The Development track provides students with the tools to analyze the effectiveness of development policies and a strong understanding of evidence-based policy-making. It focuses on development, broadly defined, beyond the traditional confines of economic development. Courses within this track raise a series of fundamental questions: Why is there such a wide disparity of access to basic goods and services for ordinary citizens? Are there different tools for helping us understand poverty and inequality? What are the current debates regarding policy solutions?

This track provides a nuanced understanding of persistent and emerging issues in the economics, politics, and practice of development in answering these questions. To effectively address the complex and multidimensional nature of policy-making, the track uses quantitative and qualitative tools to examine and address the root causes of poverty and inequality at several levels of analysis: nation states, institutions, households, and individuals. The approach is interdisciplinary, but allows for advanced coursework in political economy, development microeconomics, and macroeconomics. 

The courses within this specialization cover a wide array of themes as a response to current complex challenges, including state formation, political economy, humanitarian intervention, South-South networks, and policy evaluation. Pedagogically, we aim to develop students' ability to engage in independent, critical analysis of, and engagement with, development as a sphere of professional practice.

MPA students may complete a specialization in Development. To earn a specialization, MPA students must accumulate 12 credits from the list of courses in the track and take two of three specialist Gateway courses. Students must take at least two of the following three Gateway courses: Introduction to International Development (2 credits); Health, Poverty, and Development (2 credits); Failing States and Mobilizing Mafias: Haiti (2 credits). 

One-year MAPP students may complete a concentration in Development. To complete a concentration one-year MAPP students must:

  • earn a minimum of 6 course credits in the concentration they have selected and
  • write a thesis (also 6 credits) on a topic related to the same concentration.

To view available courses, please see the course directory here.