Category Archives: Community & Culture
By: Mohammed Masudur Rahman ‘19
Every year, select IPED students from Fordham University participate in an exchange program with University of Pretoria, South Africa. The Advanced Certificate in Emerging Markets & Country Risk Analysis includes three courses on Finance, Political Risk Analysis, and Emerging Markets. As a part of this endeavor, a group of five students from IPED and Economics department went to South Africa in August of 2018 to participate in the Emerging Markets: South Africa course module.
The students were hosted in University of Pretoria campus in Pretoria where they took part in rigorous coursework, gave presentations, and made visits to various important financial and industry institutions, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Public Investment Corporation (PIC). Students were also immersed in local culture through excursions to local communities, heritage sites and tourist attractions.
The students learned about various emerging markets including a focus on South Africa. The Emerging Markets course equipped them with knowledge of current market dynamics, ability to collect, analyze and read micro indicator data and use them to assess market potential of emerging economies. The course ended with the students writing investment reports on various emerging markets.
The Emerging Markets cohort was joined by students from South Africa in their visits to various top level institutes. The visits included some of South Africa’s top institutions: Industrial Development Corporation, Public Investment Corporation, South Africa Reserve Bank, Standard Bank, BRICS, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, US Chamber of Commerce, National Economic Development and Labor Council, and the National Union of Metalworkers in South Africa.
The trip was also full of excursions where the students got to visit iconic tourist and heritage sites around Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto. Some of the most memorable visits included Robben Island, Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, the home of Winnie Mandela on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, and the Cradle of Humankind. The final week of the trip was spent exploring game reserves and safari in Krueger National Park.
By: Sarah Garwood ’19
This January, 11 Fordham IPED graduate students and one Economics undergraduate student participated in the Philippines Project Assessment Program. At Ateneo de Manila University, students engaged in coursework on project monitoring and evaluation and Filipino culture. The program also included a four day immersion, where students conducted project evaluations of local Marine Protected Areas and affiliated projects in the La Union province, in the north of the Philippines.
Alumni of the Fordham IPED program gathered with current students for an Alumni lunch. Some alumni work at various NGOs, such as Catholic Relief Services and UNICEF, in the Philippines and others work at Ateneo University.
Students explored the Philippines and its rich history through various cultural trips. Because of its strategic location, Corregidor Island has been important in the defense of the Manila Bay and seaport for centuries. Today the uninhabited island is full of World War II ruins and memorials, commemorating the Filipino, American, and Japanese soldiers who died there.
Intramuros is a historical, Spanish colonial area walled-off inside the capitol city of Manila. The students explored Fort Santiago, where there is a shrine to national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. They also visited a functioning Augustinian monastery.
Students engaged in a four-day project assessment of various Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the La Union province. In teams of three, they conducted interviews and focus group discussions in various barangays, or villages. One group assessed an affiliated project, the Luto ti Poro catering service managed by the Poro Sea Lovers Association (PSLA). The immersion was facilitated by the Institute for Social Order (ISO) and the Ateneo Office for Social Concern and Involvement (OSCI).
Upon returning back to Manila, students spent the day at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Experts presented on various economic development topics including climate finance.
After presenting their findings, students celebrated along with Program Director, Dr. Henry Schwalbenberg, Program Manager, Ms. Donna Orda, and IPED Alumna Bea Lumanas ’13, on a dinner cruise on the Manila Bay.
By: Erika Cox
Five IPED students spent the summer of 2017 learning French. Our resident Arrupe Fellows, Owen Fitzgerald and Therese “Tess” Hart, as well as Language Immersion Study Award (LISA) recipients Erika Cox, Margaret “Maggie” Hutchison and Sydney Kornegay attended Alliance Française to partake in a summer long language and cultural immersion.
Aside from offering 3 ½ hour, Monday through Friday intensive courses, Alliance Française provides various cultural and leisure activities to complete the immersion experience. Class sizes are small and the instructors are engaging, great at answering questions and conscious about allowing students to practice their speaking and listening skills. Students also take advantage of home stay services with a French family, ensuring immersion continues at home. To top it off, not only does Alliance Française have schools throughout France, but all over the world, so students can continue their studies regardless of geographic location.
When asked of her experience in Montpellier, Maggie Hutchison said, “There is a lot going on every day with festivals, night life, beaches and hiking opportunities nearby, shopping and many young people.” Yet, all this fun must be navigated in French, “because even the simplest of things like grocery shopping or traveling force you to practice your French skills.”
The cultural and language immersion is also a great way to network with international development professionals and maybe even catch up with old friends. France is incredibly diverse and opportunities abound to interact with people from all over the world. Arrupe Fellow Owen Fitzgerald, who served in Peace Corps Mali and has been playing the drums most of his life, even got to have a reunion concert with his band from Ghana. Miraculously, almost all of the band members happened to be in France for Bastille Day, a national holiday in France.
So, take the plunge and consider learning French with IPED. The summer immersion experience with Alliance Française offers a wealth of learning experiences for all levels. The courses are intensive and the opportunities for immersion are boundless. And while learning a new language isn’t always easy, the group always made sure to have fun while they were at it.
By: Armand Aquino ’17
Last May 9-12, I participated in Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) first ProPack I training in French in Dakar, Senegal. ProPack I (or Project Package I) is one of CRS’ manuals on project design for CRS project and program managers. The training gathered more than 30 CRS staff from the West Africa and Central Africa country offices including Burkina Faso (where I currently serve as a Fordham Intern), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, and Senegal, among others.
I first came across CRS’ ProPack I in Dr. Schwalbenberg’s Project Design class where I learned the basic concepts of project design including problem tree analysis and the logical frameworks. The training, however, had more concepts added and it made these concepts more “practical” because they fall in a specific process of project design that CRS staff ought to follow. The process of project design itself was the most useful take-away for me, since I tend to jump from one step to another, when in fact, there is a logical flow that could make the work easier. For instance, when given an issue or problem, I tend to start with a problem tree analysis to identify the causes of the problem. However, conceptual frameworks can already do that for you since it has already made the connections between factors and the problem. What one can do then is to use these conceptual frameworks to specify the causes (scope, gravity, etc.) through research and assessment that will then help make the problem tree more “meaty” and easily convertible to a tangible results framework for the project.
In addition to the content, the facilitation of the training which used real-life examples and the opportunity to hear from the experience of various CRS staff in project design were enriching; it made the concepts more real and easier to understand. The training was also a great opportunity to continue practicing my French language skills since everything, including lectures, readings, and group work, was conducted in French and to network with some CRS staff in the region. I must admit I had a little difficulty in following some parts of the discussion since I am not yet fluent in the language. But what really helped me prepare for the training was reading the English version of ProPack I in advance so I have the concepts at the back of my head and I do the translation and connection in French as the training goes. Additionally, it was definitely helpful to have some experience in project design that I could bank on during the training (As an intern, I am involved in a couple of project design initiatives for the Burkina Faso country program).
Given the adventurer in me, I also used this opportunity to visit some superlative places in Dakar and get immersed for a bit in its history and culture. I visited the highest point in Dakar and the furthest West tip of the African continent.
I would like to thank CRS West Africa Regional Office and Burkina Faso Country Office for allowing me to participate in the training and Fordham IPED for financing my participation in the training. The training was definitely a good investment as I continue to explore a long-term career in the international development space.