Summer Field Practicum


Get first-hand experience in development practice through the summer field practicum.

“On my Summer Practicum, I worked in collaboration with farmers from two villages in Western Kenya on how they view, manage, and problem-solve growing issues within sustainable land management. Understanding how farmers make decisions regarding their land and how the dynamics of the small farming communities function is a way to bring light to policy and supportive programs that will be beneficial for both humans and natural resources.”

– Anna Jackson (MDP 2019)

An essential feature of the MDP program is a summer field practicum. This practicum creates a structured opportunity for field-based learning within ongoing development projects. Students can undertake this field practicum with international partners or with local projects situated in the Southwest/borderlands region.

Examples of Past Practicums by Arizona MDP Students

Practicum partner Country Topics
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Ethiopia

"Understanding pastoralists’ perceptions and attitudes towards investing in sustainable land management practices in Ethiopia”

Kenya Youth Employment & Skills (K-YES) Program Kenya

"Assessing the Impact of the Kenya Youth Employment & Skills (K-YES) Program"

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti  Haiti  "Pre-Trial Detainees in Haiti: A Legacy of Human Rights Abuses"
Asta-Ja Research and Development Center Nepal

"Improved seeds for vegetable production and income in Nepal" 

International Rescue Committee (Arizona) United States

“Post-Resettled Refugees:  Programming that Links Mental Health, Language and Self-sufficiency”

“The Role of Housing Partnerships in Refugee Resettlement”

WorldFish Sierra Leone “Small-scale Aquaculture in Sierra Leone, West Africa”
Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona United States

"Program Integration at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona"

Humane Society of America United States “The Integration of More Plant-based Foods in our Diet: Reformulating our Assumptions about Consumption”
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Kenya “Benefits and Barriers to Sustainable Land Management: Farmer Perceptions in Western Kenya”  International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
One Eleuthera Foundation, and Bahamas Plastics Movement Bahamas “Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Environmental Sustainability in Eleuthera, Bahamas”


TANGO International Multiple


"The Missing Piece of World Food Program’s Strategic Plan: Cambodia as Illustration of WFP’s Need to Lead and Collaborate in Addressing the World Obesity Epidemic"

"A Theory of Change: Climate Variability and Livelihoods in Chiang Mai and Nan Provinces, Northern Thailand"

Humane Society United States "The Integration of More Plant-Based Foods in Our Diet: Reformulating our Assumptions about Consumption"
WorldFish Zambia

"Considering the Gendered Nature of Post-Harvest Losses in the Barotse Floodplain, Western Province Zambia"

"Social and Gender Analysis Key Findings: Barotse Hub, Western Province, Zambia"

Starbucks Rwanda "Addressing Farmer Health Initiatives in Rwanda"
CGIAR Kenya "Youth Decision Making in Agricultural Adaptations to Climate Change An Analysis in East Africa"
University of Parakou Benin "At the Interface of Science and Decision-making: Environmental Governance and Natural Resource Management in Sub-Saharan Africa"
Conserve Swaziland/CANGO Swaziland "Wildlife Conservation in the Kingdom of Swaziland: Challenges and Prospects" 
JustHope Nicaragua

"Perceptions of Education in Chacraseca: Where to Target Education Projects to Improve Quality and Equity"

"Undoing Internalized Oppression: Addressing Gender and Development Disparities through Formal Education Systems"

AMOS Health and Hope Nicaragua "Aiming for Behavioral Change: The Looming Zika Epidemic as a Springboard to Better Community Health"
UNICEF Multiple "The Role of Technology and Innovation in Development: Lessons Learned from UNICEF's Innovation Initiatives"
UMWAD (Philippines) Philippines "Poverty Alleviation Through Collaborative Development"
Manusher Jonno Foundation Bangladesh "Assessing the Right to Information Act in Bangladesh"
Sakala Haiti "A Retrospective Analysis of Participatory Action Research for Youth Development in Cite-Soleil, Haiti"
Swaziland National Trust Commission Swaziland "Conservation and Development in Mhlumeni, Swaziland: A Community Needs Assessment Completed on Behalf of the Swaziland National Trust Commission"
UA Institute for the Environment  United States "Climate Services and Vulnerability: Challenges of Jamaican Farmers"
Dadaab Refugee Camp Kenya "Refugee Income Inclusion: From Humanitarian Aid to Economic Self-Sufficiency"
International Center of Maize and Wheat Improvement Mexico "Information and Communication Technology for Food Security and Environmental Stewardship in Mexico: Regionalization of Agricultural Activities to Inform Decision-Making and Repackaging of Data for Higher Utility"
World Vision Romania "Child Protection in the Wider Black Sea Region: Implementation of a Child Protection Index "
Africa Rice (CGIAR) + Monterey Institute for International Studies Benin "Evaluating the Impact of Entrepreneurial Education on Poverty and Well-Being Among 18-30 Year Olds in Benin"
Center for International Forestry Research Indonesia "REDD+ and Fuelwood Use: Policy Implications of Informal Market Energy Demands"
Migrant Shelters Mexico

"Organized Insecurity and Migrant Experiences: Structural Violence, and the Construction of Spaces of Manipulation of Central American Migrants in Southern Mexico"

"Las Mujeres Luchandoras: Central American females speak out on the migrant trail in Oaxaca, Mexico"

International Water Management Institute Laos "Hydrological impacts of land use/land cover change and options for best management practices:Case studies of two micro-catchments in Thailand and Vietnam"
Winrock International Myanmar "Permaculture Design Systems for Refugee Camps: Building resilience and community in areas of resource scarcity"
Good Neighbors Dominican Republic "Report on NGO Community Development Projects in Rural and Urban Dominican Republic; Health, Sanitation, and Poverty Alleviation Programs of the Caribbean"
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Uganda "Climate Change and Smallholder Farmers in Rural Uganda"
Pima County Development Services United States "Integrating Community and Participatory Approaches to Neighborhood Development Strategies"
University Research Co. LLC Cambodia "Health Equity Funds: An Innovation in Health Care Financing in Cambodia"
Universidade Estadual de Maranhao Brazil "Rich Waters, Poor fishermen: The Enigma of the Fishery of Raposa"

“I worked with the NGO WorldFish on my Summer Practicum in Sierra Leone, where daily life is a struggle for most people. By providing technical knowledge and inputs for small-scale fish farming to sustenance farmers in the district, WorldFish is helping people provide their families with more varied diets and much-needed extra income that can be used to improve and, hopefully, sustain their livelihoods for years to come.” – Joseph Stewart (MDP 2019)