Tag Archives: Economic Growth

Summer Series: Michael Johnson ’18 and the Millennium Challenge Corporation

By: Michael R. Johnson ’18

Michael R. Johnson ’18 was an intern at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under the Department of Compact Operations on the Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI) Team. The MCC is an innovative, independent U.S. aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. Since 2004 the MCC has partnered with countries committed to good governance, economic freedom and citizen investments to identify priorities for achieving sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

DCLI is the MCC’s partnership with the President’s Emergency Action Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that aims to support innovative and country-led approaches that promote evidence-based decision making for program and policies that address HIV/AIDS, global health, gender equality and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Data Collaboratives projects are strengthening the availability and use of data to improve lives and empower citizens to hold governments and donors more accountable for results.

As an intern, Michael provided support to the DCLI team in the Washington, DC office as well as project managers in Tanzania. A focus of his internship was aiding the replication of the Tanzanian program into Cote d’Ivoire through stakeholder mapping, root problem analysis, data ecosystem assessment, program logic creation and contributing to project development. Michael also handled the logistics of the MCC’s participation in the biennial African Open Data Conference involving programmatic formation and speaker outreach as well as leading the social media campaign and conducting post-session engagement analytics.

The MCC is very supportive of interns getting familiar with different departments, the processes of country investment as well as external partner organizations and events for exposure and networking opportunities around the capital. “The internship experience and living in DC for the summer has been constructive and pleasurable,” says Michael, “I can’t wait to go back to interact with my new colleagues and friends.”  Michael will be staying on with the MCC virtually through the end of the year.


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3 IPED Students Selected as Wings of Excellence Awardees

Armand Aquino, Ludo Lombaard & Schima Labitsch win a free trip to attend the St. Gallen's Symposium in Switzerland

Armand Aquino, Lodewikus Lombaard & Schima Labitsch win a free trip to attend the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland

Three IPED students were selected as Wings of Excellence Awardees by the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Armand Aquino (2017), Schima Labitsch (2017) and Lodewikus Lombaard (2016), are some of the few selected to participate in the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland as Leaders of Tomorrow. From among hundreds of other applicants, Armand, Schima and Lodewikus were selected based on their essay submissions for this year’s symposium topic which is Growth – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Entitled Good-Based Economy: Growing the Rice and Weeding out the Grass, Armand’s winning essay proposes for a “good-based” economy that delivers a positive impact rather than one that seeks traditional  notions of economic growth.

Schima’s paper, Deconstructing growth: The why, what, and how any alternative to growth must consist of argues for a new growth discourse. By understanding its constructivist nature, growth can be built as a deliberate socioeconomic choice wherein alternative economic policies can emerge.

Meanwhile, Lodewikus’ essay, Perennation Rates: The appropriate way to measure the success of the modern collective human endeavor, offers a new alternative to growth which is generally understood as a measurement of humanity’s success. He suggests perennation rates which captures the survival rate of humans amidst modern day adversities.

Armand, Schima and Lodewikus will be attending the St. Gallen Symposium from May 11-13. Abstracts of the three students’ papers can be found here.

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