Home > International Development > News > 2015 > Engaging Citizens MOOC, March 2015


How to contact us

Department of International Development
6-8th Floors, Connaught House
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
WC2A 2AE  

Office hours:
10am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 4pm


Tel: +44 (020) 7955 6252/7425
+44 (020) 3486 2626



Tel: +44 (020) 7955 6565


Frequently Asked Questions


Please submit enquiries through our online query form


twitter-32   facebook-32


Engaging Citizens MOOC, March 2015

LSE's East Building, Houghton Street

Thursday 19 March 2015, 7.00-8.30pm

Venue: New Theatre, East Building
Speaker: Various (see below)

MOOC Event - Game Changer for Development?

Engaging citizens has a vital role to play in the process of development. It helps to improve transparency and accountability of public policies, to build trust with citizens, to forge consensus around important reforms, and to build the political and public support necessary to sustain them.

A number of institutions, including the London School of Economics, have demonstrated their commitment to this important agenda by developing a MOOC - a free, four-week online course on citizen engagement.

The course examines the role that citizen engagement can play in improving policymaking and public service delivery, and investigates the impact of new technologies in this process. The course is hosted by Coursera and starts on 15 March.

The Department of International Development is hosting a launch event on Thursday 19 March, in which a number of themes related to the MOOC will be discussed with a panel of experts.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #citizensengage

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries or specific requests, email Keith McDonald on k.mcdonald@lse.ac.uk or call 0203 486 2626.

Audio / Video Recording

You can now listen to the discussion or watch a full recording below.

To listen to (or download) a higher quality audio-only podcast, please visit this page.

About the Contributors

Opening remarks:

Jean Paul Faguet 

Jean-Paul Faguet is Professor of the Political Economy of Development and an Associate Researcher for the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD) at LSE. He is also Programme Director for the MSc Programme in Development Management.

Yesil Deniz, MSc in Development Management

Yesil Deniz is currently studying for an MSc in Development Management at LSE. Following her first degree, she undertook two years of work experience in development and internationally-funded project consultancy before returning to LSE to commence her postgraduate studies. Yesil's research interests relate to the intersection of gender, identity and policy, along with national and international wealth division.


MOOC Presenters:

Shirin Madon

Shirin Madon is Lecturer in International Development and Associate Professor for the Information Systems and Innovation Group (ISIG) in the Department of Management at LSE. Her research interests include e-government, ICTs and socio-economic development, and mobile usage in developing countries.

Leni Wild, Overseas Development Institute

Leni Wild is a Research Fellow in Politics and Governance at ODI. Her expertise lies in political economy and service delivery, accountability and aid, and fragile and post-conflict countries. She frequently works with a range of bilateral and multilateral agencies, as well as NGOs, to provide policy advice and guidance.

Björn-Sören Gigler, World Bank

Björn-Sören Gigler is Senior Governance Specialist at the World Bank. He is a political economist, and his main research field is the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on enhancing the well-being of poor communities. He has taught and carried out research on multidimensional aspects of poverty, human development, and ICT for development.



Abha Joshi-Ghani, World Bank

Abha Joshi-Ghani is the Director for Knowledge Exchange and Learning (WBIKL) at the World Bank Institute. She has headed the World Bank’s Global Urban Development Practice, and is the Head of the Global Urbanization Knowledge Platform and Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Urbanization of the World Economic Forum.



Vanessa Herringshaw, Transparency & Accountability Initiative

Vanessa Herringshaw is Program Director of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI). Her work has centred on strengthening accountability and governance, in areas including economic policy and poverty reduction, the extractive sector, health services and children’s rights. She joined T/AI after five years at the Revenue Watch Institute and a spell at Save the Children UK.

Dr Duncan Green, Professor in Practice

Duncan Green is Senior Strategic Advisor at Oxfam UK and a Professor in Practice in the Department of International Development at LSE. He was previously Senior Policy Adviser on trade and development at DfID (Department for International Development) and a Policy Analyst on trade and globalisation at CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development).

Fredrik Galtung, chief executive of Integrity Action

Fredrik Galtung is the chief executive of Integrity Action. He specialises in strategic corruption control, including issues of fraud and organizational integrity. He was the founder of the Integrity Education Network, which comprises over 400 universities, and the founding staff member of Transparency International, the world's first global anti-corruption NGO.   

Duncan Edwards, Programme Manager at IDS

Duncan Edwards is the Programme Manager for Making All Voices Count’s Research, Evidence and Learning component at the Institute of Development Studies. His work is focused on the building an evidence base in the field of citizen engagement and accountable responsive governance. He has particular interest in the role of innovation and technology in the governance, voice, transparency and accountability work.

Owen Barder, Professor in Practice, International Development

Owen Barder is Senior Fellow for the Center for Global Development and Visiting Professor in Practice at LSE. He has worked as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as well as for DfID, where he was Director of International Finance & Global Development Effectiveness, Director of Communications & Information, and Head of Africa Policy & Economics Department.


East Building, London School of Economics

About the Event

The MOOC provides a holistic overview of citizen engagement through interactive videos, resources, and activities. It explores underlying theories and concepts of citizen engagement; examines the role it can play in improving policymaking and public service delivery; and investigates the impact of new technologies that empower governments and citizens to work together more effectively, particularly in developing countries.

The course is taught by a faculty of global experts and practitioners, including:

  • John Gaventa (Institute for Development Studies),
  • Rakesh Rajani (Ford Foundation),
  • Danny Sriskandarajah (CIVICUS),
  • Jonathan Fox (American University),
  • and Beth Noveck (GovLab).

Through this course, we want to share and learn from the rich experiences of our development partners and course participants, and to contribute to the development of a global community of practice around citizen engagement.

Although the World Bank has been offering free e-learning courses for years, this is only the third MOOC that has been developed on Coursera - the world’s largest compatible platform with over 10 million users. The first two courses, on climate change and risk management, enabled us to reach an unprecedented number of people worldwide.

This new MOOC on citizen engagement is similar in international scope and will allow us to share cutting-edge research and insights with leaders, practitioners, and interested citizens around the world.

The course encourages collaboration and the sharing of ideas through open online discussions, dedicated social media channels, and Google Hangouts. Participants will share case studies from their own contexts with the broader group, allowing participants to learn not only from our presenters and facilitators but also from each other.

Students will also engage with existing communities of practice in this field, namely the Global Partnership for Social Accountability, Making All Voices Count, Participedia, and the Open Government Partnership, further utilizing the power of many to solve complex governance and development challenges.

The World Bank Group recently launched its new Strategic Framework for Mainstreaming Citizen Engagement in World Bank Group Operations. This framework builds on the WBG’s commitment to align all public and private sector interventions to our twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, and to make citizen engagement a critical feature of our business model.

Citizen engagement and MOOCs underscore the critical value of a public good, and recognize that the wisdom of the many is greater than the knowledge of the few.

This MOOC reflects our commitment to citizen engagement for development, and we hope that by leveraging the inclusive, participatory, and collaborative nature of the MOOC format we will be able to help build a truly global community dedicated to citizen-centric governance. 

Please join the conversation and register for the course: bit.ly/citizensengage #citizensengage.