SIDshare is a student run social enterprise that operates as an NGO seeking to promote engagement and partnerships in international development. One of the main components of SIDshare's work with students at the University of Sheffield, is to develop their professional skills and experience in the sector of International Development.

We do this through a number of ways, but one of our most successful and popular ways, is through 'Challenge Placements' whereby a partner organisation sets a group of students an International Development 'challenge' which they try to solve, and find possible solutions or interventions in order to address the challenge from conception to implementation. Often these are complex questions which do not have a simple answer, and therefore the 'Challenges' develop the problem solving and enterprising skills of our students, along with other professional skills such as fundraising, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, impact assessment, field work, research and development.

One such 'Challenge Placement' was initiated between SIDshare and our partner Aid Works. The work of Aid Works is predicated upon helping NGOs strengthen their systems, and to support local and international aid workers to reach their potential through training and e-learning.

Aid Works director Mo, recruited 4 International Development Masters students who were involved in SIDshare, to work with a large unused data-set collected from a South Sudanese community health survey carried out by the DFID-led Health Pooled fund in 2014. Their 'Challenge' was to analyse the data set in order to develop the understanding of the activities funded by the Health Pooled Fund, and the activities the local communities initiated themselves.  Further detailed information about the specifics of the challenge and the data the students were working with, can be found on the Aid Works website.

For over two months, the students worked collectively to analyse the data, finally presenting their key findings to Aid Works director and the SIDshare Administrator, and then developed a set of conclusions.

The SIDshare 'Challenge Placements' offer the opportunity for students to enormously develop their professional skills, as they engage in real-world International Development projects, grappling with real issues and questions. If your organisation is interested in pursuing a Challenge placement in partnership with SIDshare, then please get in touch with the SIDshare Administrator: gloss@sheffield.ac.uk