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Mano a Mano Collaboration and Partnership Develops

Family Social Science faculty and graduate students came together with representatives from Mano a Mano International Partners for a two-day workshop on April 27-28 to collaborate on developing an evaluation plan for Mano a Mano's economic development programs in rural Bolivia.

Mano a Mano works on infrastructure building in Bolivia, helping rural and often hard to access towns construct and maintain water reservoirs, health centers, and schools to improve the residents' economic well-being.

During the collaboration workshop, a logic model was developed to aid in measuring human elements of the work being done, and gain a concrete understanding of how social capital is being developed. The results will be important not only for Mano a Mano and the communities in which it works, but also for government and community leaders.

Dr. Cathy Solheim and Dr. Tai Mendenhall have been working with Mano a Mano to develop a partnership over the last year. In the next year, the project will be incorporated into Dr. Solheim's course, taught with Dr. Liz Weiling, on refugee and immigrant families.

"We hope to do field work next summer in Bolivia," said Dr. Solheim. "Working with Mano a Mano on-site will help us further understand the work being done, and integrate it into our collaboration."

The collaboration also reached beyond Family Social Science, with three graduate students from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs' Master of Development Practice (MDP) program attending the collaboration workshop.

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