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What is international development?
International development looks at improving the lives of individuals worldwide through areas of need and interest. In areas such as health, education, democracy, sustainability, and economics, people are better equipped to live more equitable lives with greater opportunities. The United Nations, through the UNDP, works on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in order to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030”. Countries are working to ensure that poverty, AIDS, and discrimination against women and girls are addressed in over 170 countries and territories (NET IMPACT).
<Watch the video to see highlights of the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, where 193 countries formally adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals>
1 billion children between the ages of 2-17 have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect within the past year.
Overview of development studies.
Make the World a Better Place
International Development Studies teach you to understand and address problems facing developing countries. It is a multi-disciplinary field that examines issues related to political science, economics, science, anthropology, sociology, environment, and many others. Gain critical skills in research, analysis, and communication to contribute to the management of global problems (KEYSTONE).
Careers in International Development
International development professionals work to reduce or eliminate poverty in developing countries. Practitioners in this vast field target issues ranging from global health to emerging market investment opportunities, at scales ranging from village-based enterprises to country-wide financial and government infrastructures.
There are a variety of different careers that offer experience with international development. Some opportunities to consider are positions with internationally-focused non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Peace Corps. Multilateral donor organizations, and partners in non-profit and private sectors.
With such a wide range of issues that international development focuses on, a wide array of jobs are available. Some of the job titles that a person interested in international development can pursue include advocacy, communications, consulting, fundraising, policy, and research (NET IMPACT).
International NGOs – make up the largest sub-sector. Organisations range from large global NGOs (non-governmental organisations) with hundreds of staff, such as Save the Children, to small, locally-based organisations with a handful of employees.
Development Consultancies – bid for work from government donor agencies such as DFID (Department for International Development) and international organisations such as the World Bank. There is a mix of specialist consultancies, such as IMC and Dalberg, and large management consultancies such as PwC.
International Organisations – include multilateral organisations such as UNICEF, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and development banks such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Visit our Careers in International Organisations page to find out more.
Foundations – include organisations such as the Clinton Foundation. These are philanthropic organisations that donate bursaries, fund projects and, in some cases, deliver support on the ground.
Government Aid Agencies – such as USAID, DFID and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zesammenarbeit). Work is often policy-based, with consulting firms frequently used to implement and deliver projects.
Social Enterprises – are typically small organisations run on private sector models but designed with a social purpose in mind. Escape the City carries vacancies in this area.
Academia– many universities around the world teach and research international development. A PhD is required in most cases. Devstud is a useful resource. Visit our Careers in Research page to find out more.
Think Tanks – are small organisations involved in research and policy work. Entry is usually with a Master’s. Visit our Careers in Research page to find out more.
Universities offering courses in the field of development studies