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New Current Skills Institutes

Spring 2016

International Development Skills Institutes
International Peace and Conflict Skills Institutes
International Communications Skills Institutes
SIS-Wide Skills Institutes

International Development Skills Institutes 

Accounting Comes Alive for Development Practitioners 
Instructor: Mark Robillard 
Dates: Jan. 15-17 
Course Number & Section: SIS 638-001
Description: This course looks at the principles of accounting, finance, and business and their application to the development environment. Using the graphical Color Accounting learning system, the course establishes a logical and linguistic foundation for accounting. With a solid reporting framework in place, case studies of real business situations are examined. Students learn to use balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements to analyze the performance of reporting entities. The challenges of financial management and control are explored, along with practices for auditing and mitigating those challenges. The key issues of generally-accepted accounting practice are covered, along with abuses thereof so that the students can test the veracity of information they receive.

Network Analysis 
Instructor: Jacob Gray
Dates: Jan. 29-31
Course Number & Section: SIS 638-002
Description: This interactive skills institute introduces students to Network Analysis, a tool which in recent years has become widely referenced within donor project solicitations and applied in research and development projects to map, analyze, assess and monitor system change. The course provides both visual and mathematical analysis of relationships in a system. It has been used by project implementers, researchers, and M&E specialists to identify roles and interactions between actors in a system, critical leverage points; structural gaps, bottlenecks, strengths and deficiencies in the flow of information, knowledge and resources. Students are introduced to systems theory, and network analysis theory, concepts and metrics. Students gain basic skills in mapping and analyzing networks using two network analysis software programs, NodeXL and ORA, and explore applications in existing research and development projects. The course culminates with students applying knowledge gained by designing a solution to a USAID project solicitation.

Budgeting for Development
Instructor: Ragan and Brown
Dates: Feb. 12-14 
Course Number & Section: SIS 638-003
Description: A basic understanding of how the U.S. government's budget, through the allocation of foreign aid, is managed to address international development challenges such as literacy, maternal and child health, good governance, clean water, and food security, is needed to understand how international development works. At a more practical level to work on any development project requires an understanding of how to build, manage and report on a budget. In this course, students learn the overall framework for how funding is allocated to the US Agency for Internal Development (USAID), how priorities are set, and how funds make their way to the USAID Mission managing resources at the country level. The course follows the program process within USAID as a guide to understanding how the budget flows down to individual projects and how NGO and for profit implementers use budgets to deliver assistance on the ground. Students learn the fundamentals of how to construct a budget, be introduced to budget monitoring methodologies, as well as get hands-on experience in basic budget forecasting and standard budget reporting.

Data Analytics for Financial Inclusion
Instructor: Jacobo Menajovsky
Dates: Jan. 22-24 
Course Number & Section: SIS 638-004
Description: This course focuses on the development of skills to analyze data and support decision making in financial inclusion programs using statistical software. Students are exposed to basic statistical concepts and applications through hands-on exercises on real data from a country representative survey that targets users and non-users of digital financial services in Kenya. Additionally, students are exposed to socio-economic and poverty indicators that are widely used by global NGOs, Microfinance Institutions, Social Businesses and the Multilateral Development Banks.

Monitoring & Evaluation Part I & II
Instructor: Cindy Collins
Dates: Mar. 18-20 & Apr. 1-3 
Course Number & Section: SIS 696-005
Description: This course focuses on the development of skills to evaluate projects and programs using a variety of qualitative tools. It provides a basic understanding of the steps to include in preparing for and conducting an evaluation and includes you as the evaluator; designing evaluations;developing indicators;and practicing the use of several different tools.

International Peace and Conflict Skills Institutes

Countering Violent Extremism: Policy and Programming
Instructor: Paul Turner
Date: Jan. 15-17 
Course Number & Section: SIS 639-001
Description: The theme of this Skills Institute is the use of policy and practice to counter violent extremism (CVE). The Institute seeks to define CVE and the scope of the challenge, identifying its global manifestations. Moreover, in many locations, violent extremism thrives due to the interdependence among organizations. Understanding these interconnections is important prior to a discussion about local, national, or international policies. We examine the policy actions of the international community to facilitate countering violence extremism and seek to identify policies that are impacting the challenge in positive and negative ways. Given as this is a global challenge, policies from the United States, Europe, and countries in the Global South will be discussed. 

Art and Post-War Healing
Instructor: Hrach Gregorian
Date: Feb. 19-21 
Course Number & Section: SIS 639-002
Description: In this course, students will examine forms of self-expression that can help to restore self-stability and proceed on the assumption that individual healing is one good path to community recovery and resilience. Students will be exposed to various arts-based healing techniques and learn about the current practices in the use of the arts for post-conflict healing. 

Peacebuilding Technology
Instructor: Giselle Lopez
Date: Mar. 19-20 
Course Number & Section: SIS 639-003
Description: In this course, students will gain a broad awareness of technologies used in the peacebuilding field, as well as their practical applications. The course will explore the concept of technology for peace and a variety of efforts that have helped to support the use of low-cost technologies in peacebuilding efforts. Participants will become well-versed in a range of tools used from the international to the local level to prevent and respond to the drivers of violent conflict. They will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience using a selection of these technologies and will develop a project proposal for an actual organization to implement one of these technologies in their work.

Political Accommodation Methodology
Instructor: Gerard McHugh
Date: Apr. 2-3 
Course Number & Section: SIS 639-004
Description:How do people deal with political differences? This question is central to the effective running of any society, and it is especially important when societies experience violent conflicts and political change. Political Accommodation offers a powerful approach for how people can sort out their differences peacefully. Using practical examples from Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria, the course will describe how Political Accommodation methodology can be used to prevent and resolve violent conflict. Students will learn what Political Accommodation means, what the methodology entails, and how to apply it in different contexts to work towards sustainable peace.

International Communications Skills Institutes

Development Budget Models
Instructor: Leeanne Dunsmore
Dates: Jan. 30 & Feb. 6 
Course Number & Section: SIS 633-001
Description: This course presents a number of different funding models and provides students with the skills needed to construct a viable financial plan for developing an international program initiative. It includes how to construct financial models in support of an international educational initiative, how to build a budget model for an exchange program, dual/joint degree program, or study abroad models and leverage existing institutional resources in support of the initiative.

Headlines, Deadlines and Cultural lines
Instructor: Lynn Weil
Dates: Jan 30. & Feb. 6 
Course Number & Section: SIS 633-002
Description: This course explores how policy makers create and sustain narratives that successfully make an impact in a global news environment crowded with media options and moving at the speed of thought. The course is a soup-to-nuts overview of how to devise and execute a successful communications plan with global reach that includes the core principles and practices used to influence opinion through traditional and social media across markets that differ significantly from country to country. Topics include goal-setting, timelines and tools, with special emphasis on the difference between strategy and tactics. Real-world examples are analyzed, and students work from a single scenario to create plans for different outcomes depending on cultural context.

Global Dexterity: Intercultural Competency and Authenticity
Instructor: Terra Gargano
Date: Feb. 20 & 27 
Course Number & Section: SIS 633-003
Description: This highly interactive institute helps students develop global dexterity, the capacity to navigate cultural difference by exercising different communication styles while simultaneously maintaining personal authenticity. Drawing on intercultural assessments as a foundation, students develop their ability to recognize cultural codes and the challenges they can present when adapting behavior. Students examine practical ways to diffuse and resolve the manifestation of conflicting cultural values, while transforming the capacity to creatively respond to cross-cultural contexts and interactional dynamics that challenge authenticity. By modeling effective training methodologies and best practices, students develop a nuanced and critical understanding of western and non-western models of intercultural competency, create a toolbox to continue developing global dexterity, devise ways of fostering global leadership through cross-cultural mentoring, and design approaches to creativity engage with others in culturally blended spaces.

SIS-Wide Skills Institutes

Instructor: Krista Tuomi
Dates: Jan. 22-24 
Course Number & Section: SIS 730-001
Description: Crowdfunding is a potentially groundbreaking way of financing and promoting ideas. Moreover, new forms, platforms and laws are being developed all the time. This skills institute covers the following topics: an overview of the crowdfunding world; a comparison of the different types of crowdfunding and the types of projects that each supports; a comparison of the main US platforms; as well as some of the niche ones (DC's equity eats, etc); the practical steps to a successful fundraising campaign; the tools to be a wise investor; and an analysis of what to do after a campaign either in the event of failure/success.

Writing Op-Eds
Instructor: Aki Peritz
Dates: Jan. 29-31 
Course Number & Section: SIS 730-002
Description: This course introduces the nuts and bolts of conceptualizing, drafting, and pitching op-eds. Students learn about the basic structures of op-eds, determine what publications are looking for in opinion pieces, and capitalize upon unique personal experiences to get their foot in the door. Students also learn the undervalued skillset of pitching articles to publications and editors. In this hands-on course students draft sections of op-eds during class for real-time feedback.

Understanding the Military
Instructor: Dalzell
Dates: Jan. 31 & Feb 7 
Course Number & Section: SIS 730-003
Description: What could be called "A Field Guide to Silver Eagles and Trained SEALs," this course is designed to familiarize students with the structure, processes, jargon and culture of the US Defense Department and the different Services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines). The objective is that students will leave the course better able to work with military personnel in their future assignments, whether as government employees, academics, policy analysts, or representatives of NGOs or IOs. The course methodology focuses on lecture and discussion, with outside video and guest speakers to expand on concepts. In addition to assigned readings and classroom participation, each student writes and presents a short analysis of an outside work that illustrates the ideas covered in the course. 

Strategic Planning
Instructor: Eric Meade
Dates: Feb. 19-21 
Course Number & Section: SIS 730-004
Description: Throughout their career, students will no doubt be expected to participate in their agency's or organization's strategic planning efforts, and they will need to be familiar with the commonly used tools and frameworks. During this fast-paced course, students apply these tools and frameworks to a case study based on actual, recent strategic planning projects. Students also gain an understanding of recent critiques of traditional strategic planning and of the alternative approaches that have been proposed. This course helps students develop their own point of view on which tools are useful in which contexts so that they can help guide the strategic planning processes with which they are involved in the future.

Strategic Analytic Techniques
Instructor: Roy Sullivan
Dates: Feb 26-28 
Course Number & Section: SIS 730-005
Description: This workshop introduces students to multiple qualitative structured analytic tools and techniques they can use to structure their analysis, generate forecasts, and avoid major mistakes. In numerous hands-on exercises, students practice specific skills to help them overcome mindsets, organize information, diagnose problems, explore different ways of thinking, and avoid surprise. Concepts introduced include analytic traps and mindsets; why we are so quick to fall into mindsets and why they so hard to overcome; the value of structured analytic techniques; and how best to apply these tools and techniques to problems encountered every day.

Policy Briefing
Instructor: Craig Schmall
Dates: Apr. 8-10 
Course Number & Section: SIS 730-006
Description: This course gives students the tools and confidence to handle a briefing at any level in the policy world with a combination of presentations and group discussion on the art of proper preparation, real-life examples of policy briefings, and challenging practical exercises. Students learn how to develop and present a relevant, tailored, and effective briefing by crafting the briefing to account for the policymaker's level of knowledge, biases, and needs;understanding an issue's place in the policy process and how that impacts the presentation;utilizing graphics to make the complex easy to understand;writing talking points to guide the briefing;being flexible;and dealing with demanding or hostile audiences.

Driving Change From Within an Organization
Instructor: Rosario Londono Villa
Date: Feb. 26-28 
Course Number & Section: SIS 730-007
Description: The role of innovators within large organizations, the dynamics of how they drive change from positions in the middle or margins of their organization, find resources, win hearts and minds of their supporters, overcome resistance, and bounce-back from set-backs. This highly participative toolkit oriented course is based on research done by the League of Intrapreneurs.