International development policy requires a firm foundation of knowledge about development challenges and experiences, ability to apply a wide range of evaluative and analytical tools, an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving, and communications skills.

This concentration offers options for MPP students to tailor training in international development for a variety of careers. Graduates have secured jobs in applied development research, consulting, public financial analysis, impact and project evaluation, and management positions in government and non-government organizations.

Core MPP courses in economics, policy analysis, and statistics provide a solid grounding in the practical tools necessary for work in development. In addition, the foundation course, Globalization and Governance, covers international political, economic, and social implications of globalization, the design and operation of global governance institutions, and current policy issues of security and human rights.

MPP students interested in this concentration must select nine additional credits from a wide array of international development elective courses available at Sanford and across Duke taught by tenure-line faculty and practitioners.

Students can benefit from:

  • The Duke Center for International Development (DCID), based in the Sanford School, houses the mid-career Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) program. The center also has a Public Finance Group, with practitioner faculty who have decades of experience in international development policy, public finance, taxation and management. Faculty offer a plethora of development policy courses oriented towards practical applied development concepts and tools. Examples include: Impact Evaluation, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation for Practitioners, Development Finance, Project Management for International Development, Capacity Development, and Conflict, Security and Development.
  • Many of the Sanford tenure-line faculty have active field research projects in more than 20 countries with expertise in economics, environmental engineering, political science, energy policy, quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods, migration, and many other applied issue areas.
  • Campus visits, conferences, and speeches by renowned international development practitioners and researchers occur frequently, and offer opportunities for graduate student engagement and networking.
  • Devlab offers Duke graduate students the opportunity to work with development faculty from across Duke to learn applied project skills and to gain experience on USAID-funded projects.

Policy Concentration Advisor

Marcos A. Rangel

Marcos A. Rangel

Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Marcos A. Rangel is an applied microeconomist. His research focuses on the patterns of accumulation of human capital with particular attention to the intra-family decision process (parents and children), to the impact of policies to foment education and health, and to racial differentials. His research has contributed to a better understanding of how the negotiations between mother and fathers, and also how families insert themselves into societies, influence the allocation of resources towards investment in human capital of children.

Recent projects branched out in investigating the impact of prenatal care policies and maternal labor regulations over child outcomes, focusing on the innovative use of data to infer causal effects of policies. Current work takes advantage of a satellite pictures of areas in which agricultural activities rely on the use of fires to compute the impact of agricultural development, environmental regulation and business cycles over health outcomes of infants and mothers-to-be.

Rangel is a research affiliate with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT, the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), the Population Research Center at NORC/University of Chicago, and the Duke Population Research Institute (DuPRI). He is also an associate editor of The Journal of Development Economics. 


Policy Concentration Advisor

Sarah Blodgett Bermeo

Sarah Blodgett Bermeo

Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

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