Distinguished Professor; Program Chair, International Policy and Development; Master of Public Administration

Beryl Levinger
McCone Building M212
(831) 647-6640

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 Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

Spring 2019 - MIIS, Summer 2019 - MIIS, Fall 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2020 - MIIS, Summer 2020 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

Spring 2019 - MIIS, Summer 2019 - MIIS, Fall 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2020 - MIIS, Summer 2020 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

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.edu

and dpmi@miis.edu 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.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, Summer 2019 - MIIS, Fall 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2020 - MIIS, Summer 2020 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

This course is offered as a partnership between MIIS and Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA), a federally recognized tribal government serving 4,400 Tribal Citizens in Alaska through its mission to “exercise its sovereign rights and powers, to preserve the integrity of Tribal society, and improve the lives of individual Tribal Citizens.”

Participants will work with Sitka Tribe of Alaska staff to develop original monitoring and evaluation designs that allow them to apply critical course concepts to a real-life project, and to support the strengthening and indigenization of STA’s monitoring, evaluation, and reporting capacity.

The program will include an onsite program component August 5-14, 2020 in Sitka, Alaska.

Summer 2020 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

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 dpmi@miis.edu for more information.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, Summer 2019 - MIIS, Fall 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2020 - MIIS, Summer 2020 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

MEETING DATES: April 27, 2020 - May 8, 2020

SPR: DPMI: Strengthening Civil Society Organizations in Kenya

Credit: course can be taken for no credit or for 4 units on a Pass/Fail basis. A certificate of completion will be awarded to participants who successfully complete all assignments.

Instructor of record: Beryl Levinger with Matt Reeves and Munir Ahmad (Aga Khan Foundation Global Leads for Civil Society and Innovation, respectively)

Taught in and near Mombasa, Kenya, this course will focus on the use of tools and frameworks that represent “embedded theory.” Students will master tools through work with client organizations supported by the Aga Khan Foundation. Tools to be introduced are widely used by bilateral and multinational organizations including USAID, the World Bank, and UNDP. Note: While there may be some modest content overlap with current DPMI offerings, the examples and projects will all be Kenya-specific, fieldwork-rich and focused on strengthening civil society organizations to meet pressing development challenges. Students who wish to pursue summer internships in East Africa will be assisted in locating appropriate assignments (without guarantee of placement) during the course.

Students who enroll will be eligible to participate in DPMI8650A (DPMI+). Students who have already completed DPMI 8698 A and/or 8698 B are also eligible to enroll. For students who have previously participated in a DPMI session, this program will allow them to hone their skills further with more elaborate, field-based assignments.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Spring 2020 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

Seminar: Program Evaluation for Social Change Organizations

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 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2020 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

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 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Spring 2020 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only

View in Course Catalog

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 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Spring 2019 - MIIS, Professional Semester, Spring 2020 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog


Winter 2017, Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020

View in Course Catalog

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 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

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 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

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.


Academic Degrees

  • 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.

News Feed