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What works in development?


International Development in Practice taught by Steve Reifenberg at the University of Notre Dame

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What works in development?


International Development in Practice taught by Steve Reifenberg at the University of Notre Dame

Welcome! 

I am Steve Reifenberg, the Executive Director of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

I am teaching courses on international development, titled "International Development in Practice." The purpose of this website is to inform prospective students, current students, teachers and anybody else who is interested about the courses. On this website, you will find details on:  

  • Course content and pedagogy
  • Student projects
  • Student reflections

Please feel free to get in touch. 

-Steve Reifenberg


International Development in Practice I

International Development in Practice I: What Works in Development? (POLS 30595) aspires to develop relevant knowledge and practical skills for students interested in engaging in positive change in a complex world. In this course, students will:

  1. Examine processes for understanding individual and societal change in an international context;
  2. Explore the roles, complexities, opportunities and constraints of development projects in areas such as poverty reduction, social development, health and education; and,
  3. Develop practical skills related to project design, planning, design thinking, management, negotiations, communications, and the evaluation of international development projects.

International Development in Practice II

The Advanced Topics and Applications—International Development and Design Thinking (POLS 30596) seminar builds on the knowledge and practical skills developed in POLS 30595, International Development in Practice I: What Works in Development? Students and I are co-creators of the course. In the first 30% of the course, each student will be part of a team to design one of the modules (2, 3 or 4). In the rest 70% of the course, students will lead one class session within the module while working in a Development Advisory Team with a real-world "client" organization to take learning into practice.

The new (Spring 2017) Innovative Approaches to Development  (POLS 30596 - IDS 30539 - CE 30710) seminar is a highly interactive class, where instructors and students will engage in creating and teaching a new course. This course will serve as a prototype for the first semester of the Integration Lab for Global Affairs, the first in a sequence of four Integration Lab courses in the Keough School of Global Affairs’ Master in Global Affairs. The class will create an innovative curricular space and ecosystem that connects theory and practice, integrating knowledge across different disciplines and professions.

spring 2014

The course focused on major development themes organized in three modules including

  1. Measurement and evaluation,
  2. Negotiation and the process of development, and
  3. Implementation and strategy. 
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Spring 2016

Students and I learned about design thinking, and applying design thinking concepts to:

  1. Course design,
  2. International development challenges, and
  3. Real-world problems and opportunities.
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SPRING 2017

The course will focus on innovative and integrative approaches to address global challenges, through:

  1. Co-Creating Personal & Collective Journeys;
  2. Design Thinking  & Futures Thinking;
  3. Systems Thinking;
  4. Negotiations; and
  5. Implementation Science.

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Development Advisory Team


Development Advisory Team


What is Development Advisory Team (DAT)? 

A major component of International Development in Practice classes revolves around the Development Advisory Teams (DATs). In groups of 4 to 5, students serve as consultants to international development organizations on a specific problem or opportunity. In 12 weeks, students are in regular communication with their clients and engage in research for “best practices.” At the end of the semester, students present their results to the class and offer concrete recommendations to their client organizations. The generosity of Notre Dame donors allow opportunities for students to apply for funds to travel and work with their organization in the field or present their final recommendations in person at an international site. 


20 Organizations  | 4 continents | 41 Development Advisory Teams


Featured Development Advisory Team Projects

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Student Voices


For International Development in Practice II, past students serve as mentors for current students and they share with each other their learning.

Student Voices


For International Development in Practice II, past students serve as mentors for current students and they share with each other their learning.

The 14 students who took International Development in Practice II in spring 2014 continue their involvement in the course by serving as mentors for students enrolled in this class in spring 2016. The mentors pass on their insights and reflections to both help improve the class experience and provide personal advice for their mentees. Reflecting on interactions with their mentors, the spring 2016 students share their learning in these following articles: 

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About steve Reifenberg


About steve Reifenberg


I, Steve Reifenberg, am the Executive Director of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Before coming to Notre Dame in February 2010, I had worked for nearly two decades on international educational, negotiation and development issues at Harvard University. From 1996 to 2002, I served as the Executive Director of Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS). In 2002, I established Harvard’s first-ever, university-wide office overseas in Santiago, Chile, an office that he directed for seven years.  I am the former Program Director for Latin America of the Conflict Management Group (CMG) and served as the Director of the Edward S. Mason Program in Public Policy and Management, jointly administered by the Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Institute for International Development. In the early 1980s, I lived and worked for two years at a small orphanage, Domingo Savio, in Santiago, Chile. I have written about my experiences in Santiago’s Children: What I Learned About Life Working at an Orphanage in Chile published by the University of Texas Press. I continue to be actively involved in Domingo Savio, and also serves on numerous non-profit boards in Chile and the U.S. that deal with innovation, education, conservation, and expanding opportunities for poor children.

 

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Contact Us


What are your thoughts on the class substance, pedagogy, and Development Advisory Team projects? 

Contact Us


What are your thoughts on the class substance, pedagogy, and Development Advisory Team projects? 

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