Jordan Nadler '13
Muggings, carjacking and terrorist attacks are a daily concern for Jordan Nadler '13. Living in Nairobi, Kenya, Nadler and his three roommates make sure they are home by nightfall, carefully shutting the padlocked metal grate and two deadbolts on their front door, while a security guard patrols the barbed-wire perimeter and entrance to their housing complex.
Nadler is determined to make a difference in the poverty-stricken region, despite the security concerns inherent in his job. He works as a fellow for Vera Solutions, a consulting firm that creates data systems to help social impact organizations solve some big problems, including poverty, disease and climate change.
"For me, taking the fellowship with Vera was an opportunity to work with a group of like-minded people and an organization that not only cares about creating social change, but wants to do it in a responsible way," said Nadler.
Nadler's job is to help analyze the firm's nonprofit clients' data needs and unique obstacles in order to help them build and implement systems for accurate and meaningful data collection.
Since arriving in August 2013, Nadler has been developing an application for a client that runs a program that helps isolated farmers across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania negotiate fairer prices for their crops. These farmers typically sell their mangoes, bananas, potatoes and other crops for very low prices because they don't know what their crops are actually worth on the market or they have limited bargaining power with produce buyers and exporters.
Nadler's team built a system that will help the non-profit analyze market prices, calculate ways to reduce middle costs and unite smaller farms to increase their collective bargaining power. Based on a pilot program in 2011-2012 that was able to increase farmers' incomes by an average of fifteen percent, Vera Solutions expects their product implementation will help exceed this measure.
Nadler's passion for social change grew out of his experience at Quinnipiac. "I loved learning about social problems, but I wanted to learn how to solve them and do something about it," said Nadler. So he created an independent major in social entrepreneurship.
At his QU Commencement ceremony, social entrepreneur Jessica Jackley challenged the graduates to find ways to make a positive impact on others.
"She inspired me to take a risk, and to commit myself to helping other people, which, in turn, would help me live a more meaningful life," said Nadler.
So Nadler applied for the fellowship program with Vera Solutions and arrived in Kenya just months after graduation.
"I believe that by helping social impact organizations make data-driven decisions, not only can we help them improve their effectiveness, but we can help them hold themselves accountable for the work that they do and the claims that they make," said Nadler.
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