Distinguished Professor; Program Chair, International Policy and Development; Master of Public Administration
Beryl Levinger began her international development career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Colombia. Since that time, she has worked on six continents and in more than 50 countries. Prior to coming to MIIS, Dr. Levinger held executive positions with Save the Children, CARE, and AFS Intercultural programs. Her consulting clients include a mix of intergovernmental organizations (e.g., UNHCR, the World Bank, the World Food Programme, the InterAmerican Development Bank); international NGOs (e.g., the Red Cross, Save the Children, Grameen Foundation, Project Concern International); and the U.S. government.
Dr. Levinger is passionate about innovation. Among the breakthrough ideas she has helped to shape over the course of her career are the highly acclaimed New School (Escuela Nueva) movement; InterAction, a major consortium of international development organizations; the national Peace Corps (Coverdell) Fellows program in 1983; Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers annual reports; and, more recently, the launch of Save the Children’s new annual index of “childhood enders”– events that rob children of their childhoods. She has also co-authored many widely used organizational capacity assessment tools. At MIIS, Dr. Levinger, working closely with Institute colleagues, has pioneered a number of pedagogical innovations including the Program in Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI), a hands-on intensive program in development practice.
Courses offered in the past two years.
- Current term ●
- Upcoming term(s) ○
non-standard grade, WTR
Winter 2015, Winter 2017, Winter 2018, Winter 2019
The 4-credit DPMI 8630 offering is only available to students who participated in the 2-week DPMI/Monterey course (summer).
Requires completion and submission of deliverables for DPMI Module I and II the 3-5 page Statement of Development Philosophy. Students enrolled in this course should submit links to their work to BLevinger@<a href="http://miis.edu">miis.eduand firstname.lastname@example.org by the last day of classes for the semester of enrollment. You must also provide the link to your work on the course wiki.
Deliverables for both modules should be presented as a Google Doc or through a website of your choice. Please use the same technology to present all your deliverables. Be sure that your work is made public ("anyone with link" can view).
Your deliverables need not be uniquely your work. When you are working on team projects (e.g., the Results Framework), you may present the work you did with other team members. You are, however, strongly encouraged to improve or enhance the group's product so that you have a portfolio that represents your best work and that is worthy of sharing with a future employer.
Summer 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS, Summer 2018 - MIIS, Fall 2018 - MIIS
The Development Project Practicum is an academic and professional program in which students complete professional assignments (typically three to seven months) with an organization that they have helped identify. The practicum is designed to afford students the opportunity to utilize DPMI skills in the field. Participants develop a set of negotiated deliverables which are reviewed and approved by the faculty program director and the Center for Advising and Career Services. Credit is offered on a pass/fail basis. The Development Project Practicum may be completed in conjunction with DPMI 8698 for 12 credits in any given semester, or at any time after a DPMI Certificate of Completion has been earned. Please visit http:<a href="http://go.miis.edu/dpmi">go.miis.edu/dpmi or contact email@example.com for more information.
Spring 2017 - MIIS, Summer 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS, Summer 2018 - MIIS, Fall 2018 - MIIS
This 1-unit course introduces participants a variety of evaluation approaches appropriate to public sector and nongovernmental organizations. Key issues include: uses of evaluation; the framing of evaluation meta-questions by project stage; indicator selection; the evaluation of project logic and project designs; and, the use of tools to strengthen evaluation design. Students will engage in lecture, discussion and in-class problem solving.
Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop
Organizational capacity development is considered a cornerstone of all sustainable development strategies. It entails enabling major development actors (e.g., civil society organizations, government entities, networks, and partnerships) to acquire and act on new knowledge and skills as well as to adopt new forms of interaction and reflection. Capacity development initiatives have traditionally focused on training and short-term technical assistance. Through a systematic introduction of tools and frameworks, we will present and critique the major capacity development paradigms over the last 30 years. The focus of the course, however, is the creation of new tools that support the most cutting edge thinking in capacity development. We will examine capacity development as behavior change and lead a “design lab” to create a comprehensive capacity development support approach (with associated tools) that reflects an ecosystems-based theory of change. Course activities will be packaged, with the participation of students, for online consumption by local development practitioners. Prior to our first meeting, students will be expected to complete a small individual assignment that includes readings and application of content to a real world problem.
Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop
This seminar introduces participants to a variety of evaluation approaches appropriate to public sector and nongovernmental organizations engaged in social change, poverty alleviation, education, health and development work. Key issues include: uses of evaluation; alternative evaluation methodologies; evaluation as the process of testing hypotheses about linkages and causality; evaluating for sustainability; stakeholder identification; participatory approaches to evaluation; cross-cultural perspectives on evaluation; funding of evaluation; and, the role of organizational leadership and management in evaluation. Seminar participants review and critique evaluations of development assistance projects sponsored by bilateral, multilateral, and nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, they develop original evaluation designs that allow them to apply critical seminar concepts to a real-life project.
Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS, Fall 2018 - MIIS
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of policy analysis. Students will be introduced to the stages of the public policy process, including agenda setting, formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Students will also develop basic policy analysis skills, including problem structuring, stakeholder identification, summarization of current policy, development of policy options, elaboration of criteria for selection, and recommendation of course of action. These concepts are illustrated by examples policies that fall within students' range of interests. This course also introduces students to scientific methods that are used as a means for structuring policy inquiry. A series of research approaches and techniques are presented in the context of forecasting, monitoring, and evaluation for the analysis of domestic and international policies.
Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Spring 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop
This workshop will be taught by organizational expert and successful government, nonprofit, and private-sector consultant, Dr. Beryl Levinger. Participants will learn tools for analyzing an organization, its culture, its approach to meeting mission, and ecosystem analysis. They will also master key skills for effective organizational consulting including client reconnaissance; client relationship management; and the creation of value-added consultant deliverables. The 15 contact hour workshop in January will be worth 1 credits. Students wishing to earn 2 credits for this workshop will turn additional deliverables during their internship applying the tools they have learned in this workshop to better understand their host organizations.
Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Spring 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only
Students who take IPSS 8530A workshop may submit deliverables in the first month of their internship for one additional credit. These deliverables will help students apply the tools they have learned in the IPSS 8530 workshop to better understand their host organizations.
Spring 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS
This course will cover a core set of skills related to effective leadership of international development projects. Topics that will be addressed include project design, strategic partnering, and facilitation. Content will include select tools from each of the three weeks of the traditional 3-week DPMI training. Students will learn how to develop a problem tree, indicators, and a project design as well as a strategic partnership plan and essential tools for facilitation of groups. This course will take place March 10-12 from 12-5pm each day and will be taught by Dr. Beryl Levinger. This course can satisfy the prerequisite for DPMI Plus (8650 A and B).
Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop
MIIS students will travel to Washington, D.C. over Spring Break to complete a client project with one of three leading international development and social change organizations (Root Change, FHI 360, and the Grameen Foundation). Students will learn valuable skills that complement the DPMI Certificate training including learning how the organization in which they are working for the week functions as well as how to apply strategic tools and concepts from the DPMI training. All participants must complete the DPMI Managing Development Project Essentials workshop with Beryl Levinger prior to enrolling in this practicum. Dr. Levinger will accompany the group to DC and hold three onsite meetings at the organization with each group. Students on the Root Change team will work on a project that is part of the USAID “Local Awards” initiative. They will develop a learning agenda using Action Research methods. Students on the FHI 360 team will work on an education project focused on Equatorial Guinea and Active Learning. Students working at the Grameen Foundation will develop a monitoring and evaluation project related to the organization’s strategic plan. The final deliverable developed for the organizations will be submitted to Dr. Levinger for review and academic credit.
To learn more about this practicum model, visit https://sites.miis.edu/dpmiclientprojects/.
Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop
Areas of Interest
My professional life blends teaching through experiential learning, research on capacity development, evaluation work, and a robust consulting practice. These activities have been shaped by two closely linked questions: (1) How do individuals, communities, and organizations become capable of meeting the challenges they face? (2) What makes a project or program “good”? Those two concerns have led me to current activities which include: helping an international group of cybersecurity practitioners to craft appropriate capacity development strategies; working with Colombia’s Graduate School of the National Police to develop post-conflict social and educational programs; and designing and facilitating an event to help Latin American policy makers create innovative initiatives to reach traditionally marginalized populations.
- PhD in Educational Planning, University of Alabama
- MA in Educational Administration, University of Alabama
- BS in Social Sciences and Organizational Development, Cornell University
Professor Levinger has been teaching at the Institute since 1992.