Tag Archives: UNDP

Student Spotlight: Owen Fitzgerald, Tess Hart, and Viktoriia Brezheniuk at UNDP

Owen Fitzgerald, Therese ‘Tess’ Hart, and Viktoriia Brezheniuk (IPED ‘18) are interning at the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Equator Initiative. The main purpose of the Equator initiative (EI) is to recognize and promote the achievements and innovations of indigenous peoples and local communities. Every two years, the EI announces a global call for nominations for their prestigious award called the Equator Prize. This Prize ultimately serves “to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage.”

Owen shared his excitement that life is never boring at the UNDP: “Our responsibilities at UNDP’s Equator Initiative are ever-changing!” Upon arrival in September of 2016, Tess and Owen were working on a research project focusing on biodiversity and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They assessed 60 different countries’ National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), and teamed up with a few others to produce a publication highlighting their findings.

Now, their attention has been focused mainly on the Equator Prize 2017 with the help of Viktoriia, who joined the team in January 2017. The global call for nominations is being spread far and wide. In March, when nominations are due, the EI team will begin reviewing submissions for this prestigious award, a task our IPEDers will be taking part in.

As Arrupe Fellows, Tess and Owen had an automatic “in” for the position with UNDP. Viktoriia, a Ricci Fellow, was passionate about joining the team as well, so Tess and Owen offered Viktoriia’s resume to their boss and she was also accepted as an intern. 

Viktoriia, Tess, and Owen at UNDP

Owen and Tess are full-time students, interning part-time as a requirement for their fellowships. Viktoriia is pursuing her education part-time while interning with UNDP part-time and working with the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham, also part-time.

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2016 United Nations Career Trip

On Friday, October 21, the Fordham IPED Class of 2018 was invited to the United Nations Headquarters in New York for the annual United Nations Career Day.

IPEDers in front of the UN

IPEDers in front of the UN

 

The students began their day at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where they heard from Dr. Jamison Ervin, the manager of the Global Biodiversity Programme, about the Equator Initiative. Next Verania Chao spoke about mainstreaming gender issues and the UNDP’s effort to ensure that development initiatives are benefiting both men and women for more effective and efficient results. Last, Maria Fare Garcia from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Initiative spoke about her role in creating awareness of the SDGs and connecting with people the goals are meant to support in an effort to ensure their needs are being considered. Each of these phenomenal women also spoke about their career paths and how they found themselves working for the UNDP.

Some IPEDer listening to the UNDP speakers

Some IPEDer listening to the UNDP speakers

Moses Cam is very New York here, eating a bagel and cream cheese before the UNDP Presentations

Moses Cam is very New York here, eating a bagel and cream cheese before the UNDP Presentations

(from left) Maria Fare Garcia, Jamison Ervin, and Verania Chao answer questions from the IPED students

(from left) Maria Fare Garcia, Jamison Ervin, and Verania Chao answer questions from the IPED students

 

Next, the IPEDers visited the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and met with Yuka Yakamoto. Ms. Yakamoto spoke about the different positions within UNICEF and discussed avenues through which one can find a position with the organization.

Yuka Sakamoto addresses IPED and speaks about ways to get a position with UNICEF

Yuka Sakamoto addresses IPED and speaks about ways to get a position with UNICEF

Ms. Sakamoto accepts a token of appreciation (IPED coffee mug) from IPEDer Crisostomo Ala, who organized the UN Trip

Ms. Sakamoto accepts a token of appreciation (IPED coffee mug) from IPEDer Crisostomo Ala, who organized the UN Trip

 

Following the visit to UNICEF was lunch at the Delegates Dining Hall at the UN.

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Cody Harder, Michael Johnson, and Jessica Way pose at the Delegates Dining Hall

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Edward Barbini and Angeli Diamante enjoying delicious cake for dessert.

 

After the delicious fare, IPED headed off to their last meeting with former IPED graduate Kevin Lynch and Jason Laurence at the United States Mission to the UN. Messrs. Lynch and Laurence told of their journey to their current positions and then answered questions.

The students ended their day touring the UN.

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IPEDers Owen Fitzgerald, Viktoriia Brezheniuk, Crisostomo Ala, and Luther Flagstad outside the United Nations

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Student Spotlight: Katie McCann & Daina Ruback at the UNDP Equator Initiative

Katie McCann (IPED 2017) and Daina Ruback (IPED 2017) are currently Arrupe Fellow Interns at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Equator Initiative. The Equator Initiative is a multi-stakeholder platform bringing together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to promote local sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. The Equator Initiative recognizes the success of local and indigenous initiatives and helps these groups develop the capacity needed to scale up their impact.

Katie Feature

As an intern, Katie is currently working on the World Network of Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Land and Sea Managers (WIN) newsletter, which shares opportunities for funding, employment, and action with the Equator Initiative’s network. WIN is a network of indigenous and local community land and sea managers that facilitates sharing of knowledge and best practices in managing ecosystems, protecting the environment, and supporting sustainable livelihoods.

Additionally, she researches and copy-edits case studies of Equator Prize winners which get published and posted in the Equator Initiative’s website. The Equator Prize is an award given biennially in recognition of local sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. The Equator Prize puts the spotlight on local and indigenous groups for their efforts towards sustainable development. Winners of the Equator Prize for 2015 can be found here.

Daina Feature

Meanwhile, Daina has worked closely with the group’s Indigenous Peoples Initiative. She has helped conduct research on the link between indigenous peoples’ land rights and reducing carbon emissions and deforestation. She is also responsible for the management of WIN website and for providing general logistical and administrative support. Along with Katie, Daina supported the planning and preparation for the Equator Prize in 2015 which was held in Paris, France. One of the highlights of their time at the Equator Initiative was participating in a press conference with Alec Baldwin, actor and advocate for the Equator Initiative and its work, who helped to announce the 2015 winners.

The internship with the Equator Initiative is part of Fordham IPED’s Arrupe Fellowship, offered to students with relevant work experience in developing countries and those who wish to pursue a career with nonprofit international relief and development organizations.

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UN Climate Change Conference & the 2015 Equator Prize

The UN Climate Change Conference–or COP21–recently concluded in Paris. As this article articulates, two Fordham IPED students–Elizabeth Shaw and Joshua Voges–and IPED Director Dr. Henry Schwalbenberg were involved in the U.N. Development Programme’s Equator Initiative. The Equator Initiative hosted dialogues and an award ceremony while the climate negotiations occurred nearby.

Faculty and Students Head to Paris to Promote Climate Goals

Shaw and Voges have been interning with UNDP’s Equator Initiative since they began their graduate studies in 2014. You can learn more about the “Community Dialogues” that took place in Paris during COP21 below.

Equator Initiative Dialogues

Shaw and Voges in front of Sacre Coeur.

Shaw and Voges in front of Sacré-Cœur.

 

Representatives of the 21 Equator Prize 2015 gathered for community dialogues.

Representatives of the 21 Equator Prize 2015 gathered for community dialogues.

 

Dr. Schwalbenberg was in attendance at the Equator Prize 2015 Award Ceremony .

Dr. Schwalbenberg was in attendance at the Equator Prize 2015 Award Ceremony .

 

UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall was one of many speakers at the event, which was MC'd by Alec Baldwin.

UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall was one of many speakers at the event, which was MC’d by Alec Baldwin.

 

Equator Prize winners were honored for outstanding ​local achievement in advancing sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

Equator Prize winners were honored for outstanding ​local achievement in advancing sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

 

 

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2015 United Nations Career Trip

On Friday, October 30th, Fordham IPEDers spent the day at the United Nations, learning about some of the UN agencies and the important work they do.

The day started with a visit to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  IPED recipients of the Arrupe Fellowship serve as interns at the UNDP during their time at IPED.

Eileen de Ravin, Program Manager of the Equator Initiative, introduced the group to careers at the UN and UNDP specifically.

The day continued at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Lilliana Carvajal, Statistics and Monitoring Specialist at UNICEF, is an IPED alumna.

Lilliana Carvajal, Statistics and Monitoring Specialist at UNICEF, is an IPED alumna.

Hiro Hattori, from the Data & Analytics section at UNICEF, presented research on the Out of School Children Initiative.

Hiro Hattori, from the Data & Analytics section at UNICEF, presented research on the Out of School Children Initiative.

Lunch was served at the Delegates Dining Room of the United Nations.

IPED alumni from the UN joined for lunch!

IPED alumni from the UN joined for lunch!

After lunch, the tour continued across the street at the U.S. Mission to the UN.

Kevin Lynch, Civil Service Officer and IPED alumnus, spoke about this work with the U.S. Department of State. He was joined by a colleague in the Foreign Service, and a student intern with the department.

Kevin Lynch, Civil Service Officer and IPED alumnus, spoke about his work with the U.S. Department of State. He was joined by a colleague in the Foreign Service, and a student intern with the department.

The day concluded with an official tour of the United Nations.

The UN Security Council meets in this beautiful room.

The UN Security Council meets in this beautiful room.

IPED students had the chance to learn about the history and current work of United Nations, speak to IPED alumni about how the program impacted their careers, and explore the possibility of working with the UN in the future.

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