Sara Rains - Nutrition/Horticulture


The purpose of Sara’s research is to identify successful practices in community development that have been carried out in indigenous communities surrounding Quito, Ecuador. She is using program evaluation to examine the work of a local non-profit in the area. The organization works with Ecuadorian communities on issues associated with public health, education, and of course, agriculture. She will be studying the past and current work in the area to better understand the interactions with native people groups, effects on the communities, and sustainability over time. From this information, she hopes to glean a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t when implementing a development program.
When trying to introduce a new agricultural program or technique, particularly in the field of community development, there are a lot of factors that play into the program’s long-term success. Cultural considerations, acceptance from community leadership, and understanding of past practices can affect whether or not a community’s needs are truly met over time. Agriculture has a huge role to play in community development, and she hopes this research can help increase the positive effects of our work in cultures and communities around the world.  
Project Title: Identifying Successful Community Development Practices in Ecuador
Mentor: Kate Thornton, College of Human Sciences