Local Development in Practice
for Researchers & MEL Specialists

Improve Your Analysis and Data Collection With Communities

Group Coaching


Early 2022

Next Program Starts

4 Months

 (80 hours total)​

Time Commitment

US $997.00


Do You Want To:

Reflect on, improve, and adapt your communication skills to community needs, as a key component of the data collection process?

Include community members as active participants, and not just passive respondents, in the research/MEL process?

Reflect on and incorporate different types of knowledge and perspectives in your methodology?

If this sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place.

About This Group Coaching Program

In this group coaching program, you will be supported in incorporating and applying various participatory techniques in your research or monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) work—from project design to dissemination of findings. You will also explore your role in balancing different types of knowledge in your methodology, considering how that knowledge is disseminated, and the possibilities of using that knowledge for social change.

This program is ideal for people who are responsible for designing research or MEL methodologies, and managing the data collection and analysis process at the local level.

Program Outcomes

By the end of the program, you will be able to:

Understand the basic elements of a good research/MEL project, and the pros and cons of various methodologies.

Reflect on your communication style, and adapt this style to undertake fieldwork that is appropriate to the local context.

Strategically incorporate different participatory approaches into the research/MEL design.

Work with local leaders and community members to engage them as active participants in the data collection process.

Design an analysis plan that recognises and incorporates different types of knowledge.

Develop an ethics framework that meets the needs and worldviews of different groups in the community, following a Do No Harm approach.

Plan for effective research uptake that ensures community voices reach the people & policy-makers who need to hear them.

About Your Instructor

Key Features

User-Friendly Site, Structure and Materials.

This group coaching program is designed to be as accessible as possible. While everything I teach is based on a strong theoretical framework, the lessons are simple, and focused on practical application. The site is designed to make it as easy as possible to navigate, access materials, and keep track of where you are up to—so you can focus on learning.

Combining Structure & Flexibility

The group coaching program is structured to support you in testing and applying what you learn to your specific research/MEL project. We also offer ongoing support for a further 9 months after the program ends, so you can flexibly dip back into different sections of the program as you learn and grow in the work.

Group Coaching with the Program Convener.

The Local Development in Practice series is where you get to work closely with the Founder & Director of Bridging Peoples, Dr. Deborah Cummins. You will be supported in applying her teachings, tools, strategies and advice to your specific work context – without having to pay hefty consultant fees or enroll in a University course!

Access to the Community.

Perhaps most importantly, you get access to a community of like-minded professionals. People who, like you, want to really make a difference in people’s lives through their work. And who are prepared to step up, challenge themselves to think differently about their work, and try something new.


As this is the first round for this course, we don’t yet have testimonials from students. However, here are some kind words from students of a previous e-course on good local development

Who Should Take This Program?

Participants in this group coaching program should have already completed, or be currently enrolled in either the Principles of Good Local Development course or the Theories and Concepts of Good Local Development course. The program is ideal for researchers or MEL specialists who want to improve their practical communication, listening & analysing skills when conducting fieldwork; understand and strategically select the right methodology for their project; engage with community members as active participants in the process; and strategically adapt to community realities & needs, in order to get high-quality information. Participants may include research students who are undertaking fieldwork as part of their studies, research/MEL professionals, or anyone else who wants to reflect deeply on how they gather and disseminate information from and about communities.

Join the Wait List!

We are working hard on this program, and it will be live soon. Join our email newsletter and be the first to know when we’re open for business!