McCourt School students Kazuyoshi Hirohata (MIDP ‘15) and Lorenz Noe (MPP ‘15) interned with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) during the summer of 2014, to put their new skills to work and forge a relationship with the Kampala Municipal Government.

Using their data management and evaluation skills developed at the McCourt School, they joined the Education and Social Services Directorate’s effort to conduct a census of Kampala’s primary and secondary schools. They assisted with the construction of indicators and with the implementation of census instruments, such as surveys and tech applications including creating a database for the KCCA.

Kazuyoshi and Lorenz then provided an institutional assessment of KCCA labor practices as well as a review the current policies governing employment. They conducted a case study of “Citizen Scorecard” surveys of the KCCA, which provided feedback from residents on ways for KCCA to improve the quality of their public service delivery. In addition they made recommendations to the KCCA for improvement of its own assessment framework.

“I worked on local governance reform projects as a development consultant in Southeast Asia before coming to Georgetown, but this was my first time working in Africa,” said Kazuyoshi.

“This internship was so insightful. It gave me a totally new perspective on my work on local governance.”

Their work was not without challenges. As in many public service settings, the students had to coordinate various project stakeholders across multiple departments and organizations, each with their own perceptions and expectations.

“Our analytical and quantitative training, along with the communication and negotiation skills we developed in our first year at the McCourt School, helped us to identify these challenges and overcome them,” said Noe.

After graduation, Kazuyoshi plans to continue to work on local governance reform in developing countries, with a focus on impact evaluation systems so those governments can assess and improve their service delivery performance.

Lorenz Noe also hopes to continue to work on issues in developing countries, focusing on urban development, infrastructure, and energy, with an overall goal of helping local governments deliver a higher quality public service and improve the living standards of citizens.