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International Development Program | SIS

IDP Skills Institutes

General Guidelines

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

Preparation: For many institutes, some advanced reading is required. This information will be posted on Blackboard. Some skills institutes may require a textbook.

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. Undergraduates and non-degree students admitted only by permission of IDP and the instructor. Non-degree students should contact the Graduate Advising Office at (202) 885-1690 for information on registering for skills institutes.

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 AUID) 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


Spring 2015 Skills Institutes

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

SIS-638-001 Stata for Economics/Development

Mario Gonzalez

January 25, February 1, February 8, 2015

This course provides students with a basic but solid understanding of the statistical package Stata 11.1 or 12, in order to use it to conduct rigorous and professional economic analysis. Students learn how to manage and create Stata files and data sets; create variables in Stata that are commonly used in economic analysis; and develop their capacity to analyze economic data using Stata. The course is geared towards students with limited or no previous experience with Stata, however students with more experience with the software can also use this course to enhance their skills. A basic understanding of statistics and multivariate analysis is helpful, but not required.

SIS-638-004 Project Design

Cindy Collins

January 30-February 1, 2015

This course takes students through the first two of the six phases of the project cycle: project identification and design; and project initiation. The hard skills learned or strengthened are as follows: problem analysis, objectives analysis, organizational capacity assessment, stakeholder analysis, theory of change (pathway of change, interventions, indicators, assumptions), grant proposal elements, and selection of implementing partner. Prerequisite: prior academic experience with writing a literature review based on explanatory social science research.

SIS-638-002 Budgeting for Development

Ann Blyberg

February 13-15, 2015

The government's budget often plays a role in creating--or addressing--development challenges such as illiteracy, maternal and child mortality, unclean water, and inadequate food. A growing number of civil society groups have taken up monitoring and analyzing their governments' budgets to determine the role the budget has played in the situations they are tackling. Many local, national, and international NGOs now recognize that their analysis of a situation is inadequate unless they have considered how the budget might be involved, and how advocacy around changes in the budget might help improve the situation of the people with and for whom they work. In this course students explore the various ways governments' budgets are related to development and human rights problems and are introduced to the budget cycle and actors in the budget process. They learn the fundamentals of how to read a budget, are introduced to some budget monitoring methodologies, and practice some basic budget analysis calculations. They also learn about how civil society groups have used this knowledge and these skills to enable access to education in Argentina, improve public housing in Northern Ireland, and increase access to jobs in India, as well as to HIV/AIDS treatment in South Africa.

SIS-638-003 Accounting for Development Practitioners

Peter Frampton

March 20-22, 2015

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.

SIS-638-005 Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Cindy Collins

March 27-29, 2015

This course takes students through phases three, four, and five of the six phases of the project cycle: project planning; project implementation; and project evaluation. The hard skills learned or strengthened are as follows: initial community visits (data collection tools, quantitative and qualitative, including information and communications technology (ICT) solutions); logical framework (both horizontal template and 4x4 matrix) (inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, indicators, means of verification, assumptions); indicator protocols, process and informative evaluations, monitoring and evaluation means of verification templates (including survey construction), data quality protection; and communication plan (including change management system). Prerequisite: prior academic experience with writing a literature review based on explanatory social science research and completion of SIS-638 004 Project Design.

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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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