Integral International Development Master Classes
May 29, 2008 13:52

Integral International Development Master Classes
Theoria in Praxis
Paul van Schaik

Following our Integral International Development Centre – Integral without Borders gathering in Istanbul I feel that there is a need for much more detailed work on the How and What of Integral International Development, especially for those who have more extensive experience in the field.   I am therefore proposing to hold a series master classes in Florence, Italy over the next few months and maybe later in the year also in Cape Town.  Other places will also be added in time.

The classes will be kept small to ensure that there is sufficient time to work with each individual’s project.

The download gives a brief outline of what I think needs to be covered. But the idea is for individuals to bring along their own programs/projects/ proposals and working through these would be the basis of the classes.   The theory will be there as required but I think that we can make much more of the integral approach if we go beyond the way it has been applied to date.

We will also look at the use of Morphogenetic and Generative processes to get past the usual prescriptive projects that so often tend to produce disappointing results – these will be addressed in all quadrants and levels.

Why INTEGRAL international development?

Integral theory and practice when applied to international development allows many more perspectives to be engaged as one deals with the complex issues involved.  It allows us to include many more true but partial existing theories, ideas or interventions within an integral matrix or framework.  It allows us to understand and thus honour local and non-local attitudes, values and cultures of both individuals and groups involved.  It places into a unifying context the role of infrastructure and physical systems with culture and social values and world-views.

Integral theory and practice allows our interventions to be inclusive even when only working with small sections of the problem.  It gives us real tools to bring to life the adage “think globally but act locally”. The AQAL Integral framework* helps us to situate or contextualize what we are doing within a much broader view.

Integral theory and practice includes the Objective and Interobjective perspectives as well as the Subjective and Intersubjective perspectives of both individuals and groups or societies for all stages, types and states of development.

When used with main-structure theory and generative theory it gives us practical processes or tools to understand why so often international aid programmes, even when thought of as ‘holistic’, produce such disappointing results.  Why infrastructure programmes so important to national and community growth have in the past failed to sustain, and when maintenance programmes don’t materialise or are just insufficient to cope. 

Integral international development helps to moderate the balance between main structure and filler and allows generative growth to ensure organic and flexible programmes.
Integral international development allows us to understand the need to balance community based programmes with centralised policy and decision processes. In both cases the emphasis on the generative process ensures that all stakeholders have a creative and effective involvement in ensuring that outcomes are those required and needed. The clash between ‘grass roots’ approaches and central government and donor community needs are understood and included.

Community and organisational development together with the need for capacity building are situated in ways that ensure they are more likely to be effective.

The Integral International development master classes will concentrate on the practical aspect of your existing or upcoming programs/project but ground these in an overview of the theory. It will also give an understanding of the role of integral coordination and the integral practitioner with the commitment and practice needed to maintain ones effectiveness when working with complex issues.
Integral theory is a map not the territory - but as such is the most comprehensive map in use at the moment.

Join me, lets make a difference!

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