Fellow Luncheons |  Theories of Change 2 |  Learning Agenda Questions |  Professional Development |  Other Events


Democracy Fellows' Luncheons

Fellow Luncheon Featuring Casey Johnson

Fellow Luncheon Featuring Casey Johnson

DFG Fellow Lunch On May 3, 2017, the DFG Program hosted a Democracy Fellows’ lunch, featuring a presentation by Casey Johnson, IIE’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Democracy Fellow. Casey discussed his recent TDYs in El Salvador, Morocco, and Jordan and his research on gang violence prevention programming in Latin America and its applicability for countering violent extremism in the Middle East. 

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Theories of Democratic Change, Phase 2

Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative Think Session |  Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative Research Workshop | 

Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative Research Workshop 

On May 12, 2017, Michigan State University (MSU) professors Dr. Erica Frantz and Dr. Jeff Conroy-Krutz facilitated the second Think Session of Phase II of the Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative.

USAID staff that attended the the first Think Session participated once again to further discuss the research team’s latest draft of their White Paper and the first draft of the theory matrix , which is focused on synthesizing and evaluating academic research on how small openings or liberalizations within authoritarian regimes can lead to paths away from authoritarianism.

Held at the Institute of International Education’s offices, the all-day Think Session focused on clarifying the various pathways from authoritarianism, discussing the roles of liberalization and democratization in the context of the research, defining dependent variables related to the research question, reviewing new and significantly revised hypothesis, and assessing the theory matrix content and structure .

The Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative is a three-phase project that aims to identify and analyze theories of change based on extant research about factors related to aspects of democratization which may help inform USAID’s strategic planning in the DRG sector. Read more about the full project, as well as the White Paper and Theory Matrix from Phase 1.

   

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Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative Think Session 

Theories of Change 2 EventMichigan State University (MSU) professors Dr. Erica Frantz and Dr. Jeff Conroy-Krutz facilitated the first Think Session of Phase II of the Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative on December 9, 2016. Held at IIE’s offices, the Think Session brought together academics and USAID staff to discuss MSU’s first draft of their White Paper synthesizing and evaluating academic research on how small openings or liberalizations within authoritarian regimes can lead to paths away from authoritarianism.

Discussions from the all-day Think Session focused on assessing the structure of the White Paper, defining variables related to the research question, reviewing the literature evaluated in each theory family, and proposing new theory families to investigate. Next steps include drafting a Theory Matrix that presents the evaluated theories in a simple, user-friendly document and facilitating a second Think Session at which the academics and USAID staff from this event will meet again to further discuss the research products. In attendance were:

  • Dr. Laura Adams, Democracy Fellow, Learning Division, USAID/DCHA/DRG
  • Mike Bradow, Global and Regional Policy Division, USAID/DCHA/DRG
  • Dr. Dawn Brancati, Columbia University
  • Nick Higgins, Learning Division, USAID/DCHA/DRG
  • Dr. Robert Kaufman, Rutgers University
  • Dr. Andrea Kendall-Taylor, National Intelligence Council & CSIS
  • Dr. Adrienne LeBas, American University
  • Dr. Steven Levitsky, Harvard University
  • Dr. Marc Lynch, George Washington University
  • Carrie Mitchell, Global and Regional Policy Division, USAID/DCHA/DRG
  • Kerry Monaghan-Hogler, Office of Policy, USAID/PPL
  • Ashley Quarcoo, Global and Regional Policy Division, USAID/DCHA/DRG
  • Dr. Dan Slater, University of Chicago
  • Dr. Alex Sokolowski, Democracy and Governance Division, USAID/E&E
  • Dr. Joseph Wright, Pennsylvania State University

The Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative is a three-phase project that aims to identify and analyze theories of change based on extant research about factors related to aspects of democratization which may help inform USAID’s strategic planning in the DRG sector. Read more about the full project, as well as the White Paper and Theory Matrix from Phase 1.

 

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Learning Agenda Questions

Learning Agenda II Literature Review Presentations |  Spring Learning Agenda Literature Reviews |  Learning Agenda I Literature Review Presentations |  Fall Learning Agenda Literature Reviews | 

Learning Agenda II Literature Review Presentations 

On July 14, 2017, the Institute of International Education hosted representatives from three multi-disciplinary research teams led by the University of Colorado, the University of Minnesota, and Brown University to present to USAID their findings from literature reviews conducted in response to the second set of USAID’s 2016 Learning Agenda research questions. The presentations from this event, plus Q&A from informal presentations given to the implementing community on July 13, 2017, are posted below.

Each research team included faculty and PhD students representing diverse social science disciplines and methodological expertise, able to review and evaluate the range of pertinent academic literature relevant to each question. The presentations were the culmination of months of review, assessment, analysis, and synthesis by these teams.

Following each presentation, practitioners served as discussants, commenting on the academic findings and their implications for international development. The conversation was then opened up for Q&A from USAID staff.

Maintaining Civic Space in Backsliding Regimes
Presenters: Dr. Carew Boulding and Shawnna Mullenax, University of Colorado, Boulder
Discussant: Douglas Rutzen, President and CEO, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Presentation: DOWNLOAD (PPT)

Making Human Rights Campaigns Effective while Limiting Unintended Consequences: Lessons from Recent Research
Presenters: Yagmur Karakaya, Suzy McElrath, Florencia Montal, and j. Siguru Wahutu, University of Minnesota
Discussant: Marselha Gonçalves Margerin, Advocacy Director for the Americas, Amnesty International USA

Presentation: DOWNLOAD (PPT)

Grassroots Reform in the Global South
Presenters: Dr. Andrew Schrank and Marcus Walton, Brown University
Discussant: Dr. Gary Bland, Democratic Governance Fellow, RTI

Presentation: DOWNLOAD (PPT)

Q&A From Informal Presentations to Implementing Community:DOWNLOAD (PDF)

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Spring Learning Agenda Literature Reviews

Research teams from Brown University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Minnesota traveled to the Institute of International Education in May and June to facilitate workshops with USAID staff to discuss the detailed literature reviews that each team had assembled in response to one of the DRG Center’s 2016 Learning Agenda research questions. These workshops provided the research teams and USAID the opportunity to have an informal discussion on the details of the literature review findings and their implications for the design and management of international development programs.

Working literature review titles are below; the complete literature reviews will be published, once finalized.

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Learning Agenda I Literature Review Presentations

Learning Agenda Questions EventOn November 14, 2016, representatives from four multi-disciplinary research teams led by Northwestern University, the University of Denver, the University of Virginia, and Wayne State University presented to USAID staff their findings from literature reviews conducted in response to one of USAID’s 2016 Learning Agenda research questions.

Hosted by the Institute of International Education, these presentations were the culmination of months of review, assessment, analysis, and synthesis of research by each team—a group of faculty and PhD students representing diverse social science disciplines and methodological expertise, able to review and evaluate the range of pertinent academic literature relevant to each question. Following each presentation, practitioners served as discussants, commenting on the academic findings and their implications for international development. The conversation was then opened up for a Q&A session.

Combatting Corruption Among Civil Servants: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on What Works and What Doesn’t
Presenter: Andre Nickow, PhD candidate in Sociology, Northwestern University
Discussant: Suren Avanesyan; Senior Advisor for Governance, Rule of Law, and Anti-Corruption; USAID
Struggles from Below: A Literature Review on Human Rights Struggles by Domestic Actors
Presenter: Kyleanne Hunter, PhD candidate in Comparative Politics and International Relations, University of Denver
Discussant: Dr. Robert Herman; Vice President for International Programs, Emergency Assistance Programs, and Multilateral Initiatives; Freedom House
Strengthening Women’s Civic and Political Participation: A Synthesis of the Scholarly Literature
Presenter: Dr. Sharon Lean; Associate Professor in Political Science and Director of Graduate Studies, Political Science; Wayne State University
Discussant: Susan Markham, Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, USAID
Increasing the Civic and Political Participation of Women: Understanding Risk
Presenter: Dr. Denise Walsh; Associate Professor in Politics and in Women, Gender, and Sexuality; University of Virginia
Discussant: Susan Markham, Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, USAID

Following the presentations by the DFG grantees, Alison Miranda from Social Impact and Benjamin Linkow from NORC presented and lead discussions on the findings from their own research and projects as they related to USAID’s Learning Agenda.

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Fall Learning Agenda Literature Reviews

Learning Agenda Questions Event In late September and early October, the Institute of International Education hosted four research teams led by Northwestern University, the University of Denver, the University of Virginia, and Wayne State University to facilitate collaborative workshops with USAID staff to discuss the detailed literature reviews that each team had assembled in response to one of the 2016 Learning Agenda research questions developed by USAID’s Center of Excellent on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center).

Written to test the assumptions and theories that guide DRG program design in specific technical areas, the 2016 Learning Agenda included twelve questions—among them, questions on supporting human rights advocacy in developing countries, reducing corruption in the civil service, and mitigating the risks to which women are exposed if they become more active in political or civic space. To answer their selected question, each university formed and led an inter-disciplinary team of faculty and PhD students who together read, assessed, and synthesized the evidence base relevant to its question, pulling from academic fields as diverse as anthropology, economics, political science, communication, religion, and sociology, among others.

The workshops—which included presentations, small group activities, and discussions—allowed research teams and USAID to come together to discuss the literature review findings and their implications for both international development programs and new research directions. Once finalized, the literature reviews will be publicly available:

  •  Combatting Corruption Among Civil Servants: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on What Works and What Doesn’t, Northwestern University
  •  Struggles from Below: A Literature Review on Human Rights Struggles by Domestic Actors, University of Denver
  •  Strengthening Women’s Civic and Political Participation: A Synthesis of the Scholarly Literature, Wayne State University
  •  Increasing the Civic and Political Participation of Women: Understanding Risk, University of Virginia
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Democracy Fellows' Professional Development

Professional Development Lunch with USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator

Professional Development Lunch with USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator

Democracy Fellow LunchOn January 31, 2017, IIE hosted a Democracy Fellows luncheon, inviting a USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator to train Fellows in best practices for preparing and presenting deep technical knowledge for high-level policymakers. The DFG program schedules Democracy Fellow lunches on a quarterly basis as a way for Democracy Fellows to share experiences and network with each other.

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Other Events

Measuring Human Trafficking: Gauging Awareness and Prevalence through Research

Measuring Human Trafficking: Gauging Awareness and Prevalence through Research

CTIP Event On April 14, 2016, IIE hosted USAID’s “Measuring Human Trafficking: Gauging Awareness and Prevalence through Research” event, which brought together a diverse community of researchers and practitioners who work in counter trafficking in human persons (C-TIP) field. Participants shared best practices and lessons learned from current C-TIP work and discussed how best to design new C-TIP programming and address the many remaining knowledge gaps about the complex global crime of human trafficking.

Participants included senior C-TIP experts from five government agencies that seek to address trafficking internationally and domestically; academics working on several USAID-funded C-TIP research initiatives, including three DFG grantees; and the implementing community. In the morning, DFG grantees TCU, USC, and Vanderbilt University presented their results from research conducted in Albania, Indonesia, Moldova, and Nepal on how best to design C-TIP awareness-raising programs. In the afternoon, representatives from the US Department of Labor led an exercise on identifying research gaps in the C-TIP field, followed by two panels hosted by USAID with participation from the US Department of Justice, US Department of Labor, and researchers from the University of Chicago and Harvard University. The afternoon panels focused on the difficulties of and necessity for obtaining quality data on the prevalence of human trafficking, on the ethical challenges facing C-TIP researchers, and on creative ways to use different research methodologies to address these inherent challenges. The day closed with a wrap-up session led by the US Department of State.

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