The McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University values service, student action, and social responsibility. McCourt Policy in Practice (MPiP) is a student-led organization at the McCourt School that allows members to engage in an ongoing policy-learning experience. Formerly known as Project Honduras, MPiP provides students of the McCourt School with the opportunity to partner with local communities and nonprofit organizations in developing countries to use rigorous policy tools in designing, implementing, and evaluating sustainable, evidence-based development projects that address identified needs.
MPiP aims to leverage the unique assets and technical expertise of the McCourt School to provide the residents of local communities with access to better services and an improved quality of life. The planning and design of MPiP projects engages students and faculty advisors throughout the academic year. Currently, MPiP is working on two projects in the Dominican Republic.
PROJECT 1: DREAM, DR
According to USAID, the education system in the Dominican Republic ranks as one of the worst in the world, with a high dropout rate, crowded classrooms, and a shortage of qualified teachers. Poor students trapped in the failing system struggle to break out of poverty, contributing to high levels of economic inequality. The average years of schooling of adults in the Dominican Republic is 4.9 years, compared to an average of 12 years in the United States.
In recent years, the government has invested in systematic reforms leading to a rise in literacy rates and school participation. Despite these improvements, students across the country continue to face challenges accessing quality education. To address this, international financial institutions and NGOs have invested in providing opportunities for quality education to underserved children in the DR.
The DREAM Project’s education programs extend from early childhood through young adulthood, empowering at-risk children and youth to create a better future for themselves and their families through high quality education, youth development, and community enrichment. Programs include Montessori pre-school, supplemental primary education, summer school and an HIV prevention and awareness program.
To support the DREAM Project, MPiP conducted an evaluation of DREAM’s organizational impact throughout the communities in which they operate. The study compared participants of DREAM’s Montessori approach to students enrolled in government schools, determining that there was a significant difference in both cognitive and socioeconomic performance between the groups.
PROJECT 2: Mariposa, DR
The Mariposa DR Foundation is a nonprofit committed to educating and empowering girls in order to sustainably end generational poverty. The foundation runs the Mariposa Center, where elementary through high school age girls can receive academic tutoring, engage in sports, access libraries and computers, receive job and life skills training, and benefit from health and wellness care.
In 2018, MPiP will help Mariposa design a baseline survey instrument and conduct trainings for community enumerators in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Following the initial assessment, MPiP will support Mariposa with data analysis to address programmatic needs.
Support McCourt Policy in Practice
McCourt Policy in Practice is funded through the generous support of donors from across the country. Members organize several fundraising events that are open to both the university student body and the general public every year in Washington, DC, including an annual charity auction that is typically held in the winter. Please contact us to learn more about how you can attend or support upcoming events.
Please consider supporting our work today! To make a secure online donation through the Georgetown University platform, please visit the giving website. When directing your gift, please select "Other (Please indicate the department, program or other designation)." When the "Other" text box appears, be sure to write “McCourt Policy in Practice” in the box. All contributions are tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt from Georgetown University.
You can also make a donation by check. Checks should be made out to Georgetown University, with McCourt Policy in Practice written in the subject line, and mailed to:
The McCourt School of Public Policy
Attn: Jaclyn Clevenger, Assistant Director of Student Affairs
105-D Old North
Washington, DC 20057
For more information about McCourt Policy in Practice (MPiP), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.