UAP 5524: International Development

25 04 2018

Virginia Tech Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies

This fall, Prof. Kris Wernstedt will be offering UAP 5524: International Development as a replacement course for UAP 5764G: International Development Policy and Planning. UAP 5524 will run on Friday’s from 8:00 to 10:30am and will be offered via Zoom (a web conferencing platform).

Course Description – UAP 5524: International Development

What challenges do developing countries face in the 21st century as a legacy of past practices and histories and as globalization continues apace? How do these problems manifest themselves at global, trans-border, nation-state, and city scales? What policy responses and planning management practices have nations pursued to address their development challenges, and what solutions have appeared to create more livable environments in the face of them?

Through readings, lectures, interviews of practitioners from international NGOs and multi-lateral agencies, role-playing, simulations, and out-of-class assignments, this course examines major concepts of international development in countries of the Global South. Students will consider…

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The trucks are packed- thank you!

23 12 2016

Thanks to everyone who made this happen.

The Mzuni Library Initiative

community | com ∙ mu ∙ ni ∙ ty |

definition: a unified body of individuals

IMG_9695.jpg Above, 20+ volunteers gathered at Kentland Farms to pack the books on the trucks. Next stop… Project Hope in Winchester, VA.

What a joyful day of celebration for the Mzuni Library Initiative and the awesome community that has rallied behind these efforts. Perhaps there has never been a more powerful personification of community, and today we were particularly (wonderfully!) overwhelmed by the community that has supported the Mzuni Library Initiative, as over 20 volunteers gathered at Kentland Farms to see the textbooks on their way- the final leg of their journey to Mzuzu University in northern Malawi.

Here’s a quick recap of the Mzuni Library Initiative by the numbers:

By the numbers- Mzuni.PNG

And so, today we offer a humble, sincere thank you to the community members and groups that have been the heart and hands of this initiative…

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“My Neighbor Drinks Clean Water While I Continue to Suffer”…

24 10 2016

Here is our new paper published in the Journal of Development Studies. The paper builds on the impact evaluation we undertook in Nampula, Mozambique, for the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Emily Van Houweling

An article Ralph Hall, Eric Vance and Marcos Carzolio and I collaborated on has just been published in the Journal of Development Studies.  The article titled, “My Neighbour Drinks Clean Water, While I Continue To Suffer’: An Analysis of the Intra-Community Impacts of a Rural Water Supply Project in Mozambique,” uses mixed methods to reveal the intra-community impacts of a rural water project in northern Mozambique.  The article is relevant for anyone thinking about rural water decision making, the measurement of sub-national inequalities, the uneven impacts of rural water supply programs, and the unintended social consequences of development.

The abstract is copied below.

Rural water planners assume the positive impacts of community water projects are spread evenly across the population. We test this assumption by looking at the distribution of benefits within communities that received handpumps in rural Mozambique. Using survey and qualitative data we analyse the characteristics of those…

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Textbooks Africa donates books for Mzuni

3 09 2016

I’d like to thank Textbooks Africa for their generous donation of 75 boxes(!) of books to the Mzuni Library Initiative.

The Mzuni Library Initiative

The Mzuni Library Initiative would like to extend many heartfelt thanks to Textbooks Africa for the generous donation of 75 boxes of books for the Mzuzu University Library. On August 29th, we were excited to welcome Francesco, a representative of Textbooks Africa, to Virginia Tech. Pictured below are volunteers Francesco and Kevin with the book donations.


One of the best parts of the day was getting to show Francesco the beautiful farmlands in Blacksburg while transporting the books. I was lucky to snap this picture in a peaceful moment before the team arrived and the fun began!


We are also grateful to Zach and Danny, engineers from the Unmanned Systems Lab, for continually being the “willing hands” of the initiative and assisting with moving heavy boxes of books. Thanks Zach and Danny!


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Final WASH Presentations

28 07 2016

This morning, students taking our joint WASH course in Malawi presented their final presentations to a group of key stakeholders and faculty at Mzuzu University. The session was introduced by Dr. Loveness Kaunda, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Mzuzu University. I will post the presentations from this session soon, along with the briefing documents the students prepared to capture the key findings from their research. I was extremely impressed by what the students were able to develop in such a short period of time. More to follow on this.

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Interim Library Open

31 05 2016

Mzuzu University recently opened an interim library. We are now working to ship several palettes of books to Malawi that we have collected via the Mzuni Library Initiative.

The Mzuni Library Initiative

In May 2016, Mzuzu University opened an interim library.  The former students’ dining hall has been remodeled into a small, but functional, university library. Some book donations have already been received from individuals and organizations in Malawi, the UK, and other countries, and more will soon be sent from the US. However, many of the specific titles needed for student’ course work are missing. Click HERE for more information about how you can help.

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Novnit Kashyap (IITK-VT Scholar)

12 05 2016

I’d like to thank Ricky Cox and Theresa Burriss for hosting this visit to Radford University’s Selu Conservancy. This was an excellent way for Novnit Kashyap and Charles Chirwa (two visiting scholars from India and Malawi, respectively) to learn about Virginia’s culture and history.

IITK-VT Partnership on Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

Novnit Kashyap, a student in the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Kanpur, has arrived at Virginia Tech as a visiting research scholar. He will be working under the guidance of Dr. Ralph Hall in the School of Public and International Affairs for a period of two months (May and June, 2016).

Novnit will work on creating proposals for short term professional development courses to be offered at Virginia Tech’s India ICTAS Innovation Center. Accordingly, he will carry out research to study the nature of professional development courses that are needed in India and engage with prospective faculty at Virginia Tech.

In India, his research focuses on the sustainability parameters for urban water resource infrastructure in the context of smart cities.

The images below were taken during a recent visit to Radford University’s Selu Conservancy, where Novit and visiting scholar Charles Chirwa (from Mzuzu University, Malawi) were able…

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Organizing the First Wave of Books

13 04 2016

The Mzuni Library Initiative

I’d like to thank all of the students and faculty who volunteered their time this evening to sort through and pack the first wave of books that we hope to ship to Mzuzu University in the near future. The pictures below capture some of our activities.

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Congratulations Nneoma Nwankwo!

10 04 2016

Congratulations Nneoma for being named Virginia Tech’s Undergraduate Student of the Year! The pictures below were taken this evening during Virginia Tech’s Student Recognition Banquet at the VT Inn. Nneoma began the day by giving a presentation at the ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference in Syracuse, NY. Fortunately, the snow stopped this afternoon and she was able to return to Virginia in time for the ceremony. She had quite the day!

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Dr. Yehyun An Receives Outstanding Dissertation Award

25 03 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Yehyun (Hannah) An for winning the Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Social Science, Business, Education, and Humanities category at Virginia Tech’s Graduate Awards Banquet last night.

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