The current design of the Masters program on Management in Development

The current design of the Masters program on Management in Development is in its third year and is being coordinated by Steve Fisher. The focus of the program is effective development practice and it is offered as five one-day participatory workshops on aspects of the subject:

It is always interesting to observe which elements of the program appear most engaging and relevant to students. Sometimes they can be surprising, such as the preparation of a proposal for an imaginary Men’s Shed project in Carlton. Using the outline below, four groups each wrote a section of the proposal.

We then read the whole document out as a single description of the need, design implementation and intended outputs and outcomes. This was the final part of a day of learning about the subject of communicating on projects, especially to attract resources for them. It was a strangely uplifting experience. I compiled the final version into a two-page concept paper.

Another part of the program that always proves interesting is on innovation, focussing on four aspects of the subject:

  • Conceptual frameworks (new ways to think). Example: Social inclusion
  • Process improvements (new practice). Example: Participatory impact diagrams/outcome mapping
  • Technical change (new technology). Example: Use of mobiles for development purposes
  • Organisational change (new ways to organise). Example: Social enterprise and social franchising.

Following success with a marketplace approach to learning in an event for over 100 participants on water and sanitation in Melbourne last year, we used the same method for this work. An advantage was that it enabled students to move around between subjects across a one-hour period, learning from and contributing to each. The end results were impressive and I will feature them in a future blog on the subject of innovation.

My appreciation to the excellent and dynamic student group of twenty-four people, representing ten countries. Many thanks also to Maria Rodrigues for her research support and to Ingrid Horton for design work on the program.