sustainable community development training

Training and Consulting

Training the larger development community to more effectively support commmunity-driven efforts.  Combining the latest research with best practices from the field in a supportive peer-learning environment.

Watch our video about our training approach…

Training Programs in Sustainable Community Development

For more than 20 years Village Earth has trained and consulted with organizations from around the world. Hundreds of project directors, community leaders, grassroots activists, funders, students, volunteers, and field workers from community-based organizations to large intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations have participated in our wide array of training opportunities.

Village Earth uses as its basis, a framework of rights-based development and the Village Earth Approach.  This multi-sectoral, participatory approach focuses on the empowerment of people as both the ends and means of a genuine sustainable development process.

Online Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Development

This program is presented through Colorado State University’s Department of Continuing Education and uses a multi-sector, participatory approach that focuses on empowerment of people as both the ends and means of a sustainable development process. Rather than teaching prescriptive solutions to community problems, we provide you with the tools to use the community’s input and vision to create options and solutions that truly meet community needs.

The courses use the flexibility of online delivery to help you learn through case studies, exercises, and group discussions, providing a complete learning environment. You will learn from, and share experiences with, practitioners working in the field around the world. These courses give experienced practitioners a fresh perspective and provide novices and volunteers the training they need to be successful working in the field of development.

Benefits & Outcomes

This online certificate program is designed for people who plan to work or volunteer in community development, or who already work in this field and want to advance their careers. You will be prepared with practical tools to meet today’s challenges as project directors, community leaders, grassroots activists, funders, and field workers in community-based organizations and governmental and nongovernmental organizations. With a wide variety of electives, you are able to tailor the program to meet your needs and interests.


To earn a certificate in Sustainable Community Development, you must complete the required courses of your chosen track and any elective courses of your choosing. Each course runs five weeks and requires a minimum of 20 hours of student participation. You may take courses in any order.  Click here to see the list of specialized certificate tracks.

Approaches to Sustainable Community DevelopmentMarch 2nd, 2018
Technology and Community DevelopmentMarch 2nd, 2018
Building Climate Change Resilient CommunitiesMarch 2nd, 2018
Community MobilizationMarch 2nd, 2018

We also offer a wide array of specialized training and consultation services.  Our NEW “Preparing for Service” training was developed for service learning organizations to better ready their participants for overseas experiences. We also offer a tailored short course for chapters of Engineers Without Borders online or as an in-person short course.

Specialized Training and Consultation Services

Whatever your training needs, Village Earth can develop tailored training programs and curriculum for your project managers, field staff, or community leaders on a range of topics. We can deliver the trainings at our facilities at Colorado State University or in the field anywhere around the globe. Village Earth can offer one or two-week courses or more intensive short courses to fit the needs of your organization both online and in-person. Village Earth can also provide consultation, evaluation and networking services to individuals, communities, non governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and academic institutions. We can work with your group to develop a tailored and affordable package of services to help enhance the effectiveness of your programs in the field. We offer trainings in our community empowerment approach, mobilization and participation techniques, appropriate technology, participatory monitoring and evaluation, organizational capacity building, community-based mapping, participatory GIS, regional and cluster development programs, survey and evaluation research (qualitative & quantitative) and participatory video production.

Who should take these trainings? Our courses are ideally suited for organizations and individuals working in multi-sector, regional/cluster, integrated, and intermediate development projects where communities are free to determine their own development priorities. For individuals and organizations working on single-sector projects, our training programs can give you tools to determine the appropriateness of your development intervention based on community-determined priorities.

Village Earth’s training programs will benefit development practitioners, project directors, and volunteers working with local or international NGOs. Government officials, funding agencies, community leaders, extension workers, and relief workers making the transition to development (or post disaster reconstruction), students, and academics will also find these courses useful for their work and studies.

The following are just some of the organizations to which we have provided training and/or consulting services: CARE in Bosnia, Mercy Corps in Azerbaijan, CHF in Azerbaijan, IRC in Azerbaijan, Armenia Round Table, USDA, The Government of Sri Lanka, The Government of Cameroon, The Government of South Africa, Nigeria Youth Service Corps, Engineers Without Borders, and Trisakti University-Indonesia.  Click the link for more information on Village Earth’s consultation services.

To receive a free consultation about your group’s training needs today, contact Kristina Miller at or call us today at +1-970-237-3002 extension 503.

También se habla español – para información en español póngase en contacto con Kristina Miller, o por teléfono al +1-970-237-3002 extension 503.