Tag Archives: Project assessment

2018 Summer Internship Series: Ean Tierney in Micronesia

by: Ean Tierney ’19

The dock at Truk Stop Hotel at Sunset in Weno, Chuuk, Micronesia

Even amongst the well-traveled, few in the world are familiar with the series of remote, sun-scorched, wind-swept rocks that make up Micronesia in the Western Pacific. A frequent response when confronted with the information that such a place exists is, “Well, I’ve heard of it.” But one could be forgiven for letting it fly under your radar. It is truly out there. Off the grid.

The Chuuk Lagoon from the roof of Xavier High School

Here, many of the more common challenges associated with development are compounded by the remote and isolated nature of the islands. One such challenge is that, as processed and imported foods become more readily available to locals, the associated change in diet and lifestyle is causing rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes to skyrocket. As many as 4 in 5 Micronesians will become overweight or obese during their lifetime, with 1 in 3, on average, developing diabetes. In some parts of the region, complications from diabetes is the leading cause of death.

A road in the village of Penia, where 15 families received gardens

The basis for my project is rooted in a USAID intervention that took place a few years prior.  There, they provided supplies and training for 45 families to start and maintain a home garden on the island of Weno in the state of Chuuk.  The basis for the project was to reduce the dependency on foreign imports and to provide a channel through which to empower women. (The project was executed through the support of the local women’s council.)  My project, coming on the heels of this intervention, was to assess the general indicators of health and well-being of the families that received the gardens and compare them to those who did not—the idea being that greater access to fresh and local food would be positively correlated with improved measures of health.  If I could identify a strong connection between the two, then it could be fodder for a future project to expand and further improve the gardens.

A woman completes a survey in the village of Sapuk with the assistance of a local translator

My initial results (derived from a self-reporting survey that was distributed at random to families with and without gardens) suggests that there is indeed a correlation.  Hopefully this means that, in the future, this can be used as evidence to support further efforts to improve the health and well-being of the islanders.  At the very least, providing access to a healthy and active lifestyle in a place with poor health infrastructure, feels worthwhile, in and of itself.

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2018 Summer Internship Series: Ben Boltz at the Hogar San Fransisco de Asis

by: Ben Boltz ’19

This past summer I interned at the Hogar San Fransisco de Asis in Chaclacayo, Peru.  The Hogar was founded in 1995 by Dr. Anthony Lazzara who felt a strong calling to help the impoverished wherever he could.  Dr. Lazzara, a trained pediatrician, found his calling in Peru where he has worked for the past 23 years to facilitate the treatment of the poor and needy in Peru.  The children at the Hogar have conditions that range from cleft lips to cancer and from spina bifida to brittle bone disease.  Everyone is welcome so long as they are under 18 years of age, when according to Peruvian law they can’t stay at the organization, and are poor, needy, and sick.  Dr. Lazzara has helped around 1,000 children since he arrived in Peru and his organization addresses a need that the Peruvian government does not address.

Dr. Lazzarra with the children in Hogar San Francisco de Asis

My role at the Hogar centered around monitoring and evaluation.  Dr. Lazzara, while as passionate as ever, has recently turned 76 and has been considering retirement for several years now.  However, he has not created any plans for succession and sustainability for the Hogar.  As such, I observed and helped volunteer at the Hogar while creating a needs based assessment that would help Dr. Lazzara plan for the future.  The assessment followed the SWOT format and pointed out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of and to the organization.  Additionally, the assessment primarily focused on the sustainability of the organization and possibilities for improvement for the future.

The report served two purposes.  Firstly, it gave Dr. Lazzara a new perspective and outlined areas for improvement such as a streamlined website, a more informative and descriptive newsletter, and changes to the current volunteer system.  Secondly, the same report compiled Dr. Lazzara’s thoughts on his retirement and the future of his organization into a plan for the future.  This report would then serve as a reference tool for both Dr. Lazzara and his staff when his retirement becomes more of a reality.

Volunteers of Hogar San Fransisco de Asis

As someone who is interested in sustainable development and understanding how non profit organizations work this internship was very valuable in a professional sense.  Prior to this internship I had no experience and very little knowledge concerning how non profits function in both a financial and legal sense.  Thanks to this internship I can better tailor my career goals to include possibly working for a similar organization.

For anyone interested in volunteering at the Hogar San Fransisco de Asis please visit https://www.villalapazfoundation.org/ or email Dr. Lazzara at info@villalapazfoundation.org

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Philippines Project Assessment Program 2018

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.

Soccer matches and ultimate frisbee kept this group moving and bonding!

Dr. Ang (front right), a professor at Ateneo University, taught the group Filipino Economics.

IPED students exploring Katipunan Avenue, outside of Ateneo University.

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.

IPED students past and present gather for a meal.

The IPED community enjoyed Filipino dishes at the rooftop alumni lunch.

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.

IPED students at Corregidor Island.

Students learning about Filipino history at the Filipino War Memorial Wall.

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.

IPED students at Fort Santiago.

IPED students near the Pasig River.

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 arriving to San Fernando City, the group was hosted for a lunch by former Mayor Mary Jane Ortega at her home.

Students with former Mayor Mary Jane Ortega.

Students and volunteers who patrol the Lingsat MPA.

Students with the PSLA volunteers.

IPED students with PSLA Council Members.

Students with children from the Poro community.

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.

Fordham IPED students at the Asian Development Bank.

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.

IPED community celebrating on a dinner cruise.

IPED students on the Manila Bay dinner cruise.

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Philippines Study Tour — 2016

Thirteen IPED students traveled to the Philippines over the winter break for the program’s annual immersion program in project monitoring and evaluation. The program was led by faculty advisors Dr. Henry Schwalbenberg and Dr. Booi Themeli and managed by Ms. Donna Odra.

The Ateneo de Manila University Office of Social Concern & Involvement hosted IPED during our stay in the Philippines.

The Ateneo de Manila University Office of Social Concern & Involvement hosted IPED during our stay in the Philippines.

While in Manila, the students took extensive coursework in project monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, guest lectures on the history, culture, economics and politics of the Philippines provided useful insights.

Students visited Corregidor, an island at the mouth of Manila Bay and a major WWII site.

Students visited Corregidor, an island at the mouth of Manila Bay and a major WWII site.

As a practical application of the coursework, students traveled to Calima, a small town in the province of Oriental Mindoro. Calima suffered significant damage in December as a result of Typhoon Nona. While in Calima, students stayed with local host families, and worked closely with the Calima Socio-Economic Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CASEMPCO).

Calima, Oriental Mindoro.

Calima, Oriental Mindoro.

CASEMPCO has a number of ongoing projects, and students split into four teams. Team 1 evaluated the production of turmeric-ginger tea production, Team 2 studied the goat and water buffalo dispersal project, Team 3 considered the issue of copra (coconut product) trading–particularly effected by the typhoon, and Team 4 analyzed the production of virgin coconut oil.

Tumeric Tea Production Project


Livestock Dispersal Project


Copra Trading Project


Virgin Coconut Oil Project


In addition to providing technical assistance to CASEMPCO, IPED students provided the community with a grant of approximately 90,000 pesos ($2,000).


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