Global Opportunities

The following community service opportunities have been shared with us by organizations around the nation and the world.

DHCD Rent-Reform Research Project 

Location: Boston
Organization: Department of Housing and Community Development; Division of Public Housing and Rental Assistance; Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Contact: Amy Stitely,, 617.573.1156

DHCD oversees the preservation and operation of more than 45,000 units of state-funded public housing scattered about 240 communities. This portfolio is separate than the HUD-funded one and funded at a more modest rate. For the past ten years, DUSP alumni have led the Division in implementing innovations that include: launching sustainability program (2009), transforming the capital program (2011), piloting a resident service program (2013) and reforming the entire state system of administration and oversight (2014).

The next policy frontier to investigate is tenant rent structure. Currently, all tenants in this portfolio pay 30% of their income to rent. DHCD would like a student to do a nationwide policy research project on public housing rent innovations. Of particular interest is addressing cliff effects, barriers to residents’ increasing earnings, challenges with calculating elder income, and family mobility (or lack thereof) in high markets vs weak markets. The project would require an analysis of law, regulation, and implementation, including outcomes and process.

This research will be used to guide DHCD’s direction on potential rent reform that could happen within the next 2-5 years. 

Interested MIT students can apply for support through the competitive PKG Fellowship program at the PKG Center. DUSP students may also apply for support through the competitive DUSP-PKG Fellowships.

Revamping of Laare Community Technology Center in Kenya

Location: Laare, Meru County, Kenya
Organization: Laare Community Technology Center
Contact: Eric Mibuari, Center Founder,, +254 718 501 691

The Laare Community Technology Center was founded in January 2005 by Eric Mibuari (MIT ’06). The community center was started with the aim of promoting computer literacy and IT awareness in the Laare community especially among the youth. The center has been running since then and has trained more than a thousand young people on basic computer skills. The equipment that was initially installed at the center (such as computers, printers, copiers) were donations of used equipment from MIT Libraries as well as the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). This aging equipment has not been replaced since then, and most of it is broken, outdated or obsolete. One of the main goals of this fellowship, therefore, is for the MIT fellow(s) to help source and install new equipment and software at the center, as well to help renovate and re-organize/plan the space properly so that the center can offer up-to-date relevant training.

Given our summer project plans we are hoping to host a team of at least two or three MIT fellows. Fortunately, the founder of the center lives in Kenya and is therefore in a position to work very closely with the MIT fellows before, during and after their fellowship, and coordinate closely on the ground.

Interested MIT students can apply for support through the competitive PKG Fellowship program.

Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA)

Location: Washington, D.C., USA but supporting work in 80 countries
Organization: World Bank Group, Global Indicators Group within the Development Economics Network
Contact: Interested candidates should send resume and cover letter by February 26, 2017 to Esperanza Pastor Nunez de Castro at (

The Global Indicators Group (GIG) Department within the Development Economics Network at the World Bank Group (WBG) produces a range of quantitative indicators and benchmarking products on business regulations and private sector activity around the world.  The GIG Special Initiatives unit is partnering with the WBG’s Agriculture & Food Global Practice to improve data availability on the business environment for agriculture. The Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) program responds to the demand for more analytical work to better identify and prioritize regulations that support agricultural growth and an inclusive agribusiness climate. Specific topics covered by the project include: agricultural inputs (seed, fertilizer and agricultural machinery), accessing agricultural finance, transport, land, markets, information and communication technology, livestock, accessing water, environmental sustainability, and gender. After a pilot phase which included 10 countries in 2014, the work has scaled up to include an additional 30 countries in 2015 and covered 62 countries globally in 2016. It is expected that the project will cover 80 countries in 2018. The project looks at agribusiness laws, regulations and policies, with data collected through expert surveys.

A highly motivated research intern is invited to join this dynamic team to:

  • Conduct detailed research of laws, regulations and policies that are related to EBA topics
  • Provide support to preparation of the synthesis report on agribusiness regulatory environment and comparative analysis related to the set of indicators on a country by country, regional and/or global basis
  • Assist in researching the legal framework for potential new countries
  • Find and summarize relevant studies done on topics in EBA countries
  • Research new areas of interest for the EBA topics and help identify best practices
  • Contribute to writing the dissemination materials for newly released report
  • Help in preparation of the project presentations
  • Assist in maintaining and expanding the network of EBA local partners via primary and secondary sources
  • Participate in developing effective partnerships with leading organizations and experts on EBA topic areas
  • Provide general support to the project, as required.

This is an unpaid internship from May/June to August/September 2017. Candidates will have to obtain academic credit or funding from university for the duration of the internship in order to qualify.

Interested MIT students can apply for support through the competitive PKG Fellowship program.