An update on my time with Save the Children

For this past semester, I have had the pleasure of continuing my internship with Save the Children’s education research department.  One of the highlights of this was my September visit to Save’s Washington DC office.  During this visit, I met with members of the education research team that I had met during a call early in my internship when I visited the director of the department in her home office. I felt awkward taking picture of the office while I was there but I found these very representative pictures on the architect’s website:

The purpose of my visit to the office was to meet with a member of the team who was hoping to turn a small study conducted by one of the Save the Children country offices into a full-fledged article for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.  The data were gleaned from a small teacher professional development program funded by the European Union in the Dadaab town/refugee camp in Kenya (to learn more about the program, click here).

Dadaab primary
Children and their teacher in a school in Dadaab refugee camp (source).

Unfortunately, after discussing the data at length with the team member I came to visit, it became clear that the data were not robust enough and that any article would likely be rejected by the sorts of journals that it would be submitted to.  After bringing another team member (whose specialty is social-emotional learning) to the table and discussing for the better part of an hour, we reached the conclusion that even submitting to a lesser journal, a journal with an emphasis on storytelling over data or a special issue, there wasn’t much to present from the data that would merit publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

While it might have seemed the trip was wasted, it was a great opportunity for me to see the offices, get a feel of the culture of Save’s headquarters in DC and to meet some of the braniacs I’d met by phone at the beginning of the summer.  I even had the chance to meet a couple of people from the intervention side of the educational programming and hear about what they’re doing.  Everyone at Save was very friendly and welcoming and obviously smart and dedicated to their work.

After my visit to Save, I got to have a bonus adventure visiting a friend who works at Together for Girls, which is working to end sexual violence against children worldwide.  My friend had just returned from a story gathering trip to Tanzania. And I got to hear all about her travels, the stories they collected and how Together for Girls’ work is making a difference.

I did spend time later in the semester working on another project for Save the Children, but that will have to wait for my last post later this week.  Stay tuned!


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