Intern 2015

Tania Del Rio

Tania Del Rio

MPP 2016

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mexico

Tania Del Rio is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, conducting research on the problem of under-representation of women in the higher ranks of the Foreign Service. She is using Human Resource data to make comparative analyses of the entry, promotion, and exit patterns of men and women in the Foreign Service. In addition, Tania is conducting a series of interviews to gather information about gender differentiation in the work experience of Mexican diplomats. Through this research, the Ministry is looking to pinpoint the causes of under-representation of women in decision-making posts and implement policies that address the problem.

Gender Equality in the Mexican Foreign Service
Rio, Tania Del. “Gender Equality in the Mexican Foreign Service”. 2016: n. pag. Print.Abstract

The recommendations in this policy analysis exercise stem from a careful analysis of the available human resources data of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico (SRE, Spanish acronym). They were consolidated for this project from information scattered in different locations of the Foreign Service and Human Resources Department (DGSERH) of the Ministry. This exercise revealed that despite the SRE’s effort to promote fairness and equality, there is evidence that women are disadvantaged in certain parts of the Foreign Service entrance and promotion processes.

In the entrance examination, I found a substantial gender gap in success rates in advancing from the first stage to the second stage of the exam, mostly due to score differences in the General Culture and English multiple-choice examinations. In the promotion process, I found a 0.19-point difference in scores for post level of responsibility favoring men. This is approximately equal to the average score difference between the lowest scoring promoted official and the runner-up. I also found a significant gender gap in assignment to hardship posts, which award a bonus point in the promotion exam to those who hold them, and seem to be more accessible to men. The causes for this phenomenon and attitudes towards it merit further research.

This policy analysis exercise recommends that the Ministry implement several measures to investigate the causes of differential performance by men and women in its entrance examination, rectify identified biases, provide better preparation opportunities for test takers, recruit more women to hardship posts, and launch a long-term sponsorship program for female diplomats. De-biasing measures might include a temporary gender quota, removing the guessing penalty and eliminating biased questions from the multiple-choice portions of the exams, relaxing time constraints, con- ducting interviews with one interviewer at a time instead of in panel format, and taking advantage of support from the Office of Gender Equality throughout the process. The sponsorship program would aim to prepare women to navigate the organizational system throughout their careers. These policies are designed to help the Ministry achieve a target of 50% women in the two highest ranks of the Foreign Service (Ambassador and Minister) and promote an institutional culture that under- stands and values gender equality.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs can implement these policies immediately and expect support from key stakeholders within and beyond the organization. At the same time, it should carefully consider the sequence in which different policies will be implemented as well as which aspects to emphasize when communicating about them in order to gain the support of actors that may present resistance. The selected policy options are not overly aggressive, to avoid causing excessive controversy; they are designed to bring the organization to confront the fact that more reforms are necessary for its inward policies to live up to the gender equality standards that Mexico promotes in international fora.

Partnerships in Investigating Sex Trafficking: Bridging Gaps to Support Survivors, Polaris
Ryan, Caitlin, and Deena Zeplowitz. “Partnerships in Investigating Sex Trafficking: Bridging Gaps to Support Survivors, Polaris”. 2016: n. pag. Print.Abstract

Since passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000, communities across the United States have grappled with how to respond to the crime of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking spans all sectors of our communities. Legitimate businesses and institutions are often used to facilitate the criminal activity, and in some jurisdictions are used to help detect and disrupt the crime. People who experience sex trafficking often undergo immense physical, mental, and emotional trauma – both as part of the trafficking situation and leading up to it – and require a myriad of services in order to reintegrate into society. These crimes require complex, intensive, and long-term responses. Law enforcement cannot address these cases alone. With that in mind, Caitlin and Deena sought to address the following question: How can local law enforcement and non-law enforcement agencies effectively partner to respond to sex trafficking cases involving foreign born women and mitigate harm to victims? Through interviews with service providers and law enforcement officials in Boston, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco, their research identified challenges in partnership development and sought to provide guidance to jurisdictions in effective response to sex trafficking cases.

Understanding Female Labor Force Participation in Afghanistan, Government of Afghanistan
Desai, Ishani, and Lily Li. “Understanding Female Labor Force Participation in Afghanistan, Government of Afghanistan”. 2016: n. pag. Print.Abstract

Afghanistan’s female labor force participation (FLFP) rate is roughly 16% - one of the lowest in the world. This has serious implications for the country – for socioeconomic inclusivity, poverty reduction, and for overall growth and productivity. While low FLFP is a problem in itself, it also implies that there are other underlying factors that prevent women from working such as limited mobility, security, low bargaining power, etc.  In this paper, we find that security and cultural norms are the underlying barriers that prevent women from entering the labor force. We also identify the importance of information and how women receive information.  Given the increase in television viewership over time, we recommend the Government to use television programs to provide exposure to the outside world and address a key underlying barrier, norms.

MaryRose Mazzola

MaryRose Mazzola

MPP 2015

City of Boston, Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement
Boston, MA

MaryRose is serving as the Gender-Based Violence Policy Fellow for the City of Boston at the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. The Office, created a year ago by Executive Director Megan Costello, aims to provide a permanent, effective voice for all female residents of Boston by promoting women’s equal participation, economic prosperity, health and safety. MaryRose is spending the summer conducting a needs assessment of gender-based violence policy and services in Boston. The needs assessment will highlight areas for policy and procedural improvement for the City and will set a foundation for future gender-based violence initiatives by the Office of Women’s Advancement. To inform her policy work this summer, MaryRose is drawing on her qualitative research as a 2014 Cultural Bridge Fellow in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the quantitative research she conducted for her Master’s thesis on domestic violence recidivism.

Rory Gerberg

Rory Gerberg

MPP 2015

Harvard University’s Office for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Adrienne Hall Women’s Mentorship Intern

Rory Gerberg is applying her thesis research to develop new programs with Harvard University’s Office for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR). The issue of sexual misconduct on American university campuses has been in the forefront of national news but there is a lack of effective strategies to address it. Rory is working with OSAPR and professor Brian Mandell, who directs the Kennedy School Negotiation Project, to examine how negotiations analysis and pedagogy can be fused with the field of sexual assault prevention. The application of fundamental concepts and tools in negotiation analysis is promising and untested in the field, making Rory's work both novel in its approach and potential for impact. Rory is developing case studies around sexual assault and harassment to be deployed as a pedagogical tool by OSAPR at Harvard and in institutions of higher education across the country. Her work will contribute more broadly to tackling issues of implicit bias in institutions through innovative solutions.

Alice Heath

Alice Heath

MPP 2016

Independent research: Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against women in crisis settings
Adrienne Hall Women’s Mentorship Intern

Alice is writing a research paper on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against women in crisis settings.  Several reports have cited that rates of IPV increase in crisis settings such as conflict or natural disasters, most of which are anecdotal reporting from humanitarian organizations. Alice’s paper will review literature on IPV in crisis settings, and use available data to examine whether a crisis always increases rates of IPV, whether the change in rates of IPV varies with state and crisis-level factors and whether there are key drivers of increases in IPV in crisis areas.  Depending on availability of survey data from Women for Women, the paper will conclude with an in-depth case study into the experiences of IPV by Syrian Refugees in Northern Iraq.  Alice is completing this research under the supervision of Jeni Klugman, WAPPP fellow and former Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank Group.

Emeka Agudile

Emeka Agudile

PhD, Maternal and Child Health, HSPH, 2018

Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA)
Boston, MA

Emeka is working with Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) in Boston, Massachusetts on a domestic violence project. Collaborating with MOVA and other stakeholders, he is examining the current status of domestic violence and emergency assistance shelter beds in the state of Massachusetts, the state systems engaged in housing/shelter services for victims, the matrix of referral networks, and triage system among state agencies. Consequently, he is developing policy recommendations for regulatory and operational changes to streamline the activities of all agencies involved in the provision of domestic violence shelters. This includes creating a database of all the available shelter options for domestic violence victims, recommending innovative housing options for victims, and developing an efficient referral/triage system for referring and assessing victims specialized needs and risk factors. Through this research the state government is looking to provide a FRESH START to victims of domestic violence since it has been shown that domestic violence shelters are very critical in helping survivors permanently escape violence and increase their economic stability. Also, given the fact that domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women, the lessons learned from the research will be invaluable in improving Governor Baker’s reforms aimed at reducing family homelessness in general in Massachusetts.

Kristy Luk

Kristy Luk

MPP 2016

Chicago Mayor’s Office: Mobile Women Infants Children vans
Chicago, IL

Kristy is working with the City of Chicago as a Mayoral Fellow on a variety of municipal projects. One of these projects is a proposal for the City of Chicago to introduce mobile WIC (Women Infants Children) vans that travel throughout the city to better provide mothers and their young families access to health related services. In particular, this project addresses the issue of geographic distribution of WIC clinics across Chicago neighborhoods, as these clinics are less accessible to residents living on the South Side of the city. Kristy is developing a needs and feasibility assessment and proposing an implementation plan for this initiative. Her work will contribute to creating policies that can better support gender equity in Chicago.

Jimena Villar de Onis

Jimena Villar de Onis

MSc 2016, HSPH

FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
Paris, France

Jimena Villar de Onis is conducting research at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights in Paris, France. Her research is focused on access to health, education, housing, civic engagement, and economic development of the Roma people living in Paris. Jimena is collecting data from interviews with Roma mothers and other key stakeholders, such as government officials, schools, health centers, etc. She is analyzing the data to measure and determine gaps in access to basic human rights  for the Roma population. Based on her findings, Jimena is creating a report that makes policy recommendations for improving their condition. Ultimately, this is the first step towards bettering the life of Roma mothers and the Roma people. Jimena is also working with Médecins du Monde, who is hosting her during her time in Paris.

Pamela Lachman

Pamela Lachman

MPP 2016

Independent Research
Cambridge, MA

Pamela Lachman is evaluating recent legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly that gave the state’s child welfare agency (DCBS) the responsibility of investigating and addressing the needs of commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC). Her research explores why the legislature decided to pass House Bill 3 (HB 3), why DCBS was given responsibility for CSEC cases, what the successes and challenges with implementing this law have been, and important considerations for state legislatures considering adopting similar policies. Pamela is conducting interviews with key staff members in the state’s child welfare agency, juvenile court system, and juvenile justice agency, as well as service providers, family and district court judges, prosecutors, school leaders, victim advocates who work with the CSEC population in Kentucky, and other stakeholders who were involved in the development of HB 3.

Lily Li

Lily Li

MPA-ID 2016

Africa Gender Innovation Lab and Trade Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group
Ghana

Working with Africa Gender Innovation Lab and Trade Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group this summer, Lily Li is assisting with the implementation of both a qualitative assessment and an impact evaluation in Accra, Ghana. The program, "Making cash grants working for women entrepreneurs," seeks to generate and disseminate evidence on constraints women face in investing in their business. Lily is developing and implementing a qualitative study to understand household dynamics and entrepreneurship decisions. More specifically, she is preparing questionnaires for individual interviews and focus groups guideline manuals, designing an in-field lab experiment, and organizing focus group discussions and individual interviews with individuals and firms.

Fiorella Benedetti

Fiorella Benedetti

MPA-ID 2016

Kopernik "Wonder Woman"
Indonesia

Fiorella Benedetti is conducting research in Eastern Indonesia to bring Kopernik’s Wonder Woman initiative to scale. This intervention reduces poverty by distributing clean energy technologies (solar lights, clean cook stoves, and water filters, etc.) to people in remote Indonesian villages, where access to electricity and affordable cooking fuel is extremely limited. At the same time, it empowers the women in these communities who serve as retailers and promoters of the products. Using a mix of quantitative and qualitative tools, Fiorella is designing and implementing an operational evaluation to diagnose the gender gaps and technological deficits to assess the most efficient way to scale up the initiative successfully.

Molly Jacobson

Molly Jacobson

MPP/MBA 2017

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Geneva, Switzerland

Molly Jacobson is working with the HIV, Heath, and Development Team of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Geneva, Switzerland. She will support the team’s work on HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and non-communicable diseases, with a focus on gender issues and women’s empowerment. Molly’s main project will be to help develop and pitch a new, joint UNDP-WHO initiative on harmful use of alcohol, infectious disease, and gender-based violence.  The goal of this project is to support health ministries in recognizing and addressing the close linkages between these three problems. In addition, Molly will build an investment case for addressing non-communicable diseases in developing countries. This internship builds on Molly’s previous public health experience; from 2013-14, she worked for a nutrition-focused NGO, also based in Geneva.

Katie Parry

Katie Parry

MPA-ID 2016

Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD)
Belgrade, Serbia

Katie Parry is serving as a Senior Editorial Assistant for Horizons Magazine at the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD) in Belgrade, Serbia this summer. CIRSD is the brainchild of Vuk Jeremic, President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, who was an important force in pushing the development of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs take a broader definition of development than the MDGs which preceded them, and have been applauded for their focus on gender issues and female empowerment. As Senior Editorial Assistant, Katie is soliciting editorial contributors, editing draft articles, and preparing content for the website and blog. Looking at the impact of ISIS on the broad Middle East and the ongoing conflicts in North Africa, Katie's two issues apply particular focus to the difficulties faced by women due to the mass migration across the region to the North of the Sahara. She is also pursing an independent study into the factors underlying the rise of sex trafficking from Serbia and how public policy can be used to counteract this phenomenon.