This program requires students to spend 14 days living in "the field" conducting field research and investigations.
Field investigations happen in three periods that take place sequentially throughout the program.
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At work in the community
Students gain rich, hands-on experience working directly in communities in rural India. Here, Amarilis Altagracia (left, MPP ’17) worked with a team to conduct a focus group with area farmers to identify the needs of their community.
The visits typically follow this pattern:
- first visit: 3 days
- second visit: 7 days
- third visit: 4 days.
Some teams may spend additional time in the field to capture all the necessary information to create an informed project proposal for their NGO.
There is an equal focus on investigating problems and experiences on the ground, and understanding in more depth and detail the specifics of NGOs and their service delivery. For both aspects, the guidance and inputs of the NGO mentors and village stakeholders will be crucial.
During the visit, students work closely in their three person team to share responsibilities related to translation, survey design, reporting, etc. Each team member breaks a unique skill set that will be utilized during the investigation. Students can expect to live in a rural homestay or in their NGO's local housing accommodation. A majority of the field placements are in villages outside of Udaipur, but there is also the possibility of being placed in a urban field placement within the city limits of Udaipur.
In this photo, a student team gathered local residents under a huge shady tree. Their goal was to work together to create a social map of the area. The map became a part of the "needs assessment" component of the students’ project proposal.