GPSA values knowledge & learning, including its dissemination, even at the local level. On September 1, Seema Thomas from the GPSA joined a Discovery Civics Course at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) near the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC.
In the introductory political science class, Seema worked with undergraduate students on understanding accountability in a local/domestic context, as well as on an international level. With over 70 students from over 20 countries, from Saudi Arabia to Trinidad & Tobago and many local native Washingtonians, students interpreted/explained what social accountability meant to each one of them. Using the World Bank Social Accountability guide, the class began thinking about water and how to develop a citizen report card. Students then shared their own personal experiences with water from Arlington, Virginia, USA to Doha, Qatar. For the concluding exercise, students were involved in a role-playing exercise to understand both meaningful engagement with government and the application of political economy analytics (look up phrase). In continuing the discussion of water, students played roles such as a minister of water & sanitation, minister of finance, CSO leader, and leader of the community.
Paul Tennaassee, Adjunct Professor of UDC and producer/host of CaribNation TV, liked the GPSA learning module because it encourages the 140 students he teaches, “in a world where millennial generation are manifesting dissatisfaction with all levels of governance and demanding accountability. The content of these courses aspire not only to raise civic conscious, but to impress upon them the value of leadership in meaningful dialogue with government.”
The GPSA welcomes opportunities to work with learners at all levels and locations.