Capstone Project
28 January 2020

Students’ Capstone Project Published by World Meteorological Organization

Olga Bogdan (Master in International Affairs), McPherlain C. Chungu (Master in International Affairs) and Seulgi Yoon (Master in Development Studies) of the Graduate Institute partnered with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for their Capstone Project to examine the “Gendered Impacts of Weather and Climate: Evidence from Asia, Pacific and Africa”. Their report was subsequently peer-reviewed and published by the WMO, with findings presented by Agnes Kijazi, WMO Third Vice-President and Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, at an event during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) held 11 December 2019.

“The outcome went well beyond my expectations and this is all owing to the outstanding project team - Olga, McPherlain and Seulgi -- and particularly to their commitment and excellent research and writing skills”, said Dr Assia Alexieva, Head of Monitoring, Evaluation, Risk and Performance Unit; Capstone Partner from the WMO; and alumna of the Graduate Institute. “The Team managed to target the report well to the WMO community and make it relevant to our Members and the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, which was critical to ensuring  its utility and take-up”.

The students’ work was conducted within the requirements of their Capstone Project, which pairs groups of students from the Institute’s Interdisciplinary Masters’ programmes with organisations in International Geneva to conduct research responding to today’s global challenges. WMO provided the research scope and questions, while the Capstone project team reviewed the existing literature, collected, categorised and analysed the data.  

“Coming from very diverse backgrounds this was a privilege and a great learning experience for us”, explained Mr Chungu. “The process taught us how to cooperate and respect one another. This publication was truly born from hard work and real collaboration and cooperation. And importantly, we have valued the lifelong relationships we have made throughout the process." 

Based on 18 case and three in-depth studies, the report found that climate and weather impacts are not gender neutral, experienced differently by men and women depending on other social determinants such as “economic status, location, age, disability and marital status”. 

“The link between gender and climate change is rarely ever made, many believe it does not exist”, said Mr Chungu on behalf of his team. “We believe that our findings will respond substantially and factually to this crucial link and highlight what the relationship between gender and climate change means for various regional contexts and at a global level.”

Read the report in full

Courses on climate change offered at the Graduate Institute and in the Environment, Resources and Sustainability Track of the Interdisciplinary Masters Programmes: 

Keywords: Master in International Affairs, Master in Development Studies