Democratizing access to the PDIA approach around the world
In November 2015, BSC offered its first free online course in an attempt to address the increasing demand for the PDIA approach to solving complex development problems. Since then, we have learned, iterated and adapted our online course, essentially PDIA-ing our way forward.
BSC offers two flagship PDIA online courses that use the Building State Capability book, written by faculty Matt Andrews, Lant Pritchett, and Michael Woolcock, as the core text. The courses are:
The Practice of PDIA: Building Capability by Delivering Results: This is a 15-week experiential online course for practitioners who are in the weeds of development and want to learn how to do PDIA. This course is for groups of 4-6 people working to solve a problem that they nominate. Over the duration of the course, the teams use our tools to deconstruct their problems, find entry points and take action. The course includes video lectures, required reading, assignments, reflection exercises, peer interaction as well as group work.
- Principles of PDIA: Building Capability by Delivering Results: This is a 10-week course for practitioners who are not directly involved in the implementation of programs but are interested in learning about PDIA. This course is for individuals and includes video lectures, required reading, assignments, reflection exercises as well as peer interaction.
More than twelve-hundred development practitioners in 87 countries have successfully completed 10 free PDIA online courses as of June 2019. 47% of them were from the public sector and 23% from the NGO sector. 47% of them were from Africa. The results of the course have been awe-inspiring – not only have course alumni learned new skills, they are also putting PDIA into practice in their own contexts.
We plan to offer the course again in Fall 2021. For scheduling updates and to learn more about what the PDIA alumni have learned from the course, please follow our blog.