Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 11-12 Immigration History Research Center Presentation

The Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) will be hosting a free, two-day digital storytelling workshop as part of its Immigrant Stories research and archiving project. The IHRC began Immigrant Stories in 2013 to collect, preserve, and share the experiences of Minnesota’s newest immigrants and refugees. The workshop will guide participants through the process of making digital stories about their personal or family immigration stories. No previous experience is required. All digital stories will be preserved in the IHRC Archives and shared via the Minnesota Digital Library.

The workshop will be held on July 11 and 12. Lunch and parking vouchers will be provided. This workshop is limited to ten participants.

To register:

For further information, contact IHRC Program Associate Elizabeth

Christopher J. Johnstone, Ph.D.
Director of International Initiatives
College of Education and Human Development
Twitter: @UofM_CEHD_Intl

Save the Children - Monitoring/Evaluation Manager

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 

 Save the Children - Monitoring and Evaluation Manager - Humanitarian Leadership Academy - London   Click here to view the original listing and apply!

Directorate: Global Programmes 
Department: Humanitarian 
Team: Humanitarian Leadership Academy 
Location: London 
Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract 
Full / Part Time: Full-time 
Salary: £41-45k pro rata (dependant on experience) 
Contract Duration: 24 months 
Closing Date: 5 July 2015

The Academy
The mission of the Humanitarian Leadership Academy’s (Academy) is to empower people around the world to prepare for and respond to crises in their own countries. The Academy will work with the humanitarian sector and new partners from the technology industry, private sector and universities to help communities become more resilient in the face of disaster and give them the training and skills to respond to crises in their own countries.
The role
Learning is at the core of the Academy's identity and we recognise that monitoring and evaluation form a key foundation for successful learning. We also see we need to do things differently and support innovation across the humanitarian sector, this critical role will drive forward these fundamental activities by providing leadership in the development and implementation of a monitoring and evaluation framework and system. We will identify and synthesis trends of activity and evidence of the impact of the effectiveness of our activities in learning and innovation, leading on the Academy’s efforts to optimise accountability to beneficiaries and partners.
The role will be responsible for developing and implementing a M&E framework and system for the Academy in the UK and in its global offices.  The role will provide technical support, leadership and quality assurance to all areas of the business to develop appropriate M&E strategies and processes. The role will represent and engage externally and internally on behalf of the Academy with partners and donors on M&E and accountability issues to best capture the latest recommendations and developments of Monitoring and Evaluation in capacity building.
About you
To be successful in this role will you have solid and extensive experience in developing and implementing monitoring, evaluation systems and frameworks to determine the success of the business strategies and programmes. You have experience of analysing monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment data in order to draw meaningful conclusions and reports. You will be able to demonstrate when you have created innovative opportunities for reflection and learning and you'll be at ease working several functions on complex projects with multiple stakeholders.
You'll be an outstanding communicator with the ability to articulate a vision, strategy or idea clearly and concisely with a vigorous eye for detail. Influencing, negotiation and contracting will come naturally to you along with a passion for innovating, seeing opportunities where others see problems.

July 11 Bastille Day celebration in Saint Paul

Join us for our annual Bastille Day celebration on Saturday, July 11

W 7th Place, St Paul
2 to 8 pm
This year, we are partnering with the Dakota Jazz Club and their new venue, The Vieux Carré, in downtown St Paul.
Come to enjoy live music, food and drink, kids activities (free crafts and facepaint!), artists' marketplace, pétanque games, Citroën car rides, a mime, a French book sale, and more! 
Musical acts include Mark Stillman & Francine Roche, Lo' Jo, and the New Standards!
An evening program will follow at The Vieux Carré. Bastille Day attendees will be welcome to attend free of charge.
Admission is $10, kids under 12 are free. Purchase tickets through our office (612 332 0436) or online

July 15 Multicultural Education in Korea

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Minnesota International Center seeks Program Director

MIC is Hiring!

Join the MIC team! We are currently seeking qualified candidates for a full-time Program Director.

Applications will be accepted through July 22.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

HHH Prof. Kudrle--TPP and Minnesota

How Minnesota would benefit—and how it would suffer—if Congress approves the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  

Professor Robert Kudrle gives his international trade expert opinion on the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, citing numerous reason of how it would greatly benefit the state of Minnesota in MinnPost 

Crossposted from Humphrey Herald

Humphrey Fellow Vera-Cruz blogs from UNICEF Innovation Unit project

By Deborah Cristina Vera-Cruz, @DeborahVeraCruz

I have just finished an amazing 6-week volunteer program with the Innovation Unit at NYHQ. It has been an enriching and rewarding experience, to work with the team and be able to contribute to the great work that is being done – bringing innovative solutions to the ones most in need.
The purpose of the volunteer assignment was to support some ongoing Big Data research activities and propose future developments to maximize the potential of RapidPro, specifically, U-Report using different data sources. U-Report is an SMS based platform for youth engagement, born in UNICEF’s Innovation Labs, that is gaining momentum and acceptance worldwide.

Nevertheless, in order to explore and exploit its full potential, it is necessary to count on a sandbox infrastructure to easily provide access to U-Report data and its combination with other complementary data, such as classic statistics, maps and new digital trails like Twitter.
Big Data analytics has opened the door to transform a vast quantity of digital trails into information and knowledge about the underlying communities generating those trails. The importance of this type of analysis for humanitarian response is being acknowledged by the efforts of the UN system on the so-called Data Revolution.

First steps – RapidPro class diagram
As part of the proposed work, understanding the database model was essential. Therefore, it was necessary to comprehend how the RapidPro system is built and how it is operated in order to make suggestions regarding data storage and management.

Based on the Python packages with class definitions, available through the github website of the project, the database model was translated to a diagram where all the entities, attributes and relationships were mapped.

This diagram is based on the Python packages with class definitions, available through the github website of the project, that was accessed on May 15th ( Photo: Cristina Vera-Cruz
The motivation for studying RapidPro’s database model was to know how the user (Contact) data for U-Report is stored in the system. One of the main findings was that, due to RapidPro’s flexibility, which enables each application to create the fields that are necessary for the specific context, each country potentially has different fields to represent the same data.

 U-Report User Information
 After me and Manuel were able to study the database model, namely, the entities and relationships that represent the U-Reporter in the system, we realized that the data regarding the variables that represent the user were stored in a key-value format, only accessible through the API provided by RapidPro, for each of the different countries.

Therefore, we developed a simple program in Python (based on the RapidPro Python client document) to open a txt file, read information about the name of the countries and the respective API token, to connect to each database and obtain the user identification fields.

Cristina - Photo 2
A simple program in Python (based on the RapidPro Python client document) was developed to read information about the name of the countries and the respective API token, to connect to each database and obtain the user identification fields. Photo: Cristina Vera-Cruz
With the program and based on the data that was available from a sample of 6 countries, namely Mali, Burundi, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Central African Republic, we were able to identify two categories of information: Identification (age, gender, occupation) and Location (different administrative levels) and created a set of recommendations of best practices for variable naming.

 For analysis purposes of U-Report, it is necessary to aggregate data regarding U-Reporters from all the countries where the program is running. Unless the identification variables (which collect the data) are created with the same name, it is extremely complicated to obtain the aggregated data in a quick and efficient way, especially considering the rapidly growing number of countries and the different platforms that U-Report uses.

Opportunities for next steps – Making use of Big Data sources
U-Report has been launched in 15 countries and growing. Most of these countries use the SMS version, however some are starting to use Twitter as well, taking advantage of the growing Internet connected community and the benefits that come with it, such as less cost.

With Twitter data there is a huge opportunity to identify, store and extract useful information from the social network of U-Reporters as well as the dynamics of geo-located tweets.

Cristina - Photo 3
Print screen of U-Report Indonesia, which we used to obtain data.
With tweets coming from different locations at different times of the day, it is possible to dynamically map a relationship between a user and a location and identify it as being from home, school, work, etc. Mapping the movement of a user can also show us trends when the aggregated data is analyzed.
Through the social network of U-Reporters, by analyzing their group of friends and what kind of subjects that they tweet, we can identify the ones who can potentially be of most influence when making a campaign, and we can also identify potential new U-Reporters based on common friends between existing users.

Because this is potentially a large amount of data (all relationships among U-Reporters and other Twitter users) we suggest using a non-relational database such as the open source elastic search that not only allow retrieving data from different sources such as Twitter streams, but also to search, analyze, and visualize it in real time.

It is clear that the possibilities are endless, if the necessary data is stored and analyzed in the most appropriate way. It may take some time and effort, but the outcome will make it worthy…so, lets get to work!!

Cristina - Photo 4
First week at UNICEF. Photo: Cristina Vera-Cruz
I could not have asked for a better way to complete this Fulbright Fellowship Program. After months of academic activities, being able to put in practice what I learned and finally combining my expertise in IT with my passion – doing good, bringing change in innovative ways and taking steps towards making this world a better place.
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