Permaculture for Development Workers


11th - 16th September 2018

Course Facilitators:

Chris Evans, Gisele Henriques, Dr Anne-Marie Mayer


Applewood Permaculture Centre, Herefordshire UK

Course Description

Permaculture is the conscious and ethical application of ecological principles in the design of sustainable human habitats. This course aims to introduce the use of permaculture design to improve the appropriateness and effectiveness of “development” through the application of ecological principles and design processes to programme design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Using case studies from different continents, and cutting edge development theory to illustrate how permaculture has been (and can be) successfully applied at all scales (household to community to larger regions), the course will provide an inspiring and pro-active set of tools to help international development-focused individuals, community-based organisations and non-governmental organisations run effective programmes.

Course content includes:
  • Spirals of erosion in international development
  • Introduction to permaculture ethics, principles and design processes
  • Building blocks and limiting factors in design
  • Observation and other design and planning tools and methods
  • Traditional cultural practice: the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Integrating programmes that build on and use indigenous knowledge and practice
  • Integrated responsive planning
  • Peer-to-peer design and training
  • Designing demonstration into projects
  • Ethical development – and from whose point of view?
  • Climate resilience
  • Community-led pre-disaster prevention and mitigation measures
  • Refugee and IDP camp and re-settlement design
  • Thematic design applied to WASH, health and nutrition, agriculture and other resilience building goals
  • Case studies and training materials
  • Research methods for evaluation and learning
  • Practical ideas and applications for 2/3rds world contexts
  • Avoiding overwork and burnout
  • Other topics to be included depending on training needs assessment

Designed and facilitated by experienced development workers and permaculture activists this course is in a “need to share” context.

After many years experience of grass-roots implementation of development projects that have used permaculture design process and principles in their planning and implementation, we know that they can work, and want to share why they work and how the learning can be applied to retrofit existing projects, or create new ones, to help make them more effective.

Use of participatory tools, case studies and in depth questioning of current practices all feature strongly in this course.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Apply permaculture design principles and methods in programme planning
  • Assess beneficiary/stakeholder aims for communities and organisations
  • Identify limiting factors/problems and resources in communities
  • Use input-output analysis for programme planning
  • Use a holistic approach to create a coherent project framework that matches policy, management and practice
  • Apply permaculture design principles and methods in programme implementation
  • Integrate different project activities e.g. farming/home gardening, WASH, nutrition, health, literacy, etc
  • Conduct resource analyses, focusing on indigenous and local resources
  • Design and plan effective follow-up programmes to trainings
  • Develop models for successful demonstration, evaluation and research
  • Apply permaculture design principles and methods in programme management
  • Identify and document relevant case studies, reasons for their success, and lessons learned
  • Consciously assess and plan for personal resilience and to avoid work overload, burnout and waste of human resource

This course is suitable for individuals and organisations working or aiming to work in the two-thirds world (also called the "Majority World", "Developing World" and "Global South") that are interested to examine and apply the principles of permaculture design and planning to their projects.

No previous permaculture knowledge is required, but if you are a permaculture enthusiast and activist looking to work in the two-thirds world this course will also give you a head start!

Facilitators & Venue

Chris BioChris lives at Applewood with his partner Looby and children Shanti and Teya. He has taught permaculture in the UK, Europe, Nepal, India, U.S.A. and Mexico. He is also a UK assessment level tutor for apprentices working towards their diploma in applied permaculture design with the Permaculture Association Britain.

Gisele Henriques is a food security and livelihoods specialist with 15 years experience in, supporting the work of local organizations, social movements and communities in Brazil, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Indonesia and Timor Leste, amongst others.

She is currently the resilient livelihoods adviser for CAFOD, supporting programs in resilient agriculture and livelihoods, particularly social enterprise and local economic development. She previously worked with CIDSE in Brussels, lobbying the EU and FAO where she was an active member of the civil society mechanism (CSM) of the UN Committee on World Food Security at the FAO in Rome.

She has a Masters in Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley as well as an MA in International Area Studies with a focus on small holder food producers and appropriate technology adaptation in Africa.

Gisele has been inspired by permaculture for the last 15 years, doing her Permaculture Design Course in Thailand with the Panya Project; and since, receiving her permaculture teacher training certificate with Rosemary Morrow. She actively participates in various initiatives in London and Portugal on permaculture and frequently weaves her permaculture skills into her development work.

The Venue
Applewood Permaculture Centre is a 20 acre smallholding. Looby and Chris are lucky to have this as their family home with their 2 daughters as well as a training centre. We have had the place since July 2016 so we are in the early days of observation and design ideas for setting this up as a demonstration centre. There are various teaching spaces, from heated yurt and barn space to outdoor marquee and open air. There are many diverse habitats here already; we have woodland, orchard, pasture, pool and gardens. Applewood is a tranquil sanctuary for wildlife and people alike. We are blessed with night times filled with owl hoots and immense starry skies that you’ll get to enjoy round an outside fire.


Price includes all tuition, course materials, camping, vegetarian food and refreshments.

For participants wanting indoor accommodation (single sex dormitory) add £8 per person per night.


11th-16th September 2018

(5 full days, arrive by 5pm on 11th September)



Concessions: £495 (students; means-tested benefits - 3 places available)
Low-Waged: £595 (<£12K p.a.)
Waged: £695
Organisations: £995

10% discount for early bird booking before 31st May 2018 (not for concessionary places)

Regretfully no scholarships/travel assistance available


Please contact Chris for further enquiries and booking

Landline: 01584 831195


Postcode is SY8 4JG - Orleton Common (more details provided on booking)