MDP Perra awarded Lucas Travel Grant for 2018


Cameron Perra, Master of Development Practice (MDP) student, has been awarded the 2018 David Lucas Travel Grant for his MDP Field Experience project relating to an evaluation of water and sanitation technology (bio-sand filters) for the rural sector in Colombia, a project from the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), who provided academic and technical support for FundaciĆ³n Red Proyecto Gente (FRPG), with whom the team worked.

Access to safe drinking water is an important issue in many parts of the world, and many different approaches are used to help communities gain and maintain that access. In rural areas of Colombia, biosand filter technology has become one of the preeminent techniques for water purification, with an estimated 20,000 people using such filters throughout the country. However, little work has been done to understand household decision-making around filter use. This summer Mr. Perra will work with a team to evaluate the impact of these filtration systems, and to look into the nuances behind household decision-making around their use or abandonment. This necessitates developing an understanding of the social and cultural elements that are embedded within these household decisions. The goal of the evaluation is to provide insight to a number of stakeholders to inform decisions about the expansion of the filter technology. David Wilsey, the MDP program director, is the faculty advisor for this project.

David Lucas Travel Grant



In the fall of 2013 David Lucas was a first year Master of Public Policy student studying global policy. Before coming to the Humphrey School, he taught political systems and world history in Cali, Colombia, and before that he taught American History, American Government, Sociology and World Geography at West Branch High School in Iowa. He grew up in a family of seven in northeastern Iowa.

In the short time David was with us at the Humphrey School, his new friends and colleagues benefited from his rich life experience and his intellectual rigor, and our community was deeply saddened by his untimely death. Thanks to a thoughtful and generous contribution from the Lucas family and funds continued by the Dean’s Office, the Humphrey School is able to offer $500 to a current Humphrey student interested in work related to an HHH degree which requires travel to the central or southern regions of the Western Hemisphere (South or Central America, the Caribbean).  Applications are sought in the spring for summer travel.
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