Projects

See All My Projects

Admin

Emerging Fellow - Asha Athman

Emerging Fellow - Asha Athman

Emerging Fellow - Asha Athman in Roosevelt Institute Campus Network

Team

You must be logged in to add comments.

Asha Athman

Biweekly Update, April 28th, 2017

1. BIG THANK YOU! I can't believe i'm published, could not have done it without you and the rest of the team

2. Meeting with Del. Peña-Melnyk
- Bulleted version of arguments from white paper
- Adjusting powerpoint materials sent to me from Dr. Letiecq
- Print Full white paper
- Research on her work with public health and the goals of the Legislative/Latino Caucus, explaining how my policy fits in to it

3. Outreach troubles continue
- Left phone message and follow up email with all contacts at the MORA two days ago, waiting to hear back
- Re-reached out to Enrique at IRC, waiting to hear back
- I understand your feedback about reaching out to new contacts at the these agencies, I am doing my research on that now

4. Blog
- Inspiration + outline
- Feedback

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Biweekly Update, April 19th, 2017

1. I am currently finalizing my meeting with Del. Peña-Melnyk in College Park, MD with her scheduler. Next week works best for her so I will likely see her Wednesday or Friday before the month closes out.

2. Dr. Letiecq got back to me with comments on my CAB proposal explaination document, she suggested a few edits that I incorporated in the doc. I will take this with me when I meet with Del. Peña-Melnyk, and Augustin eventually at the MORA. She also gave me some powerpoint and informational literature for different potential stakeholders in the CAB that explains how the body works, etc. I hope to take these materials to those meetings as well.

3. I have emailed 3 different people at MORA on different things but have yet to hear back, I sent follow ups this morning about meeting with the State Refugee Coordinator and getting a direct email introduction with Sarah Zullo at the ECDC. I am also going to message their website email platform again and call in to both offices.

4. Blog pitch (3-5 sentences): "Refugees Welcome" became the rallying cry of American solidarity with victims of conflict globally in the wake of President Donald Trump's travel ban on residents from several countries facing grave humanitarian crisis. Strong public will in the United States for our country to remain a place of asylum also requires a reflection on the current framework for integrating refugees. Through a public private partnership with private refugee assistance agencies, the state of Maryland supports over 11,000 refugees and asylees. Maryland does not directly involve refugees and asylees in their evaluation process despite their invaluable knowledge as participants in the resettlement system. It is imperative for state and federal agencies to invest in more inclusive policymaking and evaluation processes, and a possible step to achieving this goal in Maryland is instituting a refugee and asylee community advisory board.

Deliverables for next Friday:
- Send Aman draft of blog for paper release by COB this Friday, April 21st
- Prepare agenda and resources for meeting with Del. Peña-Melnyk next week
- Solidify contact with ECDC and set up meeting at the IRC by checking in with contacts again over email and calling in if needed
- Check in again with Augustin, State Refugee Coordinator at the MORA, about having a meeting in the second week of May.

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Biweekly Check-In With Aman

- Go over meeting with Mentor Dr. Bethany Letiecq
-Meeting with Del. Pena -Melnyk
- Community meeting follow ups (IRC)
- Publishing Paper
- Blog idea submission



2 years ago ·

Asha Athman - Follow ups for April 14th, 2017
Meeting scheduled with MORA State Coordinator Augustin Ntabaganyimana for my end of semester (month in advanced)
Get email introductions at ECDC and IRC
Writing my blog
Updating CAB document with Bethany's thoughts
Finalizing in-person meeting with Del. Peña-Melnyk

2 years ago

Asha Athman

Meeting with Mentor, Dr. Bethany Letiecq,

Community-University Grants
- Seed grants
- Researchers sometimes seek out external funding sources (private foundations, etc.)
- University would look to generate the funding
- Possible for seed grant to be created through the MORA for public universities
- Amount/Ask levels
Alexandria (110 interviews/surveys)
$50-100,000
Paying participants, hire community liaison/project director
On the university side, the methodological side which is done through research teams use internships and GRA
- Sharing her past budgeting information with me and presentations used to explain CABs to communities and partners.

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Bi-weekly Check-in Agenda
March 20th, 2017

Paper done
Still waiting on say back about using interviews for Yeheyis and Augustin

Meeting with Del. Pena-Melnyk (Anne Arundel & Prince George's county)
- Meeting April 14th/April 21st in college park
- Plan to review white paper (Maryland’s current issues, and my proposed solution)
- Leads Legislative Latino Caucus in MD, and says could be adopted as one of their issues.

Outreach

- Candice Edwards, MORA Program Manager/Contact information for ECDC, have yet to hear back from Sarah who has my information. Requested Candice cc-introduce me on an email to her (might be protocol against this, but we’ll see what she says).

- Bethany Letiecq, GMU Mentor
Feedback on CAB plan, shared with her
Couldn’t meet the week leading into Spring Break b/c mid-term madness, trying to reschedule for this week.
IRC remains AWOL on the email front, may ask mentor to email the volunteer coordinator that asks for Mason’s help with translators for help getting in contact.
Funding reallocation
Hard amount for conducting research difficult to measure without sitting down with implementing partners
Reallocation from Social Services budget

Apologies didn’t submit blog idea yet, will do today!

Deliverables for next meeting
April 7th, 2017

- Follow ups with IRC/ECDC, try and update Aman this week
- Blog idea to Aman & Sacha
- Aman review CAB proposal & Asha add how it fits into existing refugee evaluation coordination
- Meet with mentor to review CAB and talk about local people to get behind potentially piloting it
- Get MORA interviewees to give consent for publishing

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Bi-weekly Check-in Agenda
March 20th, 2017

Paper done
- Still waiting on say back about using interviews for Yeheyis and Augustin

Meeting with Del. Pena-Melnyk
- Meeting April 14th/April 21st in college park
- Plan to review white paper (Maryland’s current issues, and my proposed solution)
- Leads Legislative Latino Caucus in MD, and says could be adopted as one of their issues.

Outreach
- Candice Edwards, MORA Program Manager/Contact information for ECDC, have yet to hear back from Sarah who has my information. Requested Candice cc-introduce me on an email to her (might be protocol against this, but we’ll see what she says).
- Bethany Letiecq, GMU Mentor
Feedback on CAB plan, shared with her
Couldn’t meet the week leading into Spring Break b/c mid-term madness, trying to reschedule for this week.
- IRC remains AWOL on the email front, may ask mentor to email the volunteer coordinator that asks for Mason’s help with translators for help getting in contact.
- Funding reallocation
Hard amount for conducting research difficult to measure without sitting down with implementing partners
Reallocation from Social Services budget

- Apologies didn’t submit blog idea yet, will do today!

Deliverables for next meeting
April 7th, 2017

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Meeting with Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (Anne Arundel & Prince George's counties)
3/14/2017

What Del. Peña-Melnyk is looking for from me:
- Make an appointment & meet with me/legislative aids (aim for after April 10th in College Park)
- How other states run there
- How to measure outcomes (i.e. cost-benefit analysis)
- MD Legislative Latino Caucus (potentially can take a position of this issue publicly)
- Call the delegate after meeting with Aman on Friday & set up meeting time

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Follow ups:
Finishing white paper edits
Meeting with on-campus mentor to discuss CAB research process and GMU's interest in supporting this initiative
Follow ups with the reps at the ECDC and IRC
Follows up with legislators
Reaching out about funding mechanisms between MORA and ORR
Committee (CAB) outline, what refugee assistance participation in this would look like
Write a blog (Economic contributions & Struggles: Response to Immigrant ban represents high resistant period; exclusion we've pushed against, and inclusion)

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Bi-weekly Check-in Agenda
February 3rd, 2017

Paper feedback
Review editor’s notes with Aman
Ask for any clarifications about feedback
Translate into one-pager language

Power mapping/Institution mapping/OKRs for policy change phase
Review scanned OKR, Power map, and Institution map handouts

Review schedule for meeting objectives in my Loft Workbench
Ask Aman for thoughts on this timeline and objectives

Outreach
Candice Edwards, MORA Program Manager
Contact information for ECDC
Bethany Letiecq, GMU Mentor
for feedback on paper before resubmission early next week
and , feasibility of gaining University third party support in the DMV area to support a refugee and asylee community advisory board in the greater Baltimore area, Maryland.

Deliverables for next meeting
February 17th, 2017

Finish timeline and email Aman
Complete White Paper edits - Tuesday due date
Edited one-pager with matching language to white paper
Edit power map -- Target v. Allies using colors, arrows on how different people relate
Researching funding structures between ORR & MORA
Meetings scheduled with Refugee Assistance agencies

2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji

Follow ups:

Call w the ECDC, IRC and Kurdish Human Rights watch- goal- add supplemental data to present to State refugee coordinator
State refugee MORA person- willing to meet once we can add this data in
Shelley is making connections to Council folks to Check in with
Build out a timeline for the advocacy
Building out a one pager for now
Finish the powermap + handout + OKR's

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Dave Palmer, December 1st

- Necessary to bring the MD context into the paper
- Clearly identifying gaps in current policy and how it is affecting communities
- How is collective impact successful in other realms, why is it the best option? Can pinpoint specific needs, in an equitable way.
- Wrapping the problems into the policy proposal
- Who is implementing your ask? Mapping my institutions, who are the decision makers what ability exists at each level.
> As we are planning for advocacy, who has gone to this body in the past, how were they able to influence them.

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Zach Komes, November 30th

- Changing paper to discuss to what end reforming evaluation will help
- Next step in recommendations, bringing together refugees and refugee serving agencies to act on the outcomes of the evaluation
- Look for examples of evaluation (forms, existing)
- Examples of how to go about the collective impact theory steps
- interviews in the Appendix

2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji

Follow ups: Nov 28:

- Reach out to MORA- Jan meeting
- Reach out to Colorado state office for program evaluation info
- Rewrite the one pager to send to- Community colleges + refugee agencies to be part of coalition to support
- Re-connect w Shelley- ask for connections to peers that could help
- Second draft reviews- Mentor, Augustin (state refugee coordinator), Lutheran Services
- Chat w Zach re paper + Dave re advocacy
- Aman- citations question + timeline for next draft

2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji

Update Nov 2:

- Focused on the paper itself
- Meth with Lutheran Services- not below
Paper- moving well

Follow-ups
- Second draft
- Sending second draft to coalition folks: Lutheran folks, IRC, MORA, Mentor, leg aide or someone could read it at Hettleman's office,
- Send one pager and set up meetings for county level folks- state level reps for three counties she's interested

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area, Aerlande Wontamo (Maryland Office Resettlement Manager)

1. Does your establishment currently utilize any methods for direct feedback from refugees and asylees on the services you provide?
- Utilize both
> Visit Surveys (how was the case manager visit [need interpreter, etc.]) - annual
> Personal home visits
(monthly - 30 day limit) - How clients are doing, check-ups, answer questions
(quaterly) - Was everything done appropriately/satisfication (quality)
> Grievance policy
Direct engagement on specific issues, can rise in level of attention (sequential)
> Job developer Visit Survey

2. Is your establishment required to provide an annual or irregular report on your work and outcomes to the Maryland Office of Refugees and Asylees (MORA), Maryland State Congress, or federal Office of Refugee Resettlement?
> Tri-mester (space to talk about challenges, and explanation of aggregate)
> Monthly (Straight: demographics, employment program outcomes [job intake, etc] - individual basis)
* TANF not reported to MORA, but regardless family composition is taken into account when reports are submitted

3. What is the nature of communication between your establishment and other refugee service agencies in Maryland State?
- Don't have regularly scheduled meetings
- Have the ability to coordinate if needed
- If there is a need for it they communicate
- Not collaborating on reviewing services, more on progammatic basis

Suggestions on policy suggestions:
> Refugees should have a space to explain their views on cash assistance, employment services, etc for the programs funded by MORA
- How satisfied are clients with programs and their economic outcomes not agency satisfaction/quality?
- Evaluate expectations

> Evaluation lenses are different for independent agencies and MORA

2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji

Follow ups:

- Check in w Lutheran org
- Next draft of WP
- Outline of the process document- start mapping the program
- Edit it and send to coalition folks

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

October 13th, Meeting with Augustin Ntabaganyimana

Maryland Office of Refugees and Asylees (MORA)
Preliminary Inquiries

Grant Program Evaluation

1. What type of evaluative data collection are refugee resettlement private and public agencies required to carry out under grant requirements?

• Which parts of this data are used by MORA for its own reporting purposes, and why?
- Economic performance measurement requirements (DATA COLLECTED)
o Percentage of clients placed in jobs (full time v.s. part time)
o Increase/decrease in SNAP participation
o 90-day retention
o Hourly Wage
o Income below and beyond 200% of poverty line

* Casemanagers collect information client name, when started job, check in later if still in job, wage and income level, whether they stayed at same level of federal services (intake v. check in)

2. Under what timeline does the State or MORA receive reports from the public and private agencies and institutions providing refugee services?
- Monthly reports on new clients and updates on existing cases
- Trimester basis: more comprehensive reports that evaluate data (what was done and impact) – factors impacting the program positively and negatively
o Don’t get that deep level of information on individual clients

3. At what level do refugee service agencies communicate with each other?
• Is this mandated under the grant program?
• Has there ever been an effort to hold coordinated meetings of civil employees, refugee and asylee service agency representatives to review the efficacy of resettlement services programs?
- Agencies do communicate with each other
o Particularly on non-refugee cases (Asylees particularly)
o Bimonthly, staffers meet with the directors of agencies working in the state to discuss issues affecting more than one agency
o Quarterly consultation meeting (agencies, community colleges, public schools, local public health departments) to discuss issues and provide feedback
o Annual meeting for everyone who attends the quarterly, plus the caseworkers, nurses, employment services – Strategic meeting

4. In Maryland, are individual refugee and asylee cases managed by social workers employed at the state or agency level? (Combination of both?)
• Are caseworkers given a forum to express common challenges in their work with state level officials?

- Assistance & employment services
o Depends on the agency (some have employment specialists, some have caseworkers, differentiate work between them in the process of getting refugees economically secured [transporation, enrollment, organizing workshops, health related needs])
o Built into the program


5. Does MORA currently utilize any methods for direct feedback from refugees and asylees on the services they are provided through the Public Private Partnership program?
• Has MORA considered different mechanisms to involve refugees and asylees in monitoring and evaluating the refugee resettlement process?
- Incorporate home visits into monitoring
- Interviews would add that human touch
- Focus groups (Experience in Kansas: grouped by country of origin—common theme was disappointment, lack of understanding) – INFORMATIONAL GAPS AND BUILDING RESILIENCE

State & Federal Reporting

6. What type of information does MORA include in its annual fiscal year reports to the State Congress versus the monthly updates required by the Governor’s office?

- Office performances
- Determined on a place by place basis
- Employment empowerment
o Decreases in public support
o Wages
o Participation

7. Does MORA oversee the ORR’s Target Assistance Program (TAP) for Maryland’s 3 eligible counties: Prince George’s, Montgomery, and Baltimore City?
• What type of provisions are made possible by TAP?

- TAP not only funding for employment services
o Combination of federal and state resources used
- TAP is operated through the county level
o Leveled through county
o Baltimore City would be best for this
• State issues the funding to local municipality or county (for example goes to baltimore city)


8. Is MORA responsible for supervising the ORR’s Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program for the participating actors in Maryland (i.e. IRC, LIRS, and ECDC)
- Does not monitor the grant
- VAMG program member will not access state services if they are in it, and only have 6-month
- ORR distributes the funding to national agencies and they distribute to local level
o Different for different agencies (LIRS has affiliates at the local level that they distribute money)


2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji

Call on October 5:

Feeling good about paper- largely using lit review.
Colorado trust- teamed up w development contractor to look for social and econ dev practices. Going to add this is in at another draft.
Deciding on the visuals- next draft.
Getting in touch w Refugee groups & reps- have a meeting w Maryland office (state refugee coordinator) next Tuesday. Have protocols for evaluation- recently revised.
Sending out the one pager- went well and MORA wants to meet because of the 1 pager probably.

Follow ups:
State refugee coordinator
Reviewing financial data- funding structure
Meetings with Lutheran and IRC Dir Maryland
Reaching out to Colorado Trust

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman - Direct contacts working MD refugee resettlement in IRC and LIRS local affiliate secured and contacted -

2 years ago

Asha Athman

Meeting Notes with Del. Shelly Hettleman (Baltimore City-D)

*Refer to Refugee Resettlement DHR document uploaded in "Files" for particular language used to answer the questions I asked

- Del. Hettleman on Appropriations Committee for Maryland General Assembly, but not the subcommittee for Dept. of Human Resources (Refugee and Asylee Office is under DHR)

- Expressed that there is a direct funding mechanism from the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to MORA, but the State is responsible for reviewing the office's activity because it is housed within the DHR despite the office's federal mandate and purview. State funding related to a refugee resettlement project would be a bit different from erecting normal policy programs of a similar nature because state funding is not directly channeled into MORA. So hearing and deliberation on such a project would take on a different type of introduction and level of importance

- Suggested talking with refugee resettlement agencies directly to see what they think about the idea (let her know this is already underway); doing this work is not contingent upon state or local legislation

- Funding local county department offices of social services undergoes fiscal okay and review from both state and county legislatures

- The aggregate welfare data for the state IS inclusive of RCA (inquiry related to data seen at Association of Maryland Counties)

Told me about and connected me with these agents working on refugee resettlement in Maryland (latter via email introduction):
- CASA de Maryland
- Episcopal Refugee and Immigrant Center Alliance

Said to call on her again if needed!

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Meeting Notes with Asnake Yeheyis from MORA:

1. Does the State and its agencies including the Department of Health and Department of Human Services – MORA currently utilize any methods for direct feedback from refugees and asylees on the services they are provided?

➢ No direct contact with clients, report through service providers
➢ Intensive monitoring protocol (Ask Candince)
o Review files for all clients
o Visit the providing agencies

2. Is the State or MORA required to receive annual or irregular reports from the public and private agencies and institutions providing refugee services?

➢ Funding Agency primarily, distribute funding through rigorous grant process (lay out expectations and agencies fill out information)
o Obligated to report
o Creating online agency
o Public agencies also apply for contracts like the private agencies

3. Is MORA required to provide the State legislature with a yearly review? If so:
a. When (tentatively)?
b. Does that report include the work and data of the agencies/institutions it is affiliated with (refugee/asylee service agencies, community colleges, etc.)?

➢ Reports: Generated for ORR, all of funding from ORR, office governed by the state office
➢ State review:
1) MFR, managing for results—any state agency or program, whether funding from them or not, budget passes through the state, so office has to provide their plan who they are serving and expected outcomes
o Annually, file and report on outcomes
o Because they provide employment
o Timeline: State fiscal year (Submit planning) at the end of fiscal year submit outcomes
2) State Start
o Monthly report, sent to governors office
o Template-based
o Number of individuals employed, with health benefits, retainment on work, wages, etc.

4. Has there ever been an effort to hold coordinated meetings of civil employees, refugee and asylee service agency representatives, and/or refugee and asylee community members to review the efficacy of refugee and asylee services programs, and/or to gauge community voices on the matter?

5. Data collection requirement for Agencies
➢ Collected by agencies
➢ RCA/RHCA
o Family size matters

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman - REMINDERS FOR MEETING WITH CANDICE (MORA RESETTLEMENT COORDINATOR):

- Ask about refugee > caseworkers

2 years ago

1 person agrees

Asha Athman - September 21:

Local level ally- people that opposed Hogan's notion that they shouldn't go through it.
Tomorrow- meeting for Maryland office of Asylees- going to send one pager by tomorrow.
Maryland association of counties- added to the list.

Follow-ups

Start sending out the one pager- IRC, Mentor, Maryland Office of Refugees, Lutheran Association.
Connect with refugee case workers on this.
First draft white paper

2 years ago

Aman Banerji

September 21:

Local level ally- people that opposed Hogan's notion that they shouldn't go through it.
Tomorrow- meeting for Maryland office of Assailies- going to send one pager by tomorrow.
Maryland association of counties- added to the list.

Follow-ups

Start sending out the one pager- IRC, Mentor, Maryland Office of Refugees, Lutheran Association.
Connect with refugee case workers on this.
First draft white paper

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman

Meeting with Mentor: Dr. Bethany Letiecq

- Happy to see I have moved forward and designed the project
- Consideration for displaying need for re-evaluation:
Tracking how much support is necessary contingent upon education level, family composition, and skill sets
Gendered discrimination, women face unique challenges
Look at status under "Refugee" status (i.e. > asylum, in process of getting asylum, applying for green card, etc.)
One-stop shop over long-term support center
Look at self-sufficiency standards by state (how much does a family of certain size need to make in order to live)
> Feminization of Poverty, Diana Pearce
Aligning with those on the margins, not the best cases
- Evaluative principles
attachment, alignment, and responsiveness
- GW Conference

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman just completed a story: White Paper Skeleton & Robust Outline

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman just completed a story: Outreach to refugee resettlement service providers & oversight agents

2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji

September 6:

Funding at the county level- indep organization.
All the counties have a Dep of Human services. Looks like it's always an initial state level appropriation that's divied up downwards.
Discovered through county level website- breakins sent out to State congress to explain budgeting and taxation changes. Looking through them to look at where Maryland is at.

IRC benefit event- going to attend the event.

Coalition outreach:
- Finished first wave of outreach-7-8 partners and the mentor- waiting to hear back from folks.
- Share list of questions for coalition


Follow ups:
- Connect Asha with Shelley Hettleman
- Review Asha's questions on Loft
- Continue to look for a local level ally for the project
- Send draft of the one pager to Aman
- Reach out to Maryland Assoc of Counties

2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji Approved a goal: Bibliography & Brief Outline Due

2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji Approved a goal: Complete Literature Review

2 years ago ·

Aman Banerji

August 23:

Reviewed all documents and Asha's notes.

Policy Change pathway: Maryland Congress convenes in January/February, can request meetings in November for back to school.
Joint lobby with senators and members of the coalition.
Wants to see which reps from our counties sit on these committees.
More prone to refugee issues- actually identify and target those folks.
Goal- to introduce in committee. Lesser goal- engaging refugees for the idea too, and prepare refugees to provide testimonies.
Finding the best ways to do this from a funding standpoint- one of the key goals.
Could be done at the local level- most likely Montgomery since gets most funding for asylees- wouldn't include refugees outside of Montgomery. Be hard to know where the funding could come from.

Follow-ups:
- Research the funding structures at the County level
- Draft questions for coalition partners pre the calls- information you need
- Research on electeds at the local level who could be an ally on the project
- First outreach to all coalition partners
- Start writing bits of paper

2 years ago ·

Asha Athman just completed a story: Literature Review

2 years ago ·

Shreya Ganeshan joined the project

2 years ago ·

View All

Edit Story
File Upload
Rename File
Send Invitations

Type in names or emails, or paste in a list separated by commas

Edit Event
Goal Instruction

Loading ...

Edit Due Date
Take me to the Loft

Welcome to the Loft!

The Loft is a suite of tools created to help you run successful design projects.

Take me to the Loft

Projects

The Loft has built-in tools to make sure your design project runs smoothly.

Click your project name in the upper right corner to quickly navigate to your project.

The Loft has built-in tools to make sure your design project runs smoothly.

Take me to the Loft

Goals

Loft goals help keep your team on track and always knowing what the next step will be.

See your next deadline and statuses on goals.

Choose which goals you want to take on from the goal libarary.

Take me to the Loft

Feedback

With the Loft feedback system you can get real-time comments on your work from your peers.

Upload your project work for your peers and mentors to review.

Get real-time feedback on your work.

Take me to the Loft

Guides

Loft guides give you a framework of activities to help your team through a design process.

Browse the guides to choose the best process for you.

Take me to the Loft

Studios

The Loft has a community of studios from around the country, each with their own project teams and guides.

Take me to the Loft

Get Started

You now have access to a powerful suite of tools to help you design successfully. Have fun!

Don't worry, if you ever get stuck you can always click the help button to get answers.