About IEDP

About IEDP

The IEDP was established in 1999 by the IPSA at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. It is a student initiated, three-credit program that serves as a forum for students to discuss the challenges faced by developing economies. IEDP participants engage in a seven-week course in the winter semester, extensively studying the country of choice, and then take a one-week trip to the country over Spring Break. During the trip, IEDP students conduct extensive interviews and discussions with policymakers, members of civil society, foreign development agencies and university students. So far the IEDP has visited 11 countries, including Ethiopia, Cuba, Morocco, China, Costa Rica, Peru, Jordan, Senegal and the Philippines. The country of study for 2011 is Grenada, the first country from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the IEDP's history.

Friday, April 1, 2011

IEDP Disaster Management Presentation

For those who missed the IEDP Final Presentation, you can take a look at how the Disaster Management Team worked during the spring break and what the team's final product looks like at this website.  The website only captures part of the DM project; you will find how the IEDP works during the Spring Break.

It is an interesting project, not only in a sense of placing a part of its final presentation/product on the public domain, but also putting some of relevant information (part of).  The Internet is becoming an integral part of education.  Instructors use blogs and/or wiki as an information sharing tool among class participants.  It becomes a learning experience to get students accustomed with working in the public domain/open source environment.

Best Sweet Potato Pie with Grenadian Nutmeg

From the best recipe source: cook's illustrated!!


Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8 to 10. Published November 1, 1999.


For a sweet potato pie recipe that would really taste like sweet potato pie, we microwaved and mashed the potatoes, which preserved some bite in their texture. White sugar and a touch of molasses brought us still closer to the pie we were look...(more)

For prebaking the pie shell, we prefer metal or ceramic pie weights because of their heft and ability to conduct heat. Remove the foil lining and weights only after the dough has lost its wet look and has turned straw-colored from its original yellow hue. This will prevent the sides of the pie shell from slipping down and losing their shape. The sweet potatoes cook quickly in the microwave but can also be pricked with a fork and baked uncovered in a 400-degree oven until tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Some tasters preferred a stronger bourbon flavor in the filling, so we give a range below. If you like molasses, use the optional tablespoon; a few tasters felt it deepened the sweet potato flavor. Serve the pie with whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS- You can buy Pie Crusts !!

· Pie Dough-

· 1 1/4cups unbleached all-purpose flour

· 1/2teaspoon table salt

· 1tablespoon granulated sugar

· 4tablespoons unsalted butter , chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

· 3tablespoons vegetable shortening , chilled

· 4 - 5tablespoons ice water

· Sweet Potato Filling

· 2pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 small to medium)- (I baked them)

· 2tablespoons unsalted butter , softened

· 3large eggs

· 2egg yolks

· 1cup granulated sugar

· 1/2teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

· 1/4teaspoon table salt

· 2 - 3tablespoons bourbon

· 1tablespoon molasses (optional)-I did not use

· 1teaspoon vanilla extract

· 2/3cup whole milk

· 1/4cup packed dark brown sugar


1. 1. In food processor bowl fitted with steel blade, pulse flour, salt, and sugar to combine. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

2. 2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to evenly distribute water into flour mixture until small portion of dough holds together when squeezed in palm of hand; add up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if necessary. Turn dough onto clean, dry work surface; gather and gently press together into cohesive ball, then flatten into rough 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.

3. 3. Remove dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 30 minutes, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Roll dough on lightly floured work surface or between two large sheets of plastic wrap to 12-inch disk about 1/8 inch thick. Fold dough in quarters, then place dough point in center of 9-inch pie plate; unfold dough.

4. 4. Working around circumference of pan, ease dough carefully into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Trim edge to 1/2 inch beyond pan lip. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edges are about 1/4 inch beyond pan lip; flute dough. Refrigerate pie shell for 40 minutes, then freeze for 20 minutes. (This two-step process helps to reduce shrinkage of the crust during baking.)

5. 5. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Press doubled 18-inch square of heavy-duty foil inside shell and fold back edges of foil to shield fluted edge; evenly distribute about 2 cups metal or ceramic pie weights over foil. Bake, leaving foil and weights in place until dough dries and lightens in color, 17 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights by gathering sides of foil and pulling up and out. Bake until light golden brown, about 9 minutes longer. Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

6. 6. Prick sweet potatoes several times with fork and place on double layer of paper towels in microwave (see illustrations below). Cook at full power for 5 minutes; turn each potato over and continue to cook at full power until tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes longer. Cool 10 minutes. Halve each potato crosswise; insert small spoon between skin and flesh, and scoop flesh into medium bowl; discard skin. (If potatoes are too hot to handle comfortably, fold double layer of paper towels into quarters and use to hold potato half). Repeat with remaining sweet potatoes; you should have about 2 cups. While potatoes are still hot, add butter and mash with fork or wooden spoon; small lumps of potato should remain.

7. 7. Whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl; stir in bourbon, molasses (if using), and vanilla, then whisk in milk. Gradually add egg mixture to sweet potatoes, whisking gently to combine.

8. 8. Heat partially baked pie shell in oven until warm, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle bottom of pie shell evenly with brown sugar. Pour sweet potato mixture into pie shell over brown sugar layer. Bake until filling is set around edges but center jiggles slightly when shaken, about 45 minutes. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, and serve.


Preparing the Sweet Potatoes

1. In preparing for microwaving, lay the sweet potatoes out in a fan shape on a double thickness of paper towels.

2. Cut each cooked potato in half crosswise, then scoop out the pulp into a mixing bowl with a small spoon.

3. Mash the cooked potatoes coarsely with a fork or spoon. Some small lumps of potato should remain.

2011 IEDP Grenada Documentary

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

IEDP Final Presentation

The International Economic Development Program (IEDP) 2011: Grenada cordially invites you to a presentation on the policy topics and country visit to Grenada this past spring break.

A Reception will follow with pies, cookies, drinks and hearty chats.

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011.
Time: 17:30 - 18:45
Place: Betty Ford Classroom, Weill Hall 

2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami

On March 11, 2011, a massive undersea megathrust earthquake hit the northern part of Japan, along with its pacific coast line.  It was a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the forth largest earthquake since 1900, following the 1964 Chile Earthquake (M9.5), The 1964 Alaska (M9.1), and the 2004 Sumatra (M9.0).  The news was actually striking as it was just one week after we had come back to Ann Arbor from Grenada and started working on the final report for the IEDP as the Disaster Management Group.

It was rather a convoluted crisis as the tsunami has disabled emergency generators to cool down the reactors of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and led to a partial nuclear meltdown, visible explosions, and radiation releases.  The Government of Japan and TEPCO are working on the series of accidents in the Plant; the accidents themselves has become an agenda of emergency in the international community.  Despite of this element, the earthquake and subsequent tsunami were one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in our history.

News reports initially addressed the patience, endurance, and preparation of residents of the affected areas.  Such resilience that Japanese has shown might surprise and strike those who know about the earthquake.  Through our trip in Grenada, the Disaster Management group often come across the term, "community resilience."  This seems to the foundational concept for its national disaster management for the Government of Grenada (or the National Disaster Management Authority).  The strength of community (families, schools, churches, and even social media) complement the government emergency response.

Meanwhile, after two weeks have passed, Japanese media has started to report on uneven distribution of basic supplies across the affected area and the bottleneck of logistics.  As land transpirations, the Pacific-round from Tokyo Metropolitan Area, were impacted and there was a difficulty in access from the East Japan Sea bound,  it has limited the capability to supply foods, waters, gasoline, and even volunteers.  After evacuating their community and settle to an evacuation center, people are getting frustrated and stressed.  Especially, those who have limited or no access to these supplies as well as those vulnerable, including aged persons, suffer severely and face the danger of death.  The circumstance in Grenada seems to be slight different; as it is a small island, one area can be reached either east or west bound; that is an advantage.

Another takeaway from the earthquake in Japan would be that there is a possibility that each of communities may lose its pivotal center or leadership by a natural disaster.  Local government officials, including a city mayor, perished in the earthquake/some of city offices are also totally destroyed.  Without a leadership role in community-level response, how remaining members respond to the crisis would be a critical for a successful emergency response.   So, how to assure collective actions in a crisis through bottom-up cooperation among community members and leadership development/empowerment would be a key area that the Government needs to tackle continuously.

The most common impression to this earthquake is "this was totally unexpected disaster."  Local governments had developed sophisticated disaster-proof infrastructures; the scale and impact of the earthquake and tsunami were totally above the assumption and calculation.  Emergency preparedness is based on vulnerability and risk analyses; it would be the process to prepare for what you expect.   The most important thing is rather to prepare for what you don't expect to happen.  Strong community tie might create secure feeling and enable individuals to act calmly during such a devastating crisis; or, a series of practices help them to do so.  I would say such socio-psychological aspects need to be incorporated into emergency preparedness planning, along with emergency response and recovery.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ready to go...

There comes the bus that would bring us to the airport.  I am so sad to leave Grenada.  

I finished my packing and paid my laundry service (I assumed that there were a kind of a laundry center or washer machines...).   It's a bit emotional moment to seat alone and wait others come.  Unfortunately, there is no early bird service. 

It still feels strange to write about the departure without writing anything substantial about our trip.  We would like to update episodes during our trip after arriving Ann Arbor.

Our experience should be evaluated based on our final outcome.  After back to A2, we will work hard on incorporating what we see and find into our preliminary analyses.  Please allow us to emphasize that it was an awesome experience.

We would like to express our appreciation to genuine support from funders and supporters of the IEDP.  And, this time, we would like to appraise the efforts made by the Fund Raising Committee.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Internet Changes Everything...

We seemed to be expected to update our daily lives during Spring "Study" Break... The thing has not gone as we had expected :-(

The issue has been the Internet, here.  Yes, we have an access.  The hotel we stays has a Wi-Fi access; my PC catches the WiFi signal in my room...it cannot establish a connection when I am in that room.  The only place I can use the Internet is the lobby (and other restaurant or shopping centers which offer a Free WiFi access).

It looks so strange that one same hotel guest sit in the lobby for a very long time just looking PC screen, not looking at such a beautiful blue sky and lovely wind as well as amazing beach... But, I need to do so to pick up various materials from a cloud storage and doing follow-up studies for preparation.

We have gotten a ton of insights and inspirations (+ motivation) from speakers.  They have pursued their mission, struggled with various obstacles, and maintained hope to achieve their mission, as those who work in the US do.  It would be an overgeneralization, but some discipline that Ford School taught has some sort of applicability in Grenada.  It is important to separate path dependency or cultural/historical context to analyze the issue.  In this context, the US (or other industrialized country) is not special as Grenada is not special.

So, that's the same in the US; we cannot do well without the Internet as well.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Final Meeting Before Trip

We had the final meeting before the spring break (i.e. the trip to Grenada) on Wednesday.  Prior to the meeting, each policy group had been assigned to submit a preliminary analysis paper.  The Wednesday meeting was not only for the guidance of the trip but also feedbacks to the paper.  The main focuses of the paper were a kind of political environment analysis (power center analysis) and a series of questions that we want to explore during the trip.

Our trip aims at find these missing piece to complement and evaluate (prove or reject) our hypothesis through a series of interviews of various stakeholders.   Thanks to the Internet and multilateral cooperations across the region, we had tremendous amounts of information on each of policy issues in Grenada.  These articles helped us to assess issues that we would like to focus on in each of policy group.  Doing survey was  a tough job; we did have lots of information to write down a series of policy recommendations.  Meanwhile, there were lots of missing peace, that we could not find.  There might be a kind of "trend" among the Government, International Governmental Organizations and Non-profit organizations; articles focused on similar phenomena or aspect.  Moreover, limited data availability in Grenada makes quantitative analyses absolutely difficult.  After Hurricane Ivan and Emily, the Government, working with some of the International Governmental Organizations, conducted collecting data to do some preliminary analysis based on number.  It was still difficult to run a study based on a time series data-set to identify impacts.

So, you should be aware that to find out people who are generous and willing to meet us + make sure that we are in the meeting place on time.  That would be another dimension of  the difficulty of a student-run study trip.

Members (especially, the Documentation Committee) appreciate the amazing jobs made by the Contact and Logistics Committee (and their organized pre-trip presentation).

We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to those who has generously accepted our requests of meetings and helped us to find other officials in Grenada, who would give us very valuable insights for our research.

Thank you very much!!