Host Organization: Project Concern International
First Year Placement
Based in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Brandon worked with Project Concern International (PCI) to identify pathways for improving regional food security and the health status of individuals, families, and communities, with an emphasis on the reduction of chronic malnutrition. Given the high level of unmet need for family planning in the region—particularly among adolescents—and recognizing the interactions between family planning, food security, and maternal and child health, Brandon designed and lead a mixed-methods study to identify why women with an unmet need for family planning do not use family planning methods. As the study was carried out within PCI’s Casa Materna—a “maternity waiting home” in Huehuetenango where women with high-risk pregnancies are referred to for care and monitoring until they are transferred for a safe delivery—findings will both help PCI to better understand barriers to family planning for women in the region as well as help Casa Materna better understand and serve it’s patient population.
Second Year Placement
Based in Washington D.C., Brandon led a project to map PCI’s policy presence and to create a roadmap for PCI regarding potential pathways for policy engagement. This project involved conducting internal interviews with PCI staff as well as external interviews with other NGOs. Findings from this project will allow PCI to determine if growing their policy presence makes sense for the organization and if so, how PCI can best allocate their resources and efforts to do so. Additionally, with data collection complete from the study he carried out in Guatemala, Brandon analyzed and disseminated his study’s findings within PCI to help shape food security programming in Guatemala. Other projects Brandon worked on included conducting analyses of DHS data, supporting proposal development for a maternal and child health program in Guatemala, contributing to program design of an emergency food security program in Guatemala, as well as attending relevant working groups, policy meetings, and technical trainings throughout D.C.