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University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service faculty Member Dr. Warigia Bowman has been awarded a $12,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation and the University of Pennsylvania to investigate the use of the online election platform Uchaguzi (meaning election, in Kiswahili).
As team lead, Dr. Bowman will supervise a team of eight Kenyan researchers, and one American researcher—Bob Bell of the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Grace Githaiga of the University of Nairobi will coordinate Kenyan operations. The Carnegie/University of Pennsylvania team includes Clinton School of Public Service Graduate Wambui Ngugi, who will lead the team of field researchers on the ground in Kenya.
This project is part of a larger research program on the role of information technology in state-building and peace-building in East Africa. The work for the project is being carried out by the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) at the University of Pennsylvania and the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the University of Oxford, in partnership with several institutions in Africa.
After the violence that occurred during the Kenyan elections of 2007-2008, Kenya’s government, its civil society, and its citizens expressed concern about the 2013 elections, and the potential for violence arising from inflammatory speech. Due to massive efforts by donors, citizens, the Kenyan government, and Kenyan civil society, the 2013 election was conducted peacefully.
Dr. Bowman’s research team aims to conduct a critical examination of Uchaguzi. In early 2013, a partnership of civil society organizations launched Uchaguzi, a crowd-sourcing platform designed to help Kenya achieve a free, fair, peaceful, and credible general election (Elections were held on March 4, 2013) by allowing Kenyans to monitor the voting process and report on significant incidents in real-time via text message. The Uchaguzi crowd-sourcing platform monitored trends as they were reported in real-time by citizens via text message, and highlighted instances of political violence and electoral malpractices.
Dr. Bowman will travel to Kenya in July 2014 to supervise the administration of surveys and ethnographic interviews with funders, government officials, citizens, and volunteers who participated in developing the Uchaguzi platform.
About Dr. Warigia Bowman
Dr. Warigia Bowman is an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service where she teaches Field Research Methods and the Politics of African Development in the Master of Public Service degree program. She is currently working on a book manuscript about the role of the state in diffusing information technology in four different nations in East Africa, Kenya, Uganda Tanzania and Rwanda. In March 2013, she served as an accredited elections observer for the Kenyan General Election.
A graduate student researched the challenges to treating cancer in Nairobi, Kenya and created a proposal to improve patient outcomes at the Nairobi Women’s hospital.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Nicole Maddox of Pine Bluff, Ark., spent seven months in Kenya conducting a two-part study to provide recommendations for program development to help the hospital address a critical problem: high mortality rates in patients with cancer.
The occurrence of cancer in Africa has increased significantly within the past ten years. Although it has been undocumented for decades in Kenya, patient outcomes from the Nairobi Women’s hospital explain the need for attention in the area of cancer control and prevention in this country.
“Cancer is new for us and identifying ways to provide higher quality, more responsive treatment is a discussion we can’t afford to avoid,” said Dr. Gabriel Njue, Chief Medical Director of the Nairobi Women’s hospital. “We must start the conversation and with this analysis and list of recommendations, it will help us to begin addressing the gaps.”
At Nairobi Women’s, over 50 cancer patients are seen per month, and that number has increased steadily over the past 5 years. When compared to cancer care in the US, there are four difference variables the make treatment in Kenya different: (1) the cancer itself, (2) the patient in which the cancer has been diagnosed, (3) the caregiver, and (4) the context of or environment in which all of this occurs. The majority of patients are uninformed and have a little understanding of the nature of the disease. Most importantly, support services for managing the emotional side effects of the disease do not exist; since cancer is so new very little attention is focused on psychosocial support.
The proposal reflects on the harsh realities of treating cancer in a developing country. It will include a recommendation for a Women’s Cancer Support group, ways to plan cancer screening events, and maintaining partnerships at the Nairobi Women’s hospital.
Maddox completed the project as part of the Clinton School’s Capstone program, the final of three field service projects in the Master of Public Service degree program.
About the Nairobi Women’s Hospital
The Nairobi Women’s hospital (NWH) is a private hospital located in Nairobi, Kenya. Founded in 2001, the mission of NWH is to deliver healthcare with passion to women in Kenya. NWH works towards this by ensuring that healthcare providers are well skilled with the knowledge, passion and dedication. NWH’s offers affordable healthcare services in four regions operating through its seven branches. With seven branches, the hospital serves a large number of women and their families from low to middle incomes. All hospitals have surgery facilities, a fully established maternity wing, male and female general wards, pediatric wards, and private accommodation options. www.nwch.co.ke
John Delurey of Winchester, Mass. spent six months in Zanzibar, Tanzania completing his UACS Capstone Project with Barefoot College, an Indian NGO specializing in women’s empowerment and rural solar electrification. John’s efforts were successful in prompting the initiation of the Barefoot College Vocational Training Center (VTC), the first of its kind in East Africa.
The Barefoot College VTC will transform sixteen rural, uneducated women each year into Barefoot Solar Engineers through a six-month experiential curriculum. These women will return to their village after the training and electrify it using solar energy technology, thereby electrifying eight rural villages each year.
John created a project proposal and feasibility study that will be used to bring this project to fruition. The project proposal includes sections about the project’s background, importance, budget, impact, and feasibility. It also includes an implementation road map that will help key stakeholders continue the implementation of this project.
“John’s exemplary work to bring together the interests of Barefoot College, Government, multilateral organizations and indigenous NGO sector players has ensured a smooth implementation by clearly articulating each stakeholder’s responsibilities and commitments” said Meagan Carnahan Fallone, Head of Global Strategy, Implementation, and Development at Barefoot College.
Zanzibar, a small semi-autonomous island off the coast of Tanzania, is the perfect location for a solar energy training center and will greatly benefit from the program. The training program will create benefits for the individual participants and the sustainable solar electrification that follows will bring about innumerable impacts for the beneficiary communities. The Barefoot College model is designed to ensure sustainability of fiscal, human, and technological resources by training solar engineers from the community who will collect small monthly payments from beneficiaries.
To complete this project, John utilized relationships and language skills that he began accumulating during five months in Zanzibar in 2011 studying natural resource management. Additionally, his previous work for Barefoot College in the Kingdom of Tonga helped inform his work in Zanzibar.
“As our first field presence in both the Pacific and East Africa regions, John’s ability to develop a series of implementation protocols and frameworks has been invaluable,” said Fallone. “His deep commitment to integration within the communities has allowed him an unparalleled advantage to make recommendations that will lead to additional sustainability and self-sufficiency.”
The Capstone Project is the third of three major field projects in the Clinton School curriculum. John will graduate May 2014 after defending his Capstone project to Clinton School faculty.
About Barefoot College
Barefoot College is a non-governmental organization that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities for more than 40 years, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorized into the delivery of Solar Electrification, Clean Water, Education, Livelihood Development, and Activism. With a geographic focus on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), we believe strongly in Empowering Women as agents of sustainable change.
More information about Barefoot College is available at http://www.barefootcollege.org/.
The McLarty Global Fellows Program, a philanthropic endeavor established by Mack and Donna McLarty, has announced a five-year partnership with Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international non-governmental organization focused on women’s empowerment around the world. This partnership will provide fellowships to students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Sam M. Walton College of Business, and J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences to work at the Vital Voices headquarters in Washington, D.C. The fellowships will be offered beginning in the fall of 2014.
“Donna and I began the McLarty Global Fellows Program as a way to support the important work being done to promote women’s engagement and entrepreneurship around the world. We are pleased that Vital Voices has agreed to partner with us, and we are confident that both the students and the organization will benefit from the experience,” Mack McLarty said.
In September of last year, Vital Voices and the McLarty Global Fellows Program, along with more than 20 other partner organizations including Walmart, Exxon-Mobil and Coca-Cola announced a Commitment to Action through the Clinton Global Initiative. The commitment will track and measure at least $1.5 billion in global contract opportunities for women-owned businesses based outside of the U.S., and develop a more effective and efficient channel to identify and scale high-growth women-owned businesses.
Donna Cochran McLarty co-founded Vital Voices Global Partnership and serves on its board of directors. “Our mission is to identify, invest in, and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by encouraging their leadership potential” Mrs. McLarty said. “When we support women, we are also lifting families, strengthening communities, and enhancing prospects for peace,” Mrs. McLarty said.
McLarty Global Fellows and Vital Voices selected two students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service: Anna Applebaum and Tshering Yudon. Both students will work with Vital Voices in the fall of 2014.
President and CEO Alyse Nelson states, “We are grateful to the McLartys for their visionary leadership and steadfast support of our organization and the women we serve. We are delighted to welcome these two academic stars to our offices in DC and are grateful to them for devoting their time and considerable talent to advancing the work of extraordinary women leaders around the world.”
Donna and Mack McLarty graduated from the University of Arkansas, where Mr. McLarty was President of the Associated Student Government (ASG).
ABOUT MCLARTY GLOBAL FELLOWS PROGRAM
The McLarty Global Fellows Program was established in 2011 to provide college and graduate students with the opportunity to engage in substantive international work in the areas of economic empowerment, human rights, and political participation. Founded by Thomas F. McLarty, III and Donna Cochran McLarty, the program is based in Little Rock, Arkansas and Washington, D.C.
ABOUT VITAL VOICES GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP
Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. The organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 14,000 leaders representing 144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities. Visit www.vitalvoices.org to learn more.
ABOUT THE CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 Commitments to Action, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these
commitments will be valued at $103 billion. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org; on Twitter: @ClintonGlobal; and on Facebook: facebook.com/
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Ann Owen has developed 10 compelling recommendations to generate tourism and economic development for DeWitt, a small city in the Arkansas Delta.
Her recommendations are the culmination of hundreds of hours of rural tourism research on behalf of her partner, Mayor Ralph Relyea of the City of DeWitt. These 10 recommendations are wide reaching: accommodate overnight visitors; grow agritourism; feed foodies; celebrate community with a festival; develop a visitor center and volunteers; create a quirky, offbeat roadside attraction; produce art and cultural events; discover heritage tourism; explore nature and sports tourism; and twin the town.
“This comprehensive plan is full of short- and long-term projects, that, when implemented, will generate a lot of tourism traffic in DeWitt,” said Mayor Relyea. “Our area is full of history and natural attractions, and we are looking forward to having visitors experience our Southern hospitality.”
Within the plan there are also some specialty tourism opportunities and tourism enhancements that are encouraged. To help brand DeWitt and develop a five-year marketing plan, a tourism council could be established, comprised of a variety of individuals and groups from various sectors of the community that can play a role in stimulating tourism in this 3,292 member community.
Owen completed this final Capstone project as part of her 36-hour Clinton School coursework, which has students complete three public service projects for the Master of Public Service degree program.
About the City of DeWitt, Arkansas
In 1853, the City of DeWitt became the seat for Arkansas County, the first county west of the Mississippi River. This small Delta city is at the heart of the largest of Arkansas’ 75 counties, and it now serves as the seat for the Southern District of Arkansas County, with Stuttgart as the seat for the Northern District. DeWitt, with a population is just under 3,300, is a community rich with history, rice production and duck hunting – all of great interest to tourists. For Arkansas County Travelers, DeWitt can serve as the hub for a number of wonderful nearby attractions.
Mark Eastham, a student from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, developed an Implementation Guide for recently released Walmart Policy on Sustainable Chemistry in Consumables products.
Eastham worked with a diverse group of stakeholders at Walmart to develop a guide to be used by company’s suppliers in complying with the Policy on Sustainable Chemistry. The policy prioritizes certain chemicals of concern for continuous reduction, restriction, and elimination from Walmart’s consumables product offering. Consumables products include beauty, personal care, and cleaning.
“The work to develop an implementation guide for our suppliers is an extremely important step needed to ensure that the products we supply to our customers are both safe for consumption and good for the environment.” said Chris Cochran, Walmart Senior Manager of Sustainability, “Eastham provided a valuable basis for the recently published Implementation Guide, which provides instrumental resources, information, and materials for our suppliers to move towards more sustainable chemistry in their product formation.”
Eastham worked with Walmart NGO partner, Environmental Defense Fund, and also various merchant teams at Walmart to compile material and resources relevant to product ingredient disclosure, chemical alternative assessments and formation, human and environmental chemical risk characteristics, as well as innovation opportunities for suppliers. Eastham managed material input, structuring, and content development for the guide so that it would best align with, and provide guidance for, the asks of the Policy on Sustainable Chemistry.
“Throughout the project, I was surprised by the level of complexity that surrounds chemicals of concern today both in terms of environmental and health impacts as well as current legislation and retail activity on the issue,” Eastham said. “It was great to work on a project that would directly contribute to reductions of chemicals of concern from the products that Walmart customers purchase every day.”
Walmart believes that it is their responsibility to sell products that are not only affordable but that are produced in a responsible and sustainable way. Walmart aims to work with suppliers and industry to accelerate the adoption and use of sustainable chemistry practices to meet the needs of its customers and the environment.
Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department and warehouse stores. The company is the world’s second largest public corporation and works to let customers shop anytime and anywhere online, through mobile devices and in its stores. In the United States, Walmart works to provide every day low prices on a broad assortment of its products so that its customers can save money and live better. Walmart operates more than 11,000 retail units under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries and employs 2.2 million associates around the world — 1.3 million in the U.S. alone. The company has three aspirational sustainability goals which are to 1) be supplied 100% by renewable energy, 2) create zero waste and 3) to sell products that sustain people and the environment.
More information about the Walmart is available at http://www.corporate.walmart.com
A graduate student conducted literature and best practice research to help identify a consumer engagement framework for DHS’s Arkansas Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative (AHCPII).
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Angela Bukenya’s work will help Arkansans assume greater personal responsibility by encouraging more direct, more effective engagement between consumers, providers, and other stakeholders working to address a host of interrelated issues such as: lifestyle choices, health literacy, preventative health, provider and treatment selection, and treatment adherence.
The findings of the research showed that the individually focused trans-theoretical change of behavior model, and the multilevel socio-ecological model, are widely recommended frameworks for consumer engagement in health and health care.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Clinton School of Public Service for the DHS Fellows project that will contribute to a valuable component of the Arkansas Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative,” said Dawn Zekis, the director of Health Care Innovation. “The results of the consumer engagement framework project will allow our efforts to focus on increasing involvement using meaningful engagement approaches that will result in desired effects of improving individual and population health outcomes, facilitating more efficient use of health care resources, and delivering quality health care services.”
A select group of health policy experts sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, collectively proposed that consumer engagement holds great potential to spur health quality improvements, and must not be viewed as a silver bullet, since consumers have neither the power nor the skills to transform health care systems on their own. The change therefore requires a joint effort between providers, payers, insurers, policy makers and the consumers themselves.
After graduation, Bukenya will continue working with DHS as a fellow to develop the consumer engagement framework that will suit the needs of the AHCPII.
The student completed the research project as part of the Clinton School’s capstone, the last of three field service projects in the Master of Public Service degree program.
About The Arkansas Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative:
The AHCPII is creating a sustainable healthcare system aimed at improving 1) population health, 2) patient’s experience of care, and 3) cost effectiveness of care. It is doing so by transforming the vast majority of care and payment from a fragmented fee-for-service rewards and supports providers for delivery improved outcomes and high quality cost effective care.The strategy is intended to move the entire Arkansas delivery system to a new and sustainable model of health care financing and stimulate needed system reform.
This post was written by first-year student Haylee Fletcher.
In the fall of 2013, Jake Wood was a guest speaker at the Clinton School of Public Service. He spoke about Team Rubicon, an organization he founded that unites the skills of our veterans with medical professionals, to deploy teams for disaster relief across the country. I never imagined that I would have the opportunity, honor and privilege of working alongside the men and women of Team Rubicon, but I did last week. I worked with Clinton Foundation staff, Clinton School students, staff, and faculty and other incredible folks from all walks of life; young and old, men and women, to contribute in the relief efforts for those affected by the recent tornadoes in central Arkansas.
As I reflect on my experience volunteering to clean up debris from the deadly tornadoes that ripped through Arkansas on April 27, I walk away humbled, blessed, and moved beyond belief. The magnitude of the devastation is difficult to put into words; people’s lives were destroyed, their belongings blown into the calm water below where homes once stood. As we drove down the quiet road in Mayflower, Ark., piles of debris lined the street, roofs blown away, gaping holes in houses, and cars smashed beyond recognition. It was a horrific scene. So heartbreaking, it is hard to conceptualize how people begin to rebuild their lives, or where to start after such destruction.
Having lived in “tornado alley” for many years, I can say I wasn’t too alarmed when the sirens roared through Little Rock; however, after witnessing life on Dam Road in Mayflower post-tornado, I will forever react differently when I hear those sirens. I will think of the man who lost his home and all of his belongings. I will think of the seemingly untouched kitchen standing tall amidst piles of rubble, mounds of broken, torn and shredded trees, and the American flag flying high above it all. The intact kitchen appeared as if it was a display from Home Depot, plopped into the center of destruction.
After we had finished moving everything out of the water, off of the hill, and toward the road above, I stood on the property next door and watched the owner standing solemnly on his property. It broke my heart to imagine what was going through his mind in that moment. Appreciation that there was a small army out there to help in the clean-up efforts, but I am sure devastation, and sadness consumed him. When we arrived earlier that morning, we were instructed to place anything of value in a Tupperware…by the time we finished with his property, a total of 10 items had been placed in the bin: an undamaged photo of a child, a health card, a blank check, and scraps of papers. I cannot fathom walking in his shoes, but I know that our hearts go out to that man, his family, and all of the other families who suffered such loss and devastation after the storms.
At the Clinton School, teamwork, partnerships, and patience go a long way. As Dean Skip Rutherford often says, “little things go a long way.” Because of the strong leadership of Team Rubicon and the countless partnerships that have formed after the tornado destruction in Mayflower and Vilonia, rubble is being cleared, and scraps of the life that once was are now being collected so that residents can begin again.
The academic year has come to an end, and while our time with Team Rubicon was brief, its work will continue for as long as needed. For more information please visit http://teamrubiconusa.org/
A graduate student conducted research for a joint initiative between the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) on the use of infant mental health screening tools in order to better support children’s long-term health outcomes.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Neena Viel of Newburgh, NY spent the spring of 2014 surveying a total of 469 early childcare learning centers, collecting information about the use of screening tools for social-emotional health, and the key barriers to implementing screening.
“When children experience healthy social and emotional development, they are able play, learn and face challenges successfully,” Dr. Nicola Connors-Burrow, associate professor at UAMS said. “It is critical that we focus on ways to identify and support young children at risk for early problems in their social and emotional development.”
Children lacking positive relationships and environments can suffer from negative impacts on the developing brain, resulting in developmental delays and life-long social-emotional problems. Viel’s work is the first project centered on gaining a picture of current screening practices of early childcare providers, in order to better equip DHS to standardize the process and better meet the needs of Arkansas’ most vulnerable demographic: children 0-3.
“Neena’s work will help us to assess the needs statewide and drive the effort within the DHS Division of Childcare and Early Childhood Education and Division of Behavioral Health Services to implement a comprehensive plan for addressing the social-emotional well-being of infants and toddlers in Arkansas,” said Marquita Little, Director of Policy and Planning at DHS.
This project was completed as part of Viel’s Capstone project, the third and final field project in the Master of Public Service degree program.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is Arkansas’ largest state agency, housing 10 divisions in Little Rock as well as 85 county offices. DHS administers a number of key services including ARKids First health insurance for children, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) and Medicaid. DHS serves more than 1.2 million Arkansans every year, many of them vulnerable populations.