The International Development Program (IDP) at American University is quite possibly the best established development program in the United States. For over 35 years, it has trained students to participate effectively in driving socio-economic, political, and environmental change throughout the world. The program's primary focus is the improvement of opportunities for the world's poor and disenfranchised. It has one of the largest concentrations of faculty both teaching and researching international development, and has approximately 1200 alumni in development-related positions around the world.
The program includes the following distinctive features:
In order to achieve ethical ends, technological means are required. The program emphasizes that development is a problem of values and politics as well as a technical issue. We examine methods to ensure that the values and visions of all concerned are incorporated into technological solutions, regardless of race, class, religion, or gender.
The program combines respect for theory and concept with training in state-of-the-art technical professional skills applicable in development institutions and in the field. These skills include policy analysis, program design, gender analysis, social assessment, cost-benefit analysis, microfinance, monitoring & evaluation, rapid appraisal techniques, conflict resolution, and information technology.
A multi-disciplinary core program combines with the opportunity to concentrate in one of a wide variety of specialized professional areas including development management, gender, economic policy, development economics, environment, small enterprise development, globalization, political economy, development policy, community development, children/youth and democracy and governance, and more.
Graduates of the program can combine macro-micro analysis to clarify the impacts of globalization and other macro-level factors on people in local communities, and assessment of the options that exist at the local and global levels for influencing these forces.
The use of Washington institutions and developing country locations as learning laboratories enables students to participate in internships and practicum experiences that combine research and action with an integrated, problem-solving approach to development challenges.