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Graduate Studies in International Development. EWB National Conference January 21, 2006. Outline. Introduction Survey Participants, questions, and answers Brief overview of some schools and programs. Introduction. History of International Development Studies (IDS)

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Graduate studies in international development

Graduate Studies in International Development

EWB National Conference

January 21, 2006


  • Introduction

  • Survey

    • Participants, questions, and answers

  • Brief overview of some schools and programs

  • Introduction

    • History of International Development Studies (IDS)

      • 1960’s – Volunteering overseas with CUSO, VSO, & Peace Corps

      • 1970’s – First IDS program at Sussex (UK); copied in Africa

      • 1980’s – Decade of professionalization in ID

      • 1990’s to Present – Diversification of development job market

    Survey participants
    Survey Participants

    • Chris Smart – EWB advisory board member

    • Lea Johnson – Development practitioner & SFU professor

    • Tess Ocol – IDS Master’s grad from Sussex

    • Katharine Cross – Studying MSc in Environment and Development at LSE

    • Alex Conliffe – Studying MSc in Environmental Change and Management at Oxford

    • Scott Griffiths – Studying Master’s in Public Administration in ID at KSG, Harvard

    • Eliza Wadell – Studying MSc in Water & Environmental Management at Loughborough

    Survey questions answers
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • Is grad studies in development worthwhile?

    • “Yes” – very good sorting out exercise but you have to WANT to do it

    • Investment in time & money but worth it if you want to be in top percentage

    • “Helps contextualize development into broader framework”

    • Employers looking for 5+ years experience and/or masters

    • Worthwhile only if you choose a degree that suits what you want to do

    Survey questions answers1
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • Should I take an interdisciplinary IDS program, or a more traditional disciplinary program (i.e. economics)?

    • Have to match person to program

    • Ask “am I private or public sector?”

    • Ask “am I a generalist or specialist?”

    • “Be clear about your sector, be clear about your specialty, be very choosy about your school”

    • Development is Interdisciplinary

    • Con – interdisciplinary programs can be taught at “lowest common denominator” level

    Survey questions answers2
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • What are the best development-related grad programs in Canada? In the world?

    • Canada – Dalhousie, Guelph, St. Mary’s, Normal Patterson School of International Affairs (Carleton)

    • Sussex, Oxford, LSE, Cambridge

    • Eliza recommends Loughborough (Water Engineering & Development Centre) if you want Water and Sanitation

    Survey questions answers3
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • How do Canada’s IDS programs compare with those from the UK or US?

    • Chris: Compare well, matter of emphasis

    • Lea: Canada is behind – “If you can afford it, go

      to UK”

    • No IDS in US – Area studies

    • UK – extremely international (37 people, 3 from UK, 50% from south) UK

    • More MSc options in UK

    • 1 year programs in UK, 2 years in Canada


    Survey questions answers4
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • Is it worth paying the big $$ to go to well-known schools?

    • “Wherever you go, you won’t waste money”

    • Cachet to big names – will help land jobs with big NGO’s/firms

    • Network, calibre of visiting speakers, reputation of profs, employers that come to recruit

    • Get feedback from students in course

    Survey questions answers5
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • What is the difference between a grad certificate, diploma, and masters? What should I take?

    • Certificate is short – training (no evaluation)

    • Master’s proves yourself at higher level of academia

    • Diploma is pre-master’s

    • Chris: Do diploma or master’s – engineers don’t get much “education”

    • “Literacy” in development

    Survey questions answers6
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • Should I take a practical or theoretical program?

    • Depends on interest

    • Ask “where do I want to be Monday morning?”

    • Master’s is more theoretical

    • Can get practical in industry or field

      • (Certificate program)

    Survey questions answers7
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • How much experience is necessary before doing grad studies in development?

    • At least one “cycle of life” in the field

    • “However you do this, decide to do it for 10 years”

    • Lea – Minimum 5 years!: “After your experience, you know what to look for and it makes it more real, and you can take out of it what you need”

    • Need to first create own vision of world

    • Tess: Classmates had at least 2 years experience w/ 1 year in development context

    Survey questions answers8
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • For someone who wants to contribute to international development but doesn’t want to do grad studies, what are the best ways that she can get involved through her professional career?

    • Find opportunities to contribute to your profession (ex. international firms)

    • “Get some kind of change going inside profession that [engineers] have to work with people and not just for the people”

    • Get practical experience, but be aware you will need to “invest in yourself”

    • LEARN about development

    Survey questions answers9
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • Would a person run into any ceilings later on in her professional life if she didn’t have a graduate degree in development?

    • Engineering is better than most fields – practical experience is valued

    • Very competitive field

    • Get at least diploma level

    Survey questions answers10
    Survey Questions & Answers

    • In your opinion, what are the biggest needs of the development sector (policy, governance, field workers, etc)?

    • Trend where southern governments will want more control over their development

    • Poorer countries will need traditional aid for a long period of time

    • AIDS – What will happen?

    • Need for people at all levels with technical background but also a strong handle on “soft” side of development

    Canadian grad programs
    Canadian Grad Programs

    • St. Mary’s

      • MA in IDS (2 years)

      • Graduate Diploma (8 months)

      • Core areas: Environment and Development, Development Theory, Gender and Development Rural Development, & Economic Development


    • Dalhousie

      • MA in IDS (2 years)


    Canadian grad programs1
    Canadian Grad Programs

    • Guelph

      • Add International Development Studies to MA, MSc, or MBA (2 years)


      • MA or MSc in Rural Planning & Development (2 years)


    • Carleton

      • MA in IA at Norman Patterson School of International Affairs


      • MA in Poli Sci


    Canadian grad programs2
    Canadian Grad Programs

    • UofT

      • MA in Poli Sci (Development Studies)


    • UBC

      • Graduate Certificate


    • SFU

      • Graduate Certificate WITH Master’s

    Uk grad programs
    UK Grad Programs

    • LSE Development Studies Institute

      • 1 year MSc programs (lots of them!)


      • External Study Program!!!


    • Cambridge

      • MPhil in Development Studies (Land Economy)


      • Centre of African Studies


    Uk grad programs1
    UK Grad Programs

    • Oxford

      • Queen Elizabeth House Centre for Development Studies


    • Sussex

      • Centre for Comparative Study in Culture, Development, & Environment


      • Institute of Development Studies






      • Centre for Advanced Study in International Development