Democracy and human development—the twin aspirations of effective political participation and improved human welfare—are among the most critical and challenging issues facing humanity today. At the Kellogg Institute, which has a tradition of exploring big questions that matter, the two issues are at the heart of our scholarly community’s research agenda. As conceptualized at the Institute, “human development” focuses on understanding and promoting the conditions that allow people to participate in shaping their own futures, while living in dignity and freedom. Research on this theme includes:

  • Public policies for social justice, examining the way social policy, market activities, and social change combine to affect the distribution of wealth, opportunity, and quality of life;
  • Economic growth, development, and human welfare in a globalizing economy, considering the roles of economic, political, social, and cultural institutions, government policies, market structures, distributional issues, international trade and finance, and economic geography;
  • Global health, including issues of public health, health delivery, and policy and practice at local, regional, national, and international levels;
  • Education, examining policy, institutions, innovative programs, and practice at the macro and micro levels;
  • Religion, society, and culture, investigating the influence of culture, religious belief, and religious and cultural institutions upon social change; Human rights and their relationship with improvements in human welfare;
  • Evaluation of development projects and processes to ascertain best practices that may inform policy in one or more regions of the world.

Rethinking the Delivery of Development Aid

Over the past several years, the Kellogg Institute has partnered with scholars, practitioners, and the global health pioneer Partners In Health (PIH) to consider how the notion of “accompaniment” might inform—and even transform—the practice of international development and aid delivery.

The Ford Program Takes Its Work to ICT4D

When the 8th annual ICT4D, “From Innovation to Impact,” opened this spring in Nairobi, the Ford Program was there, along with a lively contingent of others affiliated with Notre Dame. The international conference, which brings together information and communications technology (ICT) professionals active in international development, focused this year on using technology to achieve the UN’s new sustainable development goals.