I have started. It was a big challenge for me during my final three weeks because most of the tasks that I was anticipating early in my internship came later than expected. I found myself working long hours to finish everything by May 18th. I felt excited that I was trusted with so much work but also found myself getting more exhausted than usual at the end of the day. I realized (and one of my senior colleagues also noted) that it is not sustainable. I almost gave up but realized that I just needed to take more breaks and limit my work hours on weekends. Work-life balance has been a challenge for me and my colleagues have been reminding me about it. The best part about working with the Research and Evaluation Department is having a supportive group of colleagues who are eager to share what they know and would also listen to what you would like to get out of the internship. They also acknowledge the strengths and interests of the members of the team.

I was asked to extend my internship, to which I agreed, but had to take a break for two weeks while I wait for work authorization for my post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). International students cannot work after graduation until we have received our one-year OPT. I am continuing my internship until August.

What projects did you work on? How did they relate to your personal mission?

My priority projects are on fidelity of implementation of early grade reading programs in Ghana and Nigeria and on professional learning communities for teachers in Ghana, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea. I was also invited to support the work on mapping student disability screening tools for primary school-age children. One of my learning objectives for pursuing an internship at FHI 360 is to learn about their monitoring and evaluation approaches to development projects and the research initiatives they pursue.

My personal mission is to find ways to create equal access to opportunities to improve the quality of life of individuals and to support them in becoming economically active citizens. Improving the education system in developing countries, such as the Philippines, is one way of supporting individuals in reaching their full potential to become productive citizens contributing to the country’s development.

What lessons or skills did you learn “on the job?”

Personally, I have to be better on work-life balance. Even when you enjoy what you are doing, there is a limit to what your brain and body can take. In terms of professional skills, I learned mobile data collection tool programming, which I realized is something that seems to be in demand for the positions that I have been applying for. I also had the chance to observe and participate in the development of an Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (AMELP) for USAID during proposal development.

What are your plans now that you have completed your time at FHI 360?

I am currently looking for positions in international development, primarily on research, monitoring, and evaluation. DC is a great place to find headquarters experience on international development. I’m primarily interested in projects on micro, small, and medium enterprise development and livelihoods. The networking skills that I have learned at MIIS have been very useful in reaching out to professionals in this field for career advice and informational interviews.

Thanks, Chndy!

If you would like to know more about DPMI+, please email dpmiplus@middlebury.edu or visit here.