OL 101: Designing and Funding Sustainable Development Projects

Fund Projects | Increase Impact | Project Management

Sustainable Development Goals | Logframes | Project Budgets | Increase Funding
An 8-Week Online Course.
Current distance learning dates are listed in the sidebar.
Enroll Now in OL 101: Designing and Funding Sustainable Development Projects.
*From the developing world? Take your $50 scholarship.
This video gives an overview of both 101 and 102.
Advance your Career, Raise Funds and Solve Challenges
This development course online is for NGO and donor staff—and job-seekers wanting to successfully solve community challenges. Participants work on projects as diverse as food security, water, health, income generation, adaptation to climate change, gender, education—or with connecting farmers to a market—and decided to enroll in the program because they were:
  • developing skill sets for a better job or for a promotion
  • hoping to improve donor communications and donations
  • wanting to learn to develop projects that solve challenges
  • seeking time saving techniques for getting everything done
What Participants Say:
“I just want to take this opportunity to complement you on the practical ideas, knowledge and vast experience that you continue to share with us on each assignment. Many times your examples are the solution of choice for our community. I have been provided with constant support, practical solutions suitable for my project, feedback specific to our project submissions and unwavering encouragement.” Gillian Primus
“Thank you for all your effort in putting together a great program and all of the program resources. Thank you for everything – for making this possible, for your guidance, and for your continuous optimism and encouragement. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again in the next session.” Wye Yee Yong.
Great Project Design + Extra Funding = Increased Services
The course will lead you in developing a winning, impact oriented project to help you:
  • increase funding for your programs
  • design impact and sustainability into your project
  • boost project successes using evidence-based techniques
  • engage donors with improved communications
Design your own Solution-Oriented Project & Attract Donors
The course provides cutting-edge information, tools, time-saving templates, training and expert consultancy—and leads you in developing a real project for your organization. You will:
  • use a participatory needs assessment to define community challenges
  • design development projects using evidence-based activities
  • incorporate initial feedback from the community and a donor
  • organize the project design into a logical framework
The 8-week course begins again monthly.
MORE INFORMATION: Just scroll down for complete, detailed information about this course. Subscribe now to the newsletter for development professionals.
OL 101 Designing & Funding Sustainable Development Projects
Detailed Program and Course Information
The Challenge
Although many NGOs were working to reach the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by 2015, we still have over 1 billion people suffering from hunger, a lack of safe drinking water, and extreme poverty.
An important underlying cause of these challenges is that development effectiveness can be limited by in-country field staff’s poor access to mission-critical information and training. CSDi is delivering solutions by providing cutting-edge information, tools, time-saving templates, training and expert consultancy—and lead you in developing a real project for your organization.
Video: See this course’s first discussion on participatory needs assessments.
Become the Solution
  1. Empower people in your communities to change their lives,
  2. develop impact-oriented projects from the ground-up,
  3. use proven methods that produce sustainable results,
  4. attract donors, and
  5. collaborate with colleagues from the North and South.
Real Projects in Real Villages. Our online courses are for staff from international development organizations, grassroots organizations, nonprofit organizations—and individuals interested in development. They present an online field experience and lead participants in the process of developing empowered, sustainable communities. Online course participants learn to develop real projects in real villages.
Don’t have community access? No problem: we partner you with a fellow student in a developing nation who does.
Development practitioners from 153 countries and 500 different organizations have developed course projects that are impacting over 400,000 people. See a sample assignment and complete project overview from Tanzania.
Overview OL 101: Designing and Funding Sustainable Development Projects
Women in Bangladesh
The course will lead you through the development of a real project, in real time, and leave you with the practical field tools to sustain it.
We are committed to results-based development and sustainability. You will learn to incorporate community identified need into the design of your project and research project activities that have shown evidence of having worked at solving challenges.
Projects Become the Solution
Woman in Kenya with Bananas
For example, student projects have included efforts to help communities in Europe and North America with community development projects—and communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that face the challenges of drought, hunger and poverty. The course will lead you through the development of similar real projects, in real time, in your own country.
Online Field Course. Students develop real field projects in the course. See a complete list of over 270 types of projects that students have developed.
Outline Design International Projects
Community Committee member in Kenya
Course leaders have gained their development expertise providing face-to-face consulting services to NGOs & nonprofits in the field and will also provide you with personalized consulting to ensure your project has a solid beginning.
  1. They will help you conduct a participatory needs assessment in your community,
  2. develop a preliminary project concept,
  3. conduct research on your project to identify evidence based development activities,
  4. refine your community based projects and share it with your community, and
  5. share your project concept with a potential donor.
The online course will be led by Tim Magee, CSDi’s Executive Director, who has over 30 years experience in both working with nonprofits and leading international online training workshops. Mr. Magee is the author of A Field Guide to Community Based Adaptation published by Routledge, Oxford, England.
Women in India participating in food security program
  1. You will only need to have functional knowledge of Word, Excel, email and the Internet.
  2. A 2-to-3 hour per week time investment.
  3. There are no books to buy—all course materials are available on the course site.
  4. Some of the assignments suggest doing them in a community. If impractical for you, partnering with a classmate in the field who does have community access will add depth to your experience.
How to Enroll. See how to enroll by clicking on “Enroll Now” at the bottom of the page.
Optional Blended Learning Program. You are welcome to take this course as a component of a 2 Month Training Program which includes a 5 day workshop.  Each program participant develops their own project with the full support and guidance of CSDi workshop leaders. Follow the link to get the full details—or contact us directly.
Last, fill out the Student Enrollment Form to complete enrollment.

What Students Think About the Online Sustainable Development Courses

In the next course, OL 102: Project Architecture: Planning for Impact, you will transform your project with the real management tools of a logframe, a budget, and fact sheets (letter of inquiry) into a project ready to formally present to a donor.

Certificate. Course participants who successfully complete the course on time will receive a course certificate. Learn more. Your certificate will be e-mailed within 30 days of the end of your course.

Developed Nation Course Fees
The 8-week course is $150.00 for citizens of developed nations. Are you from a developing nation? You may qualify for a $50 Scholarship.

If you have a question don’t hesitate to contact us at: Online.Learning@csd-i.org. Many questions are answered on our Online Learning FAQ.

Enroll Now Button