The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) have created a brand new and innovative Masters degree entitled MA Rural Development Dynamics to focus on the social and economic aspects of rural development, a recognised strength of the Institute.
The programme will include substantial coverage of issues affecting rural change as well as training in social research principles, approaches andmethods; applied research tools for use in diagnostic and baseline studies, action research, situation and gender analysis, process monitoring, and evaluation and impact assessment. The MA will be led by Agricultural Economist Claire Coote within the Food and Markets Department at NRI. The staff involved have extensive rural development experience, and undertake research, consultancy and training across many countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific for a range of public and private sector clients. NRI experts conducting teaching and supervising for this course will include Professor John Morton, renowned for his work with mobile pastoralists and climate change impacts; Adrienne Martin, a lead author on the International Assessment of Agricultural Science for Development and Julian Quan, author of a background paper for the UK Government's Foresight Report on the future of Food and Farming.
Climate change, volatile markets, conflict, emergent diseases and major migratory pests are increasing the vulnerability of rural areas in developing countries, and are thus presenting major challenges to the livelihoods and wellbeing of rural communities. It is a key concern for NRI and the international development sector to understand the consequences of these challenges, and to undertake research in order to monitor and assess the outcomes of research and development programmes, and to advise policy makers on appropriate policies. The Rural Development Dynamics programme is an exciting opportunity to develop and be a part of these initiatives.
Some 65% of NRI's work in Development Studies was assessed as internationally excellent or internationally recognised under the last HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise in 2008. This new Masters programme in Rural Development Dynamics aims to develop a cadre of professionals able to increase the impact orientation of development activities and contribute more effectively to the development process. Participants will develop transferrable skills to enable them to take a more active role in development organisations, or to obtain a good foundation for undertaking a research degree.