What are the policies needed for global poverty reduction in the context of education, agriculture, health, trade and economic wellbeing in developing economies?

Sanford offers top-ranked environmental academics and expertise in environmental and energy policy to address policy innovations that affect the very health of our planet at a crucial time when science is being questioned. Sanford’s faculty are generating rigorous research to inform pressing policy challenges, including persistent pollution and climate change risks.

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. Sanford 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 areas.



Our faculty generate knowledge at local, state, national and global scales. They have advised World Bank, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corp., UNICEF and many field-based NGOs and community-based implementing organizations; trained thousands of foreign government officials in public finance and governance topics; identified crucial gaps in implementation of health care delivery globally and worked with global organizations to understand how to implement changes; worked to improve access to electricity and clean cook stoves in emerging economies, and much more.


Related programs/courses

Public Policy Studies major

PhD in Public Policy

Please visit the Duke Center for International Development website for more information.


Student Feature

Alix Michael is pursuing dual degrees: a Master of International Development Policy and a Master of Science in Global Health. Recently, she wrote about meeting and hearing from internationally reknowned physician and medical anthropologist Paul Farmer at Sanford.

Read Alix's Student Perspective

Research Feature

Faculty member Anirudh Krishna and Sanford PhD candidate Emily Rains looked at 9,000 households in three Indian cities to explore social mobility in India’s urban slums. They found that volatility is high in slums and upward gains are precarious for residents.

Read their paper

Faculty Spotlight

Faculty Spotlight


Sarah Bermeo is the Director of Graduate Studies for the MIDP program. Her research lies at the intersection of international relations and development, with a particular focus on relations between industrialized and developing countries.


Diversity Spotlight

MIDP arranged for a diverse panel of international development speakers for Global Career Days for MIDP and MPP students in fall 2020. Panels focused on International Development Management, Global Hot Topics, as well as Security and Peacebuilding.

Development Policy News

Featured Video

Paul Farmer @ Sanford

Faculty in the News: Development Policy

Featured Podcasts

Ways & Means

Life After Loss for Orphans in Africa

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Slum Detectives

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