The Initiative for Idjwi

Daniel Sullivan (MArch ’11), Marika Shioiri-Clark (MArch ’11) are both executive board members and GSD representatives to the Student Alliance for Global Health at Harvard. The organization strives to develop a larger culture of collaboration and  to bring global health issues greater visibility across the Harvard Community. Dan and Marika took a leadership role with The Initiative for Idjwi, a strategic planning effort to craft a healthier sustainable future for the Bany’idjwi, an isolated population of approximately 200,000 on an island in Lake Kivu between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.

Drawing on the resources of this alliance, a team of 10 students traveled to Idjwi Island during the summer of 2010. The team was comprised of representatives from the Graduate School of Design, the School of Public Health, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School and Harvard College. Dan and Marika are spearheading the interdisciplinary research effort to establish a baseline survey of Idjwi’s epidemiology, healthcare infrastructure, resources, geography and ethnography.


The task is to address critical healthcare needs through the construction of a new hospital for the island. Dan and Marika are taking a synthetic leadership role in the development of a plan for this health care facility. Another important goal is to proactively establish a strategic plan which uses the hospital as a base from which to develop further infrastructure for the island. The strategic plan will anticipate future challenges for the island ecology and its culture.