Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD) Summer 2017 Research Practicum
For the summer of 2017, the AASD is seeking 12 students to participate in an 8-week intensive summer research practicum. These students will be split into two teams, each pursuing a unique research opportunity. One team will be working with the local government Office of Economic Development; the other team will make policy recommendations to institutions interested in scaling local community development projects. While these teams will be dedicated to separate projects, all students will participate in a common curriculum of research methods training, development theory and practice, and cross-sectoral collaboration.
Education and Agriculture: An Exploration of School Garden Projects in High-Altitude Communities
The AASD has extensive experience implementing school garden projects. An important factor in these projects is the diverse climates and social structures throughout Peru, which present unique obstacles and considerations. In this investigation, students would explore specific intricacies of implementing successful school gardens, and create a deliverable to convey their findings. The AASD has worked on school garden projects with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), Qali Warma (National School Lunch Program), and the local Department of Education Administration. These local and national actors represent potential collaborators in this research.
Supporting Development Through Local Government: Challenges & Opportunities
The Office of Economic Development has numerous projects throughout the Sacred Valley and surrounding areas. These projects largely involve capacity building and resource development across many industries, including a coffee growers initiative, guinea pig farming, and flower production. In this project, students will conduct a diagnostic of the various projects housed in the Office of Economic Development. By creating a comprehensive inventory of these projects, challenges, and opportunities the AASD will work with the Calca government to identify a significant point of intervention to be explored in future iterations of the project.
The context of the Sacred Valley provides a rich environment for students to learn about development, while also enjoying the beauty of the Inca Breadbasket. Students will have ample opportunity to explore the many ruins and tourist attractions in the valley, but will also have a unique experience visiting and learning from local communities that are off the beaten track. Students will advance their Spanish language skills through practical application, and will be immersed in Peruvian culture throughout their time in the program.
As members of a research team, students will participate in a complete iteration of a research project, from initial client engagement through deliverable creation and delivery. The first weeks of the program will focus on building local context, research design, and methods training. Students will gain experience in field research, data interpretation, and partner engagement.
In addition to the skills-based curriculum, the practicum offers a holistic learning experience that incorporates a strong academic component. Students will utilize advanced critical thinking skills and observations from their work in the communities to explore the complexities and challenges of community development. Exposure to diverse realities and development lenses will help students to develop a global perspective, as well as providing a reflection point for personal exploration and learning.
The AASD is seeking students with diverse academic backgrounds, including: Geography, Latin American Studies, Food Studies, Environmental Studies, Agriculture, International and Global Studies, or Sociology and Anthropology. Students from all departments are encouraged to apply, however preference will be given to students who represent the listed fields. Ideal candidates have a desire to learn about research methods and process, and are conversational in Spanish.
Program Dates: June 5- July 28
Interested students should submit a resume (cover letter optional), and a statement of purpose to email@example.com. Candidates who are a good fit for the program will be contacted to schedule an interview. We will contact all priority submission applicants by February 3rd (we will do our best to get back to you within one week of your submission), and all second phase applicants by April 7th.
Priority deadline: January 31, 2016
Final deadline: March 31, 2017
Guidelines for Statement of Purpose:
Your one-page statement of purpose should address the following points:
1. Why would you like to participate the AASD Summer Research Practicum? Why is this important and what are you hoping to get out of your experience?
2. How will your participation in the AASD Summer Research Practicum support your professional goals?
Your Statement of Purpose should be forward looking. While it is ok to draw on past experience for examples, we prefer that past experience and qualifications come through in your resume and (optional) cover letter.
Thank you for your interest in the AASD Summer Research Practicum- we look forward to hearing from you!
Food, lodging and local transportation on workdays are included in the Program Fee.
Cost per Student: $4,400
Our most current and principal program is our Greenhouse Initiative. What started in 2010 as an endeavor to help one school build a greenhouse has snowballed into a major program. We currently work with six schools and a total of 13 school greenhouses. Now we are embracing what has been a natural scale-out, where we have seen a shift in needs from school greenhouses to family greenhouses (parents of students, usually). In the past three years we have helped forty families in 4 very isolated communities build their own greenhouses. This has attracted the attention of a couple larger international and national institutions, specifically those that are involved with the Peruvian National School lunch program - Qali Warma. We are in the process of working with them to implement school lunch garden programs in the sierra region of Peru.