Meet the MIDP alumna making a difference in Indonesia's fishing communities
Fuelled by the need to make a difference, Eva Medianti decided to study a Master of International Development Practice (MIDP) at Monash. Here, Eva shares how her degree is helping her change the world.
What drew you specifically to the MIDP?
My goal was to work for not-for-profit organisations and the MIDP had the best combination of subjects that would help me achieve that.
Was there a particular subject, lecturer or event during your University years that you found really inspiring?
One of my favourite subjects was 'Global challenges and sustainability' with Dr Susie Ho. In this subject, I started to understand how the economy, humans, and the environment interact with each other and how, we as humans, can create fantastic development and civilisation. This course is so impactful that later, I decided to focus on economic improvement in the community and to consider the ecological impact, especially in the marine environment.
Highlights of your degree?
My thesis was my biggest fear and dream during my studies. I loved it because it helped me to link the theory and the results of my research to a real life scenario. My thesis title was 'The Impact of Marine Ecotourism on Livelihood diversification, Poverty, and Wellbeing among the fisheries community in Pramuka Island, Indonesia'. The fact that the thesis encompassed my love for the marine environment, diving, the fisheries community, and also economical and development studies is more than I could ever ask for.
In this thesis subject, Dr Samanthi Gunawardana guided me to find my interests and constructed all of them into research design. Her strong expertise in research, gender and development provided a lovely combination to support my thesis.
You are currently working as a Financial Inclusion Manager for RARE Indonesia. What does this involve?
I work to support fishing communities in four districts of the Southeast Sulawesi province, Indonesia. The overall goal is to reduce over-fishing and marine environment destruction by small-scale fishers here. In general, there is hope that people's behaviour will change from exploiting the fishes to wisely do fishing to ensure the availability of fishes in the future. My team's aim is to reduce the number of fishes caught in the wild and improve the value of fishes along the fish value chain. Our tasks are carried out through value chain assessment, financial group establishment, financial literacy training and community enterprise support.
How have the skills and knowledge you gained from your Arts degree helped you in your current role?
The qualitative research skills from my thesis work have helped me to plan and design the Value Chain Assessment that I am working on now. The planning, designing, monitoring and evaluating skills from my 'Project planning and management in international development' class are very relevant to my current work. Overall, I developed plenty of skills such as time management and research skills and project development.
Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at Monash?
I joined the Monash International Development Practice Association as Environment Officer and Monash Underwater Club as Marine Conservation Officer. These experiences helped shape my understanding of the importance of conservation in development.
What advice would you give to current or incoming MIDP students?
Find your passion and follow its path. There are plenty of resources, classes and lecturers that can help you on your journey to your dream job.