A Few Final Thoughts

When we first came here it was just the three of us: Clay, Emily, and me. We came from diverse backgrounds and we brought different skills to the table. We were a great team. However, we became stronger both as a team and individually as we were exposed to our work and research at Instituto Mora.

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Distribution of EU Aid in Mexico: A Preliminary Look

The Fellowship ended August 8th, with several maps half made and a report half-finished. We simply ran out of time as Fellows, although with the trainings that we conducted over the summer for both geocoding and geospatial analysis, ObservaCoop should be equipped to create basic maps for the report comparing the distribution of European Commission aid projects in Mexico with indicators such as poverty, violence, education, and more. Although I was not necessarily permitted to publish those maps, I did have access to the geocoded data and consequently constructed an elementary model of EU aid distribution at the state level using tools from my econometrics course that I took spring of this year.

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Over the Hill

July 24, 2014

At, last we’ve finished!

We’re about two weeks past our intended deadline, but we have finally finished geocoding and exported the raw data set from Toolkit. Ultimately we had documentation for 34 projects for a total of 855 project locations geocoded. Clay is currently going through the process of quality assurance to make sure that the geographic locations that we assigned to the project activities are updated and to make sure that the dataset does not suffer from any repetition. As soon as he finishes, we’ll be able to start making maps in ArcGIS and conduct statistical analyses for the final report. Certainly geocoding was the most arduous of this process – and it was complicated by the other tasks that we had to field for ObservaCoop.

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A Plan in Action

Thursday, June 19, 2014

After a few weeks of doing odds and ends for ObservaCoop we have finally landed our first large assignment for the summer: geocoding a portfolio European Commission projects in Mexico and using ArcGIS to create maps and a final report for the European Union. It was really exciting and somewhat intimidating at first, since we found out that we, as Summer Fellows, would be largely responsible for the execution of this project. Since none of the Fellows at Observacoop, myself included, have any real experience managing such an endeavor, the best we could do was smile and say “ya lo hacemos!” After all, it was going to be a learning experience for all of us – it would be our first time managing a project and it would be the interns’, our primary geocoders, first time geocoding.

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Poco a poco

Today marks the beginning of my third week in Mexico. When I came here two weeks ago, my bank PIN was rebelling, I was haphazardly thinking in three languages (English, Spanish, and Chinese), and I had a touch of altitude sickness. Within 48 hours of starting the job, my colleagues, Emily and Clay, and I put together a three-part geocoding training session in Spanish and then delivered it throughout the course of the week. We then read evaluations and improved the training program for our next session, which will be held a few weeks from now.

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