Environmental science, Human development, Poverty reduction, Sustainable development

UNDP logoIn partnership with the United Nations Development Programme

Course date

2 July - 13 July, 2012
15 February, 2012
Course Director(s): 

Alexios Antypas

Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Andrey Ivanov

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bratislava Regional Center, Slovakia
Course Faculty: 

Elena Danilova-Cross

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bratislava Regional Center, Slovakia

Dan Dionisie

Consumer Markets Unit, DG Health and Consumers (SANCO), European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

Balazs Horvath

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bratislava Regional Center, Slovakia

Jaroslav Kling

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bratislava Regional Center, Slovakia

Ruben Mnatsakanian

Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Jens Wandel

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bratislava Regional Center, Slovakia
Course Coordinator: 

Mihail Peleah

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bratislava Regional Center, Slovakia

The course is a continuation of the similar endeavor conducted in 2006-2011. The course will generally maintain its initial structure addressing major areas of sustainable human development from both academic and policy angle. The experience so far suggests that this combination of theoretical exposure and practical experience makes it unique and interesting for participants not just from Europe and CIS but also beyond the region.

In 2012 the main purpose of the course will be to equip participants with a deep understanding of sustainable human development, MDGs and their policy relevance in respective countries in a creative, out-of-the-box manner. An important objective of the course is to expose its participants to different development paradigms, help understand the rationale behind them and understand their relevance in specific development contexts.

The course will consist of two modules: an on-line self-learning module (conducted in March-April 2012) and an in-residence course at CEU (July 2-13, 2012).

The self-learning module (Module 1) intends to familiarize the participants with the main theoretical approaches in the area of sustainable human development. Its major objective will be to provide the participants with basic information and knowledge of sustainable human development and make possible an objective selection process for the in-residence module (Module 2). The in-residence module intends to go in-depth into practical aspects of development issues and will be a combination of advanced lectures, practical exercises and role-play.

Module 1 will be structured by thematic areas moderated by individual Lead Lecturers. Each thematic area will have its electronic library, forum and blog as a vehicle for exchange of views and discussions among the participants. The Lead Lecturers will be moderating the on-line forums and will be assessing the quality of individual participants’ contributions. 
Participation in Module 1 and in the on-line discussions will be a precondition for attending the in-residence module. Fee-paying participants should pass this module in May.
The selection of the candidates for Module 2 will be done based on the following criteria:
  • Results of the on-line test after completion of Module 1 (30% weight)
  • Quality of individual participants’ activity as assessed by the Lead Lecturers (30% weight)
  • Case study on one of the topics of course, based on own country experience (up to 800 words) assessed by the Course Directors with the participation of the Lead Lecturers (40% weight).

In Module 2, through advanced lectures and practical exercises the participants will extend their knowledge acquired during Module 1 bridging it with practical dimensions using the experience of practitioners from the region. Each day of the in-residence course will be devoted to one topic (following the topics of Module 1) and will be structured in a dual pattern: one part devoted to theoretical aspects of the topic and the second addressing practical dimensions and experience (how theory translates or does not translate into policy practice). Broad involvement of participants is envisaged. They will present the case studies elaborated during Module 1. The studies submitted by the other (not selected) participants will be used as additional resources for the course.

Special attention will be devoted to practical work and interactive techniques like role play, simulations etc.

Immediately after the completion of Module 1, participants selected for Module 2 will be asked to choose two options of “development models” out of 4 possibilities reflecting alternative approaches to development challenges – combinations between “state managed” and “free market” in economic terms and “multi-party pluralism” and “autocratic rule” in the political area. During the two weeks in Budapest the participants will be playing the role of the “development elite” of an imaginary country whose socioeconomic profile will be reflecting the major specifics of RBEC region. At the end of each thematic day the groups will be holding brainstorming sessions on how “their” model relates to the particular topic, discussing what its strengths and weaknesses are in that particular area vis-à-vis other models.

At the end of the in-residence module each group will present and defend their “case” advocating its particular “development model” to the country’s President (Course Faculty will not be involved in group facilitation). This would involve also elaboration of “reform guidelines” – what needs to be changed in the imaginary country’s governance structure so that the particular model maximizes its results in sustainable human development terms. 

The group presentations will be assessed both by the President and the voters (participants themselves in a secret ballot). Two awards are envisaged to be presented for “Best substantive arguments” and “Best presentation”.