January 31 – February 18, 2011
Teachers: Ian Christie, Robert Chambers, Allan Kaplan, Bunker Roy, Aruna Roy
This series of courses will explore the changing face of development. The context in which we look at development is ever-shifting, with significant events and revised thinking having a huge impact on the people that work in this field in recent times. There is an urgent need for a contextualised approach to this area of work, one that reflects a more organic development methodology and the complex realities around social structures, ecosystems and the global economic system.
• The global context – then and now.
• New development models – are they viable?
• Developmental thinking – implications and benefits.
• Global breakthroughs – examples of what works.
• Change from within.
• The strength of the individual.
• Communities and social transformation.
• Interdependence of people, ecosystems and the global economic system.
Elements of this course will be suitable for staff and management within NGOs, organisational development staff, consultants, educators and facilitators, strategists, government officials and advisory, and a wide-variety of other professionals working in the field of development.
This series can be taken as a one, two or three-week series of courses.
Full details are below.
• Current Challenges in Development and Globalisation – Ian Christie and Robert Chambers (January 31 – February 4)
• Complexity and Social Transformation – Allan Kaplan (February 7 – 11)
• Engaging Communities for Systemic Change – Bunker Roy and Aruna Roy (February 14 – 18)
Ian Christie will begin the course by looking at issues of justice and sustainability, and how they relate to democracy, participation and community engagement. Ian has been involved in setting up the new Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development (www.fdsd.org) and much of his current work centres on these themes. He will also discuss how they relate to government thinking in the UK on the ‘Big Society’, and how NGOs in the field of sustainable development are responding to this concept. Is it a viable model for development practitioners to engage with?
Robert Chambers will reflect on the current state of development thinking in the global South, and the implications of the accelerating pace of change in societies around the world. He will discuss the importance of “standing things on their heads”, participatory methodologies which can lead to big breakthroughs such as SRI (system of rice intensification) and CLTS (community led total sanitation), both of which are now international movements. Other issues he will address include: the dimensions of poverty and ill being, especially neglected ones like seasonality; the role of power and whose reality counts; and what would it take to transform our world?
Allan Kaplan’s approach to community development starts from two reversals of mainstream development thinking: he believes the real outcome of development interventions lies as much – if not more – in transformations of consciousness as in material or policy change; and the practitioner-as-facilitator’s own development process is central to any intervention and is part of its outcome. Through a series of experiential and reflective encounters dealing with self, nature, social development phenomena and contemplative process, the course will attempt to generate an understanding of development practice that recognises the practitioner’s person as crucial. This work will help bring participants closer to themselves and to the development intervention as a path which respects the integrity of all involved in the process of social transformation.
Drawing on extensive experience gained through many years of process consultancy within the development sector – mainly in Africa, Europe and South America – as well as on the work of Goethe and Jung, Allan Kaplan presents a radically new approach to the understanding of organizations and communities and to the practice of social development. Challenging the tendency to reduce development to a technical operation that attempts to control, Kaplan’s approach embraces the full complexity of the process of social transformation. He describes the terrain of social change whilst simultaneously providing exercises through which practitioners can enrich their abilities to respond to the mix of chaos and order which characterize social development. Exploring this delicate balance, Kaplan inspires a sense of responsibility and possibility for the discipline, and reveals how development groups can intervene in social situations in a manner that is both humane and effective.
The final week of the course focuses on two examples from India of a radically different approach to “development”: the Right to Information campaign and Barefoot Colleges.
The campaign for transparent governance and accountability grew out of ordinary Indians’ awareness that government agencies were not acting in their interests, so that in many villages even the most basic of services such as primary education, health care or water supplies were not being provided in reality, even though they were there on paper. Tackling this issue then brought up further issues of corruption, decision-making and participatory democracy. Whereas the UK campaign for Freedom of Information mainly involved intellectuals and journalists, in India it has created strong alliances between workers and peasants. Aruna Roy will talk about the evolution of the Right to Information campaign and what it reveals about how the economically and socially disadvantaged can be engaged and empowered.
Barefoot Colleges enable villagers to learn skills ranging from midwifery to solar engineering and rainwater harvesting. There is no required written curriculum or degree awarded, and students are selected based on attributes such the ability to work with others, integrity, creativity etc. Bunker Roy will discuss how the Barefoot project has developed over the years and the lessons that have been learned in the process. It is a radical model of grassroots empowerment which poses a fundamental challenge to existing theories, but to what extent can it be applied in any setting? Are there scale issues? Could it be adapted to transform disempowered communities in very different cultural contexts?
Any One week £750
Any Two weeks £1,450 (Save £50 over weekly course price)
Three weeks £1,900 (Save £350 over the weekly course price)
All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.
For further information about Schumacher College please see About the College
A limited number of bursaries are available for this course. We are particularly seeking applications from the following groups of people:
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We will hold the place for five working days for reservations – three weeks before a course or earlier. After five days we will automatically offer your place to someone else if we have not received your application.