From Idea to Impact: Sustainable Decision-Making in Development Corridors

In this micro-course, you will learn how to embed sustainability practices into development corridor conceptualization, investment, procurement, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.

 Course type: Micro-course
 Languages: English
 Estimated effort: 1 hour per module
Duration: 3 modules
Partners: London School of Economics, University of York, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, University of Cambridge, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, World Wildlife Fund, Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, University of Nairobi, African Conservation Centre


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Development corridors are extensive geographical areas, often crossing borders, targeted for public and private investment to catalyse economic growth, with broader objectives of achieving national development visions. Corridors often include the development of infrastructure such as roads, railways, ports, dams, pipelines, and internet cables, planned alongside broader interventions designed to create an enabling environment for private enterprise within a specific geographic area. Their implementation cuts across the purview of several national government sectors, and they have the potential to transform the economic and social life of large regions. However, if unplanned and executed poorly, these benefits may not materialise, and a whole host of new problems could be introduced, such as loss of livelihoods, widened inequalities, increased land conflict, and insecurity, worsening health and human wellbeing, irreversible damage to natural ecosystems and carbon storage, and increased vulnerability to climate change. 

This course has been developed to give an overview of key risks that emerge around development corridors, and how they can be avoided. Additionally, it emphasizes the opportunities that well planned, sustainable development corridors create.

About the course

The purpose of this course is to provide key information and tools for decision-makers to build greater sustainability practices into development corridor programmes. The course covers stages of corridor conceptualization, investment, procurement, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. This course is geared to decision makers and practitioners involved in the planning, implementation, and monitoring stages of development corridors.

Target audience

You may find yourself in a position, for instance, of being responsible for:

  • Attracting investors to sustainable infrastructure investments, especially as a government institution or private developer 
  • Conducting feasibility and scoping studies in project concept planning 
  • Ensuring Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) compliance 
  • Determining terms for lending and credit 
  • Contracting, conducting or implementing impact assessments at policies, programmes, and plans level (E.g., Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA)) or at a project level (E.g., Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs)  
  • Conducting research for baseline studies and/or evaluating impact e.g. for biodiversity or water resources 

If you can position yourself within any of these areas of work, you should be able to take away information from this course to incorporate into your working practices to improve your ability to make more sustainable decisions that maximise benefits and minimise costs to people and nature at each stage of the development corridor process, especially in the face of climate change.

Learning objectives

By the time you complete this course, you will be able to:

  • Make more sustainable decisions in the planning stages of development corridors to maximise benefits and minimise costs to people and nature at each stage of the development corridor process, especially in the face of climate change
  • Be aware of and use available tools to maximise social and environmental benefits
  • Understand how to develop and ensure a robust assessment with successful outcomes for society and nature

Course topics

The course will cover the following topics: 

  • Module 1: Introduction: Introduction to development corridors
  • Module 2: Sustainability standards in development corridors
  • Module 3: Impact assessments for development corridor practitioners

Course completion requirements

To receive the certificate of course completion, you must:

  • Complete all online lessons
  • Pass three quizzes
  • Complete the course satisfaction survey

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Course Includes

  • 7 Modules
  • 4 Activities
  • 3 quizzes
  • Course Certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

Syllabus

Module 1Module 2Module 3

Module 1: Introduction: Introduction to development corridors

Module 1 introduces learners to the definitions of development corridors, and provides insights to how practitioners can improve their environmental and social sustainability in planning stages.

Required: Lesson: Enhancing the sustainable planning of a development corridor: from investment to construction

Required: Quiz 1

Module 2. Sustainability standards in development corridors

Module 2 helps learners to critically assess the sustainability of corridor decisions in light of social and environmental impacts. This module introducers learners to the existing decision-making tools on the market for banks and financing bodies.

Required: Lesson: Enhancing development corridors’ capacity to meet sustainability standards

Required: Quiz 2

Module 3. Impact assessments for development corridor practitioners

Module 3 dives into the realities of conducting impact assessments from a national level and practitioner’s perspective. It outlines solutions for overcoming common challenges.

Required: Lesson: Impact assessment of development corridors for practitioners

Required: Quiz 3