Spring 2015 – International Development Planning Studio

22 11 2014

UAP 5764
Instructor: Ralph P. Hall
Meets: Wednesday, 1:25pm to 4:00pm
Location: Architecture Annex 111

Studio Overview

Concepts and practices in the field of international development have changed dramatically over the past few decades. This studio course is designed to prepare students with the most current approaches to the practice of international development as implemented by leading actors today. Students will learn the traditional project planning tools used by multilateral and financial institutions as well as alternative approaches/tools. They will be equipped with a variety of skills necessary for working on development projects in the real world.

Throughout the studio, elements of project development, planning, management, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation will be covered from the perspective of the prevalent development sectors. Emphasis will be placed on synthesizing and practicing skills through the preparation of a proposal for an international development project/program. During the studio, students will work on, present, and critique different elements of their project proposals. To complement the theoretical discussions, several studios will be led by experienced practitioners and academics in the field of international development.

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Studio Objectives

Upon completion of the studio, students will be able to:

  1. develop a complete proposal for an international development project/program – which will include a problem analysis, a needs assessment/stakeholder analysis, a gender analysis/discussion, a clear set of goals/objectives (supported by a logframe analysis), an assessment of resources and organizational ability, a proposed work plan and timeframe, a budget, a monitoring and evaluation plan, and a plan for the successful implementation of the project; and
  2. undertake a financial analysis of a proposed development project.




Advanced Urban Infrastructure Planning

8 07 2014

This fall, I will be offering a new course on Advanced Urban Infrastructure Planning (UAP 5854G) with Yehyun (Hannah) An. The course description is provided below. The course can be counted as an elective for the Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies.

ImageDescription: Urban infrastructure systems play a critical role in facilitating economic development and raising quality of life. However, the resource, energy, and capital-intensive characteristics of infrastructure can result in negative environmental and social impacts. Over the past two decades, the concept of sustainability and how it can be incorporated in the planning, design, and development of new infrastructure has gained significant attention. Sustainability principles have also been applied to the management of existing infrastructure.

This course will explore the emerging concepts, principles, and methodologies used to advance sustainable urban infrastructure planning. In particular, it will study national and international cases of infrastructure development, with an emphasis on projects in the US and India.

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. describe an infrastructure system using accurate terminology;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the main concepts and principles of infrastructure planning;
  3. identify the key features of a sustainable infrastructure system and explain how they promote sustainable development;
  4. apply analytical tools for infrastructure planning;
  5. critically evaluate infrastructure cases/projects/proposals through the lens of sustainability; and
  6. identify the gaps between theoretical principles of sustainable infrastructure and their application in practices.

Time: Tue & Thu 11:00am─12:15pm

Location: Architecture Annex 111

Credits: 3





Congratulations Yakhya Diagne!

20 06 2013

In May 2013, Yakhya (Aicha) Diagne successfully defended her thesis entitled “Planning for Sustainable Development in Senegal.” Aicha’s research focused on understanding the complex institutional, legal, and political aspects of sustainable development planning in Senegal and identified options to advance the national planning framework to promote more sustainable forms of development. Aicha received a 2012 ThinkSwiss research scholarship that enabled her to undertake part of her research at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland.Aisha_Paris

Prior to coming to Virginia Tech, Aicha led the Office of Legal Affairs, Communication, Monitoring, and Evaluation in the Senegalese Department of Environment and Classified Establishments. She also managed the Technical Permanent Secretary of the Senegalese National Commission of Sustainable Development from 2008 to 2010.

Aicha is currently undertaking an internship at the West African Development Bank in Lome, Togo. After completing the internship, she will begin a position in the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in Senegal.

I served as the chair of Aicha thesis committee, along with committee members John Browder and John Randolph.