MA in Community Development – International

—from the University of Victoria Website—-

The Challenge  
 Our globally interconnected world today faces enormous challenges in addressing issues of poverty, violence, climate change and exclusion. Such issues demand practical solutions based on perspectives of participatory development and accountable governance.
Addressing these challenges requires committed professionals and leaders around the world, who are able to combine strong analysis with personal capacities to initiate and sustain change efforts in communities and organizations of civil society, local government, and development agencies.
The Master of Arts in Community Development – International (MACD-I) is based on a unique partnership between the University of Victoria and the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a civil society organization with three decades of experience ingrassroots development.

The Program  
 Designed with working professionals and new graduates in mind, the MACD-I will build and develop your capacity to become a successful leader in forging social and economic change, working within, or in partnership with, development organizations. Through course work, assignments, field exposure, and interactions with students and instructors, you will explore the theory and practical learning on facilitating sustainable community development, as well as leadership and management in organizations and networks.
The MACD-I program incorporates the global strategic context, personal leadership and the organizational perspectives relevant to community development and sustainable change.
The two year program is delivered through a combination of online courses and residential sessions based at PRIA Head Office, New Delhi. Each of the two residential sessions is held over a two-week period in the summer terms.
Students work on a major project (ADMN 598) throughout the program and submit the final report at the conclusion of the program.
Knowledge and Skills  
 Throughout the program, you will apply new skills and knowledge to an ongoing research project for addressing a real world problem faced by a development organization.
The program’s unique fusion of practical insights and theoretical concepts means that graduates:
      • Plan and manage effective projects, programs, organizations and networks based on participatory methods.
      • Are conversant about global trends that frame the challenges, threats and opportunities that communities, regions and sectors face.
      • Demonstrate initiative, innovation and leadership in identifying challenges and opportunities for their organisations.
    APPLY NOW for entry into the Spring 2010 cohort!

 

Community Conversations: Taking Effective Action

I recently attended a forum called, Taking Effective Action. The forum was part of Opportunities Waterloo Region‘s Community Conversations Series. The forum gave some practical advise to develop a toolkit of steps to impact policy change. The presenter was Nancy Dubois. Nancy has been a consultant with The Health Communications Unit (THCU) since 1998. She works with groups across the province in areas of planning, evaluation, policy development, sustainability, health communication and comprehensive workplace health.

Opportunities Waterloo Region, or just Opportunities for short, acts as a regional convener – a community support organization – exclusively focused on facilitating poverty prevention and reduction strategies, providing opportunities for the community to generate ideas and take action, building on existing assets and increasing community strengths.

The organization is currently underway in a campaign to influence public policy at a regional level. That campaign is for the Living Wage. The Region of Waterloo is considering implementing a Living Wage Policy for its employees and contractors and Opportunities is hard at work to inform the councillors and the citizens of the region to support such a policy. Click here for a PDF of a report from the Social Services for the Living Wage.

Here are some notes on the Conversation:

What is Policy?

  • At a macro level, policy provides more equitable access to the determinants of health; determinants such as income, housing, etc. Nancy comes from a health promotion background, so many of her speaking points make reference to health related policies, however, she did drive the message that health is very closely related to other measures of the quality of life of an individual.

“Canada is extremely progressive in terms of health promotions.” – Nancy

  • Good for Canada. I was not aware of this and it made me proud. A number of times, Nancy made reference to anti-smoking campaigns in Canada and how successful they have been. I have noticed that compared to other countries, when I look around in a populated area in Canada, there is a noticeable lack of smokers. Good clean air for all!

Why take a policy approach?

  • This question makes sense considering the audience in the room. Many of the participants of the conversation were coming from the non-profit sector that are actively engaged in community building projects and campaigns to influence attitudes. Other approaches that these organizations may take to influence and inform populations of people are awareness campaigns (large scale events to inform people of an issue), and educational campaigns (for example, the anti-smoking campaigns that used advertisements to inform people of the ill effects of smoking).

“Good” Policy is…

  • economically feasible
  • politically acceptable
  • socially acceptable
  • administratively and technologically possible

What kinds of policy work is the Ontario Government doing in regards to poverty reduction?

  • Bill 152: Poverty Reduction Act (May, 2009)
  • Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy (Dec 2008)
  • Full-Time Kindergarden

Nancy provided everyone with a handout on how to do policy work. It is a short and clear step by step process to engage in policy change.

Click here to download a PDF of the full handout–it is a great resource.

Here is a really short version of it:

Policy Development OWR CCS<div style=”font-size:11px;font-family:tahoma,arial;height:26px;padding-top:2px;”>View more presentations from npetten.</div></div>

 

Taking Effective Policy Action

I recently attended a forum called, Taking Effective Action. The forum was part of Opportunities Waterloo Region‘s Community Conversations Series. The forum gave some practical advise to develop a toolkit of steps to impact policy change. The presenter was Nancy Dubois. Nancy has been a consultant with The Health Communications Unit (THCU) since 1998. She works with groups across the province in areas of planning, evaluation, policy development, sustainability, health communication and comprehensive workplace health.

Opportunities Waterloo Region, or just Opportunities for short, acts as a regional convener – a community support organization – exclusively focused on facilitating poverty prevention and reduction strategies, providing opportunities for the community to generate ideas and take action, building on existing assets and increasing community strengths.

The organization is currently underway in a campaign to influence public policy at a regional level. That campaign is for the Living Wage. The Region of Waterloo is considering implementing a Living Wage Policy for its employees and contractors and Opportunities is hard at work to inform the councillors and the citizens of the region to support such a policy. Click here for a PDF of a report from the Social Services for the Living Wage.

Here are some notes on the Conversation:

What is Policy?

  • At a macro level, policy provides more equitable access to the determinants of health; determinants such as income, housing, etc. Nancy comes from a health promotion background, so many of her speaking points make reference to health related policies, however, she did drive the message that health is very closely related to other measures of the quality of life of an individual.

“Canada is extremely progressive in terms of health promotions.” – Nancy

  • Good for Canada. I was not aware of this and it made me proud. A number of times, Nancy made reference to anti-smoking campaigns in Canada and how successful they have been. I have noticed that compared to other countries, when I look around in a populated area in Canada, there is a noticeable lack of smokers. Good clean air for all!

Why take a policy approach?

  • This question makes sense considering the audience in the room. Many of the participants of the conversation were coming from the non-profit sector that are actively engaged in community building projects and campaigns to influence attitudes. Other approaches that these organizations may take to influence and inform populations of people are awareness campaigns (large scale events to inform people of an issue), and educational campaigns (for example, the anti-smoking campaigns that used advertisements to inform people of the ill effects of smoking).

“Good” Policy is…

  • economically feasible
  • politically acceptable
  • socially acceptable
  • administratively and technologically possible

What kinds of policy work is the Ontario Government doing in regards to poverty reduction?

  • Bill 152: Poverty Reduction Act (May, 2009)
  • Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy (Dec 2008)
  • Full-Time Kindergarden

Nancy provided everyone with a handout on how to do policy work. It is a short and clear step by step process to engage in policy change.

Click here to download a PDF of the full handout–it is a great resource.