Spring 2021 - 60753 - PA 388L - Advanced Topics in Management | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2021 - 60753 - PA 388L - Advanced Topics in Management

Meadows Fellows-Wb



The LBJ School of Public Affairs, through the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, offers graduate students an opportunity to provide research and consulting services to nonprofit organizations (NGOs) in Bangladesh, Jordan and Mexico. Students enrolled in the course are designated Curtis W. Meadows, Jr. Social Enterprise Fellows and receive travel stipends to help defray the cost of international field visits.  Objectives of the course include: conducting qualitative and quantitative research, working effectively in teams and in international settings, and delivering high-quality reports and videos to the respective NGO clients. Here are two components of this course: preparation for fieldwork outside of the USA and technical training by each person for each student’s field project.




A. Bangladesh: Integrated Development Foundation


The Integrated Development Foundation of Bangladesh Integrated Development Foundation (IDF) is a non-profit, non-government organization established in December 1992 by Mr. Zahirul Alam, a former ILO staff member and founder member-secretary of the Rural Economics Program of the Economics Department at the University of Chittagong from where Grameen Bank Microfinance Model was developed by Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus in the 1970s. The main objective of IDF is to enhance the quality of life of the landless poor, marginal farmers and disadvantaged people in terms of capital, education, financial literacy, health, nutrition, sanitation, safe water, housing and the environment through building effective institutions of their own, which they can understand and operate and can find socio-economic strength in it through mutual support. IDF was established to work for the poor and disadvantaged people of remote, difficult, hilly and un-served areas of Bangladesh. IDF finds out un-served areas and un-served population so that poor and un-served families are not excluded from financial services. IDF designs financial and social products in such way that a sustainable development could be brought in the life of poor people. The financial products are credit for, income-generating activities, short and long term savings. It also provides micro insurance for life, health, income-generating activities and other products like disaster management supports, technology transfer, value chains development, solar home system for power, solar mini-grid etc..IDF started its journey with the experiment of Grameen model for the poor in Shoalok Mouza of Bandarban Hill District in 1993 with a seed capital of US$7,500.00(loan) from Grameen Trust. Following the success of the above pilot project, Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida) came forward to support IDF for the expansion of Grameen model in all districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts in the framework of a long-term (8 years) sustainable plan. The success of IDF in the subsequent years attracted other partners including Government, PKSF, ILO, Helen Keller International (HKI), UNICEF, CARE Bangladesh, AusAID, IDCOL, Grameen Foundation USA, Deutsche Bank, CowBank (Australia), Basic Bank Ltd., Sonali Bank Ltd., Bangladesh Krishi Bank, BRAC Bank Ltd., Bank Asia Ltd., Prime Bank Ltd., One Bank Ltd., Mercantile Bank Ltd., Eastern Bank Ltd., EXIM Bank Ltd. and others.




The total number of families at present served by IDF is about 150,000 families from various tribes. Chittagong Hill Tracts have alone 13 different tribes. All the members of these families have access  to all products and services of IDF. About 99.98% of IDF clients are female between age 18-60 years. All members of IDF receives training on financial literacy. IDF has gradually emerged as a model of sustainable development for the poor of remote, hilly and difficult areas of any part of the world. IDF won the Global “Pioneer Award” from Grameen Foundation USA in 2004. Forbes Magazine (USA) rated IDF as one of the best 50 MFIs of the world in 2007.  IDF won City Award 2015 as “ the Best Microfinance Institution of the Year” in  Bangladesh in 2015.


B. Tasks in Bangladesh

A major humanitarian crisis in the Rakhine state of Myanmar has led to the mass exodus of over one million Rohingya refugees into Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, now home to the largest refugee camps in the world. The Rohingya population lives in squalid and overcrowded conditions with inadequate food and water, poor sanitation, and limited access to quality health services, a situation further exacerbated by COVID-19. Despite this, the Bangladeshi government withholds refugee status from the Rohingya, while the Myanmar government continues to deprive them of legal citizenship. Both governments have also employed educational and linguistic restrictions to prevent Rohingya societal integration. Left unable to learn Bengali or Burmese while lacking educational resources in their language, the Rohingya population has high illiteracy rates and narrow opportunities to escape their situation.


A widespread presence of preventable health risks persistently undermines Rohingya quality of life, an issue intensified by the population's lack of access to health information. To mitigate these educational deficiencies, we propose a project placing the University of Texas at Austin at the center of an international initiative to promote Rohingya health empowerment through telehealth. This project comprises the creation and implementation of a minimum of eight videos in the Rohingya dialect that provide accessible and practical health education on high-risk medical issues faced by the population. By distributing the videos via cell-phone, this 'mobile learning' (m-Learning) initiative will use an audio-visual approach rendered effective due to the high rates of illiteracy in the Rohingya population. Through this, we seek to promote sustainable behavioral changes in order to reduce the prevalence of common

on-ground health conditions, working in collaboration with non-governmental organization (NGO) partners Humanity Beyond Barriers (HBB) and the Integrated Development Foundation (IDF).


Along with developing a video library of holistic health guidelines, this project promotes refugee empowerment through the integration of Rohingya engagement in their own community health within both Bangladesh and the US. In Bangladesh, IDF will involve Rohingya refugees in determining on-ground health issues to aid US efforts in video curriculum development along with employing refugees for video distribution through Wi-Fi stations within selected Cox's Bazar camps. In the US, we will prepare the videos with the San Antonio Center for Refugee Services (CRS), their Rohingya translator Mr. Harun Rashid, and the local Rohingya population. We will interview Rohingya refugees to better understand their culture, select priority topics, and prepare video curriculum. We will then work with CRS Rohingya participants to film and pre-screen the videos. Involving Rohingya in every step of the process will provide for the creation of culturally sensitive, need-specific health education videos.


This project has three objectives:


Understand Rohingya culture and characterize health deficiencies

  • Promote Rohingya health empowerment by providing customized, behavior-focused health information

Facilitate Rohingya agency in improving their community health


This initiative will be one of the first to address preventable health deficiencies in the Cox's Bazar camps through providing fundamental health education materials in the Rohingya language as a proactive measure to better Rohingya health behavior and outcomes


During Spring and Summer 2020, students identified fourteen potential video topics (Appendix A) based upon academic case studies and on-ground camp conditions reported by IDF.


Prior to November 2020, students will (a) submit and obtain Institutional Review Board approval for CRS Rohingya interviews; (b) request IOC Subcommittee approval for Bangladesh travel; (c) develop an operational project work plan with CRS, HBB, and IDF; and (d) identify CRS Rohingya who we will conduct interviews with.


From November 2020 to February 2021, students will (a) conduct approximately 20 one-hour-long interviews with CRS Rohingya; (b) collaborate with IDF to lead Bangladeshi refugee discussions; (c) determine priority topics, incorporate cultural contexts, and finalize curriculum using interview and discussion insights; (d) complete scriptwriting; (e) translate scripts with Mr. Rashid; (f) cast CRS Rohingya as actors; and (g) receive tutoring in Chittagong-Bengali, the closest Rohingya dialect relative. Video medical content will be verified by Dr. Anjum Khurshid and faculty topic experts, and content delivery will be refined with Dr. Jennifer Adair. By mid-January 2021, we will complete a test-of-concept video for viewing by CRS and IDF (Appendix D).






From March through April 2021, students will (a) continue learning Chittagong-Bengali; (b) develop video production and editing skills during Dr. Eaton's spring course; (c) film the remaining videos; (d) record voice-over materials; (e) prepare subtitles; and (f) edit videos. Production will be led by RTF students Dana Reilly and Soufia Ali. Videos will be pre-screened for CRS and IDF in mid-April 2021. We expect to deliver the full suite of videos to IDF by late April 2021.




In May 2021, video distribution will begin. IDF will host videos on their website, set up Wi-Fi stations, and train Rohingya refugee contacts (hereafter called promoters) on community distribution and providing information on nearby health services relevant to videos.


Two parallel distribution methods will allow for widespread, traceable dissemination:

  1. Wi-Fi stations will be password-protected to incentivize refugees within range to download videos for Wi-Fi access. Stationed promoters will encourage refugees to share videos with friends and family via 2G SMS. Downloads will be electronically monitored.
  2. Mobile promoters will travel to Rohingya distant from Wi-Fi stations, share videos, and encourage them to send videos to their own contacts. Promoters will keep a record of distribution.




After three months of video circulation, students will evaluate impact with the KAP survey model14 in a verbal-interview format to obtain quantitative and qualitative information on Rohingya knowledge, attitude, and practices pre- and post-intervention. Surveys will be used to elicit Rohingya voices and characterize

(1) their knowledge on video health information, (2) current attitudes and practices with regards to seeking care for medical conditions, and (3) cultural perceptions on discussed health issues. This will occur according to the following timeline:


From March 2021 to April 2021, students will prepare the KAP questionnaire and population sampling protocol with IDF. During May 2021, a pre-intervention KAP survey will be given by IDF. Approximately 2-3 weeks will be allocated for field survey interviews. We will then create a survey report while in Texas. During August 2021, at the 3-month benchmark, IDF will conduct post-intervention surveys. During November 2021 and August 2022, IDF will conduct long-term impact assessment through KAP surveys at 6-month and 12-month benchmarks.


Additional Evaluation


Students acknowledge that travel to Bangladesh is unlikely, but we have drafted UT Global travel request paperwork (preliminary draft attached in proposal packet) and will have valuable evaluation data procured through KAP surveys regardless.


If given permission, IDF will obtain government authorization within a month for our travel to Chittagong. If possible, students will conduct five focus group sessions of video-cued ethnography15: qualitative analysis involving recorded discussions after refugee participants watch health videos presented on tablets. Coordinated by Dr. Adair, a national expert in the subject, we will code feedback to videos and determine common themes to understand project impact. In addition, we have spoken to and made plans for potential collaboration with Dr. Nasir Uddin, a world-renowned anthropologist conducting Rohingya ethnographic research.


C. Jordan: The University of Jordan


The University of Jordan (Arabic: الجامعة الأردنية‎), often abbreviated UJ, is a state-supported university located in Amman, Jordan. Founded in 1962, it is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in Jordan. The university has the highest admission averages in the country and is considered the premier university in Jordan and one of the most prestigious in the Arab world and the Middle East.[5] It is located in the Jubaiha area of the University District in Amman. The university currently employs about 1400 faculty staff and has more than 37,000 enrolled students.[6]


D. Tasks in Jordan


The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is the fifth most water stressed nation and is located in the planet’s most water insecure and food-import-dependent region, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 1 2 Water scarcity in Jordan threatens to intensify underlying social vulnerability, slow economic growth, increase water inequity, and affect public health. Jordan’s young population (with around 63% under 30 years of age), makes Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) the ideal place to generate innovative solutions to provoke change in greater society. Through collaboration with the University of Jordan (UJ), this project aims to enhance student entrepreneurship by funding student sustainability initiatives, further research by filling a knowledge gap regarding Arab perceptions towards sustainability, and facilitate an exchange of water resource management best practices between both campuses.

Jordanian and Texan communities face similar obstacles to water management that can be addressed at HEIs. By conducting focus groups and surveys at University of Texas at Austin (UT) and UJ, the project will generate comparative qualitative and quantitative insights on student perceptions and opinions. Especially on intersectional issues such as gender and socioeconomics. Results of the qualitative data will be compiled into a white paper report to be presented at the UT Sustainability Symposium and used to strengthen the metrics and methods of the annual Office of Sustainability (OS) Sustainability Knowledge Assessment.

The UJ Green Fund (GF) will allow students to harness their creativity to make a tangible difference on campus. Jordanian UT Alumni will be invited to the UJ GF awards ceremony where the team will facilitate a World Cafe discussion, leading to a cross-cultural exchange of knowledge while strengthening UT’s presence in the region. With the support of OS and meetings with the UJ Water, Energy, and Environment Center (WEEC), the team will compile results on best water resource management practices at universities.


Main Objectives.


  1. Enhance UJ undergraduate student engagement with entrepreneurship in sustainability by funding a campus Green Fund competition akin to the UT program;
  2. Document through online surveys American and Jordanian undergraduate student attitudes and behaviors towards sustainability and water management, with a focus on how they intersect with gender and socioeconomics;
  3. Establish an information exchange between staff at both institutions to share campus water use best practices through focus groups and World Cafe resulting in a white paper;
  4. Strengthen relationship between UT and UJ centers and stakeholders.


Expected Outcomes.

  1. Document cross-cultural insights about Arab and Americans perceptions toward water management and sustainability to fill knowledge gap on sustainability at Middle East HEIs;
  2. Empower student sustainability initiatives via GF and pitch competition;
  3. Strengthened relationship especially between staff and alumni of UT and UJ;
  4. Compile white papers to present at the OS’s Sustainability Symposium:


  1. Similarities and differences in UT and UJ undergraduate student sustainability knowledge, opinions and behavior;
  2. Entrepreneurial impacts from the GF awards in Jordan;
  3. Outcomes from focus groups seeking insights into campus water resource best practices and equity priorities.
  1. Produce a 10 minute documentary about experience in Jordan and podcast series highlighting GF supported initiatives at UT and UJ.


E.  Mexico: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Diverse Mexico NGOs (to be selected)


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the environmental agency for the State of Texas. The commission's headquarters are located at 12100 Park 35 Circle in Austin. The fourth largest environmental agency in the United States (and the third largest state environmental agency, behind the US Environmental Protection Agency, the California EPA, and the New York DEC), it employs approximately 2,780 employees, has 69 regional offices, and has a $420 million operating budget for the 2016 fiscal year. Its mission is: "The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality strives to protect our state's public health and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development. Our goal is clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste."


Each of the Meadows Fellows for the Mexican program (funded in part through a grant from Texas Global’s Global Career Launch program) will select their own non-governmental organization through a competitive proposal process involving staff of Texas Global, staff of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and staff of the appropriate and corresponding Mexican government environmental agencies.  Details on the competitive process will be available by mid-October 2020.


F. Tasks in Mexico (initial draft list)


One of the most productive elements of US-Mexican relations in 2020 is trans-boundary

environmental quality, particularly between Texas and its four bordering Mexican states, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Chihuahua. The two nations have worked together effectively for decades since the North American Free Trade Agreement to reduce (although modestly) air, water, solid and hazardous waste pollution, improve the border air and water quality, and address (but by no means resolve) water quantity and access conflicts. One of the reasons for the success in reducing pollution and improving ambient environmental quality along the Texas-Mexico border is the close cooperation between Texas and its Mexican border states through initiatives such as Border 2000, Border 2012, Border 2020 and now Border 2015, with Texas taking the institutional lead for two regional cooperative processes, the so-called four state (Texas, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila) and three-state (Texas, New Mexico and Chihuahua). The velocity of environmental quality improvement could be increased through more active state-to-state pollution prevention and control. The lead unit for this Texas-Mexico success has been the Border Affairs Unit of TCEQ, now directed by Mr. Edward Moderow.


Professor David Eaton has been the primary contractor with TCEQ for border environmental quality,

continuously since 1992, as he provides three full-time employees to Border Affairs and between one

and four UT-Austin based interns each year. His current contracts with TCEQ are on the order of

$600,000 per year. TCEQ and the Mexican border states are working so well together that they are prepared to enhance bilateral cooperation beginning in 2021 by employing interns from UT-Austin in Mexican environmental offices for high priority initiatives under the Border 2025 plan. TCEQ Border Affairs Director Eddie Moderow and Professor Eaton have identified 10-13 positions that would be appropriate for UT-Austin graduate students or graduating undergraduates for Summer 2021, if they have appropriate substantive expertise knowledge and fluent Spanish. The internships are in air quality, water quality, recycling, scrap tires and development of novel cross-border institutional cooperation, such as a Binational Trust and Memoranda of Cooperation. Each internship would allow an UT-Austin intern to have the unusual experience of working in effect simultaneously with Texas’ primary environmental agency and the appropriate Mexican officials working with Texas. A list of those ‘draft’ positions and the proposed supervisors are attached.


UT Austin, International Internship Project, Summer 2021





Sponsoring Mexican Agency




Lead Contact (government)

NGO contact to be determined

Proposed work assignments

Potential # of interns



Chihuahua, Chihuahua


Secretary of Urban Development and Environment



State, Mexico


Gilberto Wenglas Deputy Director


+52-1-614-139-6058 (mobile)

Border 2025, air quality monitoring, ProAire TCEQ-SEDUE

Memorandum of

Cooperation (MOC) activities





Saltillo, Coahuila


Secretary of Environment



State, Mexico

Oscar Flores Deputy Director



Border 2025, air quality monitoring, ProAire TCEQ-SEMA MOC









Monterrey, N.L.




Secretary of Sustainable Development





State, Mexico

Martin Mendoza Deputy Director




Armandina Valdez Cavazos Director, Office of Air





Border 2025, air quality monitoring, ProAire








Monterrey, N.L.


National Water Commission, Regional Office



Federal, Mexico

Efrain Muñoz Martín Director General

CONAGUA Cuenca del Rio Bravo




Lower Rio Grande Water Quality Initiative (LRGWQI), Border 2025





Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas


Secretary of Urban Development

and Environment



State, Mexico

Celestino Alanis

Director de Gestión para la Proteccion Ambiental



Border 2025, air quality monitoring, MSW, ProAire







Mexico City


National Water Commission


Federal, Mexico

Dr. Eric Gutierrez Lopez Water Quality Director



LRGWQI, Rio Grande, water quality of tributaries to Rio Grande





Mexico City


Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources



Federal, Mexico

Liliana Yasmin Garcia

Unidad Coordinadora de Asuntos Internacionales- UCAI SEMARNAT




Border 2025, border research project, air quality monitoring, recycling, scrap tires





San Antonio, Texas


North American

Development Bank



Salvador Lopez

Chief Environmental Officer slopez@nadb.org

(210) 231-8000

Binational trust, Texas research project, Border 2025




Dallas, Texas


Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6


Federal, U.S.

Arturo Blanco Blanco.Arturo@epa.gov (214) 665-3182


Border 2020/Border 2025 Mexican Liaison





  1. Technical Preparation


Each person in the class will develop a personal plan for developing their technical skills in order to accomplish their field deliverables, in either of two cases: (a) without any travel, so that all tasks accomplished remotely or (b) if travel is allowed, with tasks accomplished in the field.


Each person in the class will have been selected for the class and the fellowships, based on such a personal plan in the form of a proposal. The plan will have a schedule for task accomplishment that the instructor will monitor during the semester.


  1. Field Preparation Components




Topic / Speaker


 19 Jan

Agenda: Course introduction, individual introductions, review project collaboration documents, begin identifying skills and activities required to complete the projects.

DUE: Memo on what you would like to accomplish in the field, including top 3 skills, training, knowledge needed  (individual)


26 Jan


Meadows Fellows program experience – expect the unexpected & lessons learned

Featured speaker(s): Rochelle Olivares, Desiree Ledet, Derek Garson

Agenda: In-class work session, team assignments, develop list of initial client questions,

DUE: Schedule and outline of Spring 2021 training program for individual professional skills  to be developed  (individual)


2 Feb

Collaborative Leadership; How to Work as a Team 

Speaker: Moira Porter

DUE: Memo on plans for housing and meals in the field (group)


9 Feb

pm Consulting 101 Skills

Featured speaker: Mayra Marquez, Deloitte Consulting

Agenda: nonprofit client management, setting boundaries, managing scope & expectations

DUE: Memo on collaborative leadership (group)


16 Feb

Client / project reports [team]

Active listening and the Art of the Question

+ Short Discussion on Project Deliverable Report Formats

Speaker: Dr. David Eaton

Due: Draft questions for field study (group)


23 Feb

In-class Working Session

DUE: Complete IRB Five Part Human Participant Training (individual) at http://www.utexas.edu/research/rsc/training/index.php

Due: Status report of outcomes of study plan for technical skill components


2 Mar

Integrating Social Values into Sustainable Development

Speaker: Kirsten Dickerson, Founder and CEO, Raven + Lily

Topic: Creating and growing a public-private cooperative project; managing international supply chains;  marketing social ventures

Website: http://www.ravenandlily.com/

In-class Working Session

DUE: Status report on individual technical skill sets (individual)


9 Mar


16 Mar

Client project reports and feedback

DUE: Client communication plan (team)

Spring Break


23 Mar

Program Evaluation

Speaker: Dr. Francie Ostrower

Financing Social Ventures

Speakers: Chris Earthman, Executive Director, Aragona Family Foundation

Mark Hand, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Venture Partner at UnLtd USA

Background/Bios: Interview with Chris Earthman, Mark Hand,

DUE: Draft work plan for the in-country field component (individual and team)

DUE: Completed international travel liability forms (individual)


30 Mar


Speaker: Sara Robberson Lenz, Digital Content Producer and Managing Editor, UT Communications

Agenda: Storytelling fundamentals, professional advice and NGO project specific brainstorm

Video Production 101

Speaker: James Blake, Multimedia Producer, LBJ School

Agenda: Tips for video production and digital media equipment training

Team work session


6 Apr

Project updates & Team Specific Work Sessions


13 Apr

Work Plan Presentations

Agenda: each team presents for comment & feedback by other team the draft in-country work plan for accomplishing client deliverables


20 Apr

Fundraising and Donor Stewardship

Speaker: Erica Ekwurzel, Seeds for Change Consulting, Advocacy In Motion

Resources to review in advance:

Team-specific work sessions


27 Apr

Team-specific work session

DUE: Final status report on individual technical skill acquisition work submitted to instructor and client for approval (individual)


4 May

Work Plan Presentations (in local languages)

Agenda: Spanish-language, Arabic-language, and Bangla-language; practice of initial client presentations in local languages

Faculty expert in Spanish: Orlando Kelm, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics and Associate Director of Business Language Education at the UT Center for International Business Education & Research

Faculty expert in Arabic: to be determined

Faculty expert in Bangla; Jobaid Kabir, Ph.D., Director of Water Programs, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, California Office, Sacramento, CA




Documentation of No Conflict of Interest







Class Schedule: 
TH 5:00PM - 8:00PM
Instruction Mode: