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What is PGP DL Programme all about?

The Post Graduate Programme in Development Leadership (PGP-DL) is ISDM's flagship initiative. It has been designed by leading academics and practitioners from both the development and management sectors. The PGP DL is a one-of-its-kind programme that blends ideas of development with management theories, combining in-class sessions with collaborative group work, and a field component that grounds the programme in the real needs of the sector.

Some of the salient features of the programme are:

Customised Courses for Social Sector Organisations: These are courses that are unique to the needs of the Social Sector, for example Networks and Partnerships, and Fundraising and Resource Mobilisation.

Customised workshops: These are workshops that build perspectives, knowledge and skills required by a development professional. For example, Radical Transformational Leadership is a series of workshops that helps build capacity to unleash the full potential of individuals.

Compulsory Harvard Business Publishing Courses: This set of courses have been specially curated to help the student hone skills that are critical for Development Management. Students will get a certificate from HBP.

Curated Guest Lecture series – Interaction with SPO/Development leaders/Management gurus yearlong

Year-long CBCL (Context-Based Collaborative Learning): This signature pedagogy facilitates the application of business management concepts and methods to the context of Social Purpose Organisations. This involves collaborating with peers in groups facilitated by a bricoleur (mentor).

What is the structure of the PGP programme?

The course is spread over 49 weeks. It consists of 650 hours of classroom teaching, and about ~1100 hours of total engagement. The course comprises of a 2-week orientation, 8 terms of variable durations, and 2 weeks Realising India- district immersion programme.

The course offers a mix of courses under the themes of:

  • Development
  • Management of Social purpose organisations
  • Personal Mastery for Development Managers,
  • Intervention design and implementation for Social change.

How is this different from an MBA programme?

Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is designed for for-profit organisations. A student learns decision-making and organisation management in for-profit organisations. These decisions are grounded in the profit motive and increase shareholder value. Business Management has largely been developed from capitalist and industrial paradigms.

On the other hand, the core purpose of social purpose organisations (SPOs) is to improve the lives of the underserved and marginalised, and working on solving complex social problems. In SPOs, the role of talent management, marketing, organisation behaviour, etc is informed by a deep understanding of society and perspectives of development, and anchored in Universal Human Values. Decision-making is also anchored in these considerations.

The Development sector needs its own mantra of leadership and management, which is grounded in the reality of this sector. That’s why a Development Management programme is very different from a Business Management programme (MBA).

How is this programme different from other programmes like MSW, Public Policy programmes, Development Studies Programmes?

The social sector requires people with a variety of different knowledge, skill sets and perspectives.

MSW / MA Development Programmes at TISS, APU, DSSW are more technical in nature and prepare you to work on the ground with communities, understanding their issues, evolving and implementing solutions at a local level. These enable you to become technical experts in areas like education, livelihood, health etc.

Public Policy Programmes like the one at ISPP, NLSIU, Takshila etc. help you to approach social issues from a policy standpoint thereby developing understanding on policy formulation, implementation, evaluation etc.

Development Studies Programmes like the ones at IDS, TISS etc. help develop really strong academic and research expertise for people who want to work on knowledge creation aspects for the sector

In contrast, The PGP-DL programme at ISDM look at developing leaders and managers for the social sector – people who can build world class social organisations with the appropriate strategy, structure, systems, process, culture, can address questions of scale and sustainability, have the ability to design, implement, evaluate and monitor programmes from a more strategic and systems thinking standpoint and the ability to build relevant collaborations and partnerships to deliver sustainable social impact at scale.

What are the job opportunities after the programme? Who are ISDM’s partners? Does ISDM provide placement assistance?

Post the PGP- DL, Students end up joining a variety of different kinds of organisations after this programme – Domestic and International NGOs, Social and Corporate Foundations, CSR, Social Enterprises, Social Consulting Organisations, Funding organisations etc. They are also equipped to start their own social enterprises (for profit and not for profit).

Within the first two years of the programme, ISDM partnered with 150 plus leading social purpose organisations who took part in the internship and final placements process. Click on this link for more details on our partners - https://www.isdm.org.in/placements

Is this programme relevant if I want to become a CSR professional?

Yes, it is. The challenge in becoming a good CSR professional is not in learning about the legalities and compliance requirements (these are easy), but in creating the space for dialogue between the CSR committees in corporate organisations and social purpose organisations i.e. the field partners.

The Programme enables a deep understanding of development and design of strategies, along with strong skills for collaboration that makes it possible for a student to do CSR work very effectively.

The power of Samaaj-Sarkaar-Bazaar coming together can transform lives and society. This perspective is critical for a professional aspiring to work in the CSR space. This Programme develops this along with the management skills to contribute to any type of organisation in the social sector.

Is the PGP DL Accredited?

In our country, accreditation is not an assurance of quality, there are too many accredited colleges and universities which provide very poor quality education. An institution like the Indian School of Business (ISB) excels without accreditation because it provides world class education and the sector which is serves (the corporate sector) recognizes that.

That is exactly the positioning that ISDM has as well. We offer quality education - from practice focused course design, to practitioners as faculty, to innovative pedagogy, to sector organisations as partners. We are also very much a sector established and sector supported institution with many different social sector partners so early in our existence.

The reason we have not gone for accreditation as of now is that these norms don’t allow for the kind of innovation that we are doing with regards to curriculum, pedagogy, faculty etc.

Why should I join this programme? Will it give a boost to my career?

ISDM is the only institution in the country that prepares you for a strategic management career in social change. Other schools like TISS, ISPP, APU etc prepare you for careers in grassroots work, research, public policy and research. Schools abroad are handicapped by their lack of understanding and immersion in the Indian context.

ISDM’s unique curriculum prepares you as a professional manager for social purpose organisations. The pedagogy enables a focus on individual learning journeys of students. The faculty are renowned in their own fields. Over the years we have had student cohorts with representation from 20 states of India. The experience is a holistic educational experience unlike what any other school would provide you with.

ISDM is a management school for the social sector. Over time students will establish or lead social purpose organisations that will make social impact at scale.

What is the course fee? Is Financial assistance available for this course?

The tuition fees for the programme is INR 5 Lakhs.

We at ISDM firmly believe that Finance should not be a reason for someone to not be able to do this.

We provide financial assistance to our students through Scholarships and a deferred payment system.

Scholarships provided are provided on a combination of Merit and Need.