It is hard to believe that I have already been at HI UK for two weeks. Below is a detailed list of my daily activities and what I learned from them. While I was not in the office for more than a half day most days, my field trips to various meetings proved very valuable.
I watched videos to get familiar with HI work and projects, as I described in a previous post. I then attended the monthly all – staff meeting, where I gained a better understanding of how collaboration among colleagues within the office worked in relation to current projects. Finally, I cross-referenced the Source website with documents to ensure there was a record of everything on the website.
I put together 3 bibliographies for new sources to be put on the source website. I spent the afternoon attending a planning meeting at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for a conference to be held in February. At the meeting I was able to see the planning stage of a large-scale conference in action, where as I am used to being more invovled with the execution of such events. This new perspective was very interesting to be a part of.
I talked with supervisor about HI and HI UK, to gain a clearer understanding of how the organization is structured and how the UK national office fits into the organizational structure.I then conducted secondary research on community based livelihood programmes. These sources will then be placed on the source website once other review the credibility of the sources that I have found.
In the afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting where research was presented and discussed at UCL. The attendees at the forum included Chance for childhood, which is focused on east and central Africa in the areas of sustainable livelihood, inclusive education; Sight savers, which focuses on research, inclusion, education; CBM UK, which is a disability NGO; Sense international, which focuses on deaf blind advocates; and a professor from the Disability and inclusive center at UCL. The meeting was a forum for people to show work in progress research to share with people who can share constructive insights. There were a total of 3 presentation showing a variety of different research projects being conducted. The group that was assembled around a conference table then had the opportunity to give feedback and suggestions to the presenter. Walking out of the forum, I noted a drematic shift in my future plans. I am using my experience in the UK to see if I would like to work in domestic special education policy in the US or international inclusive education policy in a city like London. After hearing about the large diversity of projects and potential impacts, it is now clear to me that I will have more opportunity for professional and personal growth as well as a larger platform from which to make an impact from an international perspective. This realization has set into motion a change in my future plans that I am excited to see continue. Let the adventures and learning continue!
I spent the day working from home today because my supervisor had the day off and the task I was assigned could be completed from anywhere with an internet connection. I spent the day finding a series of resources related to community based livelihoods for a new keylist on the Source website. Despite the monotony of the task, I learned a surprising amount about the positive effects of community rehabilitation programs around the world, as well as some of the critiques to the practice. In all, the research I did to compile a list of sources helped me to gain a richer picture of how programs can be transferred and successfully implemented in different communities and cultures through small modifications in practice, procedure, or approach.