Seeking up to six MIT D-Lab students to attend a two-week, hands-on, multidisciplinary co-design summit around the theme of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) 2018. The summit is being offered by MIT D-Lab and PSI Ethiopia. Applications due September 29, 5 pm. See below for details!
Thirty participants—a mix of MIT D-Lab students, rural health promoters, local government officials, and WASH experts—will convene in six teams to work on challenges and opportunities related to the increasing use of sanitation products in southern rural Ethiopia. The WASH Design Summit is one component of PSI’s longer- term USAID-funded program called Transform/WASH–a program that aims to improve sanitation solutions in a country where open defecation is still common.
Students who are selected to join the summit will travel to Ethiopia with D-Lab staff in order to live and work with Ethiopians during the summit.
Eligibility and Process
Students are eligible to participate in the co-design summit if they:
- Complete the materials in this application and are available from January 22-February 2, 2018 (with travel time on each end)
- Have taken at least one MIT D-Lab class (Wellesley and Harvard students who have taken an MIT D-Lab class are welcome to apply as well)
- Have participated in at least one MIT D-Lab fieldwork trip OR have equivalent experience in a developing country, including experience with prototyping and/or fabrication
- Are willing to engage in weekly preparation meetings with the other attendees in Fall 2017 and complete basic documentation after the summit
All students selected for the co-design summit will be notified by Tuesday, October 3, 2017, and must indicate their commitment by Friday, October 6, 2017.
The cost of flights, transportation, and accommodation will be covered for every student. Students are responsible for their own visa and passport costs, food, incidentals, optional sightseeing, and medical expenses during the trip.*
Questions? Contact MIT D-Lab Education Coordinator Libby Hsu.
A. Answer the following questions:
- Full name as it appears on your passport
- Course and class year
- Phone number
- Email address
- Local mailing address
- List all D-Lab classes you have taken and UROPs you have participated in, including year
- Describe the D-Lab fieldwork you have participated in, including year and what partner organization and trip leader(s) you worked with. If you have not participated in any D-Lab fieldwork, please describe your experience in developing countries and why you think this experience qualifies you to participate in the summit.
- What skills and areas of knowledge do you have that would make you a good participant for a WASH co-design summit?
- What does participatory development mean to you?
- Why do you want to attend the summit? What are your goals and expectations for the summit?
- Participants will be expected to live in conditions very different to those in the United States, which may include sleeping in a hammock or on the floor, eating foods unfamiliar to them, working in extreme heat, and living or experiencing periods of time without running water or electricity. Are you prepared to experience these conditions for two weeks?
- Are you able to commit to attending weekly (1-2 hour) meetings from October-December 2017 to prepare for the summit from cultural, subject matter, and safety perspectives?
- Are you able to commit to attending the full summit, including adequate travel time before and after the summit?
- Please write a brief (100 words) biography of yourself, for use if you are selected as a participant.
B. Attach the following materials to this application:
- Headshot of yourself
- Current resume
- Current unofficial transcript
- Names of two references; one must be an MIT D-Lab staff member, member of a partner organization, or trip leader
* Pending funding. Final contract negotiations expected to conclude in October.