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UCD and TCD in Dublin deliver a joint MSc in Development Practice (MDP). The MDP is a world leading and uniquely innovative program that blends science and social science, the classroom with fieldwork, to train the next generation of professional sustainable development practitioners. It is part of a global association, with a Secretariat at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in New York.

A central component of the MDP curriculum entails fieldwork in developing countries and professional work-based placements with leading international intergovernmental organizations. There are four such placements over the two years. Since its inception, the Dublin MDP has quickly established a wide network of partner organizations for placements across the private sector, international non-governmental development sector, and local and international government agencies. This Centre is intended to focus on the synergies across these groups, building on the strengths of the MDP partnership to work on research-fieldwork-pilot studies that would fund the MDPs placements ex-ante and ex-post lead to advocacy and research outputs. There is also an opportunity to open the MDP modules up to the staff of the non-academic partners for professional development training.

The Centre of Sustainable Development Studies will also be a member of a global network of collaborating bodies translating research in Sustainable Development Solutions (SDS) into United Nations (UN) international public policy frameworks. This Centre will take the lead in Ireland, on behalf of the SDSN to drive collaborative, transdisciplinary research on the effects of the post-2015 goals, measuring the performance of development interventions and instruments at the regional, national, community, and household levels; and feeding these results back into policymaking.

Member Projects

The Centre will build four pillars with our partnership:

  1. Education – Professional training to MDP and PhD levels for government departments, universities, and state-based service organizations; academically accredited Professional Development Training for staff of partner organizations;
  2. Research – Joint implemented within non-academic partnerships, fieldwork/projects/pilot studies/research projects in Africa and Asia, supported by MDP students and academic supervisors;
  3. Advocacy – The Centre will take the lead in translating leading edge transdisciplinary research into policy and position papers, and driving these through the SDSN channels for consideration by international leaders for the post-2015 development agenda; MDP professionals will be central to the translational advocacy for the SDSN;
  4. Innovation – Translation of academic work into policy using digital solutions for use in governments, private sector, and civil society.