IDS offers professional, practitioner and organisation-wide learning, from specialist short courses, to facilitated organisational learning and a Master’s in Power, Participation & Social Change, capitalising on our unique and extensive legacy in participatory approaches.

Our training and action-oriented learning is delivered in collaboration with activists, civil society, aid professionals, policy makers and researchers. Our collaborative and person-centred learning facilitates peer-learning and a community of practice, to encourage the sharing of ideas and experiences.

Specialist short courses

Using Participatory Action Research to Improve Development Practice.

Learn how to develop your knowledge and skills to bring participatory action research methods into your social change work. Please note that this course looks at participatory research more broadly than the Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation for Learning course – its principles, design and facilitation – and does not go in depth into evaluation.

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Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation for Learning.

Develop your skills to more effectively design and improve monitoring and evaluation systems supporting participatory and adaptive practice. This course is aimed at project and programme staff, and academics whose focus is evaluation. For a broader introduction to participatory principles in research, the Participatory Action Research to Improve Development Practice course may be more suitable.

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Empowering community engagement and involvement in global health research

This course offers an opportunity for participants to work through the thorny questions and challenges that arise when undertaking Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) in practice. It will cover core principles and innovative methodological approaches. The course is useful for participatory research practitioners who are new to working in the health space, as well as community engagement and involvement practitioners and public/global health researchers.

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Facilitated learning

We provide bespoke learning activities for individuals and organisations at the forefront of social change. The format varies widely according to need and can be hosted online or in person, and has included: technical training; thematic workshops, events and seminars; reading weeks; mentoring; technical advice and backstopping; and mobilisation of knowledge networks and resources.

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Learning processes within development programmes

We work with organisations to help maximise the impact of their development programmes by providing vital research, evidence and facilitating learning. Our learning support is typically embedded in multi-year development programmes and is designed and delivered by IDS or in collaboration with partner organisations to meet the specific needs of the programme.

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Master’s in Power, Participation & Social Change

This MA, which can be undertaken full or part-time, is based at the University of Sussex campus. It is aimed at aspiring or experienced development practitioners, social activists or professionals with some background in social change action through work, volunteering or activism. It combines academic study, practical engagement, and individual and group reflection, and includes two terms on campus followed by a period of action research fieldwork, working with an organisation, a peer group, or in a volunteer setting of your choice.

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