2017 Online Courses are OPEN for Registration

All Spring 2017 online Sustainable Community Development Certificate courses are open for registration. The deadline to register for the first session is January 9, 2017.

January 13 – February 17, 2017

March 3 – April 7, 2017

April 21 – May 26, 2017

 


SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

Next Offered Deadline to Register Registration Status Offered By
January 13 – February 17, 2017 January 9, 2017 Open

Course Description

One of the biggest challenges we face in today’s global economy is the alleviation and ultimate elimination, of poverty. Unemployment, lack of economic opportunities and the inability to provide for one’s needs and those of one’s family, lead to destructive consequences at the individual level and can lead to crime and armed conflict at the social level. While the latest development theory recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise generation in combating poverty, providing employment and increasing income, in order to address poverty at the grass-roots level, we need to explore the intersection of traditional business concepts with social venturing. This course aims to provide an understanding of social entrepreneurship that will help us put theory into practice in a meaningful way.

This course will examine entrepreneurship and enterprise generation as a key foundation of the development of both economic and social capital, as well as individual and community empowerment. Its main emphasis will be the exploration of entrepreneurship with an imperative to drive social change and build sustainable ventures. Its focus will be on designing enterprises for the base of the economic pyramid in the context of disadvantaged communities. We will participate in the unfolding dialogue about what constitutes a “social entrepreneur”, develop an understanding of the power of “disruptive innovation”, and study success stories from around the world, thereby gaining valuable insights into how to develop our own enterprises.

This course will require critical thinking, be highly interactive, and students will share their experiences, ideas, insights and challenges. Participants will be able to apply the learning from this course to their own start-ups and field projects.

Instructor:

Vinod Parekh

Social Entrepreneur, Proprietor of Human Development Services, Consultant Trainer and Mentor of several companies, visiting and online faculty at Colorado State University, Independent Director Man Diesel and Turbo India, World traveler.

I began my career in Sales and Marketing and then went on to be with BBC UK and trained as a Broadcaster before I discovered my passion for people development. I continue to be a student of Personal, Organisational and Community Transformation. Education: Organisational Development (OD) Chicago USA, Psychology Major: University of Nagpur, India. Marketing Management at NTC, Calcutta, India. Early Career: Radio and Television Broadcasting, BBC, London, Glasgow, Director Community Development Projects of the Institute of Cultural Affairs International, Chicago, USA an affiliate of the UN.

Current Responsibilities:
• Director-Human Development Services & Human Development Consultants and Trainers-A management consultancy- leadership training and development enterprise which specializes in conducting management alignment, team building, personal and organizational effectiveness enhancement programs for public, private , academic and voluntary sectors.
• Chairman-Unnati Enterprises – A Socio-Economic Enterprise dedicated to empowering rurban communities particularly youth;
• Mentor -Teaching Learning Community of Small & Medium Scale entrepreneurs;
• Visiting Faculty at: Maharashtra Police Academy, India International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Colorado State University ,USA; Several Management Colleges and Institutes including Bharati Vidyapeet Institute for Management studies and Research, Moonje Mgt Institute, Mahatma Gandhi Management Institutes (MBA program) of the University of Pune, India Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and Tuljapur;
•Independent Director- MAN Diesel Turbo

Previous Positions:
• Marketing Director-Communication Services, Hyderabad, India.
• Consultant / Trainer- Institute of Cultural Affairs-International, Chicago USA.
• Director Community and Village Development Projects, Maharashtra-India
• Project Director-Community Development Programme, Lusaka, Zambia.

Areas of Expertise:
•Designing and facilitating needs based training and development programmes aimed towards personal, organizational/community transformation using the Technology of Participative Management (ToP)
•Bridging intercultural gaps.

Passion: Traveling, interacting with people.

My MISSION – To equip individuals, communities and organizations (for and not for profit) with practical mindset change techniques and soft skills tools towards enhancing their overall effectiveness. My VISION – Personal and organizational/community transformation.


APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Next Offered Deadline to Register Registration Status Offered By
January 13 – February 17, 2017 January 9, 2017 Open
April 21 – May 26, 2017 April 18, 2017 Open

Course Description

Explore both the structure and practice of community development around the world.  Engage in a critical analysis of different approaches to community development, their historical development and underlying assumptions.  Gain an understanding of the structural and practical issues that promote or detract from the goal of community empowerment.

Instructor:

David Bartecchi, M.A.

Dave received his M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Colorado State University and has worked with Village Earth since 1998.  He is now the executive director of Village Earth.  Since 2000 he has been working with grassroots groups on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to recover lands for community-based bison restoration. He has also worked with the indigenous groups in Peru and Ecuador and trained and consulted on community-based development projects in in Azerbaijan, Armenia, India as well as with Native American tribes in California and Oklahoma.  He has been an instrumental part of several research projects with CSU’s Department of Anthropology including a 6 year longitudinal study of the informal economy on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota funded by the National Science Foundation, a survey of farmers and ranchers participating in the National Conservation Reserve Program conducted by CSU’s Natural Resource Ecology Lab and funded by the USDA, and community-based censuses on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota. Dave teaches online courses in Approaches to Community Development, Community Mobilization, and Community-based Mapping.


COMMUNITY-BASED FOOD SYSTEMS

Next Offered Deadline to Register Registration Status Offered By
January 13 – February 17, 2017 January 9, 2017 Open

The cultivation, preparation, distribution, and consumption of food are practices that shape how we organize ourselves socially, economically and politically. Control over food is central to the sustainability and self-determination of communities. In this seminar, you will learn about different approaches to building community-based food systems and movements for food justice around the world. Together, we will evaluate various strategies for protecting community food resources and rebuilding local food economies, as well as the factors that threaten these efforts. With special consideration for marginalized communities in the global North and South, students will develop a conceptual toolkit and set of resources to help them assess the limitations and possibilities of their own community’s food system.

Instructors:

This course is facilitated by the International Agroecology Action Network (IAEAN) a consultancy group composed of ultra-motivated scientists willing to work hard to change the world. Although we are all agroecologists, we combine our diverse backgrounds and skills in order to dynamically implement sustainable and effective projects. Our pool of available consultants offer a wide range of skills and competences. We seek to improve society through our actions and research and we believe that both grassroots and top-down approaches are necessary to drive systemic change. Our members are currently involved in international organizations, private companies, development associations and in academic spheres.

Introduction to Humanitarian Assistance for Community Workers and Funders

According to Good Humanitarian Donorship, Humanitarian Assistance is broadly defined to mean the action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of man-made crises and natural disasters, as well as to prevent and strengthen preparedness for the occurrence of such situations.

Humanitarian assistance in the international arena vastly differs from domestic emergency response within the United States.  As a field unto itself, humanitarian assistance also differs greatly from shorter-term disaster response in scope, objectives, and duration.  In addition, the field encompasses codifying norms, international standards, and critical concepts that exist to maintain humanitarian principles, ensure quality intervention, and create sustainable improvement.

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, over 400 medical teams arrived to assist communities in need. Only a tiny fraction of teams were able to identify or plan intervention strategies and programs utilizing international humanitarian architecture or standards. This lack of knowledge translated into failures in communication, coordination, and usage of resources with direct implications for populations affected.

This problem is neither new nor has it been adequately addressed over time. Several studies, ranging from 2001 to present have reported that a dearth of nongovernmental organizations responding to disasters offers any teaching or orientation prior to departure. Authors and practitioners have put forward a critical call to action for improved accountability, well-defined core competencies, and greater quality control.  With appropriate and tailored training, practitioners will have exponentially improved efficiency, impact, and sustainability. In turn, these professionals better share expertise with local and national staff who remain, as always, the first-responders in their communities as they build themselves toward resilience and self-reliance.

In addition, the underlying circumstances necessitating pre-departure education of humanitarian workers have been intensifying. For example, the complexities of urban disasters require multi-sector coordination, community stakeholder engagement, and division of scarce resources more than ever. There are increasing risks and threats to humanitarian aid workers and less room for inexperience, waste, and error. Compassion in and of itself is not enough, however, compassion coupled with knowledge, guided by experience, and directed into effective action leads to substantive effective change.

If you would like more information and want to better inform your humanitarian efforts, consider enrolling today in our Introduction to Humanitarian Assistance Course.

Learning to Create Resilient Communities

All of Village Earth’s Sustainable Community Development Certificate courses ultimately focus on building resilient communities.  We often hear of climate change resilience, and we have a whole class that focuses on Building Climate Change Resilient Communities, but what does it mean beyond the all-encompassing threat of climate change?

Resilience can be generally defined as the capacity for a community to absorb stresses and maintain function in the face of external stresses imposed upon it and adapt, reorganize, and evolve into more desirable configurations that improve the sustainability of the system, leaving it better prepared for future impacts.  Through our various courses we address ways that we as community members and outside allies/external activators can help communities become more resilient.  For example, community mapping can be an important tool to both visualize external stresses and evolve their way of thinking spatially.  Dispute Resolution is another important tool to mitigate conflicts and learn to adapt through conflict resolution methods.  And learning about different approaches to community development gives us a theoretical understanding of how things came to be as well as practical tools we can use in our work.

To learn more, check out our Sustainable Community Development Certificate courses now enrolling through June 7.

New Village Earth/CSU Course – Humanitarian Assistance Toolbox: Resources for Best Practices

Due to the positive response from our inaugural Introduction to Humanitarian Assistance online course, Village Earth is pleased to announce our second course in the Humanitarian Assistance specialization Humanitarian Assistance Toolbox.*  This course is being offered in collaboration with EmBOLDEN Alliances and is a part of Village Earth’s and Colorado State University Online’s Sustainable Community Development Certificate Program. Now enrolling through November 1, 2015.

Given the basic knowledge and understanding of Humanitarian Assistance, this course provides participants the opportunity to explore various toolkits and standards used throughout Humanitarian Assistance with both breadth and depth.

Participants will gain an understanding for standard resources and guidelines that have been created to ensure and maintain human dignity, quality of life, impactful and sustainable service delivery, and sustainability of response through recovery and resiliency.

This course will provide participants an introduction to tools necessary to engage in humanitarian assistance more effectively. By providing participants the opportunity to examine and understand international standards and guidelines, participants will gain an improved ability to deliver impactful and coordinated action that benefits individuals and communities.

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify critical international guidelines used in Humanitarian Assistance.
  • Explain the creation of SPHERE, its significance and utility.
  • Discuss inter-sectoral collaboration in relation to recent emergency contexts.
  • Recognize key tools for needs assessments.
  • Relate international standards to monitoring and evaluation of programming.
  • Describe mainstreaming for vulnerable populations in emergency contexts.

This course will be taught by Neena Jain MD MSTPH DTM&H, who for over twenty years has thrived in international Humanitarian Assistance and Global Health as Program Manager, Country Medical Director, Health Sector Lead, and Technical Advisor with many international nongovernmental organizations throughout Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. These agencies have included Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, International Medical Corps, Australian Aid International, and Save The Children, among others. She is the current Executive Director of emBOLDen Alliances. Dr. Jain was Board-certified in Emergency Medicine in 2001 and practiced as an Attending Physician at Swedish Medical Center and Denver Health Medical Center Emergency Departments. She developed programmatic structure and taught core content using innovative techniques as Director and Deputy Director for the Program in Humanitarian Assistance and Adjunct Faculty for the Global Health Affairs Program at the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies.

*While it may be helpful to have some prior knowledge in the field of humanitarian assistance, it is not required to have taken any other course in this series before taking Humanitarian Assistance Toolbox.

New Course & Specialization on Humanitarian Assistance in our Online Certificate Program at CSU

4399017808_55ac80df3e_z

In response to demand from participants around the world, Village Earth is pleased to announce our new Introduction to Humanitarian Assistance online course, which counts toward our new certificate specialization in Humanitarian Assistance.  This course is being offered in collaboration with EmBOLDEN AlliancesNow enrolling through July 26.

According to Good Humanitarian Donorship, Humanitarian Assistance is broadly defined to mean the action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of man-made crises and natural disasters, as well as to prevent and strengthen preparedness for the occurrence of such situations. Humanitarian assistance in the international arena vastly differs from domestic emergency response within the United States. As a field unto itself, humanitarian assistance also differs greatly from shorter-term disaster response in scope, objectives, and duration. In addition, the field encompasses codifying norms, international standards, and critical concepts that exist to maintain humanitarian principles, ensure quality intervention, and create sustainable improvement.

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, over 400 medical teams arrived to assist communities in need. Only a tiny fraction of teams were able to identify or plan intervention strategies and programs utilizing international humanitarian architecture or standards. This lack of knowledge translated into failures in communication, coordination, and usage of resources with direct implications for populations affected.

This problem is neither new nor has it been adequately addressed over time. Several studies, ranging from 2001-2014, have reported that a dearth of nongovernmental organizations responding to disasters offers any teaching or orientation prior to departure. Authors and practitioners have put forward a critical call to action for improved accountability, well-defined core competencies, and greater quality control. With appropriate and tailored training, practitioners will have exponentially improved efficiency, impact, and sustainability. In turn, these professionals better share expertise with local and national staff who remain, as always, the first-responders in their communities as they build themselves toward resilience and self-reliance.

In addition, the underlying circumstances necessitating pre-departure education of humanitarian workers have been intensifying. For example, the complexities of urban disasters require multi-sector coordination, community stakeholder engagement, and division of scarce resources more than ever. There are increasing risks and threats to humanitarian aid workers and less room for inexperience, waste, and error. Compassion in and of itself is not enough, however, compassion coupled with knowledge, guided by experience, and directed into effective action leads to substantive effective change. This course will provide participants an introduction to the knowledge necessary to engage in humanitarian assistance more effectively and sustainably. By providing participants the opportunity to examine and identify key components, participants will have a better understanding of humanitarian architecture as well as the ability to improve coordination and implementation of programmatic interventions.

This course will be taught by Neena Jain MD MSTPH DTM&H, who for over twenty years has thrived in international Humanitarian Assistance and Global Health as Program Manager, Country Medical Director, Health Sector Lead, and Technical Advisor with many international nongovernmental organizations throughout Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. These agencies have included Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, International Medical Corps, Australian Aid International, and Save The Children, among others. She is the current Executive Director of emBOLDen Alliances. Dr. Jain was Board-certified in Emergency Medicine in 2001 and practiced as an Attending Physician at Swedish Medical Center and Denver Health Medical Center Emergency Departments. She developed programmatic structure and taught core content using innovative techniques as Director and Deputy Director for the Program in Humanitarian Assistance and Adjunct Faculty for the Global Health Affairs Program at the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies.

Technology in Community Development – Culture, Ethics, and Why it Matters

How often have you gone into a community and seen a broken down water well, unused school building, or decrepit renewable energy project?  Some NGO came in with good intentions, but for a myriad of reasons after they leave these projects fall into a state of disrepair.  And unfortunately the blame is often put on the community furthering an internal feeling of dis-empowerment and lack of self-efficacy.  When really the problems lies in the implementation of the technology itself.

What is appropriate technology all about? It is a way of thinking about technological change; recognizing that tools and techniques can evolve along different paths toward different ends. It includes the belief that human communities can have a hand in deciding what their future will be like, and that the choice of tools and techniques is an important part of this. It also includes the recognition that technologies can embody cultural biases and sometimes have political and distributional effects that go far beyond a strictly economic evaluation. “A.T.” therefore involves a search for technologies that have, for example, beneficial effects on income distribution, human development, environmental quality, and the distribution of political power—as well as productivity—in the context of particular communities and nations.  —Village Earth’s Appropriate Technology Sourcebook

We all introduce and use technologies in our community development work whether we recognize it or not.  But how often do we step back and reflect on the cultural biases or political implications that these technologies bring with them?  Technology is not neutral, but by working with communities on the process of appropriate technology generation we can hope to develop ethical technologies that are appropriate to their environmental, socio-cultural, political, and economic contexts.  Through the process of bottom-up appropriate technology generation and the tandem use of both hard (tangible) and soft (participation, community organization, etc) technologies this process can be both empowering for local people and sustainable in the long-term.

Join us to learn more about these concepts in our Technology and Community Development Online Course now enrolling through October 26.  This course is a part of our Sustainable Community Development Certificate and counts toward the specializations in Service and Civic Engagement, Community Planning and Development, and Participatory Facilitation.

Spring 2015 Sustainable Community Development Online Course Schedule

In partnership with both Colorado State University Online Plus (CSU) and Duke University Continuing Studies we are pleased to announce that our Spring 2015 Sustainable Community Development Certificate online course schedule has been released.  Spring 2015 courses will open for registration by October 15, 2014 for CSU courses and will open by this Friday, September 26, 2014 for Duke courses.  Take a look at the 2015 spring schedule below and begin planning your own schedule of courses for either a general Sustainable Community Development certificate or choose one of our specialized tracks.

Duke_University_Logo

 

 

 

Term 1: January 9 – February 13, 2015

Term 2: February 27 – April 3, 2015

Term 3: April 17 – May 22, 2015

 

colorado_state_university_logo-1135358447

 

 

 

Term 1: January 16 – February 20, 2015

Term 2: March 6 – April 10, 2015

Term 3: April 24 – May 29, 2015

Introducing New Training Instructor John Straw, Executive Director for Concern America.

JohnStraw…John Straw, Executive Director over at Concern America!  He will be teaching a few different online courses in the Sustainable Community Development Certificate program starting with the upcoming Approaches to Community Development course through Colorado State University (Registration deadline this Sunday, July 20).

John Straw grew up in Flint, Michigan and received his Bachelors from the University of Michigan with a degree in Spanish and Education. He went on to earn a Masters in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, focusing on social justice and bilingual education. John and his wife lived for five years in Honduras and Guatemala working on a variety of community-based health and development projects. For the past 15 years, John has worked with Concern America, an international development and refugee aid organization based in southern California, with health, water, and income-generation projects in Latin America and Africa. He has been the Executive Director of Concern America since 2012.

In addition to his international development work, John has taught Spanish at the middle and high school levels, is on the school board of his daughter’s dual immersion school, and regularly participates in local political, justice, and solidarity efforts focused on Latin America. John and his wife are the proud parents of two children ages 15 and 12.

We are excited to have him on board and we think he will be a valuable addition to our training faculty!

Community Mobilization Training | June 11th-13th, 2014 in Fort Collins, Co.

 

When: June 11 – 13, 2014
Where: Fort Collins, Colorado
Format: In-Person

Course Description

What turns a group of individuals into an organization or social movement.  This course will explore the structural, social, and  psychological barriers inhibit or prevent individuals and groups from getting involved and working together for change.  Examine the definition of community mobilization as both an initial and ongoing process central to any community and social change effort that seeks to build support and participation of individuals, groups, and institutions to work towards a common goal or vision. Learn from the theories and methods of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, whose work has guided some of the most successful development and education programs around the globe, including the Orangi Pilot Project in Pakistan, The NAAM movement in Burkina Faso, and the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka, among others.

This course will explore the process of mobilizing communities from within the framework of Grassroots Support Organizations (GSOs).

“A subset of NGOs has decided to move beyond social service provision and invest in initiatives that build the human and financial resources of impoverished communities. Focusing on diverse issues—from health and the environment to political mobilization and microenterprises—these NGOs share a common approach to the communities with which they work: They foster the long-term empowerment of impoverished populations by assisting them in decision making and the mobilization of resources and political power. This core approach is what defines these development NGOs as grassroots support organizations.”

— Boglio Martinez, Rafael A. 2008. “Grassroots Support Organizations and Transformative Practices” in Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 16(3).

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the the basic philosophy and basic principles of community mobilization and grassroots support organizing.
  • Assess a community’s capacity for collective action  at the macro, micro, structural and cognitive levels.
  • Employ basic methods to “map” the social and political organization of a community and identify issues that inspire action.
  • Begin a process to transform community tension into focused action.

Logistics

Tuition covers facility expenses, equipment, course materials, and trainer fees. Participants are responsible for travel, room and board during the duration of the training. Participants should plan to arrive in Fort Collins, Colorado June 10th and depart after 4:30 pm Friday, June 13th.

Registration

Tuition: $500

OR

Register by phone: +1 970-237-3002 Ext. 504

* Continuing Education Units(CEUs) from CSU are available upon request for additional $50.

 

Impactful Online Training for Stakeholders from Different Locations

Village Earth’s Sustainable Community Development Certificate program is a great way to train different stakeholders who may not all be in the same area, but need to be working on the same page.  For example, we have had organizations and private companies send groups through our certificate program which included local community members, company employees, NGO staff, and local government officials.  This is a great way to make sure everyone in your project group is working from the same development philosophy, using the same terminology, and can come to consensus on project design and M&E plans.  Especially if staff and local people are located in different countries, it is a great way to train everyone together while saving on transportation and in-person training costs.  And studies show, knowledge is gained and retained just as effectively from online training as it is from in-person training.

Now registering for courses that begin next week, April 25, at Duke University!  To explore training your group, please visit our Sustainable Community Development Certificate Online Training page. 

Sustainable Community Development Certificate Summer Courses Open

colorado_state_university_logo-1135358447Colorado State University has just opened registration for its online summer courses for the Sustainable Community Development Certificate Program.  Sessions are now open for June and July 2014.

Courses now open for registration:

What Sustainable Community Development Looks Like a Decade Later

Over ten years ago, Village Earth supported the creation of a microfinance initiative in the Marathi village of Belgaon Dhaga just outside of Nashik, India.  Village Earth’s support wound down as the community paid back the microfinance loans and created their own long-enduring institutions for the continued development of their community.  From the outset, five businesses were created using microfinance loans and now ten years later these businesses are flourishing and the microfinance initiative has continued of the community’s own accord by way of various intra-community savings and lending groups.

village leaders

Community leaders with a Village Earth representative.

Back in February, Village Earth was invited back to Belgaon Dhaga to see the community’s progress in the decade since and the results were remarkable.  The community hosted an award ceremony to honor local community talent, which included young artists, teachers, exceptional students, entrepreneurs, and women’s savings groups.  Children spoke about how after learning to read how they went home and taught their own mothers to read, young entrepreneurs gave encouragement to others to go out and start their own ventures, and all this was interspersed with local songs and dances by the school children.  Belgaon Dhaga is even more impressive in its focus on gender equity electing women to the top village leadership positions.The community leaders work with local government and business leaders to create long-enduring support for community initiatives.

organic farmer

Young entrepreneur Dattu Dhage receiving the Role Model Innovative Farmer award from the Chief Minister of the state of Maharashtra.

And the list goes on and on…Belgaon Dhaga has been nominated for the national award for the most comprehensive, sustainable development including the most successful microfinance project model. Recently when a high level government delegation from Delhi came to ‘inspect’ the village, they were stunned to hear the young village leaders present their community development and training model and were shown different achievements in Belgaon Dhaga. One of the organic farmers from the community was recently chosen as the most innovative young farmer by the state of Maharashtra in February.

This is what sustainable community development should look like, and we at Village Earth are very proud of the achievements of Belgaon Dhaga.  This community has become a role model for other villages around the world.  Village Earth hopes to offer training and study tour opportunities in this area in the future so other development practitioners can learn from the community themselves and their decade of experience with truly bottom-up, participatory community development.  If you are interested in potential study tour opportunities, e-mail [email protected].  Kamala Parekh, a Village Earth online instructor, lives in the community and has been seminal in the success of the microfinance program and she teaches our microfinance course online through both Colorado State University and Duke University.

Village Earth Proud to Announce New Partnership with Duke University Continuing Studies

logo_vert_#001A57_lrVillage Earth will now be offering our Sustainable Community Development Certificate Program through Duke University’s Department of Continuing Studies.  We expect that this will be a very fruitful partnership in that Village Earth will bring its world-renowned online sustainable community development training program to the academic excellence of Duke University.  We hope that through this partnership we will be able to reach even more community leaders, development practitioners, and others around the world with an interest in increasing their knowledge and skills in sustainable community development.  Courses through Duke University begin January 17, 2014.

We will be offering the same great five-week courses and numerous specializations to tailor the program to meet participant’s needs and interests.  Our instructors will continue to be the same seasoned professionals who are practitioners in their fields.  An application for admission is not required to enroll in a course or to pursue the Certificate in Sustainable Community Development from Duke University.

Duke University is ranked the #7 university in the United States.  “The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society… around the world.”

Village Earth will also continue to offer the Sustainable Community Development Certificate Program through Colorado State University as well.  Visit Village Earth’s Sustainable Community Development online training page for more information about this program including how to enroll.  If you have questions, please contact Village Earth’s Training Director at [email protected].

 

Greenhouse Gas Levels Break Another Record: Community Adaptive Capacity Critical

According to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization, greenhouse gases are at an all time high for the ninth year in a row.  From effects on food security, human health, and local economies; climate change is causing wide spread implications for many sectors of community development.  One of the most severe needs is to strengthen grassroots adaptation capacity.  As community development practitioners, it essential that we learn the techniques and strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change on communities.

A community’s adaptive capacity is their means of coping with these changes and uncertainties.  The poorest communities tend to be the most vulnerable to these changes.  Communities need to have the knowledge about and understand carbon offsetting and global mitigation schemes such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) in order to decide whether these are useful mechanisms for their community.

To learn about climate change and community development, check out Village Earth’s newest course Local Communities and Climate Change Mitigation Strategies.  Register online by November 10 by clicking the link.

Fall Online Courses are OPEN for Registration

VENEWSLETTER-BANNER-600x180

TRAINING UPDATES

GeneralPromo_02 2Fall Online Courses are OPEN for Registration

Fall Session II (November 15 – December 20, 2013) courses are open for registration.  Registration ends November 10.  The following courses are offered:

spacer.gif

Watch Village Earth’s video about our training philosophy: http://youtu.be/74GhLaG6rWo
spacer.gif
Spring 2014 courses will open for registration on October 15, 2013. 

Click on the Course Calendar to see future course offerings and plan out your schedule for completion of your Sustainable Community Development Certificate.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
Online Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Development

csu
Students who complete the “Approaches to Community-Based Development” course along with three other elective courses will receive a certificate in Sustainable Community Development from Colorado State University.  Students may also choose one of seven specializations to receive a specialized certificate.
 
All courses are organized in a seminar format and last five weeks. Each course is $390 USD.  All course materials are provided and can be downloaded from the course website after registration. More information can be obtained by clicking on the desired course (see links above).
 Contact

 Kristina Pearson
 Training Director 
[email protected]
 +1-970-237-3002  ext.503

Ever Wondered what Taking an Online Training would be Like?

Watch this video about our online training platform, learn how get the most out of an online training course, and familiarize yourself with the training platform before enrolling in our Sustainable Community Development Online Certificate Program through Colorado State University.

videoscreenshot

Celebrating a Decade of Online Training

Village Earth (originally through an entity called the International Institute for Sustainable Development), in collaboration with Colorado State University, was one of the first non-governmental organizations to really pioneer online training in the development and humanitarian sectors back in 2003.  Now ten years later, Village Earth’s online Sustainable Community Development Certificate program is one of the premier training programs for development and relief professionals.   Many organizations have sent groups of their staff (“training of trainers”) or program participants through the certificate program such as World Learning, IREX, Academy for Educational Development, Habitat for Humanity, and many more.

“For 26 years, I had worked with an international NGO assigned in several countries but I must admit that despite these years of doing development work, it is only now that I have a deeper understanding of what community-based development should be..”  — Course Participant

Over the ten years our program has evolved and adapted to the changing development landscape to incorporate not only best practices in online training, but also to stay on top of best practices in the field of sustainable community development.  Our courses have always been taught by practitioners in the field who bring with them not only immense academic knowledge but also the wealth of real world, on-the-ground knowledge that only someone with experience in the field could bring.   Our program has grown to now offer twenty-three courses as a part of the online certificate.  Recently, we have also begun to offer specializations for those looking to focus in on a particular subject area such as Economic Development, Natural Resources Management, Political Empowerment, Disaster Relief, Food Security / Agriculture, Participatory Facilitation, and Community Planning and Development.

Although more and more development training programs are coming online, Village Earth’s Sustainable Community Development Certificate stands out above the competition.   Unlike other online course programs that just post information online for student’s to read, our courses are facilitated, interactive, and encourage dialogue amongst our diverse participant body giving the opportunity for development professionals to learn from, discuss and network with other professionals from all over the globe.  To date, we have had participants come through our program from IGOs such as the United Nations to  grassroots community leaders in the most remote corners of the world.  You can see our list of 83 countries from which we have had participants:

1.     Afghanistan

2.     Albania

3.     Armenia

4.     Australia

5.     Austria

6.     Bangladesh

7.     Belgium

8.     Benin

9.     Bosnia-Herzegovina

10.   Brazil

11.   Bulgaria

12.   Burma (Myanmar)

13.   Burundi

14.   Cambodia

15.   Cameroon

16.   Canada

17.   Chad

18.   Colombia

19.   Congo

20.  Denmark

21.   East Timor

22.  Ecuador

23.  Egypt

24.  Ethiopia

25.  Finland

26.  France

27.  Germany

28.  Haiti

29.  Honduras

30.  India

31.   Indonesia

32.  Ireland

33.   Israel

34.  Italy

35.   Jamaica

36.  Japan

37.   Jordan

38.   Kenya

39.  Kiribati

40.  Korea

41.   Kosovo

42.  Kyrgyzstan

43.  Laos

44.  Lebanon

45.  Lesotho

46.  Liberia

47.  Luxembourg

48.  Madagascar

49.  Malta

50.  Mauritania

51.   Mexico

52.  Mongolia

53.   Mozambique

54.  Namibia

55.   Nepal

56.  Netherlands

57.   New Zealand

58.   Nigeria

59.  Norway

60.  Papua New Guinea

61.  Pakistan

62.   Philippines

63.  Qatar

64.  Russia

65.  Serbia

66.  Sierra Leone

67.  Singapore

68.  Slovakia

69.  South Africa

70.  Spain

71.  Sudan

72.   Sweden

73.  Switzerland

74.   Syria

75.  Tanzania

76.   Thailand

77.  Trinidad and Tobago

78.   United Arab Emirates

79.   United Kingdom

80.  United States

81.  Vanuatu

82.   Vietnam

83.  Zambia

Upgrading the Online Certificate Program: New Name & New Specializations!

First, some good news for those enrolled in the Online Certificate Program and those interested in enrolling, the program name is changing to Sustainable Community Development.  Participants who complete four courses will receive a Colorado State University certificate in Sustainable Community Development. Adding the word sustainable will reflect the program’s focus on sustainability as well as empowering, participatory community development. Plus it is a keyword that looks great on your CV or resume.

Second, we are now offering specialized tracks for those who would like their certificate program to focus in on a particular subject area within the field of sustainable community development.  If you choose a specialization it will be noted on your certificate, which again looks great on a CV or resume if you would like to portray specialization in a particular area.  New specialized tracks include:  Participatory Facilitation, Food Security / Agriculture, Disaster Relief, Political Empowerment, Natural Resources Management, Economic Development, and Community Planning and Development.  So the certificate you would receive would be a Certificate in Sustainable Community Development with a specialization in Disaster Relief, for example.  We hope that this will help tailor our program to the meet the needs of the many development professionals who come through our program.  And keep in mind, our general certificate (or create your own track) option is still available allowing you to complete the one required Approaches to Community Development course and three elective courses of your choosing to receive the Certificate in Sustainable Community Development.

Unfortunately, Colorado State University will not reissue new certificates to those who have completed the certificate program in the past before these new changes.   However, past certificate recipients are welcome to take more courses in the program to complete a specialized track and receive the new certificate.

Check out our online certificate program page for more information.

Conflict Resolution an Essential Community Development Skill

Conflict resolution skills will be beneficial at some point in any community development project.  Whether it be resolving disputes between community groups or between the community and outside forces, facilitating a dispute resolution process that is culturally-sensitive will lead to a more sustainable and successful community development process.  However, not many field workers and development practitioners have the necessary skills in community mediation, facilitation, collaborative problem solving, conflict resolution, conflict transformation and even conflict transcendence.  Our online course Community-Driven Dispute Resolution will equip participants with the skills and resources they need to resolve community disputes.  The course instructor, Lee Scharf, has decades of experience working in marginalized communities and culturally-sensitive contexts.  This course has received great reviews from past students and is a highly recommended addition to the Community Development Online Certificate program.

Now registering for Community-Driven Dispute Resolution through March 10.  Course runs March 15 – April 19, 2013.

The Revolution of Proliferating Participatory Methodologies

‘Every moment of business as usual is a lost moment for making change’ (Time to Listen).  I recently read a great article written by Robert Chambers on the Participation, Power, and Social Change blog talking about the great innovations in and proliferation of participatory methodologies.  Many development professionals are coming to realize that we cannot continue with business (top-down development) as usual.  The importance of competent facilitation, self-reflexivity, and listening to and respecting those at the grassroots with whom we work are cornerstones of our Community-Based Development Certificate program and our work.  Through continuous mutual learning in the field our instructors then take what they learn and facilitate our courses in a way that everyone can share and learn from each others’ experiences while keeping up with best practices in bottom-up community development.

The Community-Based Development Certificate course calendar has been scheduled through the end of 2013.  Registration for the Spring Session I of online courses closes end of day Sunday, January 20 so register now to become a part of “the quiet revolution of proliferating Participatory Methodologies”.  Register online:  http://villageearth.org/training-and-consulting/online