Project Code: STATE-JOR-11

Spinning Up Quicker: Transferring Experts' Geographic Knowledge to New Arrivals

Project Title Spinning Up Quicker: Transferring Experts' Geographic Knowledge to New Arrivals
Project Summary Deploying cutting edge mobile GIS software, you will compile long-time Amman residents' geographic and cultural knowledge for new Foreign Service arrivals to quickly thrive in Jordan.
Country Jordan
Agency Department of State
DoS Office N/A
Section EXEC
Number of Interns 3
Project Description

Student participants in this project will pioneer an approach to training newly arrived diplomats to access and engage more quickly with a complex cosmopolitan city.

Embassy Amman is the 10th biggest US diplomatic mission in the world. Half of our nearly 700 American staff arrive in Amman for short stints of only a few weeks each year, while nearly one half of the remainder turn over each year.

Many new Embassy staff come from the United States without prior experience in Jordan nor the language skills to quickly access accurate insights in local geography and the interactions among place locations, culture, security and society. This project aims to shorten the time it takes those new arrivals to gain the expert knowledge of Amman that long-time residents have acquired over years, compiling data in a shared location where new additions can incrementally add to Embassy Amman's share knowledge of the city.

Students involved in this project will undertake four phases of work under the guidance and management of the Community Liaison Office: 1) design a digital interface to collect veteran Embassy staff's expert knowledge on Amman, 2) market the project to staff to solicit their contributions of data, 3) compile submitted data, and 4) present the data in a digital format that improves new arrivals' ability to engage safely and successfully with Amman's cultural, society and businesses.

The project will use cutting edge GIS software and data entry portals to create a database in English of knowledge from "experts" - long-time Foreign Service officers and local staff of Embassy Amman. Categories of data will include cartographic location, physical description, type of site, connections among that site and others, traffic patterns, recommendations to go/avoid, and description of the cultural and social characteristics of the Jordanians likely to be seen at that location.

Required Skills or Interests
Data visualization
Editing and proofreading
Educational design
GIS expertise
Software development
Additional Information

We're developing this project with researchers at top U.S. universities with an eye to sharing best practices and models to assist thousands of Foreign Officers across 200+ diplomatic posts globally.