ACICIS’ Development Studies Immersion Program (DSIP) is a semester-long community development option hosted by Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Yogyakarta. This program allows participants to gain valuable ‘hands on’ experience in the field of international development through ‘frontline’ community development projects. The DSIP offers students the opportunity to undertake either an eight-week community development fieldwork module known as Student Community Service (SCS) or an eight-week professional Development Placement with a local community-based organisation as part of their semester in Yogyakarta.

New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants of $5,000 are available to ACICIS member university students participating in this program in 2016 and 2017.

See here for more information about the ACICIS New Colombo Plan Mobility Program Funding.

Student Community Service (SCS) is a two-month module designed and managed by local students in partnership with UGM’s Institute for Research and Community Services (LPPM) which sees students living and working in rural locations around the Yogyakarta area working on grassroots, community development projects.

The DSIP Development Placement is a two-month professional placement in partnership with local NGOs, community-based organisations and government agencies in Yogyakarta. The Development Placement offers students the chance to apply theoretical development knowledge in real-life professional contexts while fostering important practical skills in advocacy, public relations, administration, research and monitoring and evaluation.

The DSIP has been designed for students with no existing Indonesian language skills; however, students with existing language skills are welcome to participate.

Structure

The structure of the DSIP program is as follows:

Week 1-6
All students attend a four-day ACICIS orientation, including a language placement test. ACICIS will assist students in finding accommodation close to campus during orientation.
All students undertake an initial six weeks of intensive Indonesian language classes (126 hours in total) at UGM. Classes are held from Monday-Wednesday, from 9am to 4pm (inclusive of a daily two-hour tutorial session).
All students attend a series of English language lectures by local practitioners and experts in the Development Studies field. Seminars are scheduled for Friday and Thursday mornings or afternoons.
Week 7-14
Students choose either the Student Community Service stream or the DSIP Development Placement stream, as outlined below:
1. Student Community Service: A two-month module designed and managed by local students in partnership with UGM’s Institute for Research and Community Services (LPPM) which sees students living and working in rural locations around the Yogyakarta area working on grassroots, community development projects.2. DSIP Development Placement: A two-month Development Placement program in partnership with local NGOs, community-based organisations and government agencies in Yogyakarta. The Development Placement offers students the chance to apply theoretical development knowledge in real-life professional contexts while developing important practical skills in advocacy, public relations, administration, research and reporting.

Further information on both options is provided below.

Student Community Service Stream

The Student Community Service (SCS) module, or as it is better known in Indonesia, by the acronym ‘KKN’ (Kuliah Kerja Nyata), offers students the chance to participate in community development projects with fellow UGM students. For Indonesian students, this is a compulsory, fully credited, practicum program which must be completed prior to graduation. Programs are designed so that the knowledge and technical skills of recent graduates may be applied to real life situations. In most cases, students are expected to design their projects on location following an initial one-week survey period. Collaboration with local communities is viewed as the essential ingredient of all projects. SCS is managed by UGM’s Institute for Research and Community Services (LPPM), and UGM lecturers are assigned to oversee and assess individual field projects, but they do not devise projects themselves. This is the responsibility of student groups. ACICIS also provides a field supervisor to assist with the specific needs of ACICIS students.

SCS programs have a deliberate rural bias. Projects target low-income or marginalised segments of the community. Examples of previous SCS projects are as follows:

  • Environmental Conservation through sustainable agricultural practice.
  • The socialisation and development of natural disaster early warning systems in villages exposed to a high risk of landslides or tsunami.
  • Improving Human Development Index (HDI) via literacy campaigns in Java and Madura.
  • Housing reconstruction and the development of SME livelihoods in earthquake damaged areas.
  • Improving access to education through compulsory education programs.
  • Examples of past programs.

SCS projects are designed in accordance with a primary theme, e.g. Disaster Response Training for Village A, but students are expected to complete a diverse range of activities. Students are encouraged to design simple and achievable projects, and to not go into the program with a strict ‘outcome focus’. The program is designed as much for the experiential learning gains as it is for the creation of tangible outcomes. Students do not require a specific skill set to participate in the program. Social science students are generally in high demand on account of their critical thinking and strong observational skills.

Students in the SCS stream will depart for the field at the start of week seven (of the 14 week semester). The field placement is fulltime, with students allocated a total five days leave for the eight-week period. Additional leave is granted for the attendance of the seminar series.

DSIP Development Placement Stream

The DSIP Development Placement stream provides an opportunity for students to gain valuable experience working in community-based development organisation. The Development Placement offers students the chance to apply theoretical development knowledge in real-life professional contexts while developing important practical skills in advocacy, public relations, administration, research and reporting.

Throughout the eight-week Development Placement, students undertake a supervised placement at a participating Host Organisation. Host Organisations for the DSIP Development Placement stream include community-based organisations, government bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who work on a range of development issues, such as: gender, environmental conservation, corruption and governance, health and sanitation, and education.

Required tasks will vary depending on each Host Organisation. Without good reason and the permission of their workplace mentor, students must attend their placement during all contracted working hours for the eight weeks. Students must satisfy both their Host Organisation and ACICIS staff that they have performed all assigned tasks to a professional industry standard. On completion of the Development Placement, the workplace mentor will be asked to evaluate the student’s performance. The mentor will be asked to comment on criteria related to both generic skills (e.g. interpersonal, communication, professionalism, initiative) and discipline-specific knowledge. This feedback will inform each student’s end-of-semester student outcome evaluation report prepared by ACICIS’ Resident Director.

Applicants should be aware that they are applying for the program, not a specific placement. Participants are advised that it may not be possible for ACICIS to accommodate a student’s stated preferences with respect to their Development Placement Host Organisation. Additionally, all ACICIS placements within development organisations depend entirely on the goodwill and preparedness of such organisations to host participants. As such, Host Organisations retain the right to withdraw from the program or vary the number of participants they host at any stage. Therefore, while acting in good faith in preparing students for placements, ACICIS cannot guarantee any specific Development Placement site and participants must accept this need for flexibility as a condition of participation in the DSIP Development Placement stream.