Overview

UNESCO’s emphasis on quality education and learning is essential; throughout its report on education, the organization distinguishes education as a human-centered process from education as a product to be consumed. That distinction defines praxis.

praxis is a collaboration between the Posner Center for International Development and Regis University Development Practice to provide a series of 1-credit monitoring and evaluation skills courses, designed to strengthen the development practice of the Posner Center community and beyond.

As a highly dynamic field, driven by the urgency of poverty and climate change, the global development sector is continuously learning from its failures.  A big one has been the cost of a too-linear and technocratic approach to problems/goals that are inherently complex and relational; a corollary is an illusion that sacrificing process to efficiency can achieve outcomes with true and lasting impact or even the intended short-term impact.  This is reflected in the fact that UNESCO has moved from its original goal of “education for all”, to education that is “inclusive, equitable, effective and relevant.”

To this end, praxis courses provide critical, multi-layered value: a rich and well-designed learning environment, strengthening of local organizations, and precious professional development of entrepreneurs​ and community leaders in the Global South, including the status and authority that follow from credentialing.

praxis courses are designed to be accessed from anywhere in the world. Students with a variety of professional backgrounds in health, government, gender, and education–to name a few–engage with their instructors and each other via real-time, video-conferenced class meetings and discussions.

Enrollment in the praxis program not only gives you access to world-class instructors and courses to deepen your development practice but also connects you to the Posner Center Community.

While you are enrolled as a praxis student, you will have access to:

  • a free Posner Center Individual membership
  • connections with the 200 organizations in the Posner Center Community
  • participation in the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Community of Practice, a peer network of MEL practitioners in various fields around the world
  • access to the Posner Center collaborative workspace near downtown Denver
  • access to other Posner Center programming, such as mentoring, coaching, decolonizing development, and other opportunities

praxis Certificate for Evidence-Based Development

The Posner Center offers the praxis Certificate of Evidence-Based Development, a 5-course certificate designed to build your research and evaluation skills. Completion of 5 courses from the list below, attainable within six months or less, will earn you the praxis Certificate. Each course is worth one graduate credit hour through Regis University and can be applied to further Development Practice program study, either for the Master or Certificate of Development Practice.

praxis Fellowship

The Posner Center offers a competitive praxis Fellowship available to the Posner Center Community. The Fellowship provides a tuition subsidy of 50-100%. Fellowships are available for students pursuing the 5-course praxis certificate as well as for those taking pairs or single courses. We’re interested in supporting organizations, working both locally in Colorado and around the world, to improve their M&E practice, so apply if you’re ready to shift how you lead, measure, and report on your work!

We will prioritize applications who:

  • Are organizations applying as a team
  • Include staff who are native to and currently living in non-US countries where your organization works
  • Demonstrate readiness to improve organizational evaluation
  • Express desire to share your learnings with the Posner Center Community

2022 praxis Fellowships have already been awarded. Please sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page or join the Posner Community for updates on the next round of fellowships.

praxis Course Offerings & Upcoming Course Dates

M&E I: Foundations and FrameworksM&E II: Design and Data ManagementQualitative Data CollectionQualitative Data AssessmentData VisualizationProgram Design

M&E I: Foundations and Frameworks

This course will provide students with a working knowledge of the field of M&E and lay the foundation for continued learning and implementation.

Students will learn:

  • Key concepts and associated terms of M&E
  • Frameworks for establishing causal logic
  • Approaches to defining and measuring project deliverables and impacts
  • Development of an outcome mapping model

Course Instructors: Kurt Wilson and Andrea Nelson Trice

Next Course Offered:
Spring: May 2nd, 5th, and 9th, 2022 from 7:00-9:00am MST

M&E II: Design and Data Management

This course builds on lessons from Monitoring and Evaluation I, going more in-depth on effective theories of change and criteria for developing the appropriate indicators to measure them. Students will learn the technical aspects of quality indicators and the processes involved in their development.

Students will learn:
  • Indicator development
  • Data collection methodologies
  • Development of an M&E plan
  • M&E tools for data visualization, collection, and analysis

Course Instructors: Kurt Wilson and Andrea Nelson Trice

Next Course Offered:
Summer:
 May 23rd, May 26th, and May 31st, 2022  from 7:00-9:00am MST

Qualitative Data Collection

This course is an introduction to the principles and techniques of qualitative data collection with a particular focus on the researcher as the instrument. Students will be able to customize class projects to their own context by completing either interviews or focus groups. Course content will touch on topics such as positioning yourself as a learner and active listener, asking effective questions, and reading verbal and non-verbal cues. Participants will develop the personal mindset and self-presentation needed to cultivate relevant and nuanced interactions. The goal of this course is to teach the art of qualitative data collection to produce data filled with generative insights.

Students will:

  • Navigate the relational space during the interview or focus group process including managing personal bias, active listening, and how to ask questions that promote open dialogue
  • Manage personal mental space during the interview or focus group process including techniques to decenter the self
  • Develop a reflexive practice through reflexive journaling
  • Conduct an interview or focus group

Course Instructor: Lisanne Brown, PhD

Next Course Offered:
Summer: June 23rd and 29th, 2022 from 7:00-10:00am MST

Qualitative Data Assessment

Participants will learn the art of iterative analysis that both addresses the research or evaluation goals and maintains the voice and perspective of participants. Class projects will include analysis of a sample data workbook, without requiring expensive software, and students will receive helpful feedback to inform future projects. Course content will touch on topics such as inductive and deductive analysis, memo writing, triangulating data, and formulating finding statements. The goal of this course is to teach the art of qualitative data assessment to produce useful and rigorous finding statements.

Students will:

  • Understand the iterative nature of qualitative data analysis
  • Identify and develop different types of codes
  • Convert raw qualitative data into useful insights
  • Write an analytic memo
  • Draft a findings statement related to the data coded

Course Instructor: Lisanne Brown, PhD

Next Course Offered:
Summer: July 13th and 20th, 2022 from 7:00-10:00am MST

Data Visualization

In an increasingly data-rich world, visualization is more important than ever for communicating trends in global development as well as showing impact, understanding your stakeholders, and adding visuals to grant proposals and sending to donors. Well-designed visualizations can provide important insight, but poor design can be confusing at best and misleading at worst. This course will cover the basics of data visualization, including interpretation and best practices for designing graphs, maps, and other visualization approaches. Students will learn to evaluate the effectiveness of visualization designs, and think critically about each design decision. Students will create their own data visualizations, and learn to use Open Source data visualization tools and data sources. Students will learn to better interpret and improve on visualizations they encounter, and to create clear and informative visualizations for use in development practice.

Students will learn:

  • Understand best practices for the design of data visualizations, including infographics, maps, charts, and graphs.
  • Critique and improve the clarity, precision, and information content of their own visualizations and those developed by others.
  • Use visualizations effectively to improve storytelling for diverse audiences in the development field.
  • Recognize the wide range of resources available for furthering their work on data visualization.
  • Produce a visualization that tells a data story, shows impact, and is intended for a particular audience.

Course Instructor: Lauren Allognon

Next Course Offered:
Summer: July 26th, 29th, August 2nd, and 5th, 2022 from 7:00-9:00am MST

Program Design

Nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations live and thrive by the effectiveness in planning and execution of their mission-directed programs. Ideally, the better the design, implementation, and evaluation, the better the attainment of the mission. This course explores approaches for strategic program design, implementation, and evaluation. We consider research-based best practices and applied program evaluability through needs assessment, data collection, stakeholder participation, and empowerment. Finally, we review the need for a systems approach and the logic model as strategies for program effectiveness.

Students will learn:

  • Processes of needs assessment, data collection, and stakeholder participation and empowerment
  • Systems’ approach and the logic model as strategies for program effectiveness
  • Design a plan for program evaluation via class project

Course Instructor: M.D. Kinoti, PhD

Next Course Offered:
Summer: August 18th and 20th, 2022, from 7:00-10:00am MST

Full Tuition and Materials Cost

1-credit course fee: $350

Course Packages:

  • 5-credit course fee: $1750 $1400
    When registering for 5 courses at once to earn your praxis certificate, get one course free.
  • If two members of your team register, one native of a non-US country on your team may register for free, across all courses.
Click here to register for praxis

For questions or more information, contact Sina Khayat Kholghy at .