2013 Blakeley Fellows
Organization: Endeavor Brasil / Andean Innovation Red
Anna Valeria joined Andean Innovation Red (AIR) early in the organization’s development. She acted as an advisor, identifying the purpose of every company activity to determine relevance to key objectives. Her main objective was to build a map of the entrepreneurial landscape in Lima. She interviewed entrepreneurs, investors, acelerators and university officials involved in fostering entrepreneurship. As a result AIR attracted for the first time the attention of the community by using a new technological platform (i.e. Google Hangouts) that allowed to reach more audience and to create a virtual platform where entrepreneurs and soon-to-be entrepreneurs can share ideas.
Anna: “Today I feel more prepared and confident that I have been gathering the needed tools, both in terms of the academic work and now during the summer with hands-on experience to start building my own startup with social impact.”
Organization: Grupo Compartamos
Madeline Thomson worked as an Accion Ambassador and Strategic Planning Intern to contribute to the launch implementation of the operations of Compartamos Foundation. She performed site visits and interviews with top organizations and foundations in Mexico to compile best practices, and participated in a week long strategic planning session to define organization purpose, beneficiaries, values, and styles. Upon the conclusion of her internship, she presented findings from her independent research projects on social impact evaluation and technological innovation to the foundation’s management.
Maddie: “Overall, my time at Compartamos was a wonderful experience and I learned more than I could have imagined possible from a summer internship. In being part of the Foundation from the ground up, I strengthened my communications and analytical skills. Most importantly, I realized how much I love working in a strategy role. Thank you so much for your generosity. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have had this opportunity.”
Organization: FINCA Mexico
Samuel Rosenow designed, managed and implemented a nation-wide evaluation of FINCA Mexico’s social performance. In his capacity as Survey Manager, he completed a randomized and clustered sampling plan and established a field visitation schedule while hiring, training, and managing a team of 7 enumerators as they conducted 798 face-to-face interviews with clients across Mexico. He was responsible for the compilation, cleaning, and analysis of survey data, and prepared tools for econometric impact assessment as well as poverty targeting.
Samuel: “My work stint reaffirmed for me the importance of evidence-based policymaking to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty. Heading a nation-wide impact study not only reined my skills in program management and evaluation but also enriched my understanding of the opportunities and limitations of other micro-based development policy interventions, such as in health or education.”
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Organization: FINCA International
Keith Mangam’s worked as part of FINCA’s Client Research Fellows Program, helping FINCA to measure and manage its social performance throughout the world. His main task was to act as the Survey Manager, leading a comprehensive survey of 439 households throughout the DRC branches. He helped to recruit and train local surveyors and staff in the use of smartphones as a tool for facilitating data collection.
Keith : “I believe that this experience has given me first hand experiences with cultures in conflict and has given me a more realistic expectations of how societies react in post-conflict settings. I gained good insights into the world of micro-finance, both the perspectives of those offering the services as well as the beneficiaries of those services.”
Country: Burkina Faso
Organization: Millennium Challenge Corporation
Julia Leis was selected to work on the Diversified Agriculture Activity, a $30 million project of the $490 million Millennium Challenge Compact with Burkina Faso, designed to increase rural incomes and employment and to enhance the competitiveness of the rural economies in the Sourou Valley and the Comoe Basin. She completed an extensive value chain analysis of the project’s deliverables, synthesizing different activities along the supply chain within certain sectors, providing insight on the multitude of interventions taking place in the regions over the past few years.
Julia: “Working with MCC and Burkinabé colleagues was an incredible experience. I gained an understanding of the complexity of contract management and program implementation in the field. While I have studied international development during my undergraduate years and now graduate school, it was incredibly valuable to see how complex projects are managed and implemented on the ground, and learn about the importance of partnerships with local communities. I now feel more prepared and committed to pursuing a career in development in West Africa and I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity.”
Organization: The Tony Elemelu Foundation (TEF)
Aditya Ashok Kumar worked with the Tony Elemelu Foundation to help African entrepreneurs scale-up and improve competitiveness. He was selected to create products and services fir a struggling financial services company (Financial Trust Company) based in Lagos. Aditya interviewed capital market participants, competitors and regulators to understand the pulse of the industry, conducted primary market research, and held discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commissions for product approvals. His work led to the creation of the FTB Balanced Agricultural Fund, a close-ended NGN 1 Billion fund that invests in agriculture ventures in Nigeria, due to launch early next year.
Aditya: “My objectives for the summer were met and I am lucky I got to do what I wanted. This opportunity helped clearly define and refine both my long term professional and personal goals.”
Organization: MasterCard, MDRI-CESD (Myanmar Development Resource Institute, Center for Economic and Social Development)
Tommy Galloway travelled to Myanmar with the goal of identifying lessons about the financial habits of rural and urban communities in Myanmar that could aid in developing better financial tools to improve Myanmar citizens’ financial stability. He partnered with MasterCard to co-author a report that identified ways in which these lessons could be developed into points of market entry as well as ways that MasterCard could contribute to ongoing reform in the region.
Tommy’s research team was able to successfully reach a range of communities in Myanmar, helping to create important connections amongst local organizations that work on social and financial reform. In his second partnership with MDRI-CESD he developed qualitative survey questions and conducted interviews to identify themes about the financial habits and needs of Myanmar’s communities.
Tommy: “Given my abiding interest in Myanmar before arriving at Fletcher, and my intention to focus on the crossroads of development economics and business while there, this summer work was perfectly situated to allow me to step closer to my long term career goals.”
Organization: Enterprise for Vocational Development (ENVODEV)
Chuck Dokmo acted as a market researcher, networker, strategist, project Designer & Manager for ENVODEV, a small start-up NGO with vocational and energy projects in southern Chad. He was responsible for growing a network of contacts within N’Djamena, conducting market research on charcoal in the region and assessing the sustainability and scalability of ENVODEV’s charcoal project. His findings helped to determine the course of ENVODEV’s future strategies for meeting urban demand.
Chuck also led a team of 5 to develop two new models of clean, efficient cookstoves, and worked with the International Director to explore several new partnerships.
Chuck: “This internship was a landmark experience in my life. It pushed me well outside of my comfort zone, and I enjoyed the numerous challenges we faced. Most of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the people with whom I worked.”
Organization: FIT-Uganda Pvt. Ltd: an agro-consulting firm in Kampala
Dhriti Bhatta worked as a member of the consulting team at FIT, developing a rollout strategy for FIT’s latest product, FARMIS (Farmer’s Record Management System). She conducted value chain analysis for the coffee sub-sector, wrote proposals for consultancy projects, and conducted analysis for FIT’s trademark product, the Market Analysis Report (MAR) 2013, a comprehensive collection of price information of over 40 commodities from over 35 markets in Uganda.
Dhriti: “This experience was important for me, as I got a a sense of how rural Uganda still is and how difficult it is to operate businesses there. I was pleasantly surprised by the farmers’ groups we came across there. The leaders of these organizations seemed quite entrepreneurial and were excited to test out a product like FARMIS. Overall, my experience in FIT Uganda was quite important to my academic and intellectual interests. I learnt a lot more about how the agriculture sector works, specifically in East Africa. Also visiting a growing East African country gave me a sense of how those markets are expanding and increasingly becoming more important globally.”