2020 Message from the SAAC Global Chair

Nmandi UmunnabuikeThe cross-disciplinary nature of Master’s in Development Practice (MDP), provides us an opportunity of determining the trajectory and influencing the pathways towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The programme itself was created in response to the yawning gap in the multidisciplinary human resources needed to conceive, analyze, and address complex global challenges.

When the idea of the MDP programme was conceived, it was envisioned that the graduates of MDP will be at the forefront of addressing global challenges and assisting to meet global and regional development agendas. Thanks to the MacArthur Foundation, we now have thousands of MDP students and alumni who are providing research and proffering solutions to global challenges as well as creating awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals.

But there is more to do. Poverty, inequality and environmental issues still pose great challenges to humanity. Migration, terrorism and malnutrition still ravage Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of the Middle East and South Asia. We must therefore double our efforts if the ambition of actualizing the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 can be realized. We must take up the responsibility.

The  Global SAAC leadership shall be committed to:

  • Increasing MDP students and alumni participation in intergovernmental spaces as well as their the engagement and mobilization.
  • Bridging the solution gaps and taking ownership of the global goals.
  • Realizing the potentials of MDP students and alumni and ensuring deployment to points of development needs.
  • Supporting the MDP Faculty in the continuous development of the MDP curriculum.

We are therefore creating avenues to mobilize groups, collaborate with networks and leverage on intergovernmental processes to become relevant in the development space as well as promote the MDP brand through the following immediate action;

  • Create an SDGs Information Hub for blogs, podcast, data, trends, news , policy briefs and articles.
  • Heed to the SDGs Decade of Action call by getting involved in the #UN75 global dialogue, which is expected to hold in different parts of the world this year.
  • Organize a weekly #SDGsDiscourse tweet chat on Twitter on the Global Goals and their targets.

Young persons have often be referred to as the torch bearers of the SDGs. We are expected to mobilize action, raise ambition and provide solutions to global challenges. As W.B Yeats once said, “in dreams begin responsibility”

The time is now!!

Nnamdi Uchenna Umunnabuike
Global Chair
Students and Alumni Advisory Council (SAAC)

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