A look back at PSIA Capstone Projects from Fall 2020

A look back at PSIA Capstone Projects from Fall 2020

Thu, 2021-04-29 16:00
  • A look back at PSIA Capstone ProjectsA look back at PSIA Capstone Projects

A look back at PSIA Capstone Projects from Fall 2020

The third semester at PSIA is dedicated to our students’ professional development, primarily in the form of an internship which allows them to gain professional experience, to develop new skills and to fine tune their professional plans in preparation for life after graduation. 

The global pandemic and its impact both on the global economy and on international travel, led PSIA to organise a limited number of Capstone projects based on concrete cases proposed by relevant organizations and in conditions similar to those of a consulting unit. These Capstone projects provided an alternative means for some students to fulfil their mandatory internship requirement. 

Students thus joined organizations such as AFD, Electica, European Investment Bank, Expertise France, The Policy Corner, Techfugees, Transparency international, UNESCO, World Energy Council, the World Bank, and more. The Capstone projects challenged students to analyse and resolve real-world challenges by drawing upon the knowledge and skills obtained at PSIA in order to produce a variety of deliverables, including those highlighted below. Each student team received support from a PSIA teacher or alumni, who served as their Capstone Project Advisor.

Highlights of some PSIA Fall 2020 Capstone Projects

"Statebuilding, an approach that needs rethinking" with AFD

Daniela Comaneanu (International Development) and Vicky Masson (International Security) wrote an article on state-building, together with PSIA faculty Eleonora Meli Messineo and Xavier Lhote of the crisis prevention and post conflict unit, AFD. Their article was published by ID4D, a blog of AFD (Agence Française de Développement). 

"Strengthening risk analysis" for Expertise France

Clara Perier and Clémence de la Doucette (both International Security) studied projects including in maritime security or stabilization before producing a set of recommendations which they presented to senior management. Their work contributed to the creation of a dedicated “Threat and Risk Analyst” position in the Peace, Stability and Security Department of Expertise France. Risk will be discussed in the forthcoming event on “resilience and adaptation” (open to PSIA students for registration).

"Freedom of Expression, Safety of Journalists and Freedom of the Press Issues in the United Nations Universal Periodic Review Process" with UNESCO

Working with UNESCO, Ayoub Faroud (Human Rights and Humanitarian Action) and Meike Eijsberg (International Public Management) undertook a fascinating Capstone Project on “Freedom of Expression, Safety of Journalists and Freedom of the Press Issues in the United Nations Universal Periodic Review Process”. Their work included a detailed desk review, creating a new database, and interviewing governmental and non-state actors.

Besides producing a final report, they were invited to present their findings to a broader UNESCO group. PSIA faculty Thomas R Lansner confirms that the project's findings were very well received:  UNESCO believes this work will be useful to expanding and making more effective its efforts to raise freedom of expression and journalist safety issues through the United Nations Human Rights Council. This Capstone Project helped build these PSIA’s students’ professional capacities and was of clear value to the clients—and will hopefully soon contribute to advancing freedom of expression and protecting the real-world safety of media practitioners

"Mapping Corporate Volunteering & Corporate Social Responsibility Programmes" with the European Investment Bank (EIB)

How to make a volunteering programme successful? Management support, a matching gifts programme and a network of coordinators are the key pillars of a successful volunteering corporate programme according to Shiyao Zhang (Human Rights and Humanitarian Action) and Bum Cheul Park (International Development) who were involved in the Capstone project with the EIB. Read more on their field of research in the article published by EIB


Congratulations to all PSIA students who participated in a Fall 2020 Capstone Project, and sincere thanks to all of the PSIA Capstone Advisors and host organisations for making it possible for them to develop professionally whilst fulfilling their third semester requirement. 

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