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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

VLIR-UOS Development Evaluation & Management Scholarships for Developing Countries

Overview

“What are the major pitfalls for public and private actors who promote local
participatory development activities?”
“Which aid policies, modalities and instruments are most effective?”
“What are the characteristics of the main actors, such as government, NGOs, and bilateral and multilateral donors?”

This Master’s offers insight into the nature of development evaluation, as well as its relevance and challenges, at both a methodological and an institutional level. Students are familiarised with multidisciplinary analytical tools that will improve their capacity to understand interactions at the interface, and to contribute to an enhanced conceptualisation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development policies and programmes.

The programme offers two tracks with specific objectives and courses:

Track 1: Macro Dimensions of Aid. Track 2: Development Interventions and Local Institutional Change.

The Master’s in Development Evaluation and Management focuses on the efforts made by a wide range of public and private actors to promote development in low-income countries. It provides a solid understanding of past and present aid policies of multilateral and bilateral donors, and of the major aid modalities and instruments deployed. The institutional characteristics of the actors involved – be they governments, community-based organisations, international NGOs, bilateral or multilateral donors – are analysed so as to attain a better understanding of processes and outcomes. The theoretical perspective is that development can be understood as a set of interlocking collective action problems, on both the recipient and the donor side. The Master’s programme offers methodological and practical insights into development evaluation, its relevance and challenges.


Most of our students are engaged in development, professionally and/or as researchers. The Master’s will improve their capacity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prevailing aid paradigms and the changing approaches to aid. Students learn to appreciate the importance of different institutional arenas, and how they work and interact. They are familiarised with multidisciplinary analytical tools that will improve their capacity to analyse the interactions and contribute to an enhanced conceptualisation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development policies and programmes.

The Master’s programme offers two tracks with specific objectives and course packages that are intended for different audiences. The first track is primarily macro focused, while the second focuses mainly on the micro level.

Track 1: The macro dimensions of aid

The ‘aid management’ track focuses on the analysis of the interaction between external actors, local politics and institutions, at the macro level. The basic question addressed is why the aid strategies of the donor community are sometimes successful but more often fail. This leads to further, more operational, questions. What lessons have been learned from the study of past failures and successes, and how convincing are present policy prescriptions and paradigms, as enshrined in the 2005 Paris Declaration? The programme helps the student to use appropriate analytical frameworks and to apply relevant scientific methods in evaluating results and drawing policy conclusions. It introduces students to different kinds of evaluation, relying on quantitative as well as qualitative techniques.

This track is intended for participants who have work experience in government institutions (including public research institutions), donor agencies (including international NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donors), civil society (including research institutes, universities). Candidates should work in the field of development intervention or poverty reduction initiatives, and be macro-level policy oriented. Professionally, they should belong to middle management with policy responsibilities and/or be in charge of managing the interface between different policy levels (national to international, national to local) or between different arenas (government-donors, INGO-national NGO, etc.).

Module I (12 weeks – 18 credits)

Theories of Development: provides an overview of recent evolutions in the literature on the politics and economics of development, and on poverty and inequality.
Research Methods I and II: update of contemporary quantitative and qualitative research methods; possibilities for combining these methods and applying them within ongoing development processes.

Module II: Evaluating Development Effectiveness (9 weeks – 12 credits)

This module starts with an overview of the debate on development effectiveness. Students are introduced to different theoretical frameworks for gaining an understanding of and methodically analysing actors and outcomes. Part II of the module focuses on the scientific evaluation of development effectiveness. It thoroughly examines the tools employed in monitoring and evaluation, and discusses methods of evaluation. By the end of this module, students should be able to apply both quantitative and qualitative techniques in addressing the leading development evaluation challenges. This module is organised by the Thematic Group ‘Aid Policies’.

Module III: Managing Aid (9 weeks – 12 credits)

The vantage point at the start of this module is the current debate on aid architecture launched around the turn of the millennium and confirmed in the Paris Declaration (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (2008). The underlying theory of the new aid approach, the aid modalities and instruments that are promoted, and the roles envisaged for the key actors (donors, governments, civil society) are all studied in depth. The module also assesses the present state of implementation of the aid architecture and analyses challenges for the future. This module is organised by the Thematic Group ‘Aid Policies’.

Module IV: Dissertation (15 weeks – 18 credits)

To be developed on the basis of one of the assignments written at the end of either module II or III.

Track 2: Development interventions and local institutional change

This track conceptualises socio-political and economic development as the outcome of interactions between a conditioning institutional environment and the agency of local, national and international actors, including multi- and bilateral, governmental and non-governmental aid actors. Special attention is paid to the importance of micro-level institutions and processes, and how these condition the effectiveness of development efforts in improving livelihoods and neutralising processes of social exclusion. As all phases of the project cycle partly unfold in a local context, the powers constituting this context co-organise the processes of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of interventions. Exploring in detail how local context transforms development interventions is of crucial importance, then, to recognising opportunities for resolving the poverty conundrum.

This track is intended for participants with work experience in civil society in the South (e.g. at research institutes or universities, or with local NGOs or entrepreneurial associations), donor agencies (including international NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donors) and government institutions. The candidate should be involved in development interventions or poverty-reduction initiatives in micro or meso-level projects and programmes. Professionally, the candidate should hold middle-management positions involving policy responsibilities and/or managerial responsibilities at the interface between different policy levels (local to national, national to international) or between different arenas (e.g. civil society- government, government-donors, INGO-national NGO, etc).

Module I (12 weeks – 18 credits)

Theories of Development: provides an overview of recent evolutions in the literature on the politics and economics of development, and on poverty and inequality
Research Methods I and II: update of contemporary quantitative and qualitative research methods; possibilities for combining these methods and applying them within ongoing development processes.

Module II: Evaluating Development Effectiveness (9 weeks – 12 credits)
This module starts with an overview of the debate on development effectiveness. Students are introduced to different theoretical frameworks for gaining an understanding of and methodically analysing actors and outcomes. Part II of the module focuses on the scientific evaluation of development effectiveness. It thoroughly examines the tools employed in monitoring and evaluation, and discusses methods of evaluation. By the end of this module, students should be able to apply both quantitative and qualitative techniques in addressing the leading development evaluation challenges. This module is organised by the Thematic Group ‘Aid Policies’.
Module III: Local Institutions and Poverty Reduction (9 weeks – 12 credits)
This module is organised by the Thematic Group ‘Poverty and Well-being as a Local Institutional Process’. The module analyses how the interactions of actor strategies and institutional structures generate inequality and poverty as well as well-being. It applies this analysis to specific policy domains: value-chain development, microfinance, land policies, gender, public services, role of local government, management of natural resources, migration and the impact of trade.
Module IV: Dissertation (15 weeks – 18 credits)
To be developed on the basis of one of the assignments written at the end of either module II or III.


Admission requirements

The following candidates are eligible to apply for the Master’s programmes:
• Applicants from the South must hold a university degree (Bachelor or Master) of at least four years of study in Social Sciences (Economics, Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, or related disciplines). Applicants from the South who hold a Bachelor’s degree of only three years of study must demonstrate very strong and relevant professional experience and/or have successfully completed additional training. Applicants from the North must hold a Master’s degree in Social Sciences Only applicants with excellent academic records will be accepted.
• Our ideal participant has at least two years of professional experience in a sector relevant to the programme. Applicants from the North should have relevant field experience in the South.
• Applicants must be proficient in English. Those who have received a university education in English must provide an official certificate confirming this. Other applicants must submit one of the following test results:
o TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 550 for paper-based test or 79 for Internet-based test. Information about this test is available at www.toefl.org.
o IELTS (International English Language Testing System): minimum score of 6.0. Information about this test is available at www.ielts.org.
o Special facilities are offered for students from other language backgrounds (in particular for French-speaking students). Students with paper-based TOEFL scores between 500 and 550 (or TOEFL Internet-based between 61 and 79) or IELTS scores between 5.0 and 6.0 may also be admitted provided they successfully complete a two-month intensive language course organised by the University of Antwerp before the start of the Master’s programme. For students selected for a VLIR-UOS scholarship, the cost of this language course is borne by the Institute (see below for details).
• Motivation and Matching: see description of student profile per Master and Trajectory.

Target Candidates

Only persons who are resident AND national of one of the following countries (not necessarily the same country for residence and nationality) are eligible for a VLIR-UOS scholarship. Please note that candidates must reside in one of these countries at the moment of application.

  • Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  • Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Latin America: Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay


Scholarship Value:

The scholarships cover all related expenses.

- Allowance 800€/month
- Family supplement 62€/month
- Accomodation premium 200€/month
- 1 return ticket, economy class

Eligibility Criteria

You can apply for a scholarship if you meet the following requisites:

  • You are a resident AND national of one of the countries on the country list (not necessarily the same country for residence and nationality). Please note that candidates must reside in one of these countries at the moment of application.
  • You are not older than 40 years* if you apply for a scholarship to follow a master programme. Or you are not older than 45 years* if you apply for a scholarship to follow a training programme. (* on 1 January 2012)
  • You have the required English proficiency. You need a proof of at least 1 year of comprehensive English-based instruction at a university or recognized equivalent. If not, a TOEFL test is required with a minimum total score of 550 on the paper based test (PBT), or 79 on an internet based test (IBT); or an IELTS test with a minimum overall band score of 6,5; or a proof of another test of similar level as TOEFLE or IELTS.
  • Professional experience and employment perspectives are not required for a master programme, but they can be a competitive advantage for selection, depending on the programme. Present employment or reintegration perspectives are required for a training programme. The candidate must be currently employed or have a written (future) employer’s guarantee of (re)integration in an employment where the acquired knowledge and skills will be immediately applicable.
  • Earlier applications and scholarships: You do not apply for more than one VLIR-UOS scholarship a year. You have never received a master scholarship funded by the Belgian government before. You are only admissible for a training programme scholarship if you have not received a VLIR-UOS scholarship for a training programme before.
  • When you are an applicant from a university engaged in a VLIR-IUC partnership, it is required that the Flemish or local IUC coordinator declares that you are not linked to an IUC funded department. If you are linked to such a department, you do not qualify for a scholarship from the scholarship programme from VLIR-UOS but can apply for funding from the IUC budget in case you would be academically admitted.

For selection we take into account the following criteria:

  • Motivation: It is essential that the candidate’s motivation demonstrates the possibility of transferring knowledge or creating extension activities, and having a specific developmental dimension.
  • Professional experience, preferably in a research institution, a higher education institution, the government sector (national/regional/local), the sector of social economy, or an NGO. Preferably expertise in development relevant matters.
  • Present employment/reintegration perspectives, preferably in a research institution, a higher education institution, the government sector (national/regional/local), the sector of social economy, or an NGO. Preferably with the possibility to generate an impact through the transfer of knowledge, extension activities or otherwise. Not in the commercial profit sector. Previous scholarships: Prioririty will be given to the application of a candidate for a master programme who did not already has been granted a previous master scholarship. For a candidate for a training programme, the selection committee assesses the opportunity of a VLIR-UOS scholarship award, taking into consideration the candidates’ previous study and scholarship curriculum.
  • Gender: In case of two equally qualified candidates of different sexes, preference will be given to the female candidate. The selection commission will aim at a parity or relative balance between the number of men and the number of women awarded a VLIR-UOS scholarship.
  • Regional balance: The selection commission will try to ensure that 50% of a programme’s scholarships are granted to candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Social background: In case of two equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to candidates from a disadvantaged area within their country or an ethnic or social minority group, especially when these candidates can provide proof of leadership potential.


How to apply

You can apply for a scholarship by following the procedure below:

1. Go to the information page of the master programme of your interest.
2. Look for the inscription link on the programme website and apply via the application form of the Flemish host university or university college.
3. Receive a return e-mail from the Flemish host university or university college.
4. Send a printout of your application file along with all required documents (diploma transcripts, motivation, etc…) to the International Office of the host university or university college (not to VLIR-UOS!). You will find the information on the website of the programme.

Then you have correctly applied and can your application be considered. Scholarship application deadlines are:

Master programme: 1 February 2012

Period: September 2011 - September 2012
Language: English
Number of VLIR-UOS Scholarships: 10


Contact:
Mrs G. Annaert
Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB)
University of Antwerp
T +32 (0)3 265 57 70
F +32 (0)3 265 57 71
dev@ua.ac.be
http://www.ua.ac.be/iob/education
http://www.scholarships.vliruos.be/


Please quote Scholarization.blogspot.com on your application when applying for this scholarship


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1 comments:

plasterer croydon on October 12, 2013 at 6:49 AM said...

plasterer croydon

I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me.
have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.


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