Gone are the days when a master’s degree in international development was considered the key qualification to carving out a career in development. Today, those studying the sciences, medicine or education are finding their research has a direct effect on those living in the developing world.
This is thanks to the growing trend for research institutions to emerge from their “silos” and sponsor research in overlapping subjects, including tropical medicine and education — an approach which is particularly relevant in the developing world. This was also the impetus for for establishing the London International Development Center in 2008, bringing together social and natural scientists from Birkbeck Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Royal Veterinary College and the School for Oriental and African Studies.
“It reflects the emphasis on sustainability,” LIDC Director Jeff Waage, also a professor at the University of London, told Devex of the trend. “We find growing development opportunities in linking, for instance, health and education, or human, animal and environmental health, in developing countries.”
Jonathan Elliott, vice principal at RVC and a professor of veterinary clinical pharmacology, added that “while the funding is essentially for academics, we hope that the researchers will work in partnership with local people.”
Daphne Davies is a London-based freelance journalist and consultant with more than 30 years' experience in international development. She has worked with the U.N., the European Union, national governments and global civil society organizations, including Amnesty, WWF and LDC Watch. Her expertise is in monitoring government policies in relation to international cooperation. Her interests are in sustainability, social and economic matters, women and least developed countries.
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