International Development Training Design: Does Culture Count?

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Martha Merrill


This capstone, “International Development Training Design: Does Culture Count?” examines how short-term international training programs, structured with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Results Framework, do or do not cooperate within the cultural context of non-U.S. participants. It is argued that the existing framework supports a low context cultural dimension generally attributed to U.S. culture. A content analysis and case study approach is utilized on a specific U.S.-based training designed for Central Asian participants.

This research is intended to create awareness of how international development training does or does not complement and recognize the impact of culture. By investigating how a training program takes culture into consideration, one can create a more thoughtful and appropriate design, where culture is acknowledged; one can better understand how or why certain demands made upon the participants may be incompatible with their cultural dimensions and codes; and one can avoid the notion of forced development or the imposition of Western values by respecting the culture of other groups.


International and Intercultural Communication

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