The establishment of the Global Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) Secretariat was one of the core recommendations of the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The year-long Commission was co-chaired by Professor Jeffrey Sachs and John W. McArthur, and comprised 20 eminent sustainable development experts and practitioners. The Global MDP Secretariat serves as the umbrella organization overseeing all global MDP programs and activities worldwide.


The Global Association of MDP programs has more than 30 Partners and Associates. Associates are institutions dedicated to building an MDP program and becoming full MDP Partners as per the guidelines set out in the Final Commission report. The MDP Secretariat will provide up to one year of support and guidance to help Associate institutions develop their MDP program and become a full Partner.

Benefits of Membership: One-year support and guidance from the MDP Secretariat as they develop a full-MDP program

Fee Structure: A membership fee is charged to all university members of the global association of MDP programs.

Prerequisites for Membership: Interest in building their capacity to offer a full MDP program. Submission of a narrative proposal with itemized budget. Details of proposal requirements summarized here:

  • Two-year proposed MDP curriculum, with names of courses, descriptions, and notation of each course as new or existing.
  • Bios of faculty, with an indication of which faculty will teach which course.
  • Detailed information on specific field training sites and projects.
  • Budget for five years, indicating how the program will support itself.
  • Indication of where in the curriculum issues of gender and development will be covered.
  • Proposed name of the proposed MDP program. We prefer all member programs be called Master’s in Development Practice.
  • Answers to the questions: (1) will partnerships with other universities be established (or existing relationships utilized) specifically for the MDP? and (2) If so, which ones, and what is the nature of the partnership?

Please visit or contact Lucia Rodriguez at for additional information.

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