Catalysing Development

Gauri Chabbra

A few years ago, the United Nations published 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide the role of public, non-profit, for-profit, and voluntary sectors in global development. The team behind it identified 17 goals and 169 targets, which was ratified at the September 25-27 2015 United Nations summit. Tsshe SDGs cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, global warming, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.
The goals became the need of the hour across the globe and also for developing countries like India that have a burgeoning population beset with societal issues. The country is facing numerous challenges and there is a dearth of people working towards eliminating these. The development sector demands for a huge manpower along with a large brigade of professional leaders and managers so as to tackle development challenges and prevailing issues in the society. It is gradually emerging as an exciting career which nurtures creative thinking, courageous action, collaboration and personal satisfaction at a large extent. With changing times, the social sector is also transforming but the gaps still exist.
If you are excited about filling in these gaps and wish to participate in building world class social organisations, and you want to design, implement, evaluate and monitor large-scale social interventions and develop collaborative ecosystems which can together deliver sustainable social change at scale, then you should opt for the path of Development Leadership and Management. This would include areas of work like Organization strategy, People Management, Communication and Engagement, Financial Management, Organization Design & Development, Program Design and Management, CSR Management, Fundraising, Partnerships & Stakeholder Engagement etc.
Development Management as a Concept:
Development management as a concept is slowly gaining ground in India with multiple kinds of development organisations, including domestic and international NGOs, social foundations, CSR/Corporate foundations, social enterprises, social consulting organisations, funders, ecosystem creators and research organisations increasing in our country to address the social challenges.
Development Management as a Course:
The course is designed for social science graduates, or for those working in institutions involved in the management of development activities in developing countries, such as central and local government, parastatal organisations, non governmental organisations and multilateral or bilateral aid agencies.
This degree prepares graduates to lead organizations and institutions in the fields of development and public policy. Topics of study may include funding and research, project planning, human resources, sustainability, international economics, and leadership. Many courses also include fundamental instruction on operational theory regarding how development work succeeds in broader global contexts. Some programs have prerequisite courses that must be completed to secure this fundamental knowledge.
Content and pedagogy
It is mostly offered as a Post Graduate Program that has components for understanding the self, exploring ‘development’, and then the process of building an organisation to address an issue of social change. The pedagogy takes a group problem-based learning approach, pushing for collaborative problem-solving. Assessment is usually through a formative process that provides students an opportunity to get feedback from their peers and faculty, and also places emphasis on self-assessment.The intent is to build lifelong learners, Institute scape
* Azim Premji University, offering M.A in Development Management
* National Law School of India University (NLSIU),
* Delhi School of Social Work, IRMA,
* Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai offering M.A in Community Management and Development Practice
* The Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), Noida offering PG Programme in Development Leadership (PGP-DL),
* London School of Economics offering M.Sc in Development Management.
* Asian Institute of Management, offering M.A in Development Management.something that is critical for development leadership and management.

Expert Speak:
Gaurav Shah, Founder and Dean, Indian School of Development Management (ISDM),
The booming demand and thrust for quality professionals in the segment is evident from the confidence that top-class development organizations from multiple categories are showing in hiring a new generation of professional leaders and managers for development sector who can help them to achieve each milestone with more effectiveness. With the increase in funding to the social sector from newer avenues like CSR and private individual/retail philanthropy, impact funding, organizations are desperately looking for professional talent at a large scale and are paying a decent amount to attract talent. The growing demand for professionals in development space is giving Corporate and IT sector a run for its money and role offerings. Infact the first batch of ISDM received expressions of interest from 90+ reputed development organizations, 250+ roles for 57 students. This immense interest shows the increasing acceptance of idea of Development Management and the need for good quality, committed, passionate Development Managers and Leaders in NGO sector. The sector which was earlier perceived to be only offering low paid volunteering jobs is getting increasingly professionalised and seen as offering meaningful and financially sustainable lives and careers to the youth of this country – people who are looking to build their lives working on improving the most complex social issues facing our nation.
The Road Ahead
Development is not just about increasing growth and political and social rights. It is about creating self-sustaining institutions that liberate societies from low-level deprivation traps by increasing productivity, freedom, and cooperative interdependence.
Therefore, there is a lot of potential in this career option which is rapidly gaining ground and which also takes you out of the cliched ‘NGO’ to working in the ‘ development sector. It is a paradigm shift that you would like to ride on to.