Term 1: Scanning the Development Environment
           

 

TERM 1: SCANNING THE DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT

 
Analyzing The Development Environment (ADE: 2 Units)
 
Development occurs in a world of complexity, constraint, uncertainty, chaos and even conflict. There are a range of factors external to the development managers and/or his organization that can have an impact on development policy, programs and projects and spell the difference between success and failure.
 
"Analyzing the Development Environment" is a methods course that takes apart the external environment for development using political, social and institutional analysis tools to help the development manager better understand external factors that (a) should be taken into consideration, (b) are salient to the development problem or issue to be addressed, and (c) are of critical importance to stakeholders and key publics and their interests, needs and demands, whether articulated or not.
 
Budgeting and Financial Tools for Development Managers 
(BFTDM: 3 Units)
 
Language of Business: The first and second portion of MDM’s "Budgeting Financial Tools for Development Management Course" will focus on basic financial accounting concepts and principles. The course will provide students with the foundation for understanding and constructing the three financial reports, namely: the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement and the Cash Flow Statement. The knowledge and skills that students will obtain from this course will be their “take-off-point” for the BFTDM Course.
 
The third section of BFTDM deals with value creation, risk and return, and the opportunity cost of capital. This section aims to provide students with a framework for applying the concepts, tools and techniques discussed in the previous sections of the course and learn the concepts of value, risk, and cost of capital as applied to capital budgeting and investing decisions of the organization.
 
Bridging Leadership 
(BL-A: 2 Units)
 
BL-A focuses on leading groups and teams, and on the foundation of leadership: the SELF.
 
For individuals and in all groups, a set of values and norms produce a social and mental context that shapes what can be done and cannot be done by people as they engage in problem-solving and value creation to address their challenges. Groups are also the key to understanding people. Societal forces such as traditions, values and norms, do not reach individuals directly, and instead work through groups in within which individuals belong.
 
In the Bridging Leadership framework, this is the focus of the “ownership” portion of the framework and asks the questions: who is my Self? what is my work? Knowing one’s purpose, vision and mission informs our decision to lead or not to lead, with or without authority, with or without power and influence, to make a difference in societies. As Gandhi puts it: “You must be the change you seek to create.” [Note: This has been attributed as well to Apollo and is inscribed at the entrance of the ancient Greek temple in Delphi.] And Goethe knew that the essence of nature cannot be ascertained without turning our attention back upon ourselves; that we can learn who we really are only by immersing ourselves in the world.
 
Empirical Methods and Data Analysis for Research(EMD: 2 Units)
 
This course is designed to expose students to the rationale and techniques of research. The principal objective is to develop skills for conducting research in topics of interest for development management, and to cultivate sensibilities for judgments required in every step of the research undertaking. The course also covers fundamental principles behind research, especially quantitative research, including concepts and issues on sample surveys and designing questionnaires, numerical measures of data (including correlation), table and visual tools for exploring relationships in data.
 
Learning approaches used will involve a combination of lectures, class discussions, problem sets, computer hands on, in-class quantitative exercises, and some practical case studies. The course is data analytic; students are assisted in developing skills and competencies in the use of software (e.g., Excel Add-ons, as well as statistical package R) for performing descriptive data analysis tools, and toward the end, exposes them even to correlation and regression analysis. Students should have some working knowledge of a spreadsheet application such as MS Excel.
 
Economics for Development Managers (Econ: 3 Units)
 
This Economics course covers topics that are relevant both to decision-making and to understanding many of the pressing issues facing today’s world: poverty, income distribution, employment and underemployment, free markets versus government intervention, resource scarcity and depletion, pollution and environmental degradation, government taxes and spending, inflation, globalization issues and others. Economics is both a preparation for making day-to-day decisions at an institutional/organizational level and training in the analysis of the “big issues” of our time. Economics as a language of development must be well understood by managers.
 
The course design provides a good balance between theory and practice, and will be practitioner-oriented. The course will complement the other offerings in Term 1 in strengthening the analytical and decision making skills of Development Managers.
 
Marketing Management (MM: 1 Unit)
 
This Marketing course introduces the student to the concept and principles of marketing, as well as to basic marketing analysis and tools as a response to the needs and wants of customers, clients, stakeholder and beneficiaries.
 
Operations Management in Development(OMD: 2 Units)
 
This course is an introduction to operations management, focusing on the public sector. It teaches how managers can create public value by delivering services effectively and efficiently. The course will examine this value while considering public welfare and safety, social equity and resource utilization across a range of services from healthcare to education to transportation. Our examination of effectiveness is based on “rights” – right services, right quality, right time and place. Efficiency centers on lowest total cost – direct provider costs, direct recipient costs, indirect societal costs and optimal use of resources.
 
 
The Rapid Area Assessment is the culminating learning activity for the MDM Program's Term 1. It involves actual field work or area immersion of the learning teams in organizations and geographic areas of their choice for study. The RAA provides an opportunity to integrate their learning from the various courses as they design their rapid assessment study and undertake data collection and analysis, report writing and presentation in class. The RAA is a learning team activity happening two weeks after the final exams of Term 1. Each learning team selects the geographic areas and organizations they'd like to study based on the guidelines for site selection and their financial capacity to shoulder the full costs of the RAA, including transportation, supplies, food and accommodations. The RAA also exposes the students to the challenges of managing relationships as they work together for two weeks, and to think on their feet while conducting research. 
 

Systems Thinking (
ST: 1 Unit)

Systems Thinking is the art and science of linking structure to performance and performance to structure, often for the purpose of changing structure so as to improve performance. In the age of machines, the world was viewed as a machine which could be understood by breaking it into smaller parts. By understanding each of the parts, we build our understanding of the whole. In the systems view, it is the whole that is important. Systems Thinking embodies the idea that the relationships among parts relative to a common purpose of a system are what remain important. Systems Thinking provides ideas which can help us see the world in new ways, at the same time that it provides us with tools that can help in taking new actions that are systematic and more effective. The systems approach can help shed light on current problems by helping us reframe from a fundamentally different perspective. 
 
 
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