SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT DIPLOMA 140: Blended Online—Live Training Program

Sustainable Project Design Aligned To The UN SDGs | Fund Development Projects

 Blended Sustainable Development Training Program—Including:
A 5 Day Live Workshop. 
Upcoming dates are in the sidebar to the right.

1. Pre-workshop: Local Data Collection. You will have three weeks at home to assess and clearly define local need.
2. Join us for two pre-workshop field days conducting a participatory needs assessment with our local workshop field partner.
3. Then, we will convene for the five day workshop. Fully design a real project and develop funding and management documents.
PHASE II: 12 weeks Online immediately following the live workshop.
Post-workshop: Enroll in OL 343 and OL 344 to form a project team, design capacity-building workshops and launch your project.

Enroll in OL 140 Blended Workshop
Advance your Career, Raise Funds and Solve Challenges
This course is for NGO and donor staff—and job-seekers wanting to successfully solve community challenges. Participants work on international 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.
Sustainable 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 a solution oriented project using evidence-based activities
  • incorporate initial feedback from the community and a donor
  • organize your sustainable project design into a logical framework
Detailed Program Information
Designing & Funding Sustainable Development Projects.
In this blended learning, 4 month development training program you will participate in:
PHASE I: 4 Weeks

  1. Locally Collected Data: 3 weeks pre-workshop online training component. Guided Field Data Collection: Community Needs Assessments. Conduct a needs assessment with a target population in preparation for use in the workshop—guided through distance learning by CSDi staff. We will provide all of the tools and information you need to conduct the needs assessments.
  2. 2 field days. Don’t have community access? Join us for 2 field days the Saturday and Sunday prior to the workshop conducting a participatory needs assessment with our local partner at the workshop location.
  3. 5 days. A Face-to-Face Workshop. Full Sustainable Project Design and Development. Working with the CSDi workshop leader, you will use your needs assessment to begin the development of a complete, fundable, launchable project.
  4. Completion Certificate. Receive a workshop completion certificate from the Center for Sustainable Development.

PHASE II: 12 weeks.

  1. Post-workshop: Enroll in OL 343 and OL 344 to form a project team, design capacity-building workshops and launch your project.
  2. OL 140 Diploma. Receive a Diploma from the Center for Sustainable Development.
This blended training program is available in 3 specialized sections:
International Development Section
Are you working in international development in areas such as food security, health and hygiene, watershed management, agriculture, or income generation? Then this training workshop is for you. Previous course participants have developed international projects using over 270 different kinds of activities.
What you will get out of this diploma program
Would your organization like to learn how to increase efficiencies and impact in their programs? This four month diploma program—attended by international participants—will provide a system of building block activities for you to use on the ground in developing and implementing successful adaptation to climate change projects that can be co-managed and sustained by communities. Based on use by participants from 153 different countries, the techniques illustrated in this training course use a step-by-step progression to lead participants through problem assessment, sustainable project design and implementation. You will package your sustainable project design components for enhancing donor communications.
The course will equip you with the tools and techniques you need to improve current project effectiveness, to introduce sustainable, impact-oriented project design into organizational programming, and to generate new nonprofit projects. This practical training course is appropriate for administrators, policymakers, all levels of practitioners—as well as for students of development.
The International Challenge
Although many NGOs are working to reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on target, 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 sound information, tools and training for development staff worldwide.
Course participants learn to develop real projects in real villages
In an effort to reverse this trend, the Center for Sustainable Development (CSDi) provides live training workshops and distance-learning courses for development organizations, grassroot organizations, NGO staff—and individuals interested in the development world. They present an ‘online field experience,’ and lead participants in the process of developing sustainable, self-sufficient communities. This blended learning program will lead you through the development of a real project, in real time, in a real village, and leave you with the practical field tools to sustain it.
Become the Solution
Where does one turn to for information on designing, launching, and managing a well-designed sustainable project? For many staff members it may feel overwhelming to launch a new project. Where do you begin? What practical tools are working today? How do you convey sound, sustainable concepts to a community? Together, during the training workshop, we will explore the full process of developing sustainable programs.
The course provides a system for field staff to use in developing successful international projects and includes the tools and resources needed to:
  • assess and organize information about vulnerabilities that communities face
  • work side-by-side with communities to develop long-term, sustainable programs
  • empower communities to take full charge of programs once up and running
  • fund projects
What you will do
This workshop is not based upon lectures—it is based upon action. We will not be using case studies: Immediately before the live workshop you will have 3 weeks to facilitate participatory needs assessments with a real community where your organization works. You will then develop the following tangible outputs, tools and techniques for your specific project based upon your community’s assessment:
  • clearly assess a community’s development need in a target community
  • develop a project outline with a problem statement, underlying causes, and solution oriented activities
  • research scientific evidence that your activities have worked to solve the project challenge
  • develop project management documents: a log frame, a project budget and a detailed schedule
  • develop a Letter of Inquiry for a donor presentation
  • develop field guides and lesson plans for beginning a series of capacity building community workshops
  • develop a participatory monitoring and evaluation plan
  • develop a long-term project management plan for community use
This is a blended learning workshop. During the month prior to the five day workshop, guided by CSDi staff, you will conduct needs assessments with a local community—in the country where you work—in preparation for the workshop. These will become the basis of your project. Arriving at the 5 day workshop, you will spend five days developing and fine-tuning a project that will address the specific context that your community faces.
At the end of the live workshop, upon returning home, enroll in OL 343 and OL 344. Then return to work with your community—and launch your project’s implementation— all under the continuing support and guidance of your CSDi workshop leader.
The workshop will be led by Tim Magee, CSDi’s Executive Director, who has over 30 years experience in both working with nonprofits and leading training workshops. Mr. Magee is the author of A Field Guide to Community Based Adaptation published by Routledge, Oxford, England.
Learn more about Tim Magee’s approach toward workshop facilitation and his experience in working with international development organizations.
• We will provide a library of links to resources for the different challenges that you’re likely to encounter: scientific studies, manuals, field guides, and community capacity building resources.
• You will be able to download a full range of document templates for you to customize to best address your project.
• Course facilitators will work individually with you as consultants throughout the week in developing your specific project.

Course participants’ sustainable projects have included 270 different kinds of solution oriented activities impacting over 400,000 people. To learn more about the breadth of participant’s projects, investigate course participant countries (153), organizations (500), and project themes.

Participatory Field Assessment of Community Need
The goal of the workshop is to guide you in developing a real project for your target community. As this is community-based development, we need to identify your community’s perception of their need. In the 3 weeks before the live workshop the workshop facilitator will guide you in leading a participatory needs assessment with your community. We will provide handbooks and workshop lesson plans for leading the assessment.
The course facilitator will then work with you to refine the assessment into a simple project outline that you will bring to the live workshop with you and begin developing it into a full project beginning on day one.
For workshop participants without community access—you have two options:

If you don’t have access to a community for conducting a needs assessment, join us in the optional pre-workshop component and work with a local community on their needs assessment and project outline development. The needs assessment will be conducted with a local partner near the workshop location.

Five-Day Course Overview
This is a simplified overview: download the detailed course syllabus for complete information.
Optional pre-workshop field days at workshop location
Saturday: 4 hours
Participatory needs assessment
• conduct a participatory needs assessment with our local workshop partner

Sunday: 4 hours

Develop a clear problem definition in preparation for Monday’s workshop
• develop a problem outline including a problem statement, underlying causes—and their negative impacts

Five-Day Live Workshop Overview

Community: Local Knowledge of development needs and solutions
• reviewing the in-country pre-workshop community needs assessments

Researching Development Solutions
• researching development based solution information
• summarizing development based solution information

Challenge: Local Context
• comparing local knowledge to development knowledge
• completing a revised project outline reflecting local need, local knowledge, and scientific knowledge


Solution: Identifying Sustainable Activities
• researching evidence-based project activities
• verifying activity effectiveness through scientific evidence
• developing the program and activity solution list
• mainstreaming: integrating traditional development activities with adaptation and DRR activities


Project: Management & Project Funding Tools
• developing a logical framework, detailed budget and a project schedule
• participant project presentations


• project summary: writing a compelling two page fact sheet (LOI)
• how will you organize a donor presentation?
• where will you find donors to present your project to?

Launch: Partnering with the Community
• preparing for the formation of a community project management committee

Sustainability: Capacity Building for Community Takeover
• community capacity building
• selecting the first activity for a community capacity building workshop
• two-way knowledge transfer: lesson plans


Impact: Milestones into the Future
• participatory project monitoring and evaluation plans
• finding future expertise and resources to address future challenges
• developing a long-term project management plan for the community

The Program will Link Theory and Practice
3 Simple Steps to Launch Your Project. Upon enrolling in 343 and 344, we will support you in launching the project with your community that you developed in the training program. In the month after the live workshop, after you return home, the workshop facilitator will provide guidance, consultation, and resources—and will guide you in forming a community based project management committee, engaging the committee in project management, and leading your first capacity building workshop with community members.
  1. You will only need to have functional knowledge of Word, Excel, email, and the Internet.
  2. A laptop/netbook with Wi-Fi for use in the workshop.
  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.
  • policymakers, administrators and officials at various governmental levels
  • practitioners such as planners, disaster risk managers and nonprofit workers at provincial and local levels
  • Southern and Northern development students and postgraduate students who want to learn more about what works in designing an impact-oriented,sustainable project
  • donors, development practitioners, field staff, nonprofit staff, grant writers, project managers, directors, and donor staff.
  • Staff from large INGOs, staff from small in-country NGOs, people considering career changes, and business owners with a social conscience.
Program Fees
The workshop is US $1,250.00 per participant. This covers the 4 week blended training fee (including the 5-day live workshop), resource materials, and guidance during the pre-workshop field components. Participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses and arrangements such as airport transfers, food, accommodation, health/accident insurance, and other personal expenses.
Optional 2-Day Field Course. The optional 2-day field course is $250.00 which covers the training fee, resource materials, and snacks. This also covers transportation for the 2-day field course. Participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses and arrangements such as airport transfers, visa application fees where necessary, food, accommodation, health/accident insurance, and other personal expenses.
How to Enroll
Registration and payment must be completed at least two weeks before the scheduled training. Pre-training information will be provided to those accepted into the program and for whom we have received payment. Simply go to the Enrollment Page to fill out the application form and to pay by credit card. Please write us for  bank transfer instructions: Read our Workshop Terms and Conditions.
Workshop Completion Certificate
Workshop participants who successfully complete the workshop will receive a completion certificate. OL 140 Diploma participants who enroll in OL 343 and OL 344 and successfully complete the courses on time will receive an OL 140 diploma. Your certificate will be e-mailed within 30 days of the end of your course.
Location Claremont, California
Downtown Claremont, California.
Claremont, located at the foot of the beautiful San Gabriel mountains, is 32 miles east of Los Angeles. It became a college town in the late 1880s with the founding of Pomona College; now there are nine colleges and graduate schools. Claremont, with its tree lined streets, is a walking town. Downtown Claremont (“The Village”) boasts sidewalk cafes and a variety of shops and restaurants. Here is Claremont’s Summer 2015 Services and Activities Guide.
Workshop Location. The workshop will be held at Pitzer College; the 2 community assessment field days will be in partnership with their “Pitzer in Ontario” program—specifically their Huerta del Valle community garden project.
Getting to Claremont: SuperShuttle (as well as other shuttle services) provides service from both Los Angeles International Airport (50 miles) and from Ontario International Airport (9 miles).
Lodging: There are seven or eight hotels in the Claremont area in a range of prices.
This CSDi training program is offered in 4 venues to best suit your needs:
Participant Quotes
  • On behalf of the Zambia team, I wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the knowledge addition in our careers, the time you take to correct our assignments…. This has opened doors for us to venture into designing our own projects, very sure we shall never go POOR. You’ve indeed taught us how to ‘FISH not provided FISH’. Dianah. Zambia
  • I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to you, and your staff for your continued support during the courses in the feedback and comments that enhances our work and for the opportunity to participate. I thank you all very much. Gillian, Grenada.
  • You have just made our day. Thank you for your usual prompt and generous reviews of our work. Your system is most effective. Helps us to do well. Thank you once again. We are grateful for your mentorship. Carolyn. US.
  • We are thankful for your guidance, for coming up with these courses that are relevant, and for your continuous optimism and encouragement. Wye Yee. Malaysia.

How to Enroll. See how to enroll by clicking on “Enroll Now” at the bottom of the page. to get started, fill out the Participant Application Form.

Enroll now in the OL 340 blended training workshop

What Students Think:

“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

“As you know, as a real beginner in designing projects, without your project example templates I could never have written even a single word by myself.” Moise

“I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the knowledge addition to our careers and the time you take to correct our assignments. This has opened doors for us to venture into designing our own projects, and I’m very sure we shall never go POOR. You’ve indeed taught us how to FISH—not provided FISH.” Dianah

“This program was absolutely awesome! The course content, instruction, example projects, on-line resources and the most valuable – your timely guidance on the assignments were all perfectly done.” Boris

“I’m so excited with the whole experience this training has provided me. The interaction with the community, sharing their lives, their enthusiasm in participating and opening up to me – and with lots of hope in seeing me engage with them.” George

“This training program is an absolute cracker. After undertaking the course, I was able to relate and transform community need into a project idea that could attract donor funding. The exercise of transforming goals into a simple logical framework was particularly exhilarating and smooth. It was indeed an eye opener for me.” Perry