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Godfrey Chisomo Kalamula

MSc Project Planning and Management

Godfrey Chisomo Kalamula
  • From Malawi
  • Global Development Scholarship recipient

How would you introduce yourself?

I am Godfrey Chisomo Kalamula, a Malawian by nationality.

Since September 2014, I have been reading the Master of Science in Project Planning and Management courtesy of the University of Bradford Global Development Scholarship which I was awarded in 2014.

I am currently working on my research in which I am assessing how corruption affects the delivery of and access to education in public schools in Sub Saharan Africa.

My free time is often spent with friends, but I also have a soft spot for photography.

How did you come to study at BCID?

I would say it was a “combination of luck and dreaming in colour!”

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Education) Degree from Mzuzu University in Malawi, I realised that teaching in the classroom was not something that I was good at and hence moved into Malawi’s development sector where I worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, an Education Specialist and a Programme Manager.

Despite these positions being rewarding, I still wanted a postgraduate academic qualification in development studies.

I then started searching for institutions in Europe that offered development management related courses.

A blind search for development related Master’s degree programmes in UK universities led me to the BCID, University of Bradford where I fell in love with many of its courses.

I eventually opted for the Master in Science in Project Planning and Management.

Working for one of Malawi’s donor agencies, I personally concluded that some development projects in Malawi failed to produce desired outputs because either the project design was not good or the project was not well managed.

Studying courses like Project Planning Design and Appraisal (PPDA) and Project and Programme Management among others appealed to my heart as I looked at such as solutions to the challenge I had identified.

Despite being admitted to a number of universities including the University of Bradford, getting the associated academic funding to take up the offers proved tough and demotivating.

One day, while searching on the web for scholarships, I stumbled upon the University of Bradford Global Development Scholarship - then it was called the Countries in Crisis Scholarship. I applied for it and by the Grace of God, my application was successful.

What have been the best aspects of your experience?

My experience at University of Bradford has and continue to be awesome.

I have been amazed by the amount of “hands on experience” Professors have in their teaching fields - many have worked in developing countries so in addition to their academic footings, they also speak from experience.

Additionally, the teaching methodologies not only gave me the space to explore course materials further but I also gained experience in interpersonal communication and research which I think is a vital asset for Development Practitioners.

For instance, I had the opportunity through the Public Policy Analysis and Management course to work on a “live project” with the Bradford Metropolitan District Council where we evaluated the Council’s Community Managed Libraries.

Furthermore, the use of Group work in all the courses not only helped me meet new friends from across the globe but I also learnt a lot through sharing of culture, country practices, policies, career experiences and future plans. This is a valuable “take-away!"

The City of Bradford is also amazing.

Failure to mention experience gained through social events including tours that the International Student Office and the Students' Union organised would be unfair as such events form part of the amazing life I have experienced.

Summing up, my experience was and still is amazing - can ably say that given an opportunity to experience it, I would gladly grab it!

How does this programme relate to your own career goals?

I am passionate about my country Malawi and working on poverty eradication interventions has always been my career goal.

Having taken a career risk by quitting my job as a Programme Manager for one of Malawi’s bilateral donors, I am consoled by the volume of knowledge and experience I have now amassed.

I am still convinced that I made the best decision.

With my previous experience in Programme Management, I can say that BCID has ‘groomed’ me into a well-rounded Programme Management Specialist – thus my long term career dream has been fulfilled.

With the acquired technical and specialised knowledge in programme and development management, policy analysis and research, I am more than ready to actively participate in Malawi’s development journey.

I plan to work with institutions that are working on poverty reducing programmes, especially those with Good Governance (Anti-Corruption and Human Rights) and Education components in them.

Based on your experience would you recommend this programme to others?

A loud Yes! University of Bradford’s MSc in Project Planning and Management is for anyone who has an interest in projects, in developed and developing countries; public or private sector.

Personally, I feel that the programme not only equips one with skills enough to get employed but prepares one work even work as a consultant in programme designing, appraisal and management.

Being an internationally recognised programme, I think the course provides a lot of career opportunities.

July 2015