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Brock students promote good governance and institution-building in developing countries

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September 9, 2005

Source: Brock University:

Brock students promote good governance and institution-building in developing countries

Two students from Brock University will travel to Vietnam and Argentina this semester to take part in separate international internships made possible through the new Canada Corps University Partnership Program (CCUPP).

John Martin, a fourth-year Political Science student, will participate in a 14-week internship in Vietnam at the Institute for International Relations within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi. Martin will study how the country is moving away from past models of politics and foreign affairs.

"I am pleased to be able to travel to Vietnam where I will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the current changes happening within the country," says Martin. "I'm interested in examining how these changes will lead to new forms of, and new directions in, Vietnam's foreign policy."

Martin's internship will result in a research paper of relevant policy recommendations to be shared with the host institution. He will also use his expertise in computer sciences to help improve the Internet skills of foreign-service officers at the Institute. Martin's placement was made possible through the assistance of Professor Pierre Lizee, Department of Political Science.

Erin Kaipainen, a second-year MA Social Justice and Equity Studies student, will be involved in an internship in Argentina for three and a half months with the Habitat Program in the Municipality of Rosario. The Rosario Habitat Program is a seven-year local government project funded by the Inter- American Bank of Development and designed to improve the living conditions of 8,000 families living in shantytowns.

"I am thrilled to be able to return to Argentina for an extended period of time to work under the guidance of experienced Rosario Habitat staff," says Kaipainen. "I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the cultural aspect of the program, which recognizes and values the unique life experience of barrio-dwellers and seeks to preserve visual expressions of their culture."

While in Argentina, Kaipainen will work on a project to preserve images through a graphic and written registry of neighbourhod graffiti and street art. She will also conduct interviews with graffitists, activists and community members in Rosario to discuss changes to the communities and ways to improve social conditions within the barrios. Kaipainen's placement was secured through the assistance of Centre for Environment faculty member, Professor John Middleton, and the support of Geography faculty member and MA Program Director, Professor David Butz.

Financed by the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the CCUPP is a way for Canadians to work together to promote good governance and institution-building in developing countries. The pilot phase of the program will help foster a new generation of Canadians committed to helping build a safer, more prosperous and more democratic world. For more information about the CCUPP, please visit: canadacorps_e.html

For more information about the CCUPP, or to get in touch with any of the program participants, please contact Sheila Young, Brock International, at 905-688-5550, ext. 4404; e-mail:



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