“The course was a great learning experience, enabling me to reflect on current practices and views of development and the development sector. The course helped me reflect on community development using a justice and strengths based approach, where power structures need to be transformed, and development needs to be sustainable and fair. In addition, the easy language and visual support facilitated a great learning experience guided by Deborah’s beautiful soul and spirit which contributed to a positive, considerate and respectful environment. I would recommend this course to any person involved in project management and development work.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.