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CIE Activities - Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

CIE Activities On Campus - Spring 2009


Participatory Evaluation in Sierra Leone
CIE Masters and Doctoral Graduates - Spring 2009
Annual Spring Picnic
Qualitative Research Poster Session
CIE @ CIES
Grandmother Project
Karuna Center



Degrees earned in 2008-2009 Academic Year

Nine CIE students earned degrees in the past year: five Doctorates and four (two in the Fall 08 and two in Spring 09) Master's degrees. Their Dissertations and Master's projects reflect both the diversity of their experience and their wide ranging interests in the field of International Education.

Doctoral Degrees

Tashi Zangmo (Bhutan)
Women's Contribution to Gross National Happiness and Critical Analysis of the Role of Nuns and Nunneries in Education and Sustainable Development in Bhutan
Tashi Zangmo

Mukul Acharya (Nepal)
Reaching the Poorest through Microfinance: Learning from Saving for Change Program in Mali

Mukul Acharya

Catherine Mukimba (Uganda)
Service Learning Partnerships in Supporting Socio-Economically Marginalized Communities: The Case of "Nuestras Raices"

Mary Catherine Mukimba

Mohammed. Majid Khan (Pakistan)
Issues of Access to Public and Private Higher Education Institutions in Islamabad, Pakistan.

M Majid Khan

Frank McNerney (USA)
Policy Options to Finance Higher Education in Afghanistan

Frank McNerney

Masters Degrees

Darren Hertz

Darren Hertz (USA)
Facilitating a Consultative Process: Producing International Guidelines for Safer School Construction

Erin Myers

Erin Myers (USA)
Voices of Islam: A Photovoice Project

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Applying a Participatory Evaluation Approach
in Sierra Leone

In May, Ashley Clayton, a current doctoral candidate at CIE carried out a participatory evaluation of a program working with children in Sierra Leone. She describes part of her experience in her own words.

I recently worked in Sierra Leone as a consultant for ChildFund International (formerly Christian Children's Fund) to conduct an impact study documenting the changes in the well-being of young people brought about as a result of CFI programs. Using the "Most Significant Change" evaluation technique combined with a participatory body mapping exercise, I worked with groups of children and youth to reflect on the many positive changes that have occurred in their lives and to share their personal stories highlighting the change that they considered most significant.

In pairs, participants created life-size body maps that were then used to further illustrate before and after changes in their lives since CFL began working in their communities. From the changes illustrated on the body maps, individual participants then chose the "Most Significant Change" that happened to them as individuals and developed these into a personal story describing their situation before the change, after the change, and why this change was significant to them. Participants then shared their stories on video which will be integrated into a final video presentation.

This experience was quite amazing not only to be able to put into practice some of the evaluation techniques and participatory tools that I have been focusing on in my own research of children's voice and participation in program processes, but more importantly, to talk with young people who were willing to share very personal stories of both hardship and positive change in their lives since the war.

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Annual Spring Picnic

CIE gathered for its annual Spring Picnic at Mill River on a beautiful May evening.

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Qualitative Research Poster Session

Students in the Qualitative Research Methods course taught this spring by Jacqi Mosselson held a poster session at the end of the semester to display their research projects which they had carried out using qualitative methods learned in the course. For some the small research projects will serve as pilots for their Master's or Doctoral theses.

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CIE @ CIES in Charleston

CIE was well represented at the 2009 Annual Conference of CIES.  More than 20 CIE members were on the program, with 14 of those coming from the on-campus group.  Unfortunately, not all those from off campus were able to attend, but those who did were able to meet and interact with the on-campus group at an informal gathering on Sunday evening.

A sampling of offerings from CIE at the conference included several panels organized by Center for International Education Members

  • Learning Initiatives for Rural Education (LIRE): Multi-Grade Education in Senegal and The Gambia – a panel organized by Jacqi Mosselson and including four on-campus members who work on the LIRE project
  • Serving Adolescents with Non-formal Education for Skills; and,  Equivalency: A Review of Asia/Pacific Experience – a panel organized by Cristine Smith.
  • Traveling Reforms: The challenge of reforming higher education in Afghanistan – a panel organized by DRE featuring three Afghan faculty members who are currently studying at CIE
Panel on Higher Education Reform in Afghanistan
LIRE Panel

In addition there were a number of individual papers on topics like:

  • Judith Akinyi Obiero - Achieving gender equity in Education For All: An examination of social exclusion, gender and education in Kenya    
  • Lauren Clarke  - Challenging the myth of rate of return analysis: Venezuela’s "Higher Education for All" initiative
CIE graduates were represented by
    Mark Lynd & Steve Anzalone
    • Mark Lynd - Test development issues when assessing across languages
    • Vachel Miller - What’s so promising? The challenges of learning from “best practices” in child labor projects
    • Flavia Ramos -  How are US-based universities marketing their international and comparative education programs via their websites?
    • Steve Anzalone - chaired a session on Assessing the Impact of Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) Worldwide: A Comparative Review of Student Assessment Results
    Vachel Miller Lauren Clarke

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    The Grandmother Project comes to CIE

    At a recent Friday brown bag meeting and informal lunch, Dr. Judi Aubel of the Grandmother Project shared the purposes and activities of this new NGO currently operates in Senegal, West Africa, Judi AubelMauritania and Nicaragua. The overall purpose of the organization is to develop activities that infuse the wisdom and cultural knowledge of ‘elders’, especially grandmothers, into development projects.  Her presentation included a critique of major INGO rhetoric which calls for development projects to be culturally sensitive but then gives no credence to the inclusion of elders.  Given that many cultures around the world hold elders in high regard; their exclusion from development projects is a serious gap.  The Grandmother Project seeks to fill this gap.

    Based in Rome, Italy, the Grandmother Project has strong connections with CIE.  The former Chair of the Board of Directors was the late Don Graybill.  After his untimely passing, Lillian Baer took over as Acting Chair in his place.  Although a relatively young INGO, the Grandmother Project has pioneered some innovative approaches to development problems.  Their work has focused particularly on the role of grandmothers in promoting health and nutrition.

    Judi’s visit was to explore possible ways in which Center for International Education could collaborate with the grandmother project, especially in joint research and evaluation activities. A total of 18 current CIE members – students and faculty – attended this very informative brown bag meeting.  We thank Judi and trust that we will be able to continue to build connections with the Grandmother Project.

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    Presentation on the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
    Reported by Laureen Pierre

    Olivia Stokes Dreier, Associate Director of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding made a presentation on Olivia DrierReweaving the Social Fabric: Working with Educators in the Aftermath of Mass Violence at the CIE Tuesday meeting on March 3, 2009. The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding is a small nonprofit organization in Amherst that works with communities in war-torn regions around the world to rebuild trust and prevent future cycles of violence.

    In her presentation, Ms. Dreier described the international involvement of the Karuna Center. She then showed a short film that highlighted their peacebuilding work with educators in Bosnia. In her presentation, Ms, Drier underscored the role of social peace-building processes in territories that have been affected by conflict, violence, and war.  She pointed out that because it is civilian populations that are mostly affected by these circumstances, the social fabric of post-conflict societies is ruptured. She provided examples of ways in which the Karuna Center has used social peace-building processes to rebuild relationships, foster mutual understanding, and restore trust as people take conscious steps to heal and work together. Ms. Dreier underscored the importance of promoting dialog as a tool in social peace-building processes.

    According to Ms. Dreier, educators play a vital role in peace-building. She shared specific examples of their work with educators in Macedonia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. According to Ms. Drier, the Karuna Center has been able to bring together groups of educators whose relationships have been affected by conflict, to train them in peace-building and non-violence skills and processes, and then challenge them to collaborate and undertake their own peace-building projects in their communities. Some of the projects that these educators carried out have included peer education, creating a student parliament, and economic projects.

    At the end of her presentation, Ms. Dreier responded to questions related to practical challenges of training, such as translation issues and ways of dealing with language barriers in group settings, how to deal with emergencies that threaten to escalate into conflict while working in the field, and distinguishing between inter-ethnic and political conflict. Ms. Dreier also briefly described their work with in the Casamance, Senegal


    CIE Activities On Campus - Fall 2008



    Masters Degrees

    Two Master's candidates finished their theses and made presentations at the final Tuesday meeting of the semester. Both were advised by Cristine Smith. One focussed on applications of both PAR techniques and NFE in the context of groundwater management in India. The other explored linkages between volunteer NGO groups in the US and their counterparts in El Salvador.

    Konda Chavva
    Konda Reddy Chavva (India)
    Farmer Literacy Practices : A Comparative Study of Farmers in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh, India.
    Amber Martin
    Amber Martin (USA)
    In Search of Solidarity - El Salvador

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    Curriculum Development for Boston Inner-city Youth
    Reported by Kimberly Parekh

    Mishy Lesser (Ed.D. 1996) spoke to CIE members at a Tuesday meeting on November 18, 2008. Her presentation was entitled NFE and Transformational Leadership: Working with Youth in Urban Setting. Mishy LesserWorking as an independent consultant (See her website), Ms. Lesser described her experiences working for a coalition of faith-based organizations in inner-city Boston.  Specifically focusing on high-risk minority urban youth, Ms. Lesser was asked to design a curriculum for a so-called after after-school program.  In discussion with the sponsors she has since broadened the scope of activities to create a larger youth development strategy which includes youth empowerment, leadership, and employability.  Through this curriculum, the project aims to support youth to: develop mastery of their environment; cultivate self-awareness; acquire social and relationship skills; get involved in making decisions about the program; build local capacity, especially among older youth; restore relationships with the natural world; develop better understanding of their past; and take responsibility for their futures.  The curriculum will be divided into two years, one for 14-15 year olds and one for 16-18 year olds, with each curriculum highlighting specific themes.

    In the future, Mishy would like to examine the impact of this 40-week curriculum in a longer-term research project.  After the presentation, Ms. Lesser had an open discussion with faculty and students about the program including comparisons to other contexts in cities in the developing world. We thank Ms. Lesser for sharing her work and have invited her to return next year to report on the progress of the program!

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    Gretchen Rossman Receives
    Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member Centennial Award

    Gretchen B. Rossman was honored at a luncheon in Septebmer 2008 as a recipient of the Outstanding Graduate FacultyGretchen Rossman Member Centennial Award from the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In celebration of a century of scholarship, the Graduate School selected one outstanding faculty member from each school and college in the University to receive the award. According to the Graduate School, Dr. Rossman was selected as an “exemplar of the faculty who provide guidance and mentorship to graduate students through chairing and membership on student thesis and dissertation committees.” The Graduate School noted that Dr. Rossman’s service “provides the backbone of the excellence that is the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.” [9/08]

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    Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB)
    An Interactive Presentation by Cristine Smith
    Reported by Laureen Pierre

    In May 2008, Cris spent two weeks in Bangladesh as a DfID consultant to Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB).  Cristine SmithFIVDB is a local NGO that works with rural educational development in Bangladesh. For the past ten years FIVDB has utilized DfID funding to work with communities to set up community managed schools.  Cris had a tri-fold mandate that was aimed at assisting FIVDB to redefine its direction as it sought to acquire substantially larger funding from the Dutch government for a five year period.

    During her presentation, Cris engaged the CIE audience in a brainstorming process that challenged everyone to think about what they each would have done had they been posed with the FIVDB’s mammoth task: “to empower communities and reduce poverty by enhancing access to and completion of education in disadvantaged communities.”

    As part of this group process, the audience was presented with some general background information about Bangladesh and Cris facilitated a lively interchange of ideas as she mapped the ideas that were shared.  The session was especially meaningful since Cris was able to use the map of ideas to the current work of FIVDB, and also to the new direction that FIVDB hoped to pursue should they receive funding from the Dutch. Cris is also working to involve CIE in a variety of research and evaluation efforts with FIVDB should the new funding be awarded. [9/08]

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    Priorities for Education Sector Reform in Kosovo
    a presentation by Ash Hartwell
    Reported by Alicia Fitzpatrick

    Be able to engage in the discourse of their culture, was one piece of advice Ash Hartwell passed on to CIE members during a presentation at a recent Tuesday meeting. Before Ash travelled to Kosovo this past summer – at the invitation of Rob Fuderich - this is exactly what he made sure he could do. He read up on the history, Ash Hartwellculture, and even the literature of the area in part of his preparation of working with UNICEF to create a coherent education sector in Kosovo.

    Ash was part of a team that travelled all across Kosovo; visiting formal and non-formal education programs from the primary school-age to the university level. The team was responsible for providing an overview of the education sector and making recommendations to guide strategic planning. What Ash and the team discovered was a lot of great education programs that shared a strong vision. They recommended strategies—that created teacher training programs, accountability, curriculum development, and financial management—that would help move the country towards the fruition of their vision. The result was two reports: one that set out priorities in the education reform and a second that recommended stratetgy for UNICEF support of the reform.

    His presentation provided a current example of national-level policy consulting and highlighted many of the skills needed to be effective at such work.

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    CIE Fall Reception

    The annual fall reception was held on a rainy Friday afternoon which failed to dampen the spirits of those attending. The Dean and the Associate Dean of the School of Ecucation, the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and the EPRA Department chair helped CIE celebrate the beginning of its 41st year.

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    CIE Tag Sale

    The annual CIE tag sale took place this year in beautiful weather. The sale benefited from a very generous donation of items from Frank McNerney. As the result of that donation and lots of work by CIE members, this year's sale set a record in revenue. A good time was had be all.

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