WDI Global Impact Interns Begin Summer Projects
Monday, May 14, 2018
When Rebecca Grossman-Kahn was in high school, she was a volunteer with Amigos de las Américas, a youth leadership and cultural exchange program that partners with Plan International, a global development and humanitarian organization. While an undergrad at Stanford University, she worked in Honduras and Nicaragua for the organization.
“I just loved it,” she said. “I loved living in a different place, I loved speaking Spanish.”
So when the Ross School of Business MBA candidate and University of Michigan Medical School student was looking to create her own summer internship, she reached out to several organizations. The first to respond was Plan International, which works to empower children – especially girls.
“They were interested in revamping their evaluation program and I knew WDI worked in performance measurement,” Grossman-Kahn said.
She pitched the partnership to WDI as a student-initiated internship and it was approved. In mid-June, she will head to Brazil to develop a survey tool Plan International will use to assess the impact of their programs. In addition to student-initiated internships, WDI also develops student summer opportunities along with its partners.
Grossman-Kahn is one of six U-M graduate students participating in the 2018 WDI Global Impact Internship program. The students represent the Ross School of Business, the School of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) and the Medical School. They will work in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Namibia and Nepal, and support the work of WDI initiatives in Education and its Entrepreneurship Development Center, Energy, Healthcare, Performance Measurement and Scaling Impact. All of the interns have met with their respective WDI initiative leaders and will continue to keep in touch once in the field.
Colm Fay, who leads WDI’s Energy Initiative, said he is interested in understanding more about access to energy for productive use because of the impact it can have in low- and middle-income countries. Fay will be working with graduate student Matthew Carney, who will be interning at Ecoprise, which designs, builds and installs clean energy products in Nepal for energy-poor communities.
“Matt’s work with Ecoprise will provide important learnings about how an innovative business model to provide energy for agricultural loads can impact rural livelihoods, and how the well-being of these communities can be enhanced through greater access to energy,” Fay said.
Fay also directs WDI’s Scaling Impact initiative and is working on a project in Kenya with intern Andrea Arathoon. He said Scaling Impact wants to develop tools and frameworks that help enterprises achieve sustainability at scale.
“Andrea’s experience with Jacaranda, an organization that is seeking both to scale its operations as well as replicate its approach through partners, will further our understanding of the strategies and resources that are necessary to design business models for scale,” Fay said. “Her work will also provide great insights on how enterprises measure performance in terms of both sustainability and impact, and how best to frame this for investors.”
For Grossman-Kahn, her summer in Brazil will not be her first trip to the country. She lived there while participating in a study abroad program as an undergrad and learned Portuguese. She is looking forward to going back and collaborating with a familiar partner.
Grossman-Kahn said she will split her time between doing high-level strategy work in an office in Sao Paulo and observing Plan International’s programs in rural towns.
“I’m really excited about working with Plan International again,” she said. “They are really mission driven. Everyone in the organization is passionate about the work they’re doing.”
Here are the all WDI interns and their projects:
School of Public Health
WDI Partner: Scaling Impact initiative
Jacaranda Health operates a maternity hospital where it sees more than 2,000 clients a month and wants to create East Africa’s first truly sustainable and scalable maternal health service delivery organization. It is partnering with 15 government hospitals to refine a model for improving quality of maternal healthcare in the public sector.
Andrea will develop the latest version of Jacaranda’s business model and debt/equity financing structure for its next round of investment. She also will assess market and business model opportunities for expansion, improve profitability in the hospital by evaluating new service lines, marketing and customer insights.
FIP is a global federation representing 3 million pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists worldwide. The Hospital Pharmacy Section’s objectives are to further hospital pharmacy in all its aspects, including the needs of developing countries. FIP, in partnership with WDI, is establishing a collaboration with the University of Namibia School of Pharmacy to increase the capacity of hospital pharmacists in two pilot countries, Namibia and Pakistan, through in-country diagnostics and technical assistance. The summer intern will provide preliminary research on Namibia, which will then inform next steps and content design for this collaboration in pharmacy workforce development.
Mason will develop a landscape analysis of hospital pharmacy practices in Namibia, both at private and public hospitals, in support of a larger pharmacy workforce development goal.
Ross School of Business
East Bali Cashews
WDI Partner: Entrepreneurship Development Center (Education Initiative)
Founded in 2012, East Bali Cashews (EBC) sources sustainably grown cashews from nearby smallholder farmers and processes them in a factory located in a remote village in one of Bali’s poorest regions. Since its launch, the company has integrated various social missions in and around their cashew processing operations, including community improvement and women’s empowerment.
For her internship, Nadia will design a U.S. market entry strategy and actionable roadmap, develop sustainable quality and efficiency improvements and create a food production “best practices” guide. Additionally, in partnership with WDI’s Entrepreneurship Development Center, Nadia will develop a strategy to support EBC’s mission for women empowerment and develop a mini case study how they would achieve it.
Ross School of Business and School for Environment and Sustainability
Michigan Academy for the Development of Entrepreneurs (MADE)
WDI Partner: WDI President Paul Clyde
The Michigan Academy for the Development of Entrepreneurs (MADE) is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization whose aim is to develop entrepreneurs in emerging economies. MADE was founded by the William Davidson and Zell-Lurie Institutes at the University of Michigan and Aparajitha Foundation in Madurai, India. MADE provides Entrepreneurship Development Organizations (EDOs) in emerging economies a repeatable, scalable, transferable and profitable service platform to develop entrepreneurs in their home countries.
For his project, Chris will Identify best practices of existing coaching programs in India and other emerging economies, conduct a needs assessment of entrepreneurs in Madurai and develop a framework and training curriculum for how coaches will be identified, on-boarded and trained. Chris’ work continues a succession of Ross School student teams who have worked with MADE since its launch in late 2017.
Ross School of Business and University of Michigan Medical School
WDI Partner: Performance Measurement initiative
Plan International is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1937. It is a development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls through various programs.
For her internship, Rebecca will develop a tool to assess the social impact of Plan Brazil’s gender equality programs; develop a framework for evaluating impact of violence prevention and girls’ empowerment programs that can be adapted to other partner organizations and in other settings. In addition, Rebecca will also analyze Plan International’s program cost structure and provide recommendations for standardizing and cost savings.
Ross School of Business and School for Environment and Sustainability
WDI Partner: Energy initiative
Founded six years ago, Ecoprise designs, builds and installs clean energy products in Nepal for the underserved, energy-poor communities in order to create positive economic, environmental and social impact. Ecoprise recently started AgroHub, a pay-as-you-go service-based business model that aims to provide access to solar-powered infrastructure for remote underserved farming communities. These hubs provide farmers with access to equipment for irrigation, clean drinking water, food-processing and refrigerated post-harvest storage as a service, with ownership of equipment remaining with AgroHub or Ecoprise.
Matthew will develop a theory of change report and a business plan for Ecoprise’s AgroHub model in western Nepal.