DEVP E-102 Proseminar: Critical Analysis of Global Development Systems
Understanding the interrelated environmental, social, and economic dynamics within global development contexts and then identifying barriers to achieving positive change are formidable challenges. Practitioners and policymakers must be able to assess the limitations of their own perspectives, learn from those living and working directly with "wicked" problems, and evaluate information from a wide range of sources including randomized control trials (RCTs), field observations, and established and emerging participatory tools and methods. To catalyze positive impact at the project, program, or policy level, practitioners must grasp technical aspects of global development as well as the softer skills of leadership, listening, self-reflection, and how to balance competing demands from multiple stakeholders with differing levels of power. Global development practitioners need to develop both the mindset and the skill set to analyze complex sociopolitical contexts, work with diverse actors to identify specific problems and opportunities, create practicable solutions, and lead others to achieve objectives. Through lectures, in-class exercises, and team projects, this course focuses on developing, in an integrated manner, the analytic skills to assess qualitative and quantitative data, and the creative thinking and planning skills to identify and innovate solutions to tough challenges. It covers systems and problem analysis, theory of change mapping, participatory design, and tools for effective teamwork.