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International Development Program | SIS

Candace Gibson
Program Coordinator
(202) 885-1657

Substantial Research Paper

The overall purpose of the Substantial Research Paper (SRP) is to require Masters students in the International Development Program to undertake a serious and sustained exercise in original research and writing, based either on secondary or primary material or both. More specifically, it is intended that students will enhance their research, analytical, and presentation capacities or skills through:

  • applying research methods and principles to an in-depth undertaking
  • relating research findings to major themes in both the ID program and in the area of concentration
  • planning and organizing material for a reasonably lengthy document
  • presenting findings thematically, clearly, logically and convincingly
  • drawing conclusions that not only include principal insights and themes, but also relate findings to selected themes in the program
  • sharing research experiences and findings with colleagues
  • preparing formal and effective oral presentations on their findings

Please carefully review the updated guidelines for AY 2016-2017.

Learn more about MAID capstone options here.

For questions on timeline and paperwork requirements for SRPs please contact Graduate Advisor Mary Barton ( For other inquiries please contact the ID Program Coordinator (

Previous SRP titles:

  • "Inclusion of the Marginalized: Approaches and Challenges to Accessing, Engaging, and Empowering Vulnerable Populations in Development Work."
  • Gender Disparities in Health: The Impact of Social Constructs and Cultural Competency."
  • Questioning Africa's New Model State: An Exploration of State Repression and Developmental Outcomes in Post-Conflict Rwanda."
  • "Mobilising Youth for Peace through Digital Gaming: A Marketing Strategy for Battle-for-Humanity."
  • "Inequality and Violence in El Salvador: What is the Role of a Multidimensional Inequality Measure?"
  • "The Effects of Foreign Direct Investment of Economic Growth in the Era of Financial Liberalisation"
  • "Another BRICS in the Wall: IFI Elite Perceptions of the New Development Bank"
  • "Water and Socio-economic Development: The Case of 'Localized Centralization' in Ghana"
  • "A Drop in the Bucket? The Effectiveness of Foreign Aid in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector"
  • "A Tale of Two Cities: Understanding Rural-to-Urban Migration due to Conflict"
  • "Evaluating Citizen Participation in ICT-Mediated Governance Processes: Participatory Budgeting in Yaoundé 6, Cameroon"
  • "Elite Convergence and the Role of Social Media in Moldova's 'Twitter Revolution'"
  • "A Critical Analysis of the Role of Men Who Have Sex With Men [MSM] in the Spread of HIV in the Middle East and North Africa"
  • "How Do Poverty Estimates Influence the World Bank and UN-HABITAT's Assistance for Urban Poverty Reduction Projects?"
  • "Toward Formalization? Determinants of Inclusive/Exclusive Urban Waste Management Approaches and Their Effects on the Informal Recycling Sectors in Lima and Bogotá"
  • "Targeting the Food Insecure for Cash Transfer in Niger: An Assessment of the Targeting Mechanism of the Projet Pilote des Filets Sociaux par le Cash Transfert"
  • "Instrumental and Developmental Participation: Towards Evaluating the Partners for Democratic Change Model"
  • "Evaluating the Food Security Benefits of Microfinance: FINCA International in Zambia"
  • "Challenging Eco-Cities: Narrative, Reality, and Implications for Development Policy"
  • "The Effects of Electoral Systems on Post-Conflict Reconstruction: A Comparative Study of Lebanon and Rwanda"
  • "Reproductive Health and Family Planning Decision-Making by Adolescent Girls in Rural Bangladesh"
  • "Livestock Ownership and Consumption of Animal Source Foods in Rural Uganda"
  • "Homeless Youth, Risk Behavior and the Structural Environment: A Look at the Available Evidence"
  • "Exploring Social and Sexual Network Characteristics among Young People at Risk for HIV in Washington, DC"
  • "A Mixed Methods Study of the Relationship between Rural Transportation Infrastructure and Enteric Disease in Northwest Ecuador"
  • "Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in the Caribbean: A Policy Analysis"
  • "Diabetes Control among Mapuche Women in the Chol-chol Rural Habitat"


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Tinker-Walker Fellowships

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Through the Irene Tinker-Millidge Walker Fellowship, students can receive financial support to offset the costs of including overseas field experience in their research, internship, or practicum.

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