Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Master’s in Development Practice

Finding a master's program in international development that incorporates the different components of the development process is almost impossible. Most programs tend to focus on specific areas such as economics or human rights, while neglecting others equally or more important components such as agriculture and public health.

This is why when we learn about the MacArthur-funded International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice effort to develop a postgraduate curriculum that tackles the multisectoral and interconnectedness nature of development, this blog celebrated big time the effort.

Now the foundation has announced that new universities will be joining Columbia University in offering a Master's in Development Practice (MDP) program.

Keep reading for more info...

Chicago, IL, June 30, 2009 – Supporting rigorous professional training for future leaders in the field of sustainable development, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today grants totaling $7.6 million to nine universities in seven countries to establish new Master's in Development Practice (MDP) programs. 

The Foundation has committed $15 million to seed the creation of such programs at up to 15 universities worldwide over the next three years.  With MacArthur support, Columbia University is creating the first MDP Program, which will launch this fall. 

MDP programs are designed to provide graduate students with training beyond the typical focus on classroom study of economics and management found in most development studies.  The program's core curriculum combines classroom study in a range of disciplines, including agriculture, policy, health, engineering, management, environmental science, education, and nutrition with field training experiences.

"Through our work around the globe, we at MacArthur understand that poverty, population, health, conservation, and human rights are all interconnected, requiring sustained and comprehensive interventions," said Foundation President Jonathan Fanton. "These new programs are a model for training the next generation of these critically needed professionals."

A Global Master's in Development Practice Secretariat, supported by MacArthur and based at Columbia University's Earth Institute, will help manage the MDP network of universities, develop an open-source repository for the MDP curriculum and other teaching materials, and will offer an online, Global Classroom on sustainable development for students worldwide.

The universities that will receive funding to establish the nine MDP programs are:

·         Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) will emphasize the health and governance-related aspects of sustainable development through its work with partners that include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CARE and the Carter Center.     

·         The Energy Resources Institute University (New Delhi, India) will emphasize energy and climate sciences, building on its contributions to scientific and policy research in energy, environment, and sustainable development. 

·         James Cook University (Cairns and Townsville, Australia) will offer coursework at its two campuses and field training in the Philippines and Indonesia, focusing on the challenges to sustainable development and governance in tropical island nations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. 

·         Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland) will integrate their teaching in international development and also partner with the National University of Rwanda to offer field training and coursework in conservation and sustainable development. 

·         Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) will build on its English-language degrees and Master's programs in international development and public administration to focus on development models for China. 

·         University of Cheikh Anta Diop (Dakar, Senegal) will focus on current development challenges facing Africa by integrating health, social and natural sciences, engineering, information technology, and management.  It will also serve as a MDP program hub for French-speaking West African nations.

·         University of Botswana (Gaborone, Botswana) will create a modular program designed for working professionals. Rigorous independent study will be complemented by two to three weeks of on campus training each semester.  University of Botswana will partner with University of Florida to offer field training experiences in Botswana.

·         University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.) will implement a program that includes the core curriculum, building on University of Florida's expertise in conservation and sustainable development, especially in Latin America. The program also incorporates faculty and student exchanges and a field-training program in Botswana, in partnership with University of Botswana. 

·         University of Ibadan (Ibadan, Nigeria) will build on existing graduate programs in health, science, and natural resources with the long-term goal of creating a Centre for Development Studies.  It will also serve as a MDP program hub for English-speaking West African nations.

The universities are expected to produce 250 graduates with a Master's in Development Practice degree by 2012, with a total of 750 students enrolled.  They were selected based on five criteria, including support from top university leadership, excellent infrastructure and academic programs, and the ability to serve as regional hub; geographic representation among students and exceptional faculty across the four core competencies of the natural, health, and social sciences and management; and a timeline and business plan for financial sustainability when funding ends in three years.  In 2010, MacArthur will fund up to five additional universities to create additional MDP programs.

The creation of the Master's in Development Practice Program was a key recommendation of the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, whose report was released in October 2008.  Established in 2007, the year-long Commission was co-chaired by John McArthur, Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Promise, and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and comprised of 20 top thinkers in the field of sustainable development from around the world. 

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world.  In addition to the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is changing children and society.  More information is available at www.macfound.org.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Workshop: Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis

Timely workshop for DC residents working on Food Security and Nutrition.

The Institute of Medicine is hosting a public workshop: Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis

July 14-16, 2009
The Kaiser Family Foundation
Barbara Jordan Conference Center
1330 G Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.

The Institute of Medicine will conduct a 3-day workshop to explore the implications of recent global food price increases and the current economic crisis on nutrition.

Confirmed speakers include:
Catherine Bertini & Dan Glickman, Chicago Initiative on Global Agricultural Development
Justin Lin, World Bank
Reynaldo Martorell, Emory University
Representative James McGovern, Roadmap to End Global Hunger
David Nabarro, UN Task Force on Global Food Security Crisis
Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Cornell University
Marie Ruel, IFPRI
Ricardo Uauy, University of Chile; London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine
Workshop presenters will describe the pathways to, and nutritional impacts of, rising food prices in conjunction with the economic crisis.

In addition, potential gaps in surveillance, responses to the crises on individual country and global levels, U.S. policies surrounding the crises, and actions to mitigate the current crises as well as prevent future crises will also be considered.

For more information about this project, please contact Gui Liu at gliu@nas.edu.

Ā© 2009 National Academy of Sciences

To view the workshop agenda or to register, please visit:

Monday, June 22, 2009

USAID Knowledge Management Division: 2009 Summer Seminar Series

Date: Wednesdays: July 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2009
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Venue: Center for Association Leadership
Location: Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
Attendance is open to all. For more information, please
contact ksc@usaid.gov

The Summer Seminar Series provides a venue for exploring a variety of
development topics pertaining to USAID's business. The selected topics
will bring presenters from within USAID, other US government agencies,
and our partner community. Seminar participants are exposed to
innovative approaches and diverse experiences in the Agency's
day-to-day operations and initiatives through 90 minute seminars which
include presentations and panel discussions. Please share this
announcement with your colleagues.

Highlights of the seminar series include topics and speakers such as:

July 29 - Integrating Gender in Agricultural Programs
Presenters: Invited: Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow,
Environment and Production Technology, International Food Policy
Research Institute
Bureau of Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade, Office of Agriculture, USAID

July 1 - What Capitalists and Slumdogs Now Have in Common
Presenter: Hernando De Soto, President, Institute for Liberty and Democracy

July 8 - Asia's Future: Critical Thinking for a Changing Environment
Presenters: Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Director, Environmental Change and
Security Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Mary Melnyk, Senior Advisor, Natural Resources Management, Asia and
Middle East Bureaus, USAID
Jennifer L. Turner, Director, China Environment Forum, Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars

July 15 - The Administrator's Forum Presents: Smart Power and
Development: Civilian-Military Cooperation
Presenters: Reuben Brigety, Director of the Sustainable Security
Program, Center for American Progress
Colonel Gregory A. Hermsmeyer, USAF, Office of the Secretary of
Defense Policy Staff
Linda Poteat, Director, Disaster Response, InterAction

July 22 - China in Africa
Presenters: His Excellency Ombeni Sefue, Ambassador of Tanzania to the
United States of America
Dr. Deborah Brautigam, Associate Professor, International Development
Program, School of International Service, American University
Dr David Dollar, Country Director, China and Mongolia, World Bank

Thank you for your time and we look forward to your attendance at what
will be an exciting knowledge sharing experience.

Rafael I Merchan

Implementing the Millennium Development Goals: What Have we Learned, What Are The Prospects?

For DC residents, see below info about event of the future of MDG

Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Time: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Venue: Academy for Educational Development (AED), Greeley Hall
Location: 1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

SID-Washington invites you to join us for our June Chapter Event on Wednesday, June 24th at the Academy for Educational Development in Washington, D.C.

With about two thirds of the MDG implementation period behind us, what are the prospects for success in meeting these goals? How is the global economic crisis affecting those prospects, and how is it likely to affect them in the future? What have we learned from the MDG experiment? Has rhetoric been followed by reality on the part of donors? Are MDG goals being achieved at the expense of other critical development, capacity building, or sustainability goals, as some critics have argued? Or, has international focus on the MDGs made other aspects of development assistance better?

Anita Sharma, North American Coordinator, United Nations Millennium Campaign
Raj Desai, Associate Professor of International Development, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Wolfensohn Center for Development, Brookings Institution
Eric V. Swanson, Program Manager, DEC Development Data Group, World Bank

Dennis De Tray, Independent Consultant; SID-Washington Board Member
To RSVP, please click here.

Rafael I Merchan