Global Master's in Development Practice

Global Master's in Development Practice Partner(s): Jeffrey Sachs
Earth Institute

Access: Private
Released: September 2009


The Global Master's in Development Practice (MDP) is a two-year degree providing graduate-level students with the skills and knowledge required to better identify and address the global challenges of sustainable development, such as poverty, population, health, conservation, climate change, and agricultural productivity. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has committed $15 million to create MDP programs at up to 15 universities worldwide over the next three years.

CCNMTL supports the MDP with a suite of technological tools to help achieve the program's goals. These include a range of customized tools that enable synchronous and asynchronous collaboration among the participants in shared courses taught simultaneously at many universities around the world, and a customized social network to encourage and foster a global community of sustainable development practitioners.

Project Details

CCNMTL’s development of MDP's customized technological environment grew out of the Center's experience in the Global Classroom project. In this project, synchronous and asynchronous tools are implemented to enable students and faculty at universities around the world to participate in global courses. Using videoconferencing technology adapted for the classroom, students in disparate locations can now have a live interactive discussion with the top thinkers in a global field of practice—without ever leaving their classrooms.

The Global Classroom approach is currently being implemented in a core course of the MDP program, “Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development Practice.” In this interdisciplinary course, guest lecturers highlight core issues on topics ranging from economics and health to agriculture, nutrition, water policy, and ethics. The core course content is presented through a combination of online videos and “live” global discussions with participants from around the world. Supplementing the videotaped lectures and live discussions, cross-institutional collaborative activities taking place within a customized course management system provide students and faculty with additional opportunities to share local knowledge and experiences--and to jointly investigate the key challenges of sustainable development.

CCNMTL also provides a number of tools that extend support of the MDP degree program beyond the level of individual courses. A customized professional social network provides a platform for idea sharing, project brainstorming, and professional networking among the global students and practitioners; moreover, a resource repository archives key course materials, documents, and data relevant to the field of sustainable development, providing free and open access to resources and data for use in future courses, research, and projects in the field.

Related news:
Mar-2011: CCNMTL Attends the Global MDP Summit 2011
Sep-2009: New Master's Program Offers Global Classroom
Jul-2009: CCNMTL Partner John McArthur Discusses Master's in Development Practice in The Huffington Post
Oct-2008: CCNMTL Partners with Earth Institute on New Master's Degree