You will explore the intersections of agriculture and health in two regions of Ethiopia – Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) Region – as well as urban areas of Addis Ababa and Jimma. The Oromia and SNNPR regions’ economies are primarily agricultural, and both regions are inhabited by many tribes with distinct cultural, linguistic, and spiritual beliefs. Most of the rural communities in southern Ethiopia have cultivated the land for generations, producing crops mostly for subsistence/household consumption. However, the landscape and communities are changing rapidly, largely due to external factors that impact local economic, environmental, and social/household structures. These changes are often guided by market goals which may conflict with the values of local communities and may not be ecologically sustainable. The Ethiopia field course will take these historical and contextual issues into consideration as we explore the question of how can we create food and water systems that integrate the best practices of technology and industrial systems with the local values of communities in order to maximize human and environmental health.
Getting to Your Program
Group airfare will be purchased for this program.
A student visa is required. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. You will apply for your own visa. IAP will provide you with visa information.
How to Apply
First, make sure you have reviewed the information for Prospective Students on the IAP web site.
There is also specific Academic Planning information that you should review.
Next login to the IAP Online Application.
The following supplemental application materials are also required as part of the application to this program and will become available to you through the on-line application:
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP completes a review of all applications to determine if students meet minimum eligibility requirements.
|Winter Intersession - 2017-2018
||Application Not Available
Agriculture and health are interrelated, as the health of people depends upon productive agricultural systems and productive agricultural systems require healthy people, ecological environments, and social and economic systems. Agriculture and health impact each other in important ways. Too often their policy-making processes, however, are conducted independently of each other, resulting in programs and policies that are not aligned and may, in fact, have goals that are in contradiction with each other. Consideration of the interrelationships across sectors throughout the policymaking process can have multiple benefits: improving human and environmental health, reducing malnutrition and food insecurity, and alleviating poverty.
One strategy for creating policies and programs that consider a holistic model of health is to design community food systems that are culturally appropriate, locally driven, and meaningful to stakeholders. A community food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, consumption, and water and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic, and community health of a particular place. Designed with the community in mind, local values, beliefs, and leadership can be infused throughout the tiers to promote health and sustainability.
The Ethiopia Field Course will explore the intersections of agriculture, water access, and health in the Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ regions of southern Ethiopia. These regions are primarily agricultural and inhabited by many tribes with distinct cultural, linguistic, and spiritual beliefs. Most of the rural communities in southern Ethiopia have cultivated the land for generations, producing crops for subsistence consumption. However, the landscape and communities are changing rapidly, largely due to external factors that impact local economic, environmental, and social/household structures. These changes are often guided by market goals which may conflict with the values of local communities and not be ecologically sustainable. The field course will take these historical and contextual issues into consideration as we explore the question of how can we create food and water systems that integrate the best practices of technology and industrial systems with the local values of communities in order to maximize human and environmental health.
Students on the Ethiopia Field Course will meet and engage with faculty and staff from the UW, Ethiopian universities (Addis Ababa University, Jimma University), government, and local and international development organizations in order to critically evaluate their roles in promoting sustainable development and which voices are involved in priority-setting. The course will involve students in service learning projects in rural communities, with a focus on food systems; school/community gardens; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs; and nutrition education. We will also be involved with participatory community surveys with Project Mercy and rural villages, gathering information about local water and food systems and how they impact the health of these communities.
1) Introduce students to rural community life and culture in Ethiopia, discussing the burden of disease and factors that impact well-being as well as the root causes of these issues. Explore how health is viewed from community members’ perspectives, and the importance of working across sectors (health systems, agriculture, engineering, education, etc.) to support sustainable community development. Health in this field course is broadly defined to include not only the physical well-being of individuals, but also their social, emotional, economic, and spiritual well-being and the health of whole communities (e.g., food security, social ties, role of traditional healers, emotional/mental health, and climate change).
2) Define the concepts of food security and describe how food systems relate to public health. Explore the relationships between ecosystem and public health, considering how the health of ecosystems affects the health of human communities. Students will gain an understanding about current environmental issues in rural Ethiopia (e.g., climate change, water quality and availability, and loss of biodiversity), considering both how ecosystem health impacts humans and how humans affect the health of ecosystems. Traditional knowledge about the local flora, fauna, and landscapes will be taken into consideration.
3) Using the Social Ecological Model as a framework, the course will look at case studies to show how change at multiple levels – community, regional programs, and federal policies – is a necessary strategy for sustainable development. Meet with community and government representatives to understand measures being taken to address health concerns locally.
4) Observe and understand the major issues related to community health. In 2017, emphasis will be placed on water systems, community food systems and nutrition, maternal and child health, and innovative projects that are working to strengthen community food security.
5) Integrate students into community-based education and service activities (COBES), by providing opportunities for service learning with local community groups. Practice respectful and mutual engagement with our community partners and local populations during site visits.
The study abroad program is approved as a field experience for the Global Health Certification.
Use the links below to see a list of courses that past students have taken on this program and the UW equivalents. Note: This list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses, departments or equivalents. Courses may not be available the semester you are abroad. You will receive instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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