Following are the 2016-2017 Global Engagement Fund award recipients:

Responses to Current Global Agreements: New Theories and Practice of Development in Low and Middle Income Nations

Eugenie Birch (Design)

  • Abstract
  • From summer 2017 to fall 2018, the project will pursue the following research question: How are local governments and their partners working with national governments to respond to recent UN global agreements?  It explores the proposition that the successful implementation of the Sendai Framework, Addis Ababa Action Agreement, Agenda for 2030 Sustainable Development, Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda, will require new theories and practices of development and practices focused on local/national partnerships now being advanced within universities and in the field.

    To explore this proposition, this project will undertake three activities: a year- long seminar, a day-long workshop and a field study exploring the progress of UN agreement implementation in two or three places. 

Data Intensive Research on the Languages of the Americas

Christopher Cieri (SAS)

  • Abstract
  • Professor Christopher Cieri will host an international conference to extend collaborative research in the areas of linguistics, language resource (LR) creation, and human language technology (HLT) development in the diverse languages of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

The First Penn Law / UN Joint Publication - Women and Lawmaking: Case Studies from the Field

Rangita de Silva de Alwis (Law)

  • Abstract
  • Despite progressive legislation and the recognition of gender equality in formal legislative frameworks, the justice system (courts, police, and judiciary) remains inaccessible for most women around the world.  Phase 1 of this project convened a high-level roundtable of 30 ministers, judges, and subject matter experts from over 15 countries to examine policies, programs and strategies through a case study analysis. Phase 2 will deliver the detailed research report, which will require field research funding, publication costs, and a report launch in March 2018 hosted in partnership with UN Agencies. 

Penn in Latin America and the Caribbean 3rd Annual Conference: Right, Left, Right: U-Turns and Their Impact in Latin America and the Caribbean

Tulia Falleti (SAS)

  • Abstract
  • The Third Annual Conference of Penn in Latin America and the Caribbean (PLAC), “Right, Left, Right-U-Turns and their Impact in Latin America and the Caribbean,” will bring together professors, students, and other scholars from multiple disciplines across the University of Pennsylvania to showcase outstanding and cutting-edge research on the region.  It will also serve as a forum to catalyze collaborative research projects and inform the Penn community, especially students, how they can research, work, and study abroad in Latin America.  The conference will be held at the Perry World House on October 12, 2017. 

Using Law to Fight Terror: Legal Approaches to Combatting Violent Non State Actors

Claire Finkelstein (Law)

  • Abstract
  • The Center for Ethics and Rule of Law (CERL) at the University of Pennsylvania Law School will be hosting a conference, in partnership with the Perry World House and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics, from October 27 until October 29, 2016 titled Using Law to Fight Terror: Legal Approaches to Combatting Violent Non-State Actors.  This conference will bring together legal experts, senior military figures, international prosecutors, and Middle East experts to examine what legal means are available to combat and eliminate the threat that ISIS poses to the world. Whether the solution is the development and formation of an ad hoc court or a proposal that national jurisdictions can be adapted to find a way to legally address terrorist organizations, this is the paramount gathering to answer the question of what legal means can be developed to fight terrorism with less military intervention.

Ancillary Employment Generation Impact of Microfinance Initiatives in Karnataka

Femida Handy (SP2)

  • Abstract
  • This project investigates the ancillary employment generated in implementing the Self-Help Group (SHG) models initiated for advancing micro financing schemes in rural Karnataka (India), home to India’s growing number of SHGs. While there is an extant literature that has focused on the income generation, self-employment, poverty reduction and women’s empowerment as a result of using the SHG model, there is a paucity of research on the ancillary employment generated by these schemes, which this research addresses. Ancillary employment, we posit, is created by the infrastructure requirements in three areas: the rural banking sector, the NGO sector and at the grassroots level. The support required in initiating, facilitating, operating and monitoring SHGs, related micro financing schemes, often relies on labor from the rural areas where the SHGs are based and as such provides much needed formal employment in the organized sectors.

Global Perspectives on Childhood Poverty, Family Separation, and Educational Opportunity

Emily Hannum (SAS)

  • Abstract
  • Building on a review of challenges of poverty measurement in global and regional educational surveys published in 2017 (Hannum, Liu and Alvarado-Urbina, Comparative Education), we propose to conduct and present two empirical studies: a comparative, empirical paper using global and regional education and household surveys to estimate, using the best available proxies for household economic welfare, poverty-related disadvantages in educational access and performance, and a paper on one of the key challenges to poverty measurement identified in our review paper: family separation. Through developing these two papers, cultivating expertise with the data sources used in these projects, and exploring collaborative possibilities at a comparative education conference in Mexico City, we hope to lay the groundwork for future work on a comparative study of childhood poverty and education.

Cuban Media and Media Studies in Transition

Marwan Kraidy (ASC)

  • Abstract
  • The purpose of this project is threefold: (1) to organize a major international conference, Cuban Media and Cuban Media Studies in Transition, with strong participation from FCOM-Havana, along with Annenberg and Penn faculty and graduate students, and several leading scholars of Cuban media from US and European universities, (2) publish a bilingual journal issue/edited volume, and (3) to seed the launch of a long-term collaboration among Annenberg School for Communication, the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, and La Facultad de Communicación de la Universidad de La Habana (FCOM-Havana). 

The 2018 Tihosuco Heritage Preservation and Community Development Project

Richard Leventhal (Penn Museum)

  • Abstract
  • The Tihosuco Heritage Preservation and Community Development Project will work with a Maya community on the development of a very different heritage story of the past tied to small-scale economic projects. This is a major shift in how archaeology is conducted and the connection of archaeological studies, not just about the past, but to the creation of communities in the 21st centuries.  In addition, it is a bottoms-up model of heritage and economic development – again a dramatic change from what has been seen in the region and the past. 

University of West Indies and University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Partnership for Hypertension Control in Jamaica

Lisa Lewis (Nursing)

  • Abstract
  • This project seeks to develop a collaboration between faculty and students at the University of West Indies-Mona and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing to build capacity for behavioral research to promote cardiovascular health in the Caribbean.  As a first step, we propose a qualitative study to address hypertension disparities in the Caribbean by exploring the beliefs associated with hypertension treatment adherence among Caribbean blacks in Jamaica. 

Summer South Asia Research Funding Support for Undergraduates

Lisa Mitchell (SAS)

  • Abstract
  • The South Asia Center will develop research opportunities for Penn undergraduates who wish to engage in summer research in South Asia.  Moreover, these funds will seed future development work and the expansion and long-term sustainability of the program. 

Global Health Justice and Governance

Jennifer Ruger (SP2)

  • Abstract
  • For this project, Professor Jennifer Prah Ruger will host a symposium on Global Health Justice and Governance to bring together leading experts in global health, global justice, international relations and institutions, and law to address theoretical and empirical questions of justice and governance in global health.  The team will invite to campus internationally renowned scholars and policy leaders at this interdisciplinary nexus to investigate these pressing global issues. 

Developing Numeracy and the Ability to Sustain Attention: An Interdisciplinary Research Program with Adaptive Technologies in India

Heather Schofield (PSOM)

  • Abstract
  • This study will use a randomized field experiment to test the impact of an adaptive tablet-based learning platform on two components of human capital: (i) students' mathematical skills - a central aspect of academic achievement - and (ii) students' ability to sustain focused attention - a fundamental skill underlying cognitive and non-cognitive tasks. The study will provide rigorous evidence on a novel, scalable low-cost policy solution for schooling in development countries. In addition, it will provide the first piece of empirical evidence on whether sustained attention is malleable - with the potential to reshape how we conceptualize human capital and the role of schooling.