Nevada Griffin, MPH '11
Panama City, Panama
I was based in UNICEF’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama (one of seven regional offices globally) and worked to advance UNICEF’s mission through strategic partnership building and the promotion of social responsibility within the private sector. My time was divided between two broad projects. I developed and tested an online survey tool to measure the extent to which UNICEF’s private sector partners accounted for children’s rights and health issues in developing their social responsibility agendas. I also developed a proposal for a strategic partnership between UNICEF and the Inter-American Development Bank, outlining how the distinct assets of each organization could be more efficiently harnessed to achieve their shared goals for child development in the region. This experience gave me insights into the extensive resources and capabilities of the world’s largest child-oriented development organization. It also provided me with a clearer sense of both the opportunities and constraints facing an employee of a large intergovernmental organization, and a clearer sense of the professional opportunities available to a Yale School of Public Health graduate.
Nevada Griffin - Panama
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- The view of Taboga Island, which is located 20 km offshore of Panama City. The island was settled by the Spanish in 1515 and is home to the second-oldest church in the southern hemisphere.
- Ruins of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Asunción (built between 1619-1626) in Panama Viejo, the first European settlement along the Pacific Ocean.
- UNICEF’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean focuses a great part of its work on providing education opportunities for at-risk youth in Panama City, like the young man pictured here in the Casco Viejo area.
- A visit to the rainforest waterfall known as Chorro El Macho (manly falls) in Valle de Antón with family and friends.
- Children near the Casco Viejo area, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.
- Housing and commercial buildings in the historic Casco Viejo section of Panama City.
- Children playing soccer in Casco Viejo. Sports are a big part of UNICEF’s strategy in Panama and all of Latin America.
- A boy plays soccer on the street in the historic Casco Viejo area.
- A ship prepares to enter the Panama Canal's final lock. The canal stretches 80 km from the port of Colón on the Atlantic to the Miraflores lock on the Pacific.
- The Panama Canal has three sets of double locks. Pictured here are the gates of the Gatún Locks on the Atlantic side.
- A cargo ship enters the Miraflores locks on the Pacific side of the Canal. With the passing of one single ship like the one pictured here, 52 million gallons of fresh water are released into the ocean.
- View of the Chagres River from the Fort of San Lorenzo. The river served as an entryway into the heart of Panama for Spanish conquerors and British pirates.
- A view of the Panama City, looking east. A UNICEF priority for 2010 is tackling disparities. Panama City is considered to be Central America’s most cosmopolitan city, but is not exempt from the often extreme economic inequalities that extend through much of the region. The luxury apartments (upper right), among them the $400 million Trump Ocean Club now under construction, contrast with the poverty and high rates of crime of the Curundu and El Chorrillo neighborhoods (lower center).
- Brenna, my fiancée, and I visiting the ruins of the Spanish Fort of San Lorenzo (built in 1595).