Sep 30, 2011

Nepali University Leadership Team Shares Participatory Approach to Curriculum Design

Leaders from Pokhara University in Nepal visited RCLA in September to share details about an initiative that seeks to equip graduate students with leadership and management training skills necessary for the private, government and nonprofit sectors to tackle Nepal's most pressing development needs.

The multi-phase project, based in Katmandu and supported by the Fulbright Specialist Program, is part of an ongoing collaboration between Robertson Work, RCLA Fellow and NYU Wagner Adjunct Associate Professor, Dr. Tatwa Timsina, Director of Research and Development t the School of Environmental Management and Science (SchEMS) at Pokhara University and Mr. Kushendra Mahat, Executive Director of the SchEMS.

The curriculum design effort responds to a call to institutionalize education and continue advancing democratic processes that emerged in Nepal since the 1990s civil war. The initiative supports the proposition that investments in human capacity and leadership development will lead to the creation of effective solutions to critical development issues such as poverty and environmental degradation.

Phase one of this endeavor, convened a group of Pokhara University faculty members and leaders from the Nepali civil society to design the vision, values system and elements of the Masters Program in Training and Development. The sixty credit interdisciplinary curriculum seeks to incorporate Nepali and western cultural elements and focus on deepening personal awareness and values, learning transformational leadership practices, applying awareness and skills in sustainable human development, creating new knowledge in training and development and designing projects, programs and policies. Future phases will focus on faculty development and program implementation.

"The participatory approach to the design of this program and the curriculum itself exist nowhere else, I hope that we here at Wagner can learn from this initiative" said Robertson Work, founder and director of Innovative Leadership Services and consultant to UNDP, UNDESA and the East-West Center, among other international organizations.

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