Centre for Development Studies (CDS) at Birzeit University

The CDS provides a central point for the study of development generally and in Palestine specifically. As a research-oriented institution, its work plays a significant role in the activities of different groups both locally and internationally. These include senior scholars, policymakers, students and local communities and groups. The CDS is concerned both with the study of development and the role that communities play in the process. That concern reflects the context of ongoing occupation and conflict within which the CDS emerged. Hence, the CDS has provided important research on a wide range of topics, including several Palestine Human Development Reports for the UNDP, studies on Palestinian state-building (e.g. education and health systems) and social issues, with particular emphasis on more marginalized groups and issues such as women, youth and disability.

The CDS makes extensive use of its resources and its ability to access Palestinian communities and groups. It can draw on a wide range of experts, from its own highly trained core staff to affiliated senior associates within and outside Birzeit University and over 100 well-trained fieldworkers and supervisors throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory who provide the primary data that underpins much of the Centre’s work.

Since its foundation, the CDS has collaborated with a number of different donors, including the UNDP, the Ford Foundation, UNESCO, the World Bank, the European Union, Save the Children and various development agencies from Germany, Spain and Sweden. In 2007 it was constituted as a university centre, following a decade as the university-affiliated Development Studies Programme connected to its 1995 Human Development Project.


Department of Development Studies (DDS) at the University of Vienna

The DDS defines development as a transdisciplinary research field. Since its founding (the Project International Development was formed in 2002) the DDS has a distinctive emphasis in multi- and transdisciplinary teaching and research. Thus the scholars involved do have different disciplinary backgrounds, ranging from economics to social sciences and various area studies. The common goal is to contribute in training and through research to a better understanding of development and development practice, inequalities and power relations on different scales. DDS aims to challenge classical development theories and approaches and foster new and critical approaches to development theory, policy, and practice.

The DDS is home to five professors and approximately 80 scholars, most of them holding an appointment as lecturers. It is research-led, drawing much of the ongoing work of researchers beyond the department into the classroom. Its graduate and postgraduate programmes comprise a BA programme, an outgoing diploma programme, and a newly established PhD programme. Since October 2011 the Department offers an MA programme in Development Studies.