Our office has led or supported meaningful initiatives worldwide for over 25 years, with involvement ranging from proposal design to full project administration and implementation.
A long history of institutional development collaborations
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 program was postponed. With the health, safety and well-being of all participants as their highest priority, the U.S. Department of State shifted to an all-virtual fellowship for 2021. While remaining in their home countries, a cohort of 25 Mandela Washington Fellows engaged with IU's virtual Leadership in Civic Engagement Institute for six weeks in Summer 2021.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the U.S. Department of State Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), bringing African civic, business, and community leaders for academic coursework, leadership training, and networking at U.S. colleges and universities. The Indiana University virtual 2021 cohort represented the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Via Zoom and other platforms, these accomplished young professionals engaged in a robust schedule of interactive, skills-based programming including leadership training, academic sessions, community-service volunteering, cultural experiences, and networking activities. Person-to-person connections and conversations with Americans fostered meaningful relationships and mutual learning, while interactions with local non-profit and business leaders helped Fellows build networks and hone skills to advance their professional and civic careers. One-on-one coaching and mentoring around individual “focus projects” further empowered them to make an impact on important issues in their home countries and communities.
IU’s implementation of the Fellowship was led by the Office of International Development (OID) and brought together faculty, practitioners, and resources from the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs and multiple IU units including the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Kelley School of Business, O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, Maurer School of Law, School of Public Health, Center for Rural Engagement, and more. Community partners included Ivy Tech Community College, the City of Bloomington, Lotus Education and Arts Foundation, American Printing House for the Blind, Indiana State Museum, and many other community agencies and non-profit organizations.
In 2019, OID hosted 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa for a six-week Leadership in Civic Engagement Institute. This impressive cohort of young African professionals spent time in both Bloomington and Indianapolis, engaging in a robust schedule of hands-on, skills-based programming including academic sessions, site visits, community-service volunteering activities, mentoring, peer collaboration, and cross-cultural experiences designed to foster meaningful people-to-people relationships. With the help of IUB and IUPUI faculty, as well as interactions with local non-profit and business leaders, Fellows built networks and honed skills to advance their professional and civic careers, further empowering them to make an impact on important issues in their home countries and communities.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the U.S. Department of State Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), bringing African civic, business, and community leaders for academic coursework, leadership training, and networking at U.S. colleges and universities. The 2019 Fellow cohort at IU represented the countries of Botswana, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Zimbabwe.
Each year, IU's efforts in implementing the Fellowship bring together faculty, practitioners, and resources from the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs and multiple IU schools including the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Kelley School of Business, O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, and Maurer School of Law.Community partners include Cook Medical Inc., Ivy Tech Community College, Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, the Cities of Bloomington and Indianapolis, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bradford Woods, and many other local and community agencies and non-profit organizations.
Between 2014 and 2019, OID developed and implemented six leadership exchange programs for 120 young people from Myanmar (Burma). Funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Youth Leadership Program with Myanmar offered a wide variety of hands-on experiences for young leaders (ages 15-18) to build skills and experiences in civic engagement, social responsibility, and leadership, positioning them to grow as community leaders in different regions of Myanmar.
For each cohort, MYLP activities in the U.S. included two weeks of events, classes, and cross-cultural engagement on the IUB campus and in the Bloomington community, followed by a week visiting Washington, D.C. Through classes led by IU faculty and community leaders, participants developed skills in project development and management, conflict resolution, leadership, and effective communication; they also broadened their perspectives through discussions addressing challenging topics and current issues such as diversity, gender equality, human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, and media literacy and freedom of the press. A homestay structure allowed students from Myanmar to live with Bloomington families for two weeks during each program, creating powerful person-to-person relationships and mutual understanding. Community service activities at local non-profit organizations fostered an appreciation for volunteerism, grassroots activism, and civic responsibility, inspiring participants to think about new approaches to solving issues in their home towns.
Following each U.S. exchange, participants co-developed Group Service Learning Projects that could be implemented in Myanmar, culminating six months later in in-country follow-on workshops to implement the projects and engage in post-program reinforcement of leadership and project-management skills. Examples of group service learning projects included the construction of playgrounds using recycled materials, restoring schoolyards and creating a school garden, and organizing an environmental education campaign and trash cleanup for primary-school students.
In 2018, OID partnered with the U.S. Department of State to host 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa under the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program. The Fellows represented the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Participants used the six-week Civic Leadership Institute to propel their professional and civic careers further, bolstering their network of like-minded professionals and academics and further honing in on their leadership and practical skills. Hands-on, skills-based programming included academic sessions, site visits, community-service volunteering activities, mentoring, peer collaboration, and cross-cultural experiences designed to foster meaningful people-to-people relationships.
In 2017, we partnered with the U.S. Department of State to host 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa under the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program. The Fellows represented the countries of Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
The program consisted of a mix of academic sessions, leadership and professional development workshops, community service and engagements, and site visits. The Institute provided an opportunity for experience and knowledge sharing and discussions of similarities and contrasts with experiences and opportunities on the African continent. Fellows also learned about U.S. models for how civil society, community, business, and government interact.
OID was awarded six Youth Leadership Programs (YLP) funded by The Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) within the U.S. Department of State as part of a $1.2M On-Demand Youth Leadership Program.
The programs offer a wide variety of hands-on experiences for young leaders to promote social responsibility, environmental stewardship, critical journalism, and fundamental leadership skills that will position participants as community leaders in their evolving countries.
Additionally, during their time in Bloomington, participants stay with host families, encouraging immersion into the U.S. lifestyle. These programs help promote international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, and professional exchange programs.
Four to six months after the exchange, IU staff conduct follow-up workshops. These allow participants to discuss their post-program engagement and work together to continue implementing relevant and sustainable projects.
The OID team travels to the respective countries and meets with participants to deepen their understanding of key program themes in a local context, complete a group service-learning project, and support their community initiatives through a seed funding proposal process.
- Baltic States—This YLP brought 21 high school students from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and one adult chaperone from each country, to Bloomington. Their exchange program focused on the concepts of entrepreneurship and leadership.
- Southern Europe—This YLP brought six high school students from both Italy and Slovenia, seven students from Spain, and one adult chaperone from each country to the United States. Their exchange program focused on civic leadership and engagement, media literacy, social entrepreneurship, and people-to-people exchange.
- The Caucasus—This YLP brought 10 high school students from both Azerbaijan and Georgia, and one adult chaperone from each country, to Bloomington. Their exchange program sessions focused on entrepreneurship, volunteerism, community service, and youth leadership development.
- Indonesia—This YLP hosted 17 students and two adult chaperones from five different regions throughout Indonesia. The participants surveyed topics of leadership, project management, diversity, and good governance. Participants engaged with a wide range of experts and models to study and explore methods for improving their communities through civic engagement.
- Mongolia—The Mongolian United States Student Envoy (MUSE) consisted of 20 youth and three adult chaperones who focused on democracy with specific emphasis on youth participation in social responsibility, democratic environmental stewardship, critical journalism, and fundamental leadership skills.
- Italy—As the first of six YLPS, 21 youth and three adults from Southern Italy (Sicily) came to the Bloomington campus for the study of leadership, diversity, and civic engagement. The YLP with Italy focused on community inclusiveness with specific emphasis on topics of immigration.
With support from the U.S. Embassy, “Beyond Borders: A Workshop of Filmmaking across the Punjab Region” brought together 30 participants, 15 each from India and Pakistan’s Punjab region, to work together on conceptualizing, writing, and producing short films during a three-week visit in May 2017 to Bloomington, Indiana. Participants engaged in field trips and visited communities around the state of Indiana, learning about the diversity within our country and each other.
The workshop was designed to help participants develop filmmaking skills by making their own short films in small mixed groups of Indian/Pakistani members. In this collaborative exploration, there was the potential for participants to discover common ground; cross cultural, political, and geographic barriers; and form a foundation of understanding.
In 2016, we partnered with the U.S. Department of State to host 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa under the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program. The Fellows represented the countries of Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, and Zimbabwe.
The Civic Leadership Institute engaged African professionals in activities designed to bolster their leadership and practical capacity as they continue their civic and nonprofit endeavors. Programming was specifically tailored to meet the cohort’s diverse interests including women’s rights, media and journalism, public health, and primary education.
We partnered with USAID/Liberia and HED to establish a Center for Excellence in Health and Life Sciences (CEHLS) at the University of Liberia (UL) and its sister public institution, the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts.
CEHLS built capacity of UL academic and research programs to address a national shortage of health care workers through curriculum and faculty development of new programs in biotechnology, public health, nurse-midwifery, and enhanced pre-clinical science training in medicine and pharmacy.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School was a major partner in the project, focusing on the pre-clinical science component of the curriculum at UL’s Digliotti School of Medicine and in Nursing Leadership Training.
We partnered with Zhejiang University, one of China’s top 10 institutions of higher education, to offer a select group of undergraduate students the opportunity to spend a month each summer learning about American culture and heritage while considering their prospects for graduate study.
We organized and managed the program, welcoming students to New York City for the first days of their stay and then hosting them on the Bloomington campus for the following three weeks.
During their visit, the students engaged in a range of academic, cultural, business, and leisure activities. The trip ended with a three-day chaperoned experience in Washington, D.C., where they had the opportunity to meet with political figures as well as visit many of our nation’s impressive landmarks.
IU has been closely associated with the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) since 1999, helping to make a successful transition to democracy following the pro-democracy revolution in Kyrgyzstan.
Because of its integral involvement, IU was approached by USAID in 2002 with a request to establish and manage a multimillion dollar endowment for AUCA (funding from USAID and George Soros’s Open Society Institute). The purpose of the endowment was to underwrite AUCA’s operational costs.
In order to extend and maximize learning opportunities for students at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), we assisted in the development of a modern technical infrastructure to help the university achieve excellence in teaching and learning, faculty and student access to e-learning technologies, contemporary knowledge of digital media production, software engineering, data mining, and other applications.
After completing high school, students sponsored by SONANGOL, the national oil company of Angola, came to Indiana University to study English at the Center for English Language Training (CELT).
We supervised the students’ academic progress—organizing extra math, SAT, and TOEFL preparation as necessary—and coordinated their placement into four-year undergraduate programs in engineering, computer science, economics, and geology at universities throughout the United States.
The Burmese Refugee Scholarship Program (BRSP) was mandated by the U.S. Congress in 1990 to assist Burmese refugees who were forced to flee their homeland in fear of persecution by Burma’s ruling military junta for having participated in pro-democracy movements.
The grantees, selected for their leadership skills, were brought to the United States to pursue training at institutions of higher education, with the goal of returning to assist in achieving a democratic society in Burma.
Funded by the Department of State, grantees came to the IU Bloomington campus for pre-academic orientation, ESL training, asylum application, and enrollment at appropriate institutions across the United States.
The Bolashak Program was launched by the Kazakh government to send competitively selected students abroad for university study as part of a national effort to meet the rapidly increasing development needs.
We managed dozens of Bolashak Scholars each year, serving as the host institution and organizing the pre-academic training to improve language skills, prepare for entrance exams, and submit graduate and undergraduate applications for placement at IU or elsewhere.
In a partnership with the American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan) and the Bukhara State Museum Preserve (Uzbekistan), IU brought together Uzbek and Kyrgyz host communities, tour operators, regional museums, and universities as stakeholders in the preservation of unique archeological sites.
Activities under the Community Cultural Resource Management for the Silk Road project included workshops, a U.S. study tour for Central Asian participants, best practice training with local and national Kyrgyz and Uzbek officials, modeling archaeological research, and the development of community museums in both countries.
Because of our well-regarded reputation for educational assistance to Burma, the Open Society Institute (OSI) asked us to develop an annual workshop on the Bloomington campus that would bring alumni from the OSI program together. The focus of the workshop was to allow alumni to meet, exchange ideas, interact with field experts, and develop meaningful networks.
Indiana University, with a grant from ALO/USAID, established a basic undergraduate minor in public administration at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA).
The goals of the project were to develop and introduce seven new courses, adapt generally recognized principles of public administration education/research, provide staff training to three faculty, develop a service-learning plan for AUCA students, and evaluate AUCA’s library in the field of public administration and assist in acquiring a relevant collection through donations and gifts.
Indiana University, with a grant from ALO/USAID, established a basic undergraduate minor in public administration at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA).
The goals of the project were to develop and introduce seven new courses, adapt generally recognized principles of public administration education/research, provide staff training to three faculty, develop a service learning plan for AUCA students, and evaluate AUCA’s library in the field of public administration and assist in acquiring a relevant collection through donations and gifts.
Over a period of six years, we led and coordinated institutional development and capacity-building activities at the newly created South East European University (SEEU), a private, public, not for profit higher education institution in the Republic of North Macedonia established in 2001 with joint funding from USAID and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The objectives of SEEU were to promote economic development of Macedonia’s Tetovo region through the introduction of modern curricula, administrative support, training, computer literacy, and ESL programs and to help establish a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, international perspective.
The first phase of the multilateral partnership (US-Macedonia Linkage Program) included support for admission and faculty policies, establishing a Language Learning Center, and curriculum development for introductory courses with a heavy emphasis on ESL, communications, business and computer literacy. The second phase of the project (Higher Education and Leadership Program (HELP)) focused on faculty development and funded faculty degree training, additional curriculum development focused on business and information technology, a computer literacy program for faculty, establishment of a Career Center/Job Placement Center and Business Development Center, establishment of a campus library and training for librarians, and implementation of an online Learning Management System and pilot distance education program. IU also established and managed a SEEU Endowment fund (2006-2015) to support ongoing faculty development.
A strong IU-SEEU partnership continues to this day, including participation of IU faculty on SEEU’s governing board.
Twenty short- and long-term faculty and administrator exchanges were set up over a two-year period with the goal of improving the Northern Campus of the University of Namibia, located in the disadvantaged northern area of the country. Teaming up with IU East and sponsored by BECA, the partnership developed and expanded academic offerings.
Over the course of three years, OID and IU Maurer School of Law collaborated with the University of Pretoria’s faculty of law to help meet South Africa’s goals for bringing about democratic, social, political, and economic transformation.
The project was to organize the free Annual Legislative Drafting Workshop in South Africa, free internships for South African professionals in the United States, regular interactive video conferences on legal topics, and create an experts network of South African and Indiana academic and legislative drafting professionals.
IU and Taraz State University (TarGU) formed a partnership for the purpose of building and expanding ongoing higher education administration, curriculum reform, and restructuring with the goal that TarGU would then serve as a resource and model to extend reform to other institutions of higher education in Kazakhstan.
IU has a long history of partnership with the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Kyrgyzstan.
Various grants have been awarded over the years with the purpose of institutional development, addressing five areas: faculty development, administrative training, library development, internet access, and research/publications. By facilitating a faculty exchange, sending more than 10,000 books and journals, and providing access to internet and technology through equipment and education, the program helped AUCA faculty who had been trained in the Soviet higher education system gain exposure to the way social sciences are studied and taught in the West.
It also provided incentives and guidance for Kyrgyz faculty to engage in research activities.
We helped the IU School of Education secure a three-year grant for the development of civic education in Indonesia.
Partners for African Leadership, an eight-week internship program, was established for experienced and practicing professionals from Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
This program, made possible by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (BECA) of the U.S. Department of State, targeted areas including women’s entrepreneurship, media/journalism, and local governance.
An intensive seminar was delivered to eight Angolan government and university officials on developing a master plan for a new university campus in Luanda. The seminar included campus visits and consultants on African university development, architecture, and technical aspects of facilities management.
The Herzegovina Undergraduate Development Program (HUUP) was a one-year USIA grant to educate Bosnian students in the areas of journalism and economics as these are useful to the reconstruction of their state and society. Following the coursework, students were placed in four- to twelve-week internships.
Working closely with U.S. Embassy staff across 21 sub-Saharan countries, we administrated a State Department grant to create an Africa Regional Internship Program. The program placed 38 African professionals in six- to eight-week internships in the United States. Areas of study included public administration, business management, economic development, non-governmental organization, and education administration.
Over a 5-year project period, we collaborated with Baku State University (BSU) in Azerbaijan to establish an American Studies Center at BSU.
Activities included launching a small library with the purchase of over 500 books on American history and politics; creating and equipping a computer center providing internet access to online resources and materials; ESL instruction and curriculum development; and establishing an visiting-scholar program that provided for an exchange of four to six scholars annually between Baku State and Indiana University.
Under a USIA-sponsored program to place mid-career professionals in internships, we placed more than 200 South Africans in cities across the United States. The eight-week internships had three general objectives: support regional democratic and economic reform, enhance management and administrative skills, and establish professional partnerships between the United States and sub-Saharan African organizations.
Through university visits and teleconferencing, an international team of U.S. and U.K. higher education finance professionals consulted with the Hong Kong Task Force to look at how Hong Kong universities could implement Responsibility Center Management.
ATU Program Training and Placement, an intensive pre-university preparation and competitive placement program, was delivered to Malaysian students preparing to study at IU and across the United States. The effort combined individualized programming with test preparation, intensive English, and enrollment in IU courses.
Expanding on the South Africa Internship Program in 1995, 24 mid-career professional interns from Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Malawi were placed across the United States for six- to eight-week internships.
In anticipation of the goals for 2020, a seminar on management of higher education was sponsored jointly by the University of Malaya, Trisatki University, and Indiana University. The focus of the Jakarta meeting was information gathering and strategic planning.
The Caspian Sea Consortium/Mobil Oil Training Program was an eight-week program of English language, computer literacy, and public relations training designed and conducted for a Mobil-sponsored Kazakhstani participant.
We were awarded a one-year contract to provide pre-academic training and placement under the Advanced Studies and Placement PETRONAS Program for students from Malaysia.
In partnership with the University of Malaya and ICC Consulting, Inc. of Malaysia, OID conducted a week-long seminar in Malaysia on university budgeting and management for 40 senior officials from Malaysia’s public universities and Ministry of Education.
In IU’s role as a sub-contractor in a USAID-funded project, the TIP II Training Internship Program provided individually tailored two-month professional internship programs for seven mid-career participants from Poland, Romania, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in areas of telecommunications, education, business, and public administration.
As part of the USIA International Visitor Project in Higher Education Administration, more than 70 participants from 60 countries were provided with week-long seminars on U.S. higher education administration. The seminars, with support from USIA and in cooperation with the Institute of International Education, covered topics including recruitment and retention of students, fundraising, responsibility-centered management, alumni relations, faculty governance, student personnel administration, library administration, use of advanced educational technologies, and state funding and oversight in public universities.
With funding from the Kellogg and Ford Foundations, together with the Eli Lilly Corporation, services were delivered to Khanya College in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The project reviewed syllabi, vetted final exams, exchanged faculty, and provided consultation services and external examination of courses.
Over the life of the ITM/MUCIA Cooperative Program, more than 4,000 Malaysian government-sponsored students were part of a “twinning program” in which they were able to take IU courses offered by U.S. faculty in Malaysia. Intensive English language instruction was provided before students took their first two years of undergraduate instruction in Malaysia in areas of pre-engineering, pre-business, and computer sciences. They then transferred (via IU placement assistance) to more than 160 different universities (including IU) throughout the United States to complete bachelor’s degree programs.
Ten Canadian and Mexican participants attended a three-day NAFTA seminar in higher education administration developed in cooperation with the Institute of International Education.
Through the UNR/IU Japanese Placement Service, we designed and directed a placement program for 200 Japanese undergraduates transferring to the United States from an ESL program operated in Japan by the University of Nevada, Reno.