After a year of book learning and studying theory, students from the 2023 cohort of the Ford Dorsey Master's in International Theory are getting hands-on with their policymaking skills.
During their second year of study, each of our master's students has the opportunity to participate in the Policy Change Studio, a pioneering program at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies which pairs students with organizations across the globe to work on policy challenges in real-time.
From faba beans in Egypt to biotech at NATO and water management in Kenya, learn where our students are teaming up to make an impact, in their own words.
The state, political parties, and CSOs in Ghana have recognized the importance of women’s political representation. This is seen in international conventions, the 1992 Constitution, affirmative action bill proposals, and efforts to target direct participation of women. Women’s representation at the parliamentary level stood at 14.5% in the 2020 General Elections, its highest level over the past 30 years; however, women’s representation in local councils has declined from 10% in 2010 to 7.6% in 2019.
We aim to better understand the drivers of low political representation of women at the local level, with attention to sociocultural factors, education, financial barriers, and performance barriers. We are excited and humbled to work with CDD-Ghana on such a critical issue.
We have chosen faba beans because they are currently one of the most important protein sources in the market and in the Egyptian diet. The majority of faba beans in Egypt are imported and are highly price sensitive to fluctuations and global supply chain disruptions. Egypt is highly reliant on imported food, which creates a tenuous food security situation for its >100M citizens, and in particular, the ~27% poor living below the $3.20 poverty line. Currently, inability to produce adequate food exposes Egyptians (especially those in poverty) to chronic food insecurity.
Our team is super excited to work with our partner organization and the communities that will be part of our research. We look forward to enhancing our knowledge of food security and provide the most comprehensive solutions to our partners as well as all the stakeholders involved in the project.
While proponents argue that floating nuclear power plants have climate, industrial and potential economic benefits, lack of safeguards and international regulations raise questions about the safety of these deployments. Moreover, the possibility of deployment in the disputed waters of South China Sea present a grave risk to sovereignty claims of Southeast Asian countries, and may accelerate further militarization of the South China Sea.
We are aiming to identify the key security risks of these plans, and to develop policy recommendations for concerned governments and stakeholders.
To that end, we are working with the NATO Innovation Unit to define a strategic approach to these advanced technologies that ensures access to cutting edge capabilities, informed adoption, and responsible use. The advent of human-machine integration, genetic editing, and other forms of biological manipulation represents a new front in the global innovation race.
Agriculture is the backbone of many developing countries, and smallholder farmers play a critical role in this sector. However, these farmers often face numerous challenges, from incomplete irrigation infrastructure, low-quality agriculture inputs (seeds, fertilizers, etc), to the lack of market linkages. By working with Nuru International, a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers by providing them with training and resources, we want to help create a more equitable and prosperous future for rural communities in Kenya.
Following a rapid phase of digitization and social media adoption, Pacific Island nations are struggling to counter a large variety of mis- and disinformation that is being spread via online sources largely trusted by citizens. We aim to understand Fiji’s unique socio-cultural context in order to propose tailored solutions for increasing citizens’ ability to verify information.
Especially in the absence of significant public resources, current flows of private investment in the final sector toward climate change adaptation and mitigation measures are insufficient to support the efforts of developing nations to limit the impact of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Our team will be examining two case studies, Switzerland and the Maldives, to provide context and insights on the reason for the lack of an established reliable funding mechanism to address climate change.and effective coordination of initiatives to operationalize solutions to combat climate change.