Course Overview

This course focuses on collaborative formulation, development and evaluation of programs with Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing people and people with disabilities, giving special focus to economic structures and forces. Exploring current philosophical, theoretical, and methodological stances related to collaborative program development, course activities demonstrate the salience of international human rights frameworks for sign language-centered leadership and disability rights, and connect these to bi- and multilateral organizational and funding channels now undergoing enhancement as a result of the United Nation’s introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals. Using the latter as a foundation to identifying socioeconomic problems and barriers to self-determination, participation, and equity, students will design program proposals in response to an actual Request for Proposal (RFP). Work on peer teams, students will then submit an Evaluation Plan for an actual program. In addition to cultivating program development and evaluation skills, course activities provide students with opportunities to practice program management skills and grant-writing experience. 

Extended Description:

Building on the importance of framing development programming within a human rights-based perspective, this course will also expose students to the value of grounding development work in regional and national legal frameworks and relevant development partner policies and strategies. The course will strengthen students’ ability to justify sign language-centered leadership and disability rights international development programming as it relates to broader development objectives. In this regard, students will develop donor engagement plans using their project concept from IDP-775 that identify linkages between their project idea and the strategic objectives and development policies of donor organizations (corporate, foundation, government). This course will also provide students an opportunity to deepen their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) skills at the program level using the latest tools from well-known development organizations and drawing on new trends in the area of M&E such Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA). Students will develop and present an evaluation design in response to an actual job posting for an M&E consultancy with a well-known non-governmental development organization. Collectively, these two class projects will provide students with an opportunity to deepen program development skills with a focus on securing funding, developing partnerships, and strengthening overall monitoring and evaluation.