The very notion of what constitutes international development – and how successful development is achieved – are fundamental questions being confronted at present by governments, NGOs, scholars, activists, and citizens in general. How relatively free markets can be used to promote development and how aid or development programs can be made effective and sustainable are key related questions. From the nonprofit and philanthropic perspective, NGOs draw on a finite pool of resources available from private foundations, corporations, governments and individual giving. Do nonprofit sector efforts at securing these resources increase their capacity to impact change in the fields such as health, education and public management, or do their efforts diminish overall local development capacity? How these kinds of questions get answered in practice speak directly to the challenge of improving the lives of people in the developing world. Thinking about these issues sets the stage for this course.
In this unique study abroad experience, the objective is to bring a set of policy and practice issues to life in an applied setting. Specifically, the course offers student knowledge and skills acquisition through executing service learning projects with several different organizational partners in Uganda in both the governmental and nonprofit sector. Students will be exposed to a series of dialogues, conversations and interactions with the grassroots leaders of several distinct communities, with university professors, and with nonprofit and public sector personnel and leaders in Uganda. Thus, we can say the following: the overall goal of this course is for students to gain an understanding of how to engage in good governance in the areas of public management and public health in a developing country context, through both service learning projects and participation in transformational dialogue with members of the community.