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Thread: International development planning?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    International development planning?

    Can someone explain what exactly the international development planning means?
    What kind of jobs would someone with this background have?

    Also, which schools are the best for international development planning?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    The UN-Habitat program is great example. Check out www.devex.com for info on the international development field. Lots of UK based planners are involved in it in areas such as SE Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East. The Peace Corps, Ausaid also have opportunities in it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I agree with everything that Expat123 said. International planning is also often referred to as "international development" so if you are searching for the kinds of work people in this field might do, you might use that term as well.

    In addition to government-related work either working for a foreign gov't, a US agency (like USAID) or one of the many UN programs (or programmes), there are many non-profit organizations working abroad in a number of areas.

    It all depends on where you work, of course, but in general for the Developing World, key issues that an international planner/development worker might address include utilities access (potable water, electrification, sewerage), housing, education, public health and so on. If you are in a more developed area, you may also engage in aspects of managing development in more urban areas (China, for example, is currently investing heavily in infrastructure which will surely support another rash of city building and expansions).

    If you go through a program like the Peace Corps, you are likely to end up working intensely with a local community emphasizes public processes and grassroots organizing around issues. If you end up with a group like USAID, you will probably be less connected to the populace and more with other organizations (in-country or international groups) that are working directly with communities. The same with the UN. Big picture versus local view - so there is a range of levels for you to get involved with.

    I spent a year and a half living abroad in Uganda. I was not pursuing planning as a career at the time, but my experiences definitely were planning-related and impacted the direction I later took in school. I worked with a traditional dance, music and drama company that uses the performing arts as a vehicle to explore and examine development issues - from public health to corruption to women's rights. They take plays, often performed in multiple languages, to different parts of the country and also work with local communities in writing and performing their own plays around development issues. This is often done in conjunction with a development agency (either in-country or international) and the process is used as the primary mode of engagement with a community to help mobilize/organize them and also provide them with a powerful tool for addressing and achieving consensus on pressing social issues. Pretty powerful stuff.

    So, when it comes to international planning/development, there are a lot of options and you also get opened up to seeing how other countries and cultures organize themselves around community renewal and change. Its inspiring and humbling.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    thanks for your responses!

    What you guys described seems very interesting and I'm definitely willing to consider going into those areas after getting the masters. Do you have any suggestions for schools? : )

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    If you live in the states, I would pick the cheapest quality grad school for international affairs. Just make sure to make alot of connections in the field. I know Sydney University has a world class program and has placed many in top roles in the UN. Once you get outside the USA for work, it really doesnt matter where you went to school, just what your capable of doing. The people at Devex are pretty good to call or email, check out their website for phone and email as they are the experts.

    I have worked in the UK, US, and now Oz. I've been to India, Nepal, and Indonesia doing infrastructure development in the past and I loved it. I love looking at the issues from an international perspective as the world gets smaller. Mainly the field is dominated by people from the Uk, Oz, and a few Canadians. It would be good to get more American planners on board in this exciting field.

  6. #6
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    You might want to consider the Peace Corps' Masters International program.

    http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?...ben.mastersint

    It combines the typical Peace Corps two-year stint of service with a year or so of classes at a university in the states.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    thanks but..

    Quote Originally posted by mikeisquixotic View post
    You might want to consider the Peace Corps' Masters International program.

    http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?...ben.mastersint

    It combines the typical Peace Corps two-year stint of service with a year or so of classes at a university in the states.
    I don't think I can do peace corps..(although I would love to)...since I'm not a U.S. citizen.....;;;;

  8. #8
    I've heard Bartlett's International Planning (UK) is good from a few top-notch Professors.

  9. #9
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    Could anyone expand on this topic a little bit more; I'm very interested in International Planning. Also, which programs are the best for this subject? I've heard Cornell has a very good International Planning Program, for instance.

    Would getting a Masters in International Planning preclude me from working in the US? Could any international planners out there describe a typical day or week of their work?

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    possible or not?

    Quote Originally posted by expat123 View post
    If you live in the states, I would pick the cheapest quality grad school for international affairs. Just make sure to make alot of connections in the field. I know Sydney University has a world class program and has placed many in top roles in the UN. Once you get outside the USA for work, it really doesnt matter where you went to school, just what your capable of doing. The people at Devex are pretty good to call or email, check out their website for phone and email as they are the experts.

    I have worked in the UK, US, and now Oz. I've been to India, Nepal, and Indonesia doing infrastructure development in the past and I loved it. I love looking at the issues from an international perspective as the world gets smaller. Mainly the field is dominated by people from the Uk, Oz, and a few Canadians. It would be good to get more American planners on board in this exciting field.
    Would it be possible to get involved the type of work you have done internationally even if I concentrate on housing, community, and economic development in grad school? Could you share what your education background is? thanks a lot!!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Batmanda's avatar
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    University of Michigan has an "planning in developing countries" concentration option within the masters in urban planning program: http://taubmancollege.umich.edu/plan...ing_countries/

    I would look at the Planetizen ranking of urban planning grad schools, they might have info on more schools: http://www.planetizen.com/guide . Its expensive, so see if a local library has a copy.

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