UNDP internship in Thailand provides learning opportunity for grad student and highschool teacher…..
Everett Berg’s grade 10 and 11 students will be in for a surprise when they discover that “Mr. Berg” has spent the summer in Thailand working for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The Mount Royal Collegiate teacher is currently interning at the UNDP office in Bangkok as part of the new partnership between the Universities of Canada (UCAN) represented by the College of Graduate Studies and Research at the UofS, and the UNDP. The major goal of the program is to provide training for Canadian graduate and law students in a UNDP initiative called the Legal Empowerment of the Poor (LEP).
Over the four month summer term, Berg will undertake various tasks that contribute to the LEP framework, which aims to minimize the burden of poverty through an inclusive legal system. So far, Berg has been tasked with editing a book about the Millennium Development Goals for reducing global poverty designed by the UNDP. The goals range from obtaining gender equality, facilitating a universal education, to combating HIV/AIDS. Additionally, Berg is creating a database of anti-corruption agencies around the world and researching legal empowerment projects at other UN country offices so the results can be published and used to educate others.
“The [LEP] work is extremely important in terms of creating an inclusive society where poor, marginalized, and disadvantaged people can be secure, empowered and treated equally under the law,” says Berg. “Currently, millions live outside of the rule of law and have no other options but to participate in the informal economy for their livelihood. This is an exciting opportunity for me to apply skills and concepts gained from graduate studies into an environment intended to benefit others.”
In just six weeks since arriving in Bangkok, a city Berg describes as “hot, populated, and with lots of buzz,” he has had opportunities to attend a number of key conferences and the pleasure of meeting some highly influential people. Recently, he attended a meeting with the deputy assistant of the UNDP, who spoke about how the UNDP should situate itself to strategically move forward after the Millennium Development Goals are achieved post-2015. Also, he attended a presentation on the resiliency of the Pakistani economy from the former finance minister of Pakistan.
In addition to his internship, Berg has managed to juggle being a high school teacher while attending graduate studies at the UofS Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. As he was always fascinated by governance, finance, and the decision making aspects of public education, he chose graduate studies at the UofS intending to expand his career opportunities by receiving an education in both public administration and policy making. Berg hopes that his internship with UNDP will add to the knowledge base that he has gained during grad school and will also benefit his work in the classroom.
“Whether I choose a career in the classroom or in educational policymaking, my UNDP experience will give me a new cross-cultural and multinational perspective on education, will allow me to network with extraordinary people, and will expose me to innovative educational approaches.” says Berg.
More information on the UNDP Intern Program at the UofS is available from the College of Graduate Studies and Research (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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