Spring 2022 Capstone Workshops 

Capstone Client Project Title Faculty Advisor

Bank of America

Opportunities for Innovation in the Financial Services Industry Using AI Elizabeth Ann Cartier and Neal Pollard

Barclays Public Finance Department and Town+Gown

Life Cycle Cost Benefit Analysis to Support the Creation of Smart City Infrastructure Authority in New York City 

Thomas Quaranta

BCG Platinion

ESG Investment Strategies and Firm Cost of Capital

Hans-Martin Boehmer

Black Veterans Project

Black Veterans Restorative Justice: Data Analysis, Research & Reparations Policy

Linda J. Mann

Booz Allen Hamilton

AI and Machine Learning Algorithms: Public Policy Framework 2032

Harry Silver and Ulrike Zeilberger

Center for Popular Democracy

Healthcare is a Human Right: Expanded Analysis of the Barriers to Access with a Race, Gender and Disability Rights Lens

Kristina Eberbach

Citi Community Capital

Improving Risk Management Tools for Financing Affordable Housing Carol O'Cleireacain

Crédit Agricole CIB

 

Investment Opportunities in Hydrogen Infrastructure in Selected Countries James F. Guidera

Democracy Policy Network

Achieving Universal Voting: A Policy Kit for Policymakers

Nicholas Stabile

Equinor

Implementing Equinor’s Biodiversity Position: Operationalizing the Concept of Net Positive Impact in the Empire/Beacon Offshore Wind Projects

Tom Moerenhout

Eurasia Group

Europe’s Quest for Strategic Autonomy: Prospects and Scenarios

Markus Jaeger

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Super-Charging Investment in ​​E-Mobility Infrastructure Amar Pradhan

Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations 

Financing the SDGs Jeffrey Sachs and Aniket Shah

Federal Reserve Bank of New York- Markets Group

Central Bank Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Daniel Waldman

Gemini

Examining the Intersection of Cryptocurrency and Illicit Criminal Activities, and Recommending Effective Deterrent and Prevention Strategies

Annemarie McAvoy

Goldman Sachs

Implementation of ESG Considerations to the Country Risk Management Process

Robert Kopech

Government of Estonia

Estonia, the Land of Skype: How Lessons from an Innovative Digital State Can Advance International Governance

Jenik Radon

Government of Nigeria: Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)

Decarbonizing the Nigerian Economy: A Life-or-Death Investment Imperative for the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority

Mahima Achuthan and Christine Capilouto

Governments of Peru: Ministry of Energy and Mines

Peru: Implementing Community Acceptance and Consent of Mining Projects through Social License and Agreement

Jenik Radon

IFC-ILO Better Work Jordan

Environmental Sustainability in the Jordanian Garment Sector

Jessica Prata
Inter-American Development Bank- Connectivity, Markets and Finance Division-CMF Guidelines for Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation in the LAC Region Fernando Sotelino

Inter-American Development Bank- Transportation Unit

Marketing Congestion Pricing Policies – What Works and What Doesn’t?

Andrew Salzberg

International Organization for Migration, International Migration Law Unit (IOM-IML)

Saving Lives and Protecting the Human Rights of Migrants at Sea

Andrew Painter

International Peace Institute (IPI)

Mapping COVID-19 Vaccine Diplomacy

Wilmot G. James

JPMorgan

Demystifying the “E” in Sovereign ESG Assessment

Thomas Byrne

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)

Mapping Humanitarian Assistance along the U.S. Southern Border: Opportunities to Support Migrants and Asylum-Seekers

Elen Costigan

Mercy Corps

Girls Improving Resilience through Livelihood and Health (GIRL-H) Program

Dale Buscher

Moody's Investors Service

The 2022 Perspective: Assessing Policy Effectiveness and the Credit Implication of Latin American Governments’ Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

Sara Guerschanik Calvo

National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA)

Reparations and Public Policy: Black Youth Unemployment in Chicago

Linda J. Mann

Neighborhood Benches

Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration: A Roadmap from Re-entry to Credible Messenger, Neighborhood-School Teaching Practicum for Developing Mentors

Judith Pincus

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and Town+Gown

The Public Impact of Public Spaces: Inclusive Maintenance Strategies for NYCHA Open Spaces

Thomas Quaranta

New York City Mayor's Office of the Chief Technology Officer

Workforce Needs in New York City’s IoT Ecosystem

André Corrêa d'Almeida

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Charging Forward: Designing a New Electric Vehicle Purchase Incentive Program for Low- and Moderate-Income New Yorkers

Damian Busch

NYC: GARRA

Vulnerability, Resilience and Domestic/Public Space in COVID Times

Marcela Tovar-Restrepo

PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC)

The Implications of Digital and Crypto Currency on Economic Statecraft

Erinmichelle Perri

Renew Power

Green Hydrogen as a Pathway to Decarbonization

A. J. Goulding

SAP

Mapping Global Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulations, and the Implications for Multinationals

Katheryn Rosen

Tech Policy Press

Tackling Online Mis/Disinformation: The Role of AI Startups

Anya Schiffrin

The New York Women’s Foundation

Pathways for Inclusion, Equity and Justice for Women of Color and Gender Expansive People of Color with Disabilities

Stacey Cumberbatch

UBS 

Evaluating Strategic Cyber Threats

Adam Segal

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Nothing About Us Without Us- Adolescent Engagement in Humanitarian Response

Suzanne Hollmann
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)

A Practical Toolkit Embedding Management Practices in the Planning and Budgeting Processes

Isabelle Delalex
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): Crisis Management Group

Integrating Women’s Economic Empowerment and GBV Programming in Crisis Countries to Enhance Gender Transformational Impacts 

Dale Buscher
United Nations Secretariat: Office of Supply Chain Management

Collaboration with Data in the Context of the United Nations’ Supply Chain Operations

Melanie Petsch
United States Army Reserve: 75th Innovation Command

Innovation Archetypes in Adversary and Allied Military Innovation Programs

Daniel Madden
United States Department of Defense, Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs

Climate Change and the Implications for Security: Case Study of Oceania 

Karen L. Levin and Nathalie Rothschild
United States Department of Defense, DARPA

Vanguard Technology: Next Generation Ideas for U.S. National Security

Nancy Collins
United States Department of State, Global Engagement Center Great Power Competition with a Focus on Influence Operations Robert McKenzie
United States Department of State, Libya External Office

Oil, Corruption, Militias, and a Democratic Transition

Adam Day
United States Department of State, Office of European Security and Political Affairs 

Russia vs NATO @ Black Sea: Addressing Russian Military and Hybrid Pressure on NATO in the Black Sea Region 

Vaida Vidugiris

 

United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Mobilizing Private Finance to Counter Climate Change Beyond Renewable Energy

Hans-Martin Boehmer
United States Military Academy at West Point Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering

Urban Informatics for Enhanced Innovation, Connectivity, and Governance

Patrick Mahaney
WK Kellogg Foundation

The Haiti Local Food Systems Alliance: A New Locally Driven Solution to Growing Food Insecurity in Haiti

Rob Johnson
Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Achieving the DOE’s Target for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings

Jeanne Fox
World Bank Group

Agricultural Value Chain Upgrading in Northern Lao PDR

Glenn Denning
World Bank Group, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation

Can Insurance Unlock Credit for Farmers in Developing Countries?

Daniel Osgood
World Bank Group, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Understanding Climate Policy Impacts on Sovereign Debt Markets Cary Krosinsky and Thomas O. Murtha

 

 

 

Overview

SIPA Capstone Workshops apply the practical skills and analytical knowledge learned at SIPA to a real-world issue. Students from the Masters of International Affairs and Masters of Public Administration degree programs are organized into small consulting teams (generally about six students per team) and assigned a substantive, policy oriented project with an external client.

The collaboration between SIPA students and the organizations benefits both parties. The organizations benefit from the expertise of SIPA students, who have a wide variety of professional and educational backgrounds and who are in the final semester of a demanding, two-year professional degree program at one of the leading schools of international and public affairs in the world. All student teams are advised by a SIPA faculty member with relevant expertise. The students benefit from the opportunity to put learning into practice.

Capstone Workshop Clients and Projects

Clients include public agencies (from the local to national level), international NGOs and multi-national organizations, and major firms in the private sector—recent examples include Citi Private Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mercy Corps, New York City Mayor’s Office, the United Nations and the World Bank Group. Student teams, working under the supervision of a faculty expert, answer a carefully defined problem posed by the client. Each team produces an actionable report and an oral briefing of their findings at the close of the workshop that is designed to translate into real change on the ground.

For the full directory of projects, please see the Capstone Workshop directory here.

Timeline

We seek to partner with organizations that can offer a project that is timely, but not urgent, which can be completed within a four-month period, that is of value both to the organization itself and to the learning experience of students.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss project ideas with Suzanne Hollmann, the Capstone Program Director, before submission of a proposal. Applicants will be notified by the end of September about whether their proposal has been selected for further development. Applications received after July 31 will be considered on a rolling admissions basis. Priority will be given to applicants who have submitted before the July deadline.

During the summer, we will match clients with expert faculty advisors who will work with the client to further refine the project scope and deliverables. In October, students submit a formal application to the Capstone program, rank ordering their first through fifth choice. Students are selected by the faculty advisor and are matched with projects based on their demonstrated skill sets and interests. The actual workshop is conducted in late January to early May.

View the Spring 2022 Recommended Timeline

Deliverables

Supported by a Columbia faculty advisor, each student team starts work by late January on a draft work plan. Based on their desk and field research, each team prepares a report and actionable recommendations for review by the client in late April. Students work on average 8-12 hours per week on their project.

Cost-Sharing 

Clients are asked to provide financial or in-kind support for the project, which is determined during the completion of the project agreement in the fall.

Common expenses include the cost of transportation, per diem allowance during off-campus visits, printing expenses and other miscellaneous costs. Any travel expenses must be approved prior to the undertaking of the project. Because each project will accrue different costs, at this time SIPA does not have a fixed cost-sharing arrangement, but rather establishes the project budget with individual clients at the beginning of the workshop.

Client Responsibilities 

  1. Define goals and deliverables. Clients work with the faculty advisor in the late summer/early fall to define the project goals and deliverables.
  2. Participate in meetings. Over the course of the project, clients are asked to participate in three standard meetings—these are: an initial “kick-off” meeting, mid-term presentation, and final presentation. Beyond these meetings, the client should be available for periodic calls over the course of the semester with the team for status updates (generally twice a month throughout the project).
  3. Provide appropriate support. Clients are asked to provide financial or in-kind support for the project, which is determined during the completion of the project agreement in the fall.

 

Please see the FAQs below for more information:

How does my organization benefit from a Capstone project?

Capstone projects benefit both parties. The organizations benefit from the expertise of SIPA students, who have a wide variety of professional and educational backgrounds and who are in the final semester of a demanding, two-year professional degree program at one of the leading schools of international and public affairs in the world.

The students benefit from the opportunity to put learning into practice. We seek to partner with organizations that can offer a project that is timely, but not urgent, which can be completed within a four-month period, that is of value both to the organization itself and to the learning experience of students—and produces actionable recommendations, which ideally will be utilized by the client within the near future.

How do Capstone projects work?

Student teams, working under the supervision of a faculty expert, answer a carefully defined problem posed by the client. Each team produces an actionable report and an oral briefing of their findings at the close of the workshop that is designed to translate into real change on the ground. 

What is the timing for Capstone projects?

The Capstone Workshop process begins at the end of the spring semester (late April) through the summer (June–August), when possible project ideas are discussed with clients.  By the end of September, a preliminary Terms of Reference is developed.  In October, students submit a formal application to the Capstone program, rank ordering their first through fifth choice.  Students are selected by the faculty advisor and are matched with projects based on their demonstrated skill sets and interests. 

Supported by a Columbia faculty advisor, each student team starts work in January on a draft work plan.  Based on their desk and field research, each team prepares a report and recommendations for review by the client in early April.  Students work on average 8-12 hours per week on their project.

How does my organization apply for a Capstone workshop?

If you are interested in becoming a potential Capstone client, please complete the Capstone Client Application.

Begin the Capstone Client Application Form

What can my organization expect from a Capstone team?

Client organizations benefit from the expertise of SIPA students who have a wide variety of professional and educational backgrounds and who are in the final semester of a demanding, two-year professional degree program at one of the leading schools of international and public affairs in the world. All student teams are advised by a SIPA faculty member with relevant expertise. The specific scope and deliverables of the project will be determined by the Faculty Advisor and Client Project Director. All teams will produce a report and deliver an oral briefing of the findings and recommendations to the client.

What is a Client Project Director? How much time does a Director need to devote to the workshop?

A Client Project Director is a senior-level person who interacts directly with the team on a regular basis and may appoint a colleague to be in charge of the more day to day communication (at least twice a month) throughout the course of the project. The Client Project Director is expected to meet with the Capstone team for three standard meetings throughout the semester—this includes an initial meeting, a mid-term briefing and a final presentation. Additional Interaction can be in person or via conference call. 

What is the selection process for prospective workshops?

Projects are selected by the SIPA Office of Academic Affairs and selected faculty advisors. Criteria for selection include the significance and feasibility of the project, match between the project and the skills and interests of SIPA students, and other factors.

If my organization applies, are we guaranteed a workshop?

We expect to have more workshop proposals than workshop teams and, therefore, cannot guarantee every applicant a workshop. Applicants who are not selected for a workshop this year may be considered for the following year.

What can a team expect from my organization?

Each organization that agrees to work with a student team is expected to assign one, senior-level person to interact directly with the team on a regular basis throughout the course of the project. This person is expected to provide access to information necessary for the completion of the project and to serve as a resource for the students. The client liaison is also expected to organize an appropriate group of senior decision-makers to receive the team’s final oral presentation.

What are expectations regarding distribution and confidentiality of the final report?

SIPA will consult with the client at the close of the workshop to determine what of the final report is available for publication on SIPA’s website. When possible, we would like to publish all of the final deliverables on our website with the understanding that certain projects will not be available for full publication. Whether a report is published on the SIPA website is at the client’s discretion. At minimum, SIPA would like to share the name of the client organization and a brief 250-word abstract of the report. Students also retain the right to reference the name of the client and project and accurately describe in general terms their contribution to the project.