January, 2013

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HPSD is now the Harvard Forum for International Development (HFID)



We have changed our name to more accurately reflect our mission and spirit as the premiere international development group at Harvard College.

The concern was this – are we staying true to the words in our name? Are we considered a “Project”? Are our international programs truly “Sustainable”? If so, under what definition of sustainability? As HPSD’s involvement with its flagship Nicaragua program came to a close when we picked up the reins of leadership, we believed our tenure was an ideal juncture to launch a new and improved HPSD.

After many drawn-out discussions and brainstorming, our exec board ultimately voted to change our name to the Harvard Forum for International Development last semester. “Forum” because we value intellectual discussion through content pieces as well as critical exchanges of opinion on the morality and power relations inherent in our own international projects. “International Development” because we encompass wide-ranging subjects and projects from global health to microfinance, from education to humanitarian aid. Taken together, our new name more appropriately fits our identity; HFID facilitates critical discussion and action in international development grounded on a humble commitment to ethics.

HFID Fall 2012 in Review


HFID’s Continuing Partnerships

Kasiisi Project in Uganda:

  • Project teams addressing school nutrition and mobile health clinic.
  • Anticipated projects in agriculture, conservation, women’s empowerment, financial literacy.
  • Team trips to Uganda planned for Summer 2013

Lead Us Today in Zimbabwe:

  • Fundraising Dinner Reception (December 5). Donations directed to LUT’s leadership training of Zimbabwean high school students.

HFID Starting New Partnerships with:

VOA in San Paulo, Brazil

  • Teaching math, astronomy, and physics to public high school students in Brazil for Scientific Olympiads

Microfinance Initiative

  • New project approved for 2013! Visit our International Programs page to learn more.

Fall 2012 Forum: “Delivering Humanitarian Aid in Times of Crisis” (November 8th)

Funding from Harvard Global Health Institute Grant


  • Dr. Hilarie Cranmer (Director of Education at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard School of Public Health)
  • Michael Delaney (Director of Humanitarian Response, Oxfam America)
  • Jon Shaffer (Community Engagement Coordinator, Partners in Health)

How do humanitarian organizations effectively deliver humanitarian aid in areas of crisis?  How do NGOs react to delicate political situations?  How do aid workers react to tenuous circumstances? Our panelists shared their experiences in the field – coordinating aid in regions of civil conflict, natural disasters, and political instability – and offered a frank perspective on the challenges and downfalls that organizations are confronted with when delivering aid and medical services to developing countries.

International Service Preparation Series (ISPS) for Harvard College Students (November 4 and 11)

Co-sponsored by the Phillip Brooks House Association


  • A two-part interactive seminar series giving students traveling abroad for J-term the tools to prepare for, reflect on, and impact-evaluate their travels.

Luncheons with Guest Speakers

  • Dr. Brian Swann, DDS, MPH. Chief of Oral Health Services, Harvard School of Dental Medicine Clinical Instructor, (October 5)
  • Patrick Hamm, PhD. Harvard Lecturer on Sociology, (November 2)

Content Pieces

  • Included case studies on PlayPumps, TOMS Campaign; meaning of the poverty line; development economics; population aging and its effect on international development