Summer Series: Grace Avila and Hillary Khan at UN Women

This summer, Grace Avila (IPED 2017, Economics 2017) and Hillary Khan (IPED 2017, Economics 2017) interned in the Independent Evaluation Office at UN Women’s New York headquarters. UN Women is the global champion for gender equality, leading international initiatives, policies, and programs to advance women and girls’ rights. The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) carries out corporate and decentralized evaluations and coordinates gender-responsive evaluation in the UN System.

As interns, Grace and Hillary supported the IEO’s preparations for a corporate evaluation of UN Women’s Governance and National Planning programs. Hillary conducted research on gender-responsive budgeting, analyzing how fiscal policy contributes to gender equality. Grace compiled country portfolios, examining how different work modalities and partnerships enable gender mainstreaming in governance. As founding members of IPED’s Feminist Economics graduate student group, both have greatly appreciated this internship as an opportunity to advance their skills in gender analysis of economic policy and theory.

Additionally, they are both conducting independent research projects that will develop into guidance on how gender equality and human rights-based approaches to evaluation can be integrated into emerging areas of work for UN Women. Grace’s research focuses on gender and climate change adaptation, applying skills she developed in Environmental and Resource Economics and an independent study with Dr. Conte, as well as Dr. Combs’ Gender and Development course. Hillary’s research focus is on women’s land rights, building off of projects she worked on in Economic History with Dr. Combs, Agriculture and Sustainable Development with Dr. McLeod, and African Economic Development with Dr. Themeli.

Grace and Hillary were both connected to the internship opportunity through current IPED students. Hillary continues to work with UN Women today. They would like to thank IPED for generously providing internship support and funding.