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DIY Learn: Development Impact and You


Practical modules to support development practitioners

Status: Complete

Only one in three donor-funded development projects achieve their intended impact, often due to a lack of effective project management (Hekala, 2012, for McKinsey-Devex).

DIY Learn (Development Impact and You) aims to equip project workers, from international NGOs to individual social entrepreneurs, with the tools to make their projects more effective, innovative and sustainable.

The project builds on the popular DIY Toolkit, created by the innovation charity NESTA, a selection of models and methods that practitioners themselves have said were the most useful in practice. Available worldwide, DIY Learn adds bitesize learning on when and why to use each tool and how to get the most out of it, whatever the learner’s experience, existing knowledge and available time.

Designed for easy mobile access, project workers can find the modules they need while working in the field and instantly apply their learning to active projects. Learners can also swap ideas with fellow development workers in DIY Learn’s online forum, and earn a statement of participation, plus a digital badge. A trainer’s guide supports anyone to deliver the modules in a classroom setting; for example, with their project team or partners.

DIY Learn is hoping to reach up to 500,000 people working in development around the world. The project is made possible by the Rockefeller Foundation and delivered in partnership with Nesta.

As Open Educational Resources, the DIY Learn modules are free to download, use and adapt within a Creative Commons licence. Explore the modules on OpenLearn Create.

Mother and son

The ten practical DIYLearn modules support development practitioners in:

  • Identifying root causes: Problem Definition
  • Understanding project users: Personas
  • Understanding motivations: Question Ladder
  • Creating innovative solutions: Fast Idea Generator
  • Develop ideas into reality: Business Model Canvas
  • Bringing together problem solvers: Creative Workshop
  • Build partnerships: Building Partnerships Map
  • Define goals and how to reach them: Theory of Change
  • Evaluating progress and options: SWOT Analysis
  • Measuring whether a project worked: Evidence Planning