New Media Courses at SIPA – Fall 2013

Please find below a list of classes offered this semester at SIPA that are related to new media or information and communication technology for development. Good luck with registration and don’t despair if your favorite class is full…there will be a lot of shopping and switching classes in the first weeks of school.

INAF U6211 – Technology Solutions for Development & Social Change – 3 Credits
Mobile and web technology play an increasingly critical role in the way that entrepreneurs and practitioners reach, serve, advocate for and communicate with beneficiaries and other stakeholders in development. This course enables social change practitioners to use technology more effectively in their efforts to create global change, whether through international development, social enterprise or local communication and advocacy. The course is led by two experienced technology professionals versed in international development and private enterprise, and relies on a combination of discussions, assignments addressing real use cases of technology solutions, participatory exercises including a hackathon, and a variety of readings. Students are given latitude to explore particular areas of interest where relevant.

INAF U6046 – Media and Economic Development – 3 Credits
Media has an important role to play in the economic development of emerging countries. Much scholarly work has been done on how the media can help promote good governance, sound policy making and economic growth. However, the reality is often very different. Underpaid and poorly trained journalists struggle to write about economics and business. They often work in newsrooms that lack resources and they face tremendous political and commercial pressures. This research seminar will look first at the theory of what role the media should play and then examine how journalism actually copes with these multiple challenges. We will spend a lot of time looking at media coverage of economics and development to see how it lives up to the grand ideals. We will consider how developing country journalists engage with government, international organizations and civil society. A key question addressed by the course is explaining why the media has often failed to live up to expectations. We will consider subjects such as censorship, ownership and the effect that donor-driven training has on the media.

INAF U6154 – Humanitarian Communications – 3 Credits
In an era of increased political and cultural upheaval, armed conflict, natural disasters, and more, humanitarian issues are confronting societies across the globe like never before. But how are these important events being understood, and communicated, on the local level? How are people in the line of fire getting essential messages that help maintain the well being of their families? This course will take a close look at the information systems that play a role in the development and understanding of humanitarian situations around the world.

INAF U6144 – Communication, Human Rights and Social Change – 3 Credits
This course will examine the role that different kinds of media have played in raising awareness about human rights, labor issues and political change over time and across countries. The first part of the course will look at some of the history of campaigning journalism and then move to current examples of how social media can take on a campaigning role in raising awareness about social problems and holding governments accountable.

INAF U6212 – New Media in Development Communication – 3 Credits
New Media in Development Communication is an inter-disciplinary course that will introduce students to advanced concepts in communications skills and policy, with an emphasis on applicability in developing countries. The world is in the midst of simultaneous revolutions in communications technologies and the attitudinal changes brought about by the forces of globalization. The media plays an increasingly crucial part in international affairs, both in affecting and recording change. This course will give students hands-on experience with new technologies (such as Internet publication, video, and cell phones) combined with guidance in the principles of creating editorial products. It will address evolving policy issues and new challenges in development communications, such state censorship and communications in the context of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Special attention will be given to the challenges and opportunities of working under technologically primitive field conditions with modest resources. The course will offer occasional guest speakers who are leading figures in the field.

INAF U6216 – News: Reporting for Print & Online Media – 1.5 Credits
In this class students report, write, edit and produce SIPA’s newspaper and websites. The course will at times take the form of a seminar, at others a newsroom, writing workshop or editorial meeting. The course produces a newspaper of increasingly professional quality that has recently become a must-read for the SIPA community. Even more importantly, students learn to write lucidly and persuasively for a diverse readership – an essential skill in the world of International Relations and policy.

INAF U8350 – Microfinance and the Developing World – 3 Credits
Focus on mass-scale, low cost, locally controlled methodologies for reaching the poorest including the formation of savings groups where members mobilize their savings and lend to each other as they use the economic and social capital generated for further development. Contrasts methodologies based on training groups with those based on creating financial institutions and mobile money. Students working in teams design scalable initiatives based on one of the methodologies discussed.

ENVP U6275 – GIS for International Studies – 3 Credits
This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and remote sensing technologies as they are used in a variety of social and environmental science applications. Through a mixture of lectures, readings, focused discussions, and hands-on exercises, students will acquire an understanding of the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, gain a knowledge of the principles behind raster and vector based spatial analysis, learn basic cartographic principles for producing maps that effectively communicate a message, and develop sound practices for GIS project design and management. The class will focus on the application of GIS to assist in the development, implementation and analysis of environmental and social policy and practices at the global and regional scale.

INAF U8879 – Technology and National Security – 3 Credits
Technology and National Security explores the evolution of modern military and related intelligence technologies as well as their application to the current national security environment. Technologies of various kinds have been important to defense, intelligence, and diplomacy throughout history. They have shaped the way nations have approached foreign policy and military operations, and currently the U.S. continues to develop technologies that will enable it to deal with a range of new and emerging threats.