WhyDev and Monash University entered into a partnership to create an online mentoring program initially for Master of International Development Practice students. It is the vision of both organisations that the program will eventually be extended to university students and development practitioners around the world.

What is it about?

The program consists of 10 modules completed over 14 weeks. Based on design planning and research, the modules have been cover topics ranging from management and leadership to networking and well being.

Objectives of the Colab mentoring program include:

  • To develop communication, planning, interpersonal and reflexive skills;
  • To learn more about the particular sector you would like to work in, building your tacit knowledge;
  • To improve your ability to network; and
  • To build a sustainable and long-term relationship between the mentor and mentee.

Why mentoring?

The value of a mentor as a guide, teacher and supporter is widely recognised. A mentor listens, is honest and provides relevant and appropriate support for professional development and career planning. Currently, there are no formal mentoring programs for development students and practitioners.

Impact to date

To date, over 150 participants have enrolled in the mentoring program. This includes both mentors and mentees. You can also download a summary of our evaluation of the pilot program in 2015. 



We are currently undertaking ongoing research on understanding career trajectories and mentoring in the development and humanitarian sector (Monash University Human Research Ethics Project Number MUHREC LR CF15/2404 – 2015000968).

Preliminary research based on a desk review and interviews suggest that mentoring is highly valued among development sector professionals, but there are few formal mentoring programs in place at tertiary level or within the sector.

If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more, please contact samanthi.gunawardana@monash.edu.au or WhyDev's Managing Director Maria M. Bartram maria@whydev.org