Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Second Advisor

Oystein S. LaBianca

Third Advisor

Clive W. Holland



Andrews University offers a graduate off-campus program in international development, the Master of International Development Administration (MIDA). The stimulus for this study came from the fact that there had never been an extensive investigation of the capacity building impact on the graduates of the off-campus Master of International Development Administration of Andrews University. Coupled with this, there was a very limited body of research on the importance and effect of education in international development when it comes to building the capacity of the practitioners of international development. This study determined the alumni’s perceptions of experiencing individual capacity building and transference of learning to the organizations that employ them. Just as important it also proposed an original grounded theory about capacity building and tested the capacity building theoretical framework of this study.


The research design used in this investigation is an explanatory ex-post-facto quantitative methodology design. There are also elements of qualitative data within the research process. There were six dependent variables: experienced individual capacity building, project cycle management, course delivery, andragogy, transformational learning, and transference of learning. There were two independent variables: gender and age. A survey questionnaire was developed to collect data on each variable from a random sample of the alumni (n= 70) who took their course work in English was surveyed. Two-way multivariate analysis of variance, one-way analysis of variance, frequency analysis, and path analysis were used to determine similarities, differences, and inter-correlations among the variables.


Alumni’s overall perception of the MIDA program was excellent, “It enabled me to achieve my goals” (Maurice). Over 92 % of the graduates thought they had experienced individual capacity building while in the program. The use of project cycle management as the basis around which to build the international development curriculum was highly valued by the alumni. Alumni indicated that the courses were delivered by professors that were knowledgeable and were open in their communication with the students. From the alumni’s perspective the principles and concepts of andragogy and transformative learning were upheld. A little over 86% of the respondents perceived they had transferred learning to their organization, while 13% had not. In contrast with the World Bank’s (Chin, 2008) experience which revealed that the transference of individual capacity building learning to the organizations was successful only about half the time. Because of the graduate program in capacity building in international development the alumni perceived that they were transferring their learning to their employing organizations and enabled them to advance the organizations own mission and goals. An unexpected result of the MIDA program was that over half of the alumni who worked for faith-based NGO’s when they entered the program are now employed by a different type of organization. Path analysis confirmed the veracity of the tested components of the study’s theoretical framework. Almost 70 percent of the variable “experiencing individual capacity building” was directly attributed to 4 variables: “project cycle management,” “andragogy,” “course delivery,” and “transformative learning.” Results also showed that 77 percent of “transference of learning” was directly accredited to “experiencing individual capacity building,” and indirectly influenced by the other 4 variables, and about 23% was due to unexplained or unknown factors.


Results from this study showed that a strong correlation of the alumni’s perception experiencing capacity building as an individual and the transference of their learning to their employing organizations due to the graduate educational program in international development to which they were exposed. ix

Subject Area

Andrews University. College of Arts and Science. Behavioral Science. International Development Program; Master of International Development Administration