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Collaborating with a Caribbean Country 

Dr. Martha Cruz Zuniga met with authorities at the Ministry of education to discuss about a project intended to help the ministry design a policy that integrates technology in schools. The goal of the project is to help student’s gain essential technology skills while at school that would allow them to become life long learners.  


IED students’ trip to Guatemala

Our own, Katherine and Erica, IEDM and IEDP graduate students traveled to Guatemala with their advisor Dr. Maria Aguirre for their applied research project (ARP) that provides education to adults that have fallen out of education system. The project particularly focused on indigenous women that are key to an integral approach to Guatemala’s development effort as these women are the core of their family and community


Trip to Abidjan

Dr. Maria Aguirre, Estefania Cohn, and Andrea Vazquez traveled to Ivory Coast to train Monitoring and Evaluation division as well as program department of the African Development Bank on Integral development evaluation approach.

Summer Graduates 

Congratulations, our IED summer graduates on successfully defending your Applied Research Project!





Dr. Cruz's trip to India

Last month, Dr.Cruz traveled to Chennai, India to participate in discussions with CRS about ongoing research projects and results of assessment, as well as about future cooperation.



West Bank Trip

On May 21, lead by Dr. Maria Aguirre a team of IED students: Estefania Cohn, Andrea Vazquez and Selamawit Bekele traveled to the WestBank region. The field trip was conducted as part of an impact evaluation of a Maternal Health project run by the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Integral Economic Development (IED) Master’s Programs Celebrate New Graduates

On Saturday, December 5, the Integral Economic Development (IED) Master’s Programs hosted an event at CUA to celebrate its new graduates from the Integral Economic Development Management (IEDM) and the Integral Economic Development Policy (IEDP) programs. The Associate Dean and Director of Finance, Dr. Reza Saidi spoke to new graduates at the event.

Dean Saidi told graduates to remember that “You are going to face many challenges and setbacks.  To get somewhere you should open the door and get out even if it is raining and you get wet. You have to take chances along the way.  To succeed you need luck - to be in the right place and at the right time. You need to pause once a while and reflect on yourself.  If you do not know how to do something you do not have to pretend, since you have learned how to research for a solution. You have learned to rely on team work. You cannot do it all alone.”

He encouraged them all to dream big, but to be ready to patiently pursue that goal over years. “Don't be impatient- you will one day get there. Look at me: coming from a small island in the southern part of Iran. And now I am here …”

The following students were congratulated on the occasion: Clare Ofodile, Hanadi Alabaad, Omar Fallatah, Ruaa AlAbdulRahman, Ana Hernandez, and Andrew Robles Sol from the IEDM program. From the IEDP program, Estefania Cohn and Andrea Vazquez were also honored.

In the picture Dean Saidi appears at the back row among some faculty and new graduates.

Dean Saidi recited this Persian poem by Omar Khayam :

 "The caravan of life shall always pass

Beware that is fresh as sweet young grass

Let’s not worry about what tomorrow will amass

Fill my cup again, this night will pass, alas."





Dr. Aguirre Highlights Implications of Dignity for International Development 

NOTRE DAME, IN - On October 22-24, Maria Sophia Aguirre, professor of economics at the Catholic University of America, was a major contributor at the second international Human Dignity and Human Development Conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame's Kellogg Institute for International Studies. The conference is part of a multi-year research initiative investigating the role of human dignity in the practice of international development.

Aguirre related the importance of human dignity to integral economic development. "Integral sustainable development incorporates an integral vision of the person," she said. "It focuses on the economic agent’s decision process, acknowledging her in her social dimension. It seeks to respect the dignity of the human, strengthen the family, and foster civil and social responsibility."



At the conference, development practitioners and scholars examined the implications of human dignity for development theory and practice, considering whether human dignity can serve as a common connector among predominant development frameworks, including the capability, wellbeing, and happiness approaches.

"Approaching human development from the perspective of human dignity serves as a locus across differences that might otherwise be intractable in the global environment," said Kellogg Institute Director and legal scholar Paolo Carozza, who leads the initiative.   

Part of a series of gatherings that make up the larger research initiative, the conference aspires to produce viable recommendations for implementing the emphasis on human dignity explicit in the United Nations’ post-2015 sustainable development agenda. 

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies, part of the University of Notre Dame's new Keough School of Global Affairs, is an interdisciplinary community of scholars and students from across the University and around the world that promotes research, provides educational opportunities, and builds linkages related to two topics critical to our world -- democracy and human development.






The Integral Economic Development Graduate Program Highlighted in Devex Publication

A recent article from Devex has highlighted the importance of students’ quantitative skills and technologic abilities in the development field. The article underlines the opinion of directors of different graduate development programs, such as the Chair of the Integral Economic Development program at Catholic University of America, Dr. Martha Cruz-Zuniga.

“[F]ollowing the economic crisis there has been a decline in funding and there is more competition now for projects. There is a need to see specific ...results that come with data analysis and a need to be more rigorous.”

To read the article, go to:


New tech and more numbers: Is your global development grad program keeping pace?

By Amy Lieberman 28 July 2015


  What should students and universities be doing to keep up with the changing demands of the global development sector? Photo by: Ford School / CC BY-ND

Dr. Cruz at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Last Friday, Dr. Cruz spoke at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), held in New York by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The forum discussed the topic of "Strengthening integration, implementation and review - the HLPF after 2015." Dr. Cruz’s presentation was on “Refugees, Education and Development.”

Integral Economic Development (IED) Master’s Programs Celebrate New Graduates

On Tuesday, June 16th, the Integral Economic Development (IED) Master’s Programs hosted an event at CUA to celebrate its new graduates from the Integral Economic Development Management (IEDM) and the Integral Economic Development Policy (IEDP) programs. The Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Dr. Brian Engelland, spoke to new graduates at the event.
Dean Engelland told graduates to remember that “The education you’ve received in your graduate program has shown you how to apply an objective reality to the question of integral economic development. This is a prudent approach that is vastly superior to feelings-based analysis.” In order to cultivate prudence, Dean Engelland recommended two steps: “First, keep your eye on your goal, which is not the earthly goal of acceptance or comfort or prosperity. Rather, it is that heavenly gold and silver awarded for a job well done. Second, you have received a wonderful education, so don’t hesitate to pass it on to others. There IS such a thing as objective truth. When your friends and colleagues use feelings as the basis for decision-making, ask them to step back and apply a little prudence. Eventually, like ripples in the water caused by a stone tossed into a lake, your actions will have a profound impact on all of society.”
The following students were congratulated on the occasion: Omar Fallatah, Huda Alahmdi, Brenda Yoboue, Lylian Peraza, Christina Wist, Louie Feagans, Rachel Sladich, Liga Chongwa, and Bander Alalwi from the IEDM program. From the IEDP program, Nasim Mahmoud and Kevin Kamto were also honored.
In the picture Dean Engelland appears at the center among some faculty and new graduates.

For more information about the master’s programs, please visit and for questions, please contact us at:








Personal Insights into International Development

With over fifteen years of work experience in project management, grants management, program operations, financial management and program monitoring and evaluation, Mary Ngugi has myriad experiences from which she offers her advice and perspectives. Ms. Ngugi has worked in Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia. She has also been involved in various developmental sectors including democracy and governance, HIV/AIDS, disability, conservation of resources, agriculture and institutional strengthening. At the spring semester’s final Leaders in Development seminar, Ms. Ngugi emphasized that the method for ensuring a good start-up for projects is to look for local partners, engage donors, and understand accountability. Also important is understanding the local landscape and encouraging people to participate in their own development. Finally, she offered this advice: When you’re out in the field, remember to understand this: “Who owns the problem, and who owns the solution?”


In the Press: Professor Paloma Duran Discusses Transition to the Sustainable Development Goals

Dr. Paloma Duran, Integral Economic Development professor and Director of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund, was recently featured in the Inter Press Service News Agency. Dr. Duran discussed the upcoming transition from the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 agenda. She discussed programs currently being implemented in several countries, and how the SGD Fund is working to bring together all relevant partners, including U.N. agencies, national governments, academia, civil society, and private sector businesses. Click here to read the full article.


Future State 2030: How Global Trends are Shaping the Development Challenge

Trevor Davies, Global Head of the International Development Assistance Services Center of Excellence at KPMG, spoke to program students about trends in world populations, poverty levels, and the need for significant development programs to overcome challenges such as shortages of teachers. Mr. Davies started his career in private sector development with Thorn EMI before joining KPMG in 1989. He worked on the acquisition of ICL for Fujitsu, and as a result, worked closely with the UK government, leading to roles supporting HM Treasury and UK Cabinet Office on complex change programs. Since then, Mr. Davies has acted as reform adviser in the Office of the President of Guyana, and for the Prime Ministers of Grenada and Jamaica. He also served as adviser to President Mandela's Provincial Review Commission in South Africa. He has led poverty alleviation, economic development, Public Private Partnerships and public sector reform projects in a wide range of fragile states and least developed countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In his presentation, he discussed the need for greater domestic resource mobilization: developing capability within a country, rather than “flying it in”. Mr. Davies explains KPMG’s development work as integral to the agency’s business platform. As he explains, “If you’ve got a strong, stable community, you’ve got a good chance of having strong, stable businesses. Those business could be our future clients.”

Accessing the Forgotten, Marginalized and Vulnerable: Getting Hidden Issues onto Big Agendas

Antony Duttine, Rehabilitation Advisor at Handicap International, presented at the weekly Leaders in Development seminar on the link between poverty and disability, and the important role of advocacy. In his role, Mr. Duttine works to promote civil society and human rights for all, discussing the need for inclusive education that provides for the needs of every individual. His current research focuses on the economic effectiveness of rehabilitation, and his efforts to put rehabilitation on the global health agenda stem from an understanding of the underlying causes and impairments that lead to disability. As Mr. Duttine explained, diabetes is the number one cause of amputation worldwide, and as development professionals we must understand that not including disability in the conversation leads to not understanding fully the very issues we seek to address.


Africa’s Evolving Patterns of Violence and Examples of Practical Interventions

Neal Kringel, Director of the Africa Operations Team within the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, U.S. Department of State, addressed IED Program students on the evolution of challenges in Africa. Mr. Kringel, who joined the Department of State in 2011 after a distinguished 27-year career in the U.S. Air Force as a Navigator and Africa foreign area officer, discussed U.S. policy objectives in Africa and cited examples patterns of violence, specifically the larger trend of armed groups exploiting disenfranchised populations in border areas neglected by central governments. He identified several practical approaches for addressing the violence: building new alliances, bridging borders, focusing attention and resources on conflict, and amplifying voices of change. Finally, he concluded with specific examples of work currently being carried out in several African countries and discussed the possibilities for future developments.


From Mule Back to Three Hundred Million Dollar Program Manager: a Perspective on the Premise, Practice, and Peril of Development

Christopher Broughton, currently the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation Country Team Lead for the development of a $250 million energy program for Benin, spoke to Integral Economic Development Program students about the multifaceted nature of development. Mr. Broughton described development as progress not just in the economic sense, but also including religious and national development, among others. Describing development as more than just the exchange of money, he explained that development involves people creating better lives for themselves, while also creating better lives for their children. Mr. Broughton described his diverse work experience in the field, including as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua, Presidential Management Fellow at USAID, Country Coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. Department of State's Office of Foreign Assistance, and Director for Stability Operations on the White House National Security Council staff. He advised students to not lose sight of the big picture, but also not to become hyper-focused.


Development Perspectives from a USAID Implementing Partner

What does it take to work in development? How has the field changed in recent years? Rajan Kapoor, a technical manager at MSI, shared valuable insight and tips with students at this week’s Leaders in Development Seminar. He discussed international development as an industry, describing the various players and key partners involved. He also identified subject-matter expertise, experience abroad, and the ability to speak multiple languages as necessary prerequisites to working in development. Drawing on his own experiences, he stated that conducting effective programs and measuring results in difficult environments, such as war zones, continues to be a challenge. Bigger issues such as climate change have to be incorporated into programming. We have to ask ourselves, as new technology becomes available: Are we using those tools effectively?

Our Shared Opportunity: A Vision for Global Prosperity


“The world is changing in all kinds of positive ways. We, the United States, want to participate in the shared opportunity that is development,” remarked Daniel Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) at this week’s Leaders in Development Seminar. Mr. Runde, who in 2010 was named one of “40 under 40 in International Development in Washington” by the Devex Group, discussed the dramatic shift in how developed countries have engaged with developing countries over the last 50 years. By considering the role of official development assistance and private enterprise, we can identify opportunities to make a difference. Globalization can be a positive force for development because of its ability to connect economies to global supply chains. By resetting social contracts, considering the role of taxes and governments who are willing to make the changes needed, and using trade as a platform for development, we can connect people to the positive side of globalization.

United We Stand, Divided We Beg

Patricia Ware, President and CEO of The Ware Development Group, joined IED Program students and faculty to share her perspectives on community development and relationship-building. Ms. Ware acknowledged that the most important focus of economic development must be empowerment and sustainability within the community. “Lack of unity in communities is a barrier to people being able to take care of themselves,” she stated. “Everyone in that community brings something to the table – that’s what makes up a community.” She also discussed the psychology of poverty and the importance of understanding the psychology of race when working in development


Quality Assurance in the Nigerian Higher Education Sector

To open the Spring 2015 semester’s Leaders in Development series, The Integral Economic Development Program hosted Dr. Theresa Okafor, Director at the Quality Assurance and Research Development Agency in Nigeria (QAARDAN). Dr. Okafor provided an overview of the education system in Nigeria, speaking of the ineptitude of teachers at the feeder level and how that, in turn, affects students at the tertiary level. Only 4% of students in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to university education, and Dr. Okafor sees opportunity for significant positive changes through the use of a new quality assurance model. This model internalizes quality assurance, placing the onus on schools and school leadership, and shifts from a judgmental perspective to one that is developmental and which can create positive changes.

Integral Human Development in Practice

Dr. David Leege, Director of University Engagement and Research at Catholic Relief Services, spoke to IED Program students about the application of the integral approach around the world. Drawing on his vast overseas experience, Dr. Leege provided relevant examples of the benefit of the integral approach. Discussing programs in Africa which focused solely on economic development, but neglected to include the components of justice and peace, Dr. Leege explained how in Rwanda, for example, failing to include the integral approach ultimately led to genocide. He explained that integral human development is development of the whole person, and that "people reach their full human potential in an atmosphere of peace, social justice, and human dignity.”

An Overview of the Asian Development Bank

Mr. Craig Steffensen, North American Representative for the Asian Development Bank (ADB), spoke to students during the weekly Leaders in Development Seminar. Mr. Steffensen highlighted that two-thirds of the world’s poor live in Asia, and ADB provides direct assistance to these countries in support of development efforts. Specifically, ADB works in 5 core areas: infrastructure, environment, regional cooperation and integration, finance sector development, and education. The ADB also provides assistance in the areas of health, agriculture, and disaster and emergency assistance. Within Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) member states, immigration from rural to urban areas is occurring at a rate of 5,000 people per hour. Mr. Steffensen explained that the prospects for growth in this region are bright, but infrastructure development needs to catch up.

Doing Research at the Inter-American Development Bank

Dr. Eduardo Cavallo, Lead Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), spoke to students about the IDB’s Research Department. The Research Department generates new ideas to enrich the knowledge base that supports sustainable and equitable development. Through policy dialogue and advice, the IDB is able to assist authorities in the region and promote topics such as productivity, managing debt, and taxation. Dr. Cavallo asked, “What is the impact your research has?” He shared some of his research, explaining that natural disasters matter for economic development, and infrastructure gaps must be reduced to help accelerate economic growth. Investing in infrastructure supports long-term growth; short-term aid response to natural disasters does not solve growth problems. Long-term financing must be supported by domestic savings, both public and private.

Making Connections: Students Visit the Inter-American Development Bank

Being located in D.C. is just one of the many benefits of the Integral Economic Development Program at the Catholic University of America. Top international development agencies are headquartered here, and IED students are a natural fit. In late October 2014, students spent an afternoon at the Inter-American Development Bank, which promotes sustainable development throughout Latin America and the Caribbean by providing financial resources to support projects in key sectors.
Students met with representatives of various departments to learn about the IDB, discuss current projects and evaluations and recent innovative strategies, and to learn about internship and employment opportunities. The Division Chief of the Office of Strategy Planning and Development Effectiveness, Arturo Jose Galindo, reviewed current projects supported by IDB throughout the region. Students discussed impact evaluations and provided insight through their own experiences working in the area. By connecting students with organizations such as the IDB, the program effectively promotes its own leaders in development.


Sustainable Development: Why Language Matters

“Is language developed to the point that communities around the world can interact as we do? What happens when minority languages don’t speak the language of education?” asks Bill Hampton, Director of International Relations at SIL International. As an international NGO looking through the lens of language, SIL works in over 60 countries to document languages, helping people to create their own dictionaries in places where language may have never been written. Mr. Hampton explained that language is a way people come together, but can also be a barrier. He provided examples of his extensive work in Southeast Asia, where young children are denied proper access to education because they do not speak the majority language. Working with children such as these, SIL promotes literacy in the mother tongue, which is a skill essential to being able to learn additional languages.

“Your language is the greatest representation of your culture and identity,” says Mr. Hampton. “In development, we have to understand this.”


Multilateralism in the Americas: The Case of the Organization of American States

Ambassador Alfonso Quiñonez, Secretary for External Relations at the Organization of American States (OAS), spoke to Integral Economic Development Program faculty and students about the background of OAS and the current agenda. As the world’s oldest regional organization, OAS has a history that is as rich and diverse as its members. Thirty-five member states and more than sixty permanent observers contribute to the structure of the organization, whose four main “pillars” are democracy, human rights, security, and development. Ambassador Quiñonez described the value added by the organization, explaining the possibility of a country to continue engaging other countries in a pluralistic way, which can be more efficient than in a bilateral way. He also provided timely examples of multinational challenges, such as migration, drug trafficking, environment, and trade, which he stated “require a multilateral mechanism to address these issues.”

MicroCredit - Strengths, Limitations, and Trends

Student seminarOn Wednesday, October 1st, the IED Program hosted Damian von Stauffenberg, Founder and Chairman of the Board at Microrate, to discuss microcredit and its role in development. As the world's first rating agency dedicated to evaluating the performance and risk in microfinance institutions and microfinance investment vehicles, Microrate’s primary goal is to promote growth in the microfinance industry by facilitating the efficient flow of money from capital markets to MFIs through independent evaluation and increased transparency. Mr. von Stauffenberg drew on his 25 years of experience at the World Bank and its private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to provide a background of the microcredit industry. He specifically discussed how microcredit has been leveraged and limited in promoting development, and identified the potential of people as the source of success, stating that when you tap into those thousands of people in developing countries – “creative human capital” – and combine that with finances, extraordinary things happen.

A Voice for United Change
Sam Worthington, President and CEO, InterAction

SeminarHow do you work for a peaceful, just, and prosperous world? Is the solution government initiatives, creating entrepreneurial opportunity, promoting NGOs, or working with individuals? InterAction bridges the gap between policy and reality in its twofold approach to development by (1) bringing the major players together to share best practices and work collectively to affect change on the ground, and (2) advocating policy changes and partnering with governments to ensure sustainability throughout society. As the world’s largest alliance of NGOs, InterAction focuses on humanitarian causes, NGO accountability, and partnerships. As CEO Sam Worthington summarizes, “It’s all about relationships. InterAction develops relationships with leaders of NGOs and governments so we can really focus on sustainable development.”


The Keys to Successful Foreign Assistance

In his diverse career working with multiple U.S. government departments and agencies, international assistance agencies from other countries, and hundreds of U.S. and international NGOs, Dr. Kent Hill has seen all sides of foreign assistance. One thing his experience has taught him is that democracy and civil society are necessary ingredients, and we don’t have the recipe to implement them quickly. “What are the conditions that make democracy and civil society possible?” he asks. Pointing to studies by the PEW foundation, Dr. Hill identified religious freedom as a precursor to economic wellbeing. He provided the example of many national leaders who use their power in a way to undermine democracy, and stated that for democracy to be possible, such leaders have to learn the ability to tolerate minorities. In his words, “You cannot define democracy as majority rule; in other words, the majority does what it wants. Majority rule, yes, but with minority rights. You must have that for democracy.” And in a democratic society, development is possible because programs move in a direction in which people will flourish. To make development successful, he offers the following advice: (1) Think early on about sustainability. Foreign assistance cannot just be a handout; the community must be involved; and (2) Support civil society. Poverty, hunger, access to clean water – these are symptoms of the problem. The problem is governance and corruption. If we can promote values, and get governments to use the resources they have for their own people, we can achieve meaningful, sustainable development.


The Economy of Communion: An Example of Social Entrepreneurship Fostering Integral Development


Who says idealism and business can’t mix? Nicolo Sanna, President and CEO of Netuitive and member of the North American board of the "Economy of Communion" Initiative, which promotes ethical and social entrepreneurship, spoke to Integral Economic Development Program students about the concept of social enterprise. Using the idea of business as a force for good, Dr. Sanna reconciled the ability of for-profits to make money while at the same time make a difference, using business acumen to create profits which are then used to fund social development. By working within their own communities, these enterprises have both the accountability and the local knowledge to impact lives and create sustainable change. As Dr. Sanna explained,” It is not enough to fish for people, or even to teach them to fish. We must be willing to fish with them; to understand their lives, their abilities, and their needs. Only in that way can we hope to influence development.”


Chemonics International Visit

SeminarIED students traveled to the headquarters of Chemonics International to learn more about the company, its development programs, and network with current employees. Chemonics International, founded in 1975, has worked in over 150 countries in the areas of agriculture and food security, conflict and crisis, democracy and governance, economic growth and trade, education and youth, environment and natural resources, gender, health, and sustainable energy. As a major USAID partner, Chemonics International focuses on meeting local needs and achieving lasting development impact. Students had the opportunity to review one of Chemonics International’s current projects, ask questions about the company, and learn more about potential internships and career opportunities.

Group photo



Investing in Cocoa Sustainability: CocoaAction in West Africa

Bill Guyton, President of the World Cocoa Foundation, visited the Catholic University as a guest speaker of the “Leaders in Development” series, hosted by the Integral Economic Development Program. The World Cocoa Foundation promotes economic and social development as well as environmental stewardship by providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa, market it successfully, Seminarand make greater profits. Mr. Guyton discussed how the foundation has worked to create a sustainable cocoa economy that improves the quality of life for independent family cocoa farmers around the world. Over 30 students participated in the discussion, learned about the foundation’s business model, and identified opportunities for further impact measurement.