Apply for Fall 2017 Projects

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our information session last week! We are happy we had the opportunity to meet you. Below you will find some key details regarding project applications. All those interested are encouraged to apply.


How to Apply to Join a LIDS Project

LIDS is currently recruiting project leaders and project members for our exciting roster of projects. You will find the project descriptions below. Please note that all projects (with the possible exception of CLDP) are slated to be year – long projects, and will run from October to April. The applications are due Wednesday, October 4th at 11:59pm. To apply, follow this link.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the LIDS Project VPs: Malvina Binjaku ( and Charlie Hobbs (


Project Descriptions

AIIB: “The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank (MDB) founded in 2015 by agreement between to bring countries together to address the daunting infrastructure needs across Asia. AIIB offers sovereign and non-sovereign financing for sound and sustainable projects in energy and power, transportation and telecommunications, rural infrastructure and agriculture development, water supply and sanitation, environmental protection, and urban development and logistics. This project anticipates that students will study aspects of the status, privileges, and immunities of the leading MDBs. Based on their research, students will examine how these provisions compare with the privileges and immunities forth in the two UN conventions on the subject. Subsequently, students will also examine judicial decisions at the national level that have interpreted or applied these provisions, and report on differences in content and national treatment.”


NRDC: “An effective permitting regime will allow China to adopt a targeted approach to reducing air and water pollution, providing both policy makers and the general public with concrete pollution data to make more closely informed policy decisions. The permitting system will also help improve compliance by clarifying what measures must be taken to bring pollution within mandated limits. This project, which will provide an in-depth analysis of the American permitting system and the experience of American regulators in navigating it—including its operational, monitoring, reporting, record-keeping, public access, and public participation aspects—will help shore up deficiencies in both existing draft legislation and regulatory capacity. The project would include elements such as analysis of the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for permits, the roles states play in implementing those guidelines, and oversight and enforcement mechanisms. It will also demonstrate how the regulatory system has addressed challenges that have arisen, such as how enforcement actions play out when they are contested in court. After outlining the legal, regulatory, and procedural framework for pollution permits, the project should analyze these facets through case studies of real-world examples.”


CLDP: CLDP’s project on microgrid development in Honduras and Guatemala focuses on improving the legal framework to encourage private investment to develop microgrids. CLDP’s proposal envisions 2 projects: (1) a baseline survey and gap analysis of the current legal and contractual framework in Honduras and Guatemala and (2) a reference guide of different solutions to encourage microgrids around the world. Students will assist CLDP in development of the reference guide. For the reference guide, the students will examine case studies from around the world and examine the legal frameworks that have allowed or prevented microgrids from working. From the case students, the students will distill what type of legal rules or incentives work in different environments. In this sense the guide will be similar to a toolkit. For the survey and gap analysis, Spanish language skills will be useful as much of the documentation may only be Spanish.


PILPG: “PILPG requests a memorandum analyzing what international law says with regards to states’ obligations to respond to outbreaks of disease, particularly in situations involving active conflicts. The memorandum should assess what obligations states and governments have to respond to infectious diseases affecting their citizens—including those in displaced persons camps and areas where governments deny humanitarian access—and whether a government’s refusal or failure to respond such an outbreak could create legal liabilities for the government. The memorandum should further analyze whether the GoS’s efforts to obfuscate the cholera issue and deny aid to only particular reasons could create additional violations of international law or other legal obligations.”


IDLO: The 47 least developed countries (LDCs) are the world’s poorest countries and typically they, and much of their private sector, do not have the human and financial resources to participate effectively in investment-related negotiations and secure the most favorable results for their economies and people. The scope of the project will be to comment on the core elements in an investment treaty, for example, the definition of investment, investor, expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, full protection and security, MFN, etc.  Students will work to take each of these elements and examine the different “models” that have been adopted by different countries in negotiating investment treaties and comment on the consequences


MBI: Lessons from Economic Law Reform Experiences of Developing Countries (for Myanmar)

“The proposed research project will examine how developing economies in Asia reformed their legislative frameworks for business to seek foreign direct investment (FDI) and develop their economies.  The aim is to understand the priority and order of legislative reform undertaken to support economic liberalisation and development, particularly in the context of countries which transitioned from centrally planned economies.  A secondary aspect of the research would be to understand the nature and scope of development assistance received by those countries in such legislative reform projects.  Countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal and India would be good case studies (other jurisdictions can be included or substituted for these if appropriate).” **Please note: This project will require a somewhat higher time commitment, as all team members will be required to participate in regular calls with the supervising attorney.**


CPI- AI and Access to Justice in Emerging Markets

“The Centre for Public Impact is investigating the way in which artificial intelligence (AI) will change outcomes for citizens. We are interested in how the emerging tools can reshape the way in which governments reach existing decisions as well how it can reshape government itself
We think AI will reshape government in two ways. Firstly, it will change the speed, reliability and quality of existing government outcomes. Secondly, it will allow us to rethink the way in which government itself is structured. As the landscape rapidly changes around it, government needs to think about these issues now or it risks missing out on the significant benefits this technology offers.
There are, of course, significant risks for governments to mitigate when implementing these tools. How will the quality of the outcomes be verified? How can we be sure that the data used to fuel the outcomes is valid? How can the government ensure the security of the tools and their underlying datasets? And what can we do to control these tools?
As part of a project with Harvard LIDS, the CPI would like to investigate the way in which AI will impact the delivery of government outcomes in developing economies. Of particular interest is the way in which these emerging technologies can increase access to justice through democratised legal knowledge and transparent decision making procedures. The students would be asked to produce a comparative analysis of the existing uses of AI in developed economies and provide recommendations on the way in which these technologies can be deployed in developing economies.” **Please note: This project will require a somewhat higher time commitment, as all team members will be required to participate in regular calls with the supervising attorney.**