DEDP Alumni Spotlight: Varied paths, one mission toward evidence-based poverty alleviation
This is the second blog in an alumni spotlight series for the Data, Economics, and Design of Policy (DEDP) Master’s program at MIT. The first blog in the series highlights two students pursuing research through PhD programs.
We are delighted to share the accomplishments of three alumni from the DEDP Master’s program at MIT. These exceptional individuals represent the growing number of alumni who embark on varied, ambitious careers in a wide range of roles within research, policy, and implementing organizations, but whose work nonetheless shares a common thread of tackling poverty using evidence-based approaches.
In the following videos, Tomáš Dulka (DEDP ‘22), Helena Wajnman Lima (DEDP ‘20), and Chuka Ezeoguine (DEDP ‘22) reflect on how the DEDP program influenced their careers and share what they’re up to now.
First, we’ll let them introduce themselves.
Tomáš is working as a consultant at the World Bank in Washington, DC. Helena is the Executive Director of Republica.org, a philanthropic organization in Brazil that aims to improve the quality of public service by improving the quality of people management in the public sector. Chuka, whose interest lies within the education and finance sectors, is currently a product analyst with Boost Technology, having worked with the Teaching at the Right Level Initiative in Africa before and after completing the DEDP Master’s program.
While students of the DEDP Master’s program come from a wide range of backgrounds, they all started their DEDP journey the same way: by completing the online MicroMasters courses. These courses, their experience on MIT’s campus, and the people they met along the way had a lasting impact on their lives and careers.
Let’s hear what they have to say about how the DEDP MicroMasters and the master’s programs impacted their career.
Tomáš credits the MicroMasters courses with introducing him to economic development. The experiences that he had in the program led him to pivot his career from software engineering to consulting at the World Bank. Helena shares that her time in the program equipped her with the practical tools to talk about development from a data-based perspective, and she values her newfound community of people who share a common language regarding development policy and the fight against poverty. Chuka’s experience in the program has shifted the way he identifies new professional opportunities, as he is now keen to look for opportunities that use data to inform policy within organizations.
It’s clear that DEDP alumni are striving to make a lasting impact on global issues in unique ways through their dedication and commitment to data and evidence-based policy.
Watch this final video to hear about the types of work with which Tomáš, Helena, and Chuka are currently engaged.
Tomáš is working on two projects at the World Bank. The first uses machine learning to extract causal data from existing economic literature with the goal of making the research process easier. The second supports information systems for a social protection project in Malawi. At Republica.org, Helena supports the government in improving working conditions for civil servants by testing potential solutions using data and then implementing successful solutions in the civil service sector. Chuka is a product analyst at a UK startup where he runs experiments to test different interest rates on a number of different outcomes for woman microentrepreneurs in Nigeria.
As we reflect on the journey of each graduating cohort of DEDP Master’s students, it is clear that the program’s innovative approach of offering rigorous courses online and bringing dedicated and talented MicroMasters credential-holders to MIT is building a community of change-makers who positively influence the world. We look forward to continuing to share their stories.
Join the growing DEDP community
Interested in joining the DEDP Master’s program? Start working toward a DEDP Micromasters credential by enrolling in fall courses, which start on September 12.
All course content is available on MITx Online, and you can learn more about the DEDP Master’s admissions process, curriculum, and our current students on the MIT Economics website.