This program is virtual and will take place online for Summer 2021. The application deadline has been extended, you can continue to submit applications online. Students will be selected on a rolling basis until courses are full.
About the course
This course is led by UBC faculty members Sean Holowaychuk & Chris Bennett.
This real-time online version of the Go Global Seminar is designed to introduce students to the principles and applications of project Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning (MEL), and impact analysis in a COVID world. Typically, in May, students would travel to Indonesia to learn the Impact Evaluation Analytics Methodology in order to assess the efficacy and impact attributed to small-scale development projects in rural settings.
The 2021 version of LFS302B presents an opportunity for students interested in a career in international development to come to terms with the challenges of gathering information, analyzing data, and performing field-work during a pandemic – and beyond. Students will learn how to use the resources at their disposal to do research and interpret information from stakeholders in real-time, in order to accurately appraise development project interventions from a distance. Students will be provided with analytical tools that will increase their value as employment candidates for national and international donor agencies, consultancy companies, as well as non-government organizations (NGOs) operating in the development field.
The world of international development faces many challenges, one of which is the failure of assistance interventions such as aid projects and programs. Students will develop a practical understanding of the logical processes by which projects are designed and implemented, including the need for external evaluation to assess the efficacy, outcomes, impacts, and sustainability, post-project delivery. Lack of project success, more often than not, is a result of inadequate impact evaluation strategies. Students will learn skills to develop strong MEL plans in order to overcome these deficiencies.
This course is an adaptation of the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach of previous LFS302B years. Students will work in teams studying on-going and small-scale development project interventions and benefit from ‘hands-on learning. Oral presentations of group work will allow for knowledge exchange among the students. There is a unique opportunity to combine course objectives with technology to deliver a strategic alternative to the field-study course – LFS302B-Impact Evaluation Analytics | International Field-Study to Indonesia.
For more information, email Sean Holowaychuk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This week I participated in an online challenge called How to Change the World (HtCtW), the goal of which was to come up with a sustainable development strategy for Makoko slum in Lagos, Nigeria. The process really reminded me of LFS302B, because a key part of it was identifying the core problem and key stakeholders. My team ended up using principles of problem tree and logframe to do so, and I wanted to thank Sean & Chris for drilling that in my head. My team won one the 'Most Implementable' nomination and got to speak to Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, which was pretty cool.” – A.K.
About the virtual experience
After a brief introduction to the course, students will be provided with shared dockets loaded with photos, videos, research papers, and previous years’ evaluation reports – detailed information on ten selected development projects comprising a broad range of interests and sectors (agriculture, healthcare, waste management & recycling, small business enterprises, micro-hydro, land conflict, rainforest management, etc.). During this first week of classroom instruction (online), instructors will present and discuss the potential project options as an entire cohort. Through photo and video capture in-the-field in Indonesia, instructors will compile a real-time update of what has changed since 2020 for each of the development project options, and how stakeholders are coping in a contemporary environment – especially due to COVID.
Through recorded video lectures and in-person discussion during Week 1, instructors will begin to provide an academic framework for the IEA Methodology, by outlining the foundations of basic project evaluation and impact analysis.
During the first days of Week 2, students will gravitate towards a development project option that interests them, and then form teams on their own.
With teams now formed, students will continue to absorb the Impact Evaluation Analytics (IEA) Methodology and integrate that knowledge with the challenges of gathering quality research information during a pandemic. Instructors will introduce small team assignments to highlight these hurdles. Teams will be introduced to the Indonesian translator who will facilitate meetings with stakeholders, and act as their virtual guide of the projects. Teams will begin to formulate a daily workflow as to how to gather additional information about their selected development project in Indonesia. By following the IEA methodology, teams will develop a sense of the information that is incomplete about the project, which will be relayed to translators in Indonesia. Over the evening (daytime in Indonesia), translators will elicit responses from project stakeholders to teams’ queries. The goal of this second week, is for students will balance learning the fundamentals and methodology, with actual MEL investigation, with the challenges of collecting data remotely – Problem-Based Learning.
Students will continue to learn the fundamentals of project design and implementation through the IEA Methodology through recorded video lectures, classroom discussion, and small team exercises. Working with instructors and translators, in Canada and in Indonesia, teams will continue to build their MEL and impact analysis case. Teams will continue to communicate with Indonesian stakeholders on a daily basis and compile information data in order to facilitate their project evaluation. Note that by the third week the weekly classroom schedule may be augmented to accommodate a dynamic schedule. Due to the time difference (+14 hours), most stakeholder communication (interviews) will need to be held in the evening Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), which is morning Western Indonesian Time (WIT). i.e.: 6pm PDT = 8am WIT.
Teams will continue daily communication in a virtual classroom setting with instructors, work towards tying up loose ends with stakeholders in Indonesia, and preparing their team evaluation presentations.
By the end of Week 6 teams will deliver a 20-25-minute online presentation to instructors and project stakeholders. This forum will provide an opportunity for team, stakeholders, instructors, and translators to exchange ideas on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the project evaluators. The presentation is an time for teams to refine their work before the final report submission.
Moving forward, over the next 2 weeks – until the end of the Summer Term 1 exam period – students will prepare a full project evaluation report, as well as an individual paper.
The virtual version of LFS302B is not intended to replace the hands-on development project experience of working in the field in Indonesia. This year’s course is intended as a response to a contemporary world health crisis, in which the future of work in the field of international development will need to be reshaped. Skills learned in LFS302B 2021 will help prepare students for what lies ahead in this field.
Project Options for LFS302B 2021
- Muti-sectoral Mini Hydro Energy, West Java & West Sumatra
- Adoption of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to Restore Peatlands and Prevent Fires, Central Kalimantan
- More Effective Community-based Orangutan Conservation, Aceh & North Sumatra
- Higher Value-added Community Cassava Processing & Marketing, Benteng Village, West Java
- Increasing Community Waste-Management in Municipalities, Kertamaya, West Java, Indonesia
- Resolving Land Conflict between Villagers and Cement industry, Nambo Village, West Java, Indonesia
- Expanding Micro-Finance, Pasir Kuda village, West Java, Indonesia
- Community-based Watershed Management, Eastern Sumatra
- Rainforest Conservation by Dayak Communities for Water Resource Protection, North Kalimantan
See below for project descriptions.