CIPA-New Orleans Professional Partnership
The CIPA-New Orleans Professional Partnership, or CIPA-NOLA, is a student initiative that provides Fellows with opportunities to gain hands-on consulting experience in New Orleans.
The program began in March 2008, when six CIPA Fellows spent their Spring Break in New Orleans rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. They were so moved by the experience that several of these Fellows chose to extend their commitment to the area. They created the CIPA-New Orleans Professional Partnership, or CIPA-NOLA, as a way of connecting public administration graduate students with nonprofit organizations in the area.
Since that first Spring break trip CIPA-NOLA has continued to expand and take on new roles. Currently CIPA-NOLA offers Fellows an opportunity to choose a research topic and complete consulting work in New Orleans.
The goal of CIPA-NOLA is to help nonprofits in New Orleans who often provide services that the local government is unable to offer. During the spring break trip CIPA Fellows conduct interviews, site visits, and research to gain more information about nonprofit work in the city. Through this primary research fellows construct a problem statement that they then partner with a New Orleans based non-profit to help address. CIPA Fellows following their spring trip to the city will engaging in capacity building activities with the nonprofit organization they choose to partner with through the Public Service Exchange course. Fellows ultimately produce reports outlining recommendations for these organizations to improve their operations.