April 30, 2015
"For my IPSS assignment I am contributing to the organizational development of the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD), as well as implementing an original research project. In the area of organizational development, my primary function is helping to grow and formalize the immersive learning program. To this end I have written, in conjunction with another IPSS fellow Liz Martinis, two manuals outlining the roles, expectations, and best practices of the various stakeholders involved in the immersive learning program, including the AASD, student leaders, and faculty leads. Additionally, I facilitate training and immersive experiences with students from MIIS and other universities, and held focus groups to gain greater perspectives on how to improve the immersive program of the AASD. Finally, I have contributed to the monitoring and evaluation program of these immersive experiences to help the AASD learn and improve these programs."
"For my original research project I have worked with Liz Martinis to create field research tools to examine the financial culture and perceptions in rural communities. We are seeking to learn about the challenges posed by lack of access to formal banking services, and the mechanisms that have developed to address this gap. From this research we intend to create a report to give to local NGOs who work in this field to inform their programs and help strengthen existing financial strategies and opportunities for the rural poor."
"My IPSS placement has allowed me to gain experience using the tools I learned at MIIS, bridging the gap between theory and practice. This has given me confidence in my capabilities and qualifications as I launch my career in international development."
You can read more about Gaelen and Liz's work on their blog.