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Jim Peck presents Diane Ruonavaara, program manager for MSU’s Tanzania Partnership Program, with an MSU coin on behalf of President Lou Anna K. Simon.

A great partner

As you might have gathered by now, Michigan State’s approach to research and service isn’t about just doing one thing in one country. That’s what makes us such a great partner for communities, governments, universities, and nongovernmental organizations all over the globe.

We’re not selling an off-the-shelf solution. Rather, we’re applying our deep experience and broad knowledge assets to the reality of local conditions and, in the process, not just doing good but generating further practical knowledge of the development process itself.

Look at what we’re doing in Tanzania, where we’re piloting the Tanzania Partnership Program, one of MSU’s Partnerships for Sustainable Community Development. We’re applying a multidisciplinary, multipartner approach to community development, forging close connections with our local partners to help them develop truly sustainable communities.

It’s a model that can be shaped for different communities where different local conditions exist. Here in Tanzania, it might be education and rural water systems that wind up being the initial focus of attention, but that won’t be the case everywhere. You’ve got to have lots of pages in your playbook.

We have a leg up because we’ve been partners for so many years in Tanzania and East Africa, and we’re pleased to be able to leverage a host of internal and external partners to bring multiple assets to bear on some of the region’s most pressing problems.