Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What to Tell the Global Health Fellows?

Going to Cambridge, Mass. this weekend to impart whatever wisdom I can to the current global health fellows about the academic year at Harvard, the field project and life after the Nieman year. Looking forward to hearing what they’re doing and to catching up with David Kohn and Andrew Quinn, who will also be there.

But what to say that they don’t already know? All three of the current global health fellows have extensive experience in developing countries—Vietnam, Nigeria and India.

And how to prioritize? I still have trouble talking about the Malawi trip in anything less than treatise form. And so when friends ask, I often just say it was great and leave it at that.

If I had to focus on just three things what would they be?

1. Importance of sharing what you’re doing. e.g. Plumpy’Nut patent, putting Malawi proposal on the web. Solicit feedback but don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it or it doesn’t come as fast as you’d like it to.

2. Plan, plan, plan. Thinking of the field project as three distinct phases: pre-production, production and post-production. My own struggles with post-production. Don’t forget to bring the Malawi planning book I created. Also the laminated contact cards.

3. Bite off more than you can chew. But not too much more. Then let it happen.

Check with David and Andrew to see what they're thinking.

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