About

Linked to the Jesuit ideal of using knowledge to serve society, Georgetown University’s Global Human Development Initiative positions the University to take a leading role in the global human development field. The work of the Initiative addresses a broad range of topics and geographic areas, and centers on the idea that all people deserve the opportunity to live long, healthy lives and the freedom to realize their capabilities. Fields such as "international" or "global development," and "international" or "development studies," among others, all reflect the scope of research at Georgetown. In addition, the University's interdisciplinary approach draws on educational programs in foreign service, international development policy, and global health, in additional to global human development.

Georgetown started planning this initiative in spring 2011 when members of the Georgetown faculty and administration from the Main Campus, the Medical Center and the Law Center formed a working group to focus on global human development across the entire university. New efforts in the research and scholarship agenda, educational programs, and outreach and service have succeeded in bringing together current strengths across three campuses in this important field of inquiry.

RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP

Georgetown is building on and extending existing strengths in research and scholarship by making funds available for individual and joint research projects to encourage an even deeper scholarly engagement. Most recently, for example, Georgetown scholars created case studies to highlight issues at the intersection of ethics and human rights. Another current project compares the experiences of urban refugees to other residents of urban centers and recommends how governments can improve response to urban displacement. Learn more about global human development research and scholarship at Georgetown.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Georgetown’s three campuses have multiple academic offerings relevant to the field, which provide a strong foundation for the initiative's work.

Within the Master of Public Policy program at the McCourt School of Public Policy (MSPP), many students choose to align their elective coursework with their interests and career goals. While not required, students may focus their elective coursework in a particular area of study, such as Development Policy.

In the School of Foreign Service (SFS) Master of Science in Foreign Service program, the International Development (ID) concentration provides grounding in (a) development theory and paradigms; (b) key development actors and institutions and their modes of operation; (c) specific operational tools and techniques necessary for successful program management; and (d) in-depth knowledge of a specific technical field. In addition, many programs in health and business contribute to Georgetown’s educational range.

Acting on the working group’s recommendations, the university has launched three new graduate programs to join its long-running offerings—a Master’s degree in Global Human Development in SFS, a Master’s in International Development Policy in MSPP, and a Master’s in Global Health in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

MASTER OF ARTS IN GLOBAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE

The SFS degree, which enrolled its first class of students in fall 2012, prepares students—through coursework, extracurricular activity and a practical fieldwork experience—to understand the challenges of development and provide them with the tools and experience to address those challenges as successful professionals.

MASTER OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY, MCCOURT SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY

The MSPP degree, which also enrolled its first class of students in fall 2012, is designed to help professionals with experience in development or related fields examine the challenges facing development programs worldwide. This program incorporates the full set of analytical, communications, and team-building skills necessary to become an effective leader and policy maker in international development policy.

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN GLOBAL HEALTH, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Georgetown’s new Master’s in Global Health program, which enrolled its first class of students in fall 2013, is based on an interdisciplinary and development-oriented approach to global health. The program offers new opportunities to individuals pursuing a career in the field, including a strong focus on quantitative, qualitative and applied social sector research in developing countries, and a “regional health and development” concentration.

OUTREACH AND SERVICE

To build on Georgetown’s traditionally strong convening capacity, and to boost development work around the world, the working group is planning three forms of outreach.

A major activity will be an annual lecture series for scholars, practitioners and Georgetown students. Each lecture will provide an opportunity to explore current and emerging issues in global human development with top leaders and thinkers.

The initiative will also begin planning a series of awards to recognize individuals or organizations who demonstrate great promise to make a significant difference in the world.

Finally, a regular conference event will provide a venue for participants from Georgetown and around the world to consider specific issues in global human development and contribute to progress. More information on these outreach events will be posted as it becomes available.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Georgetown is quickly becoming a destination for students, scholars, experts, policy-makers, and others who wish to make an impact in global human development. As a renowned global research institution, Georgetown offers unique academic strengths to the pursuit of human development studies.

The dedication of the university community has been key to the initiative's success, and Georgetown looks forward to working with local, national, and global communities as the work moves forward.