Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development

Facilitating Social Justice Outcomes

By Anne Lizette Sta. Maria

Tenzin Jigme, MA SID'23

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are processes that facilitate the outcomes of a program. Initiatives are monitored to verify accordance with the plan, and later, evaluated for efficacy.  

For Tenzin Jigme, MA SID'23, M&E Specialist at Johns Hopkins University, these systems go beyond the scope of a singular program’s outcomes — they help to bring forth a larger social impact. In the development context, M&E ensures that programs and policies are data-driven and transparent, thereby keeping policymakers accountable. 

A Shared Commitment to Social Justice 

Justice is a deeply held value to Jigme, a Tibetan refugee. “I’ve been subjected to occupation and have had to remain displaced my entire life,” he says. “So, the programs at Heller are really close to me. They touch me.”

What stood out to Jigme about SID was its program design, which combined both theory and application: Through his coursework, Jigme gained a rich understanding of modern social justice issues, as well as development best practices. 

Meaningful Field Experience

Jigme pursued the second-year practicum track — one of several program options offered at SID. He chose experiences that he identified with, wanting to give back to the same or similar communities from which he came.  

He first did field work with The Tibet Fund, evaluating the design of their program to empower Tibetan civil society. Then, Jigme interned at the International Rescue Committee, supporting a summer school initiative for refugee students. 

Tenzin Jigme, MA SID'23

Results of the Program

After graduation, Jigme found employment at the new Center for Government Excellence and Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University. He works to put M&E systems in place for the team, establishing tools to measure outcomes and tracking ongoing programs. He also creates M&E educational resources for staff members.

“Heller prepares you to work in development,” he says. 

At SID, Jigme took his M&E course with Professor Ricardo Godoy, who taught him how to use those concepts in the field. He was also able to observe a class led by Jenny Gold, who more broadly explored M&E from a policymaker’s perspective. 

“Both of their teaching resources are with me,” he says. “They’ve really helped me to develop my own for the needs of my current center. I’ve been revisiting their class materials every day.” 

Resources at Heller 

Aside from the faculty, Jigme commends Deputy Director of Global Programs Mary Poor, who provided him with one-on-one assistance throughout his time at SID. 

Jigme also found Heller’s English language support program to be instrumental to his learning. He wants to acknowledge Scott Moore and Angelina Tribus Ramo for helping him with assignments, reviewing his resume and offering job interview practice. 

Tenzin Jigme, MA SID'23