By Khutso Segooa
United Nations Association New York City (UNA-NYC) Summer Scholars fellowship: This summer I had the opportunity of becoming one of the UNA NYC Summer Scholars fellowship winners, alongside graduate students from other universities in New York, like Columbia University and New York University. The fellowship is a prestigious program that supports students in graduate degree programs to experience work abroad with the United Nations or its agencies like United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Plan International NGO. I am currently assigned to intern with UNDP Maldives, while other members of my cohort were assigned to UNDP offices in Mongolia, Timor-Leste and Mongolia.
What I did over the summer
I am passionate about sustainability and improving quality of life. Naturally, this is what drew me to applying for this internship with the UNDP Maldives. For my internship, I joined the Economics Unit Team as a Junior Economist intern. My task is to conduct research and an analysis on UNDP’s flagship knowledge product, the Development Finance Assessment (DFA) for the Maldives. It is an extension of the United Nations global flagship initiative, the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF), which helps design and implement a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) financing framework (focusing on climate action) in the Maldives. These assessments are developed as tools that will help the government inform on –going policy and institutional reforms.
Furthermore, I will be assisting in establishing a government innovation policy lab. This is a project where the UNDP office is partnering with the Ministry of Economic Development to support the government in conducting data-driven policy making. I will assist on drafting a knowledge product on the labor markets assessing the laborers movements in between sectors, looking at emerging sectors and how to further support these sectors. Pretty exciting work! IPED has prepared me with the qualitative, quantitative, analytical and the research skills to confidently take on this role, with the amazing support and guidance from my supervisors and colleagues from UNDP office in Maldives. This experience with UNDP has taught me that working with data is crucial in achieving the Sustainable Developmental Goals as they provide insight to forecast and implement measures in time. My internship has made me a stronger candidate as an economist in the field of international and development economics.
To see and learn more about what I did over the summer please visit my blog: https://www.unanyc.org/news/summer-scholars-blog-segooa