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Have you ever found yourself working on a great development project, but…

You couldn’t get people to attend meetings without paying an attendance fee?
Or maybe meetings went well, but then nothing actually happened afterwards?

You couldn’t get communities engaged with the work?
Or maybe everything you did stopped with the local elites, when in fact you were meant to be working with more

You couldn’t get community members to contribute to the work?
Or maybe you thought the project had gone ok, but it all fell apart as soon as the funding ended?

Learn how to improve local ownership, get community members engaged, and unlock the development potential of your work.

About the Bridging Peoples Academy

The Bridging Peoples Academy is part of Bridging Peoples —an agency specialising in local development, with a proven track-record working with governments, NGOs and UN agencies around the world.

We’re passionate about improving the impact of aid and development at the local level. The Academy is designed to bring together our practical real-world experience, with up-to-date research and international best practice, to help students improve their work and impact at the local level.

What You’ll Learn…

We teach you the tools, principles and mindset of good local development, so you can learn how to:

  • Better harness local strengths and resources
  • Design programs to more accurately reflect local needs & context
  • Work legitimately with local leaders and community members



Choose the Right Program for You

We know different students have different needs, with some preferring independent learning, and others preferring a more structured group coaching experience. Regardless of your preference, we’ve got you covered.


In our online e-courses, students can
sign up and go through the course materials

These courses are designed for flexible learning, with students having access to the online discussion board to discuss and share their insights with their peers, and frequent interactions with the Bridging Peoples team.

By the end of these courses, students will have
learned the core principles, skills and mindset
of doing good local development work,
that they can then apply in their work.


Our online group coaching programs are
tailored for professionals to support them
in applying what they learn, depending  on their
area of expertise. These are structured programs,
following a ‘flipped classroom’ methodology,  with a strong
focus on peer discussion,  reflective activities  and
learning through doing.

By the end of the program, students will have the
necessary understanding and skills to apply and
adapt what they learn to their unique work
and community context.

Our Courses

Theories and Concepts of Good Local Development

Learn the core skills and mindsets of good local development, and tools for sharing decision-making power with community members. Great if you…
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249 USD

Early 2022

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How To Work Better Locally

Learn the basic ideas behind doing good local development in this 3-part mini-course. Ideal for…
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Principles of Good Local Development

Learn the core skills and mindsets of good local development, and tools for sharing decision-making power with community members. Great if you…
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249 USD

Enrolment closes 31 August 2021

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Satisfaction Guarantee

We want you to be 100% satisfied with your Bridging Peoples Academy experience, and we’re confident you will be.

But if you’re not, all you need to do is let us know within the designated time-frame we’ll give you your money back, minus a small administration fee.

For full details, please refer to the terms and conditions for your specific course.

Learning by Doing

In the Bridging Peoples Academy, we use reflective learning with a focus on learning by doing, in order to embed key concepts in students’ minds, helping them apply what they learn to their work and community context.

Loved by Students

Heather Redmond

Chairperson Friends of Lacluta, Australia

“I really enjoyed this course! I signed up because I wanted a better understanding of community development in my Friendship Committee’s support for people in Timor-Leste. This course was ideal because I didn’t want a university-level course, or which was jargon-laden or linked to political causes or theories. The lessons were clear, the sequencing of lessons built up a gradual deeper understanding of the content, and I especially liked the ethical foundation of the course content—particularly the emphasis on working with local people.”

Ilaria Rosett

Cultural Heritage Professional, Netherlands

“I found the course very useful, accessible and practical! I got important insights in new theories, and I also found very useful exercises and tools to apply those theories to my case. I really appreciated the personal assistance provided by Deborah and the interesting Q&A sessions with the other participants from all over the world! I would recommend the course to all kinds of professionals, from different fields, who want to challenge themselves to look at their projects from another perspective.””

Heidi Zajac

Director of Cooking Circles, Australia

“The course was excellent. It is wonderfully rich in content, detailing the complexity of working with communities and providing practical approaches to work with this reality. Deborah guided us through topics that we encounter daily in the development world, drawing on examples from her own work to give meaning and to connect the dots between theory and practice. The combination of lectures with exercises worked really well, helping me to consider the complexity of different issues when working with communities, and to develop and use a set of tools to help me assess, analyse, collate, and reflect on community realities as I do my work. Anyone who takes this course will find themselves approaching their work as a more considered, prepared, curious and compassionate professional.”

Youssef Almustafa

Evaluation Specialist, Turkey

“This was one of the best and most useful courses I have ever taken part in! It taught me how to think about community members from their own point of view, and to always seek win-win situations which is a pre-requisite for effective community work. It has an excellent practical focus that can be applied by anyone working directly with communities, including development and humanitarian projects and programs, and the public services. I would recommend this course to any person involved in project management and direct involvement with communities.”