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.

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!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mid-Term and Spring Break

The Ford School Community as well as the U of M Community are now in the midst of the chaos of Mid-Term.  That is the part of our exciting school life; nobody question the statement that the most important mission of students is studying.  Meanwhile, Mid-Term has a special meaning for the IEDP team.  

The time to visit Grenada is approaching.  

We have broken up into two groups, based on our availability and schedule; the first group will depart from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport this Friday.  The following group will join them on Sunday.  I personally have two papers due on Thursday and need to finish two paper works by Friday (and packing). 

It is a quite exciting moment to think about what would happen in St. George's.  That is a very moment to escape from approaching deadline...

The IEDP team has already concluded group presentations and preliminary assessments; these are the pre-trip preparations.  That gave us an interesting insight to look at international development; the unique challenges that each of the small island developing states has faced.  When confronting each of multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder issues, disaster management, Millennium Development Goals, tourism, and waste management, some of recipes, best practices, rules of thumb, or whatever, can not be applied because of stricter constraints. 

Our final outcome does need to overcome this aspect; the trip to Grenada during the spring break aims to confirm to what extent our understanding and tentative analyses fit the reality and deepen our problem-solving thinking toward a possible (and feasible) solution.

So, we are thrilled to "study" and "research" during the Spring Break, apart from our paperworks for a while.

Finally, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the supports given to the IEDP projects; this time let us thank especially Zana of the International Policy Center, for your mindful support to the final-minute preparation to make our trip safe.  

Of course, the members of the Documentation Committee also appreciated from the bottom of our heart the final minutes efforts made by other committees, along with your Mid-Term assignments and exams !!

We also hope that we can update periodically during the trip.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Art in Grenada

One of the exciting activities of travels is enjoying arts: music, performance arts, drawings, pictures, sculptures...etc. Arts is a major element of tourism as well as a channel to publicize and distribute cultural images. Especially, I appreciate drawings and sculptures- traditional formats of arts. In the pre-picture era,  drawings were the only visual mean to record historical events as well as daily lives. It incorporated emotions of painters and intellectual influence from the art scene within the country and outside.

Yellow Poui Art Gallery (Grenada Explorer Website)
NY-based Grenadian Artist, Eric M John's Website (Grenada Art)

Grenadian Media

As we get used to acquire information directly from websites of stakeholders, we often denigrate the value of newspapers as well as other traditional media. However, those traditional media are still useful and convenient resources to know what is going on where the Internet is not necessarily the major mean to disseminate information. Media agencies collect, edit, and distribute information via the Internet instead of those individuals, companies, or agencies which do not disseminate.

Here's a list of links to major media agencies of Grenada.

The Barnacle
Grenada Informer
Grenada Today (not updated since 2008)

Grenada Broadcasting Network

Internet News
Spice Islander
Grenada Broadcast
Grenadian Connection

Cheers to the Internet !!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 7, 1974 - Grenada's Independence Day

This day, February 7, marks the 37th Anniversary of Grenada’s independence from the United Kingdom. Premier, Sir Eric Matthew Gairy, Grenada’s first Prime Minister, led the country into independence. Prior to independence, Grenada became an “Associated State of the United Kingdom” in 1967, which enabled Grenada to be responsible for her own internal affairs, while the UK still remained responsible for Grenada’s defense and foreign affairs.

Every independence day, it is customary for the current Prime Minister and Governor Generals to offer independence messages. Past messages have updated the Grenadian public on increased government social spending, as well as progress related to new policies such as the working Draft of Grenada’s National Strategic Development Plan introduced in 2007 by Prime Minister Keith Mitchell to promote investments in agriculture, health, education, and youth. This year’s independence message by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas focuses on the theme of “Celebrating 37 years through challenging times, with optimism and resilience.” In his message, Prime Minister Thomas calls for Grenadians to unite and tolerate differences among one another in an effort to move forward in the years to come.

Mr. Anthony C. George designed Grenada’s national flag.
The star at the very center of the flag represents the capital of St. George, symbolizing Grenada’s sovereignty and a guiding light for the country. The diagonal lines which divide the flag into three colors radiating from the star symbolize “maximum expansion” to indicate progress and how far Grenadians have come from their colonial past. Red is the most prominent color on the flag signifying national fervor, pride, and aspirations. Yellow symbolizes warmth and Grenada’s beautiful sunshine, while green represents Grenada’s fertile soil and lush vegetation. The left green triangle showcases the Isle of Spice with nutmeg, Grenada’s highly valued export. The gold outer stars convey Grenada’s six parishes which are: St. Andrew, St. George, St. David, St. John, St. Mark, and St. Patrick.
Locals look forward to celebrating Grenada’s independence each year. Calypso and soca music also fill neighborhoods and bars. Grenadian folk dancers express their national pride by wearing green, red, and yellow. Locals decorate the streets for the annual military parade.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bananagrams Tournament - IEDP fundraiser

Do you like board games? Do you like to crush your opponents? Do you like helping out a good cause?

We'll be holding a Ford School Board Game Tournament on Friday, February 18th at 4pm in the Betty Ford Classroom to fundraise for our IEDP trip to Grenada.  We'll be playing Bananagrams tournament-style, but will have a few other board games (Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, etc) on hand for those who just want to come and hang out.

For those of you who haven't played Bananagrams before, it's a hyper version of Scrabble--you compete with other people to see who can arrange words from tiles the quickest.  There are more details here (http://www.bananagrams-intl.com/instructions.asp).  It's takes no more than a few minutes to learn and is incredibly fun!

The winner will receive a gift certificate--I'll email out details on the gift certificate soon.

We're asking for a minimum of a $5 donation to enter (and if you want to give more, that'd be fantastic).

The tournament is open to everyone--students, staff, faculty, friends, significant others, precocious children, etc--so pass the word along!

If you're interested, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/gdpJCP

Kate Saetang

This American Life - Students Decide whether to Invade Grenada

Listen to the first part of this episode from This American Life!
A class of elementary school students visits the Reagan Presidential Library and is part of a simulation deciding whether or not the US should invade Grenada. (... guaranteed to incite ironic chuckles)