Improving the Effectiveness of Gender Mainstreaming Initiatives at UDSM

Client
University of Dar es Salaam Gender Centre
Faculty
Kathleen Apltauer
Team
Katie Beverlin, Sallie James, Micah Nelson, Shelby Quackenbush

The mandate of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Gender Centre and its affiliated student organization, the Gender Club, is to mainstream gender policies and programs across the University. The Centre’s work includes student and faculty engagement and research. The Gender Centre requested a Capstone team for a second year to improve external communications and identify University-wide engagement opportunities. The team interviewed staff and students in Tanzania to understand the current barriers to successful Gender Centre and Gender Club programming. Using information from interviews and observations, the team made updates to the Gender Centre’s website and developed actionable tools to improve the Centre’s communications techniques, including a user guide for the long-term maintenance of the site. The team also developed a strategic planning resource for the Gender Club to help students communicate its vision and goals, and the actions needed to achieve them.

Family Planning 2020

Client
United Nations Population Fund
Faculty
Kate Bourne
Team
Maureen Ahmed, Brianna Bates, Pam Campos-Palma, Mariquit Lu, Christalyn Steers McCrum, Chris Thursby

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) aims to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted and every childbirth is safe in order to expand the possibilities for women and girls to lead healthy and productive lives. The UNFPA launched Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) as a global initiative to increase access to family planning services for an additional 120 million women and girls in 69 countries by 2020. UNFPA engaged a Capstone team to assist in setting FP2020 indicator targets for 23 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. The team completed a literature review and consulted with stakeholders with trips to Uganda and South Africa. Referencing Uganda as a case study, the team constructed a model, centered on a rights-based approach, which focused on increased quality of care within family planning services. The team recommended strategies to increase identified countries’ abilities to successfully implement family planning initiatives while ensuring valid evaluation methods.

Creating a Climate-Neutral Organization

Client
United Nations Population Fund
Faculty
Kathleen Apltauer
Team
Grace Ren, Jasmine Christine Nears, Jessi Luckett, Shaoyun Huang

Under the leadership of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN agencies and governments have advanced global efforts to combat climate change. The operations of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) achieved climate neutrality in 2015, five years earlier than the 2020 deadline for UN agencies. To maintain and foster its outstanding progress, UNFPA enlisted a Capstone team to generate a Referenced Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) report that presents a comprehensive look at the organization’s economic, social, and environmental sustainability. The completion of the GRI report involved a stakeholder analysis survey, one-on-one interviews, and an analysis of the organization’s carbon emissions data that was collected from over 140 UNFPA country offices. The GRI report will allow decision-makers within UNFPA to better understand and communicate their accomplishments, both internally and externally, and to identify opportunities to achieve its sustainability goal. Additionally, the report serves as an international, standardized record that further strengthens UNFPA’s commitment to remaining a climate-neutral organization.

Evaluation of a Local Economic Development Analysis Tool

Client
United Nations Capital Development Fund
Faculty
Paul Smoke
Team
Vanessa Pascual Barrios, Namon Freeman, Yu Ma, Eo Chin Rym

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is mandated with making strategic investments in the world’s least developed countries and emerging economies. The UNCDF office in Tanzania is working to develop strategies to improve the economic impact of successful industries. In order for programs such as the Local Finance Initiative to support productive strategic investments, UNCDF needs a reliable economic and industry analysis tool. A previous Capstone team developed the LEDbox tool, which utilizes a series of economic indicators based on available decennial census data to help assess prospects and avenues for local economic development. UNCDF engaged this year’s Capstone team to determine the viability of the tool and to further refine it. The team assessed the tool’s ability to analyze how specific industries contribute to local economies and improve the local quality of life, and made recommendations for additional analysis. 

Enhancing the Local Adaptive Climate Living Facility in Cambodia

Client
United Nations Capital Development Fund
Faculty
Giuliano Bosi
Team
Christina Aguila, Erika Harris, So Hyun Park, Iliana Paul

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) provides investment and technical support to the public and private sectors, operating primarily in Least Developed Countries, or countries that exhibit the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development. In 2011, UNCDF launched the Local Adaptive Climate Living Facility (LoCAL) to promote climate change-resilient communities and economies by increasing local-level financing for climate change adaptation. UNCDF engaged a Capstone team to investigate opportunities for expanding the LoCAL model in order to support revenue-generating projects and catalyze private sector investment. Integrating these aspects into LoCAL is key to ensuring long-term financial sustainability of sub-national climate adaptation efforts. The team analyzed opportunities for enhancing LoCAL through a literature review and field visit to Cambodia. There, the team interviewed government officials, community beneficiaries, and other development actors including UN agencies, NGOs, investors, and social enterprises. The team prepared recommendations to build on the UNCDF LoCAL model, with a focus on Cambodia’s Takeo province.

Children and Adolescent Participation in Local Government

Client
UNICEF
Faculty
Paul Smoke
Team
Ayesha Krige, Bakar Ali, Raniah El-Gendi

The Public Finance and Local Governance unit at UNICEF’s New York Headquarters provides UNICEF country offices with insight into serving children in the context of decentralization. It supports governments in identifying funding sources, creating consensus around the need to invest more in children, and using public finance policies to achieve sustainable progress in the fulfillment of children’s rights. To inform technical guidance documents for UNICEF country officers, UNICEF engaged a Capstone team to conduct research on child and adolescent participation in local governments. The team conducted an extensive literature review; developed a conceptual framework; researched and wrote three desk case studies in India, Turkey, and Costa Rica; and conducted an in-depth case study in Ethiopia. In the final deliverable, the team assessed existing cases of child and adolescent participation in local government, identified areas of weakness and opportunities for expanding participation efforts, and provided an overview of lessons learned as well as future areas for consideration.

Mitigating Corruption Risks in the Land Sector with a Focus on Gender Related Issues

Client
Transparency International
Faculty
Steve Schall
Team
Beneque Cousin, Gorn Huvanandana, Hannah Reuter, Lindsay Voirin, Tara Wadhwa

An international nongovernmental organization, Transparency International fights corruption and abuses of power. In Africa, corruption is one of the largest risks to citizens’ land and property rights. Having identified these issues as a priority, Transparency International and its partner chapters in Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Madagascar, and Kenya have scaled up efforts to manage corruption. Risks related to corruption include land grabbing, sexual harassment, sexist inheritance norms, bribery, and intimidation. Mitigating such practices requires identifying and evaluating their impacts, and planning strategies to secure land and property rights using each chapter’s available resources. Transparency International engaged a Capstone team to identify each chapter’s current state of corruption risk. The team reviewed previous evaluations, interviews, surveys, and independent research. With this information, the team developed an online survey instrument and conducted follow-up phone interviews with each chapter. They synthesized the data to understand evaluation mechanisms, identify best practices, and provide strategic recommendations and solutions that each chapter can implement to mitigate the risks posed by corrupt practices.

Effective Food Security Interventions: Reducing Household Hunger and Increasing Year-Round Access to Food

Client
The Hunger Project
Faculty
Kathleen Apltauer
Team
Gabriela Plump, Mari Smith, Erin Weber, Nan Zhang

The Hunger Project (THP) is a New York-based nonprofit organization that has operated in Africa for more than 20 years. Its mission is to end hunger and poverty by pioneering and advocating sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies. Using quantitative and qualitative analyses, the Capstone team explored the relationship between household hunger levels and the implementation of various food security interventions in Senegal. The team’s quantitative analysis investigated the relationship between household hunger and six food security techniques presumed to improve year-round access to food: animal husbandry for household consumption, child enrollment in school meal programs, availability of storage facilities, food processing equipment and training, home gardens, and household access to cash during the lean season. The team’s qualitative studies consisted of focus groups and individual interviews with local staff and community members at three Epicenters, or dynamic centers where a cluster of villages mobilize to take community-led action to meet their basic needs, in Senegal. The Capstone team synthesized the data to identify the impact of various food security interventions on household hunger, and offered guidance on how to improve program implementation and data collection within the Epicenter Strategy.

Uganda Market Entry Strategy and Stakeholder Analysis

Client
STG International
Faculty
Giuliano Bosi
Team
Hannah Atchison, Nelvia Rawheath, Carlos Quirola, Tatiana Zorgno

Energy access is a keystone of development, and affordable techniques for rural electricity delivery are in high demand to serve the African continent. STG International (STG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing sustainable energy technologies to communities across the developing world, has pioneered a sustainable technology in Lesotho, South Africa that drives down the cost of micro-grid electrification in rural communities. STG is now planning to expand its services into Uganda. After extensive background research, a Capstone team traveled to Uganda to engage with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and local universities to strategically position STG as a viable provider of novel, off-grid, renewable energy solutions. The team also collected data on energy consumption and willingness to pay in prospective micro-grid sites. The institutional networking and the data collected underpin STG’s strategic entry plan for Uganda and has enabled STG to submit bids for installation of energy infrastructure within the country.

Localization of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Client
Overseas Development Institute
Faculty
Paul Smoke
Team
Katherine Brandli, Manohar Patole

Part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the September 2015 adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is evidence of global commitment to sustainable development and provides a platform for action. As much of the attention on the SDGs remains at the policy level, there is a need to turn the focus towards implementation. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the UK’s leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues, seeks to elucidate how these goals can be localized for the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Working with ODI, a Capstone team conducted background research on the localization of international development agendas, drafted notes on selected Sustainable Development Goals, investigated potential case studies on localization, and identified key performance indicators for a localization framework to support ODI’s ongoing work.

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