Field training and fieldwork
 

      To become accomplished development practitioners, exposure to actual field conditions and situations is one of the primary pedagogical components of the MDP. Realistic internalization of the challenges of local development necessitates a broad and current knowledge base, field exposure to the widest parameters of sustainable development, careful selection of the training localities balanced by analytical, reflexive and introspective capabilities. To this end, two levels of training and field exposure are projected:

  1. Short field trips: Short field trips are planned for the students prior to the actual fieldwork during the study period. These field trips are designed to immerse the students in the four pillars of development practice so as to break away from the tunnel vision of a single disciplinary specialization and to embed the consciousness that development practice must be grounded on holistic and interacting perspectives. The short field training sessions will focus on the rationale for change and development in a particular locality and trace the interplay of political, historical, power, social, and institutional forces in shaping the development debate and agenda. Diverse localities for the field training sessions would underscore the variety of issues confronted and the need to formulate creative development interventions. These short field excursions will be carefully reconnoitered and appropriate briefings delivered prior to the actual field trips.
  2. Fieldwork: The actual fieldwork will comprise two 3-month sessions to explore and reflect upon the complex connections and gaps between theory and practice, the necessity for methodological innovativeness to derive a fundamental understanding of change and development , questioning orthodox approaches and perspectives, and generating intellectual insights into the processes and dynamics of development in particular contexts, communities, frameworks and localities.

      As with the field training, fieldwork localities will be carefully evaluated and selected to represent a wide spectrum of developmental challenges, issues and dilemmas associated with the four MDP pillars. The fieldwork involves three phases: in the preparatory stage, candidates will be encouraged to undertake reconnaissance visits to preferred locales together with the designated home institutions. On the advice of the latter, CPDS will guide the choice of the best possible fieldwork sites from the perspectives of academic expectations and practical considerations. The second phase will involve the on-site study with CPDS monitoring the progress and problems faced by the students assisted by the home institutions in the actual fieldwork. De-briefing and reporting will be done in the third phase of the fieldwork which will involve an assessment of the learning by the candidate complemented by an appraisal by the home institutions of the value added to the candidate’s core knowledge of development practice.

      The rigorous field training and exposure to real development issues on the ground will enable the graduates of this MDP program to hone in on their problems solving skills which will serve them in their future careers in development .

Rewarding career opportunities for MDP graduates are envisaged in the national, international , development and civil society organizations and the government and private sectors.

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