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International Development Program | SIS

IDP Skills Institutes

General Guidelines

Days/Times: 5:30 to 8:00 pm on Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday

Preparation: For many institutes, some advanced reading is required. This information will be posted on Blackboard.

Credits: Each institute is worth one credit hour of graduate level credit. All skills institutes are "pass/fail."

Eligible Students: All AU graduate students interested in international development who have completed either SIS-636, SIS-637, or the equivalent are eligible. Non-degree students should contact the Graduate Advising Office at (202) 885-1690 for information on registering for skills institutes. Non-degree students will be admitted only by permission of IDP and the instructor.

Cost: Students will be charged the current tuition rate for one graduate level credit hour. Note: If this is the only course taken, a Sports Center fee of $30 will be assessed. Skills Institutes may not be audited.

Registration: Register as you would for regular courses. Students may register or drop up to two days before the Institute begins, but since space is limited, early registration is strongly recommended.  Students are registered on a first-come first-served basis. Students may drop an Institute with a 100% refund provided that your request (including course number and section and your AU ID) is emailed to sis-skills@american.edu no later than two days prior to the institute's start date. Please fill out the Request for Registration Action form if you would like to add or drop a skills institute after the add/drop deadline.

For further information please contact the International Development Program Office in SIS 228: 202-885-1657, idpsis@american.edu


Fall 2015 Skills Institutes

Click here for the IDP Fall 2015 flyer. Click here for the SIS-wide Fall 2015 master list.

SIS-638-005 Organizational Development   

September 18-20, 2015

Stephen Ladek

Every organization, whether not for profit, for profit or hybrid, begins with an idea. This idea is translated into a product or service that seeks to solve one or more problems. As the organization experiences success, it will be required to evolve to improve its products or services, respond to market needs and increase its effectiveness. In today’s world, this evolution is constant, rapid and affects every aspect of the organization - including its structure, human resources, culture, partnerships, administration and financing. Because of this, managing change is a critical leadership skill whether you are working for a startup, established middle-market player or massive global brand. In this case-based course, the class will use an exceedingly practical hands-on approach to consider how to recognize, survive and lead in the constant churn that is organizational development.


SIS-638-001 Gender Analysis & Development   

October 23-25, 2015

Patricia Morris

This course explores the concept of gender and its practical application to international development programs and policy. It covers a variety of analytical and planning tools as well as frameworks and methodologies developed and used by gender practitioners and activists worldwide. Course participants review gender concepts, gender analysis frameworks, gender analysis tools and strategies for gender mainstreaming and gender integration in international relief and development programs. This interactive skills institute focuses on applying gender analysis tools in program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.


SIS-638-002 Innovation in Market Development  

November 6-8, 2015

Jacqueline Bass

This course exposes students to new strategies to assist micro and small entrepreneurs in market development such as business training, strengthening producers' commercial relationships with suppliers & buyers, improving collaboration among producers, product development, and advisory and information services, among others. The course acquaints students with emerging and innovative ideas on market development best practices including the essential principles and core skills behind the design and management of market development interventions to create well-functioning markets. The course exposes students to the wide range of market development strategies, major intervention types and techniques, and tools and practices. A practical emphasis draws lessons from donor and practitioner agencies across the world through case studies and group exercises to illustrate emerging approaches to market development in different contexts (urban, rural, peri-urban, and transitional economies) and types of enterprises targeted (micro, small, and medium scale enterprises) to facilitate learning and enhance the skills and knowledge of students in the design and management of market development interventions.

SIS-638-003 Project and Program Evaluation   

November 13-15, 2015

Instructor: TBD

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.


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Tinker-Walker Fellowships

Through the Irene Tinker-Millidge Walker Fellowship, students can receive financial support to offset the costs of including overseas field experience in their research, internship, or practicum.

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