The Course Experience:
An Overview of the Learning Environment

Take CSDi Field Courses Online.

Development Professionals from 153 countries have developed course projects that are impacting over 400,000 people. See a sample assignment from Kenya.

Cursos en Línea sobre desarrollo—en español

The Course Experience: An Overview of the Learning Environment

Your online experience will begin with a module of two foundation courses. In the first course, you will work to develop a community-centered development project from the ground up—carrying it through needs assessment and design development.

In the second course, youy will transform it with the real management tools of logframes, budgets, and fact sheets into a project ready to share with a donor. 12 classes, 12 concrete steps. Your output is a fully designed project—with a complete set of documentation—and ready to launch.

The Courses also Provide the Following Resources
Documents on course topics by contemporary experts.
Books, posters and manuals available online for download.
Internet development links organized by sector.
Class blog for sharing your project stories and photos from the field.
Class forum for posting questions to your classmates.
Access to tools and resources on the Center site.
There are no books to buy—all course materials can be linked to, or downloaded from the course site.

Testimonials: What Students Think About the Online Courses

See an example assignment from a student’s project in Western Kenya.

Browse on-the-ground student field projects. The best student projects get the chance to appear on this donation page.

Foundation Courses:
To learn about course fees and to enroll for the courses please visit OL 101. From the Ground Up and OL 102. Project Architecture. If you are interested in Adaptation to Climate Change Courses please visit our adaptation page.

CSD Online Classes Capture True Field Experience
Are you a donor, development practitioner, or student who wants to learn more about what works in designing impact-oriented projects?

These courses give you the same hands-on experience as attending one of our on-site Field Courses—for less money—and with a smaller carbon footprint. But in our Field Courses, we actually work in villages—difficult to do online you say?

We have found a solution: Each class assignment is a concrete step in developing a project for use in the field. Some of the assignments are done within the communities you serve: take your assignment into the field, do it as a solution-oriented activity together with the community, and thereby finish a component of your class project. And there you have it: an online field course with tangible, concrete results.

We will supply two levels of mentoring. Each week’s assignment will be accompanied by a clear, professional example of what we want you to achieve that week. It is yours to use as a template for your assignment—and for developing future projects. We will also provide comments, suggestions, and encouragement for each one of your assignments individually. We want you to develop high quality project components, and we also want you to understand the hows and whys.

Learning Schedule. The work load is typically one-and-one-half to three hours per week. There are no set ‘class’ times; you work on your own schedule during the week. Completed assignments are due each Monday.

Consultancy. Course leaders have gained their development expertise by providing face-to-face consulting services to NGOs in the field. In the first two assignments of this course they will provide you the same consulting service as they would with a client for developing a project for funding and launching. This will ensure that your project will have a solid beginning and be organized such that it can be fully developed for presentation to donors, your board, and your teammates.

  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 for download on the course site at no additional cost.
  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.

Who should attend? Southern and Northern development students, field staff, grant writers, project managers, directors, and donor staff. You will only need to have functional knowledge of Word, Excel, email, and the Internet.

Current course participants include postgraduate students, staff from large INGOs, staff from small in-country NGOs, people considering career changes, and African business owners with a social conscience.

The classes are designed to be fun and interactive: you will be collaborating with colleagues from around the globe.

If you are a donor in Chicago, an INGO Grant Writer in Wellington, or a student in Manchester—rather than an NGO Staffer in Nairobi—where will you turn for a project idea? We will partner you with a field staffer working with a community and a tangible project on the ground—or we can help set you up with a real-life, virtual project.

If you already have a grant award with defined goals and objectives—use it as your class project. These two courses will magnify project impact by introducing you to evidence based interventions, lesson plans for effective workshops, and by fine tuning your logframe.

If you have questions about the Online Learning program, please contact .

List of 153 countries and territories where course members live and work:

Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria , Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Dubai, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Perú, Philippines , Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of Abkhazia, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom , United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Here is a list of Students’ organizations and 270 kinds of project challenges.

From needs assessments sent to us by course members
, we are able to see that there are many common problems worldwide including:

Income generation, clean water, access to education, poor sanitation, gender equality, migration, lack of vocational skills, chronic diarrhea and malnutrition in small children, lack of roads to villages, marginalization, shelter, food shortages, illiteracy, environmental degradation, drought, lack of irrigation for agriculture, and overpopulation.

From these problems, course participants have developed real projects with real communities, that are impacting over 400,000 beneficiaries.

We look forward to working with you online.