Homepage > How my experience at the WFP reinforced my desire to work in development policies

How my experience at the WFP reinforced my desire to work in development policies

thiffanie rodriguez
Thiffanie Rodriguez, currently in Master 2 International Public Management is passionate about education, especially in education in emergencies. Between the third and last semester of her Master’s, she took a gap year to explore the different facets of education worldwide. After an internship and a consultancy at the Directorate of Education of the OECD, she completed a 3-months internship with the World Food Programme Myanmar Country Office. Read her feedbacks about her experience.

What did you do at the World Food Programme in Myanmar ?

I had the great opportunity to work with the School Feeding unit in Yangon. I completed an analytical study on the pilot school meal programme implemented by the WFP in three regions of Myanmar. While WFP continues to distribute nutritious snacks and increase coverage to new areas, it gradually shifts the modality from snacks to school meals. The objective of the analytical study was to assess the programme and make it more visible to donors since school feeding is going through important budget reductions in the country.

I had the freedom to design the research methodology, from the questionnaires to the structure of the study. My supervisor and I went on various field visits across the country where we interviewed groups of parents, teachers and students to identify good practices and the limits of the programme. I could witness the impact of WFP’s work on schoolchildren in the region: raising attendance, performance and community participation in targeted schools! I also had the opportunity to assist the team during the organisation of a national workshop on school feeding which brought together education stakeholders and support them in strengthening their monitoring and evaluation functions.

How did you get the internship?

I applied through the WFP website after seeing the offer on Sciences Po Carrières. I got an interview one and a half month before the start date of the internship, I was in a rush to find accommodation and get the paperwork done! However, the field office was extremely welcoming when I arrived in the country.

What are your learnings and feedback ?

I enjoyed working for a UN agency, observing the work of such a huge organisation and going to the field. I realized that the UN had a positive impact on food security in the region and was an effective safety net for vulnerable households.

In my daily tasks, I did not get a lot of supervision from my team. Although it was difficult in the beginning, I took this as an opportunity to run a project autonomously and manage responsibilities. I developed my project management skills and my analytical skills.

I loved living in Myanmar, hanging out with my co-workers, spending long evenings talking about politics, international development and cultural differences. Myanmar is a unique place to live in: politically, socially and humanely. This will remain a life changing experience for me and I highly recommend my classmates to work with WFP!

What’s next ?

This experience reinforced my desire to work in development policies, through education or other topics in the future. In September, I will be starting an internship with the Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Project (RAMP) in Jordan. Another opportunity to support education, to try to have a positive impact on communities and to discover another working culture!

to learn more

Last modified 2018-09-20
02.07.2019
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