Student Stories: Challenges and Public Sector Growth in Namibia

María Ignacia Ossa is a second-year MPP student at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As part of the Growth Lab's 2022 Summer Internship Program, she contributed to the project in Namibia. This two-year policy engagement with the Government of Namibia focuses on supporting implementation efforts on a range of growth- and inclusion-related challenges.

Why did you apply to be a Growth Lab intern?
I am very interested in focusing my career on economic development. After studying related theoretical courses in my masters degree program, I wanted to apply what I had learned in the real world.

What did you work on this summer?
As part of the strategy to revamp public sector growth as a growth enabler, I worked on the development of two frameworks. We designed a guideline for the assessment and prioritization of concessional loans, and a framework for the assessment of the performance of public financial institutions and the extra-budgetary funds, also including recommendations for the assessment process for all SOEs.

In what ways were you challenged?
Living in a new country and working with a language that is not my native language was a big challenge.

What was your most exciting experience?
Despite the geographical distance and cultural differences, I found many similarities between Namibia and my native Chile. It is very interesting to see how two different countries face similar challenges. In addition, during the internship I was able to travel and get to know the country a little bit, and we got to see wild animals in their natural habitat.

What advice would you give future Growth Lab interns?
It is an excellent opportunity to put into practice what you have learned from your masters degree courses. Try to learn as much as possible from the Growth Lab team and get involved with local teams. I highly recommend doing the internship in person.

What's next for you?
I will work on research to reduce homelessness in the UK.