AidData Summer Fellows

AidData Summer Fellows

AidData Summer Fellows improve the capacity of civil society in developing countries to use geocoded data, which localizes development funding and activities down to the district, town or street corner level. Funded by USAID, summer fellows embed with local universities, think tanks and civil society groups for two to three months, equipping local organizations with the skills to use this data in program planning, advocacy and research.

In June 2014, twenty-one student researchers from seven universities deployed to Nepal, Uganda, Timor-Leste, Senegal and Mexico to serve as AidData Summer Fellows. They assisted twelve civil society organizations to incorporate subnational aid and development data into their daily work. 

Mexico

Emily Deer
Summer Fellow, instituto Mora

Emily is a Masters candidate at Georgetown University pursuing a degree in International development policy. A returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Emily served for two years as a Youth Development Facilitator in Costa Rica and speaks fluent Spanish. This summer she will be working with faculty and staff at Instituto Mora in Mexico City to build the capacity of key stakeholders to use geocoded aid information for research, evaluation, and analysis.

Darice Xue
Summer Fellow, instituto Mora

Darice is a rising junior at the College of William and Mary pursuing a dual degree in international relations and finance. She has a strong background in research and has worked with AidData as a research assistant since 2013. This summer she will be working with faculty, staff, and students at Instituto Mora in Mexico City to build capacity of key stakeholders to use geocoded aid information for research, evaluation, and analysis.

Clay Harris
Summer Fellow, instituto Mora

Clay recently graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in human geography and a minor in geology. He is planning to pursue an advanced degree in geography next year at Syracuse University.  This summer he will be working with faculty, staff, and students at Instituto Mora in Mexico City to build capacity of key stakeholders to use geocoded aid information for research, evaluation, and analysis.

Nepal

Peter Colwell
Summer Fellow, Kathmandu University

Peter is an undergraduate student at the College of William and Mary pursuing a dual major in government and history. Peter has worked for AidData since March 2013 as a research assistant and has extensive GIS and geocoding experience.  This summer he will be based in Nepal at Kathmandu University School of Arts. His work will include helping to develop a GIS course to include in Master's of Development Studies curriculum and working with KU faculty and students to conduct research on aid allocation and impact. Peter will also work with civil society organizations to gather citizen feedback on development projects.

Erin Cusack
Summer Fellow, Freedom Forum

Erin is pursuing a master’s degree in global policy studies at the University of Texas- Austin. A Fulbright Scholar in 2008-2009, Erin is also a research affiliate with Innovations for Peace and Development based at the University of Texas- Austin, an AidData partner organization. She has extensive experience in geocoding and data management. This summer, Erin will be working with Freedom Forum, an open governance advocacy organization that is a member of the Open Nepal partnership and the International Budget Partnership. Her work will focus on building the capacity of stakeholders to use geocoded aid information for policy analysis.

Aarti Reddy
Summer Fellow, Kathmandu University

Aarti is an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond pursuing a dual degree in business administration and leadership studies. Aarti has extensive development experience in Asia, having worked previously with in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India. This summer she will be based in Nepal at Kathmandu University School of Arts. Her work will include helping to develop a GIS course to include in Master's of Development Studies curriculum and working with KU faculty and students to conduct research on aid allocation and impact. Peter will also work with civil society organizations to gather citizen feedback on development projects.

Jaykumar Tekwani
Summer Fellow, Freedom Forum

Jaykumar is an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond pursuing a dual degree in business administration and mathematics. In addition to his studies, Jaykumar is a member of the Bonner Scholars Program, a selective service scholarship for students committed to community development and engagement around social issues. This summer, Jaykumar will be working with Freedom Forum, an open governance advocacy organization that is a member of the Open Nepal partnership and the International Budget Partnership. His work will focus on building the capacity of stakeholders to use geocoded aid information for policy analysis.

Senegal

Louchin Chi
Summer Fellow, IPAR

Louchin is an undergraduate at University of Texas- Austin pursuing a double major in government and philosophy. Louchin is a member of the experiments team with Innovations for Peace and Development at UT-Austin, an AidData partner organization, and has designed and carried out a number of experiments using geospatial data. He speaks fluent French, English, and Mandarin. As an AidData Summer Fellow, Louchin will be working at IPAR (Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rural), a think tank in Dakar focused on agriculture and rural development. Louchin’s work will incorporate the use of geocoded aid information into IPAR research and policy advocacy activities.

Jennifer Johnson
Summer Fellow, IPAR

Jennifer is a rising senior at the University of Texas- Austin pursuing her degree in government and European studies with minors in French and Russian culture. Jennifer has a strong research background and is an affiliate at Innovations for Peace and Development at UT-Austin, an AidData partner organization. Her research has focused on relationships between mineral wealth and conflict. She speaks English, French, and Russian. As an AidData Summer Fellow, Jennifer will be working at IPAR (Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rural), a think tank in Dakar focused on agriculture and rural development. Jennifer’s work will incorporate the use of geocoded aid information into IPAR research and policy advocacy activities.

Timor Leste

Samuel Brecker
Summer Fellow, Seeds of Life

Samuel is an undergraduate student at the College of William and Mary pursuing a BA in international relations and a minor in economics. Samuel has a strong GIS skillset and previously worked as an undergraduate GIS research assistant on a project to map the location of meat production facilities in Mexico. This summer he will be working with Seeds of Life, which works to produce data, analysis, and tools to support the Government of Timor-Leste Ministry of Agriculture. Sam will help his counterparts develop a tool that will enable local politicians, organizations, and citizens to access geocoded aid data in offline environments.

Lauren Harrison
Summer Fellow, Seeds of Life

Lauren will be graduating from the College of William and Mary in May 2014 with BA in economics and a minor in art history. She has a wealth of GIS experience and her 2013 research analyzing the relationship between mineral wealth and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo won AidData’s 2013 student Map-Off Competition. This summer she will be working with Seeds of Life and the Government of Timor-Leste Ministry of Agriculture GIS Unit. Lauren will build capacity of GoTL Ministry of Agriculture GIS Unit and help her counterparts develop a tool that will enable local politicians, organizations, and citizens to access geocoded aid data in offline environments.

Uganda

Daniel Chapman
Uganda Debt Network

Daniel is an undergraduate student at the University of Texas-Austin pursuing a dual BA/BS in economics and math. Daniel worked for AidData as a research assistant in 2013 on a project to map nutrition related development finance. Through the Summer Fellows program Daniel will be based at the Uganda Debt Network (UDN) in Kampala this summer. UDN is an advocacy organization focused on aid effectiveness and accountability. He will build capacity of UDN community based monitors to use geocoded aid information to assess the impact of development activities.

Nkechi Charles
Summer Fellow, Agency for Transformation

Nkechi is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in global policy studies at the University of Texas- Austin. She is a research affiliate with Innovations for Peace and Development at UT-Austin, an AidData partner organization. As a Summer Fellow, Nkechi will work with Agency for Transformation, an advocacy organization that seeks to empower smallholder farmers with information and advocate for pro-poor development policies. Nkechi will assess how to most effectively use geocoded data to inform farmers of resources in their community and how to incorporate geocoded data more broadly into AfT agriculture policy related analysis.

Justin DeShazor
Summer Fellow, TI-Uganda

Justin is a rising senior at the College of William and Mary pursuing a BA in government and economics. He is a senior research assistant with AidData and has been selected to conduct applied policy research on one of USAID’s 7 focus areas during his upcoming senior year. As an AidData Summer Fellow, Justin will work at the Transparency International-Uganda office to incorporate geocoded data into TI-Uganda’s Action for Transparency program, which has developed a smart phone application and trained citizens to monitor public expenditures.

Robert Marty
Summer Fellow, Economic Policy Research Center

Robert is a graduating senior at the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in public policy and a minor in mathematics. His senior thesis researched the effectiveness of foreign aid to the health sector in Malawi. This summer, Robert will be based at the Economic Policy Research Center in Kampala. Robert’s summer work will focus on integrating geocoded data into EPRC’s policy research on aid allocation and impact.

Emily Mullins
Summer Fellow, CIPESA

Emily recently completed a master’s degree in international affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University.  Her prior research has focused on conflict management, governance in conflict affected societies, and post-civil war management issues. This summer, Emily will be embedded with the ICT Policy Centre for Eastern and Southern Africa (CIPESA).  CIPESA works with regional ICT centers to enable ICT access in remote communities. Emily will develop tools and resources to enable citizens to use ICT centers to access and understand geocoded data. These tools will be incorporated into CIPESA's citizen feedback program which promotes participatory, inclusive development in Uganda, amongst other African countries.

Matthew Robinson
Summer Fellow, UNICEF Uganda

Matthew is a graduate student at Georgetown School of Foreign Service pursuing an MA in global human development. Matthew has a wide range of field experience in global health issues having served in a number of positions with the US Global Aids Coordinator and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This summer, he will be embedded at the UNICEF Uganda country office working to evaluate how geocoded project records reflect implementation realities in the field and include results data in Uganda’s Aid Management Platform. He will assess the mechanisms that facilitate the collection of high-quality citizen feedback on development projects.

Rebecca Schectman
Summer Fellow, UNICEF Uganda

Rebecca is a rising junior at the College of William and Mary and a Sharpe Community Scholar pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in international affairs. She has worked with AidData as a research assistant since 2013. This summer, she will be embedded at UNICEF Uganda country office working to evaluate how geocoded project records reflect implementation realities in the field and include results data in Uganda’s Aid Management Platform. She will assess the mechanisms that facilitate the collection of high-quality citizen feedback on development projects.

Robert Ssebunya
Summer Fellow, TI-Uganda

Robert is an undergraduate student at Makerere University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in information technology. Robert has extensive experience in web development, software engineering, and IT management. As an AidData Summer Fellow, Robert will work at the Transparency International Uganda office to incorporate geocoded data into TI-Uganda Action for Transparency program, which has developed a smart phone application and trained citizens to monitor public expenditures. Robert will also lead community outreach to promote uptake of geocoded aid information within the local information technology and open data communities.

Nelson Wasswa
Summer Fellow, Agency for Transformation

Nelson is an undergraduate student at Makerere University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Nelson has extensive experience in software development and programming, and has previously worked with the Resilient Africa Network at Makerere University, one of seven USAID funded HESN development labs. This summer Nelson will be embedded with Agency for Transformation, an advocacy organization that seeks to empower smallholder farmers with information and advocate for pro-poor development policies.

Ari Weiss
Summer Fellow, Development Research and Training

Ari recently completed master’s degree in economics at Southern Illinois University. Ari has extensive data analysis and research experience, having taught undergraduate entry level economics classes at Southern Illinois University. Ari will work with Development Research and Training (DRT) this summer, a Kampala based NGO providing pro poor policy research. Ari will collaborate with DRT researchers to develop a training program for local and national journalists to enable them to use geocoded data in their reporting and analysis.