Volume 25/1996-1997 contents | Duke Policy News Online | Sanford Institute

"What this program does is create a little globe here."


Global Policy Development

Each year, at least two dozen development professionals from all over the world study public policy at the Sanford Institute through the Program in International Development Policy. PIDP Fellows are mid-career development professionals from diverse geographic backgrounds.

"We're looking for people with five to 10 years of work experience in development- related fields, who want to learn analytical skills that they can apply to a wide variety of problems when they return to their countries," says Vijaya Ramachandran, Deputy Director of the Institute's Center for International Development Research (CIDR).

The two-year program brings together economists, urban planners, environmental activists, engineers, geographers, lawyers, legislators, and a host of other professionals --this year from 17 countries on five continents. "In both industrialized and developing countries, the resources and environmental consequences of development are heavily influenced by decisions made in public, private and international organizations," Ramachandran says. "Sound policy analysis is essential to balance the economic, social, political and environmental interests and effects of development."

PIDP Fellows work with visiting professors as well as CIDR's core faculty to understand the elements of sound policy and to develop strategies they can apply to their individual situations. Also, as part of the learning process, Fellows spend the summer in an internship with a prominent development organization. "Last year we had Fellows at the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Harvard Institute for International Development in Moscow as well as numerous others," says Program Coordinator Jonathan Abels.

In addition to the internships, the Fellows augment their off-campus experience with an annual trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with key officials from government development and aid agencies. Group meetings for this year's trip included top-ranking staff from the U.S. Treasury, Oxfam, the U.S. Catholic Conference, World Bank and the Overseas Development Council.

The formation of this "little globe" each year translates into better understanding and opportunity for the actual globe. As Fellow Igor Shpak says of his time in the PIDP program: "I will tell old friends in Ukraine about my new friends, because the most valuable assets of the PIDP has been that it provided a multidimensional view of the world shaped by each Fellow's character and experience."

--Michael Chitwood

Volume 25/1996-1997 contents | Duke Policy News Online | Sanford Institute