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International Development CPD and short course programme

International Development CPD and short course programme

In partnership with The Open University’s International Development Office (IDO) we realised International development organisations continually need to update the skills and capacities of their staff in order to keep them safe, agile and effective in a rapidly-changing operating environment. The current training offerings in this sector are increasingly inadequate to meet those needs whereas online distance learning is the ideal vehicle to fully access this market. Our ambition is to develop a programme of flexible, affordable and relevant on-line training modules for the international development sector for staff training and CPD purposes.

The CPD modules involve working with international NGOs to co-produce courses aimed at building the capacities of the sector. In terms of the various short courses, CPD and professional development work:

As of October 2020

  • The FutureLearn micro-credential (DZFM800) Designing a Development Intervention is being presented for the first time in October 2020.
  • We are producing a series of safeguarding courses funded by FCDO (formerly DFID) which will go on FutureLearn. FCDO awarded us a £379,000 contract to produce a series of 3 MOOCs and we are currently working on the first of these for March 2021. This has also linked us into FCDO’s Safeguarding Hubs which give us reach into NGOs and donors across the globe.
  • The International Development Office and the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, alongside the Strategic Research Group in International Development and Inclusive Innovation (the OU's institution-wide international development research network), have secured a large contract with UNICEF for 4 safeguarding courses valued at £897,000. This is to produce courses on safeguarding, international development and sports and is ultimately funded by FIFA – the world football federation.
  • We have been working with Christian Aid on an OpenLearnCreate called Evidence for Development Practice. We are working towards the course going live in March 2021, both as a free open course and as a paid-for tutored course.  
  • In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working with IDO on a series of courses made up of existing Open Educational Resources (OERs) aimed at international NGOs, particularly around responding to pandemic. We are mapping existing OERs and then we will develop some teaching around them to help students pursue learning pathways.
  • From the GCRF-funded Migration for Inclusive African Growth (MIAG) project we are developing a short course on evidence cafes for migration researchers and we will produce another one over the coming months from the same project.


Professor Giles Mohan

Contact us

To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:

International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502