Why Programme Curricula?

by Agata Maziarz

Many foundation-programmes and NGO-initiatives, which aim at supporting transformational processes in civil societies in different regions around the globe (e.g. programmes supporting young leaders to embrace participative leadership; supporting change makers in post-soviet countries to establish practices of good governance; enabling social change actors to do volunteer community building projects etc.) are in their core educational programmes – this si so because to realize their goals, they need to successfully train their fellows in something (e.g. how to plan and realise impactful projects) or to enable them to transform something in their consciousness (e.g. to cultivate democratic values). This means that the sole conduction of any training activities just anyhow, does not directly lead to achieving the programme’s goals. To successfully achieve the programme’s aims the responsible team needs to figure out precisely:

  • what exactly needs to be thought, so that the fellows’ behaviour in future would contributes to the realization of the programme’s goals,
  • how exactly this can be trained,
  • in which time frames & frequences
  • and by whom or by what will it be trained.

The crucial role, which good curricula play for the success of such programmes, is widely underestimated or simply overlooked, because of non-profit organisations’ needs to exist and develop themselves further on a NGO- & donor’s market, based on competition (e.g. for funding); thus, they develop their organisations according to the logics of growth-based market economy. Even if consulting companies specializes their services on organisational development for non-profit organisations and put efforts to adopt their strategic advices to the needs of the non-profit organisations, whose main aim is to have a specific impact on societal level and not to make profit, still the strategical development of non-profit organisations, which are educational actors, all too often is sought in scaling and growth, instead of in increasement of their educational work’s quality.

In the same time translating the desired outcomes of a programme into teaching/learning steps for adult learners and designing suitable learning forms and spaces for them is the foundation of the programmes’ impact, so it is worthy to take time and look deeper in order to reach further.

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