In 2015 the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) put out a Call for Proposal on “IFAD-Universities Win-Win Partnership: Engaging Fellows with IFAD-supported operations and IFAD partners” which was sent to over 250 organizations, mostly academic institutions. Out of the proposals received the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) programs with its secretariat at Columbia University, NY was selected following a highly competitive process.

Each MDP program is a two-year, graduate-level program designed to train aspiring practitioners to understand, design, and manage integrated approaches to sustainable development challenges across social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and management. Its rigorous cross-disciplinary, academic curriculum emphasizes the development of critical knowledge, skills, and attributes of an effective professional in developing societies.

At the core of the MDP’s curriculum is a field experience, called “Field Practicum” lasting normally about three months that emphasizes hands-on learning through participation in projects and programs that contribute to solutions for real-world problems. MDP’s field practicum is the formative development practice experience for MDP students, allowing them to apply their analytical, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural problem-solving skills outside the classroom.

Through the Field Practicum MDP students are able to: strengthen their interest and motivation to remain engaged in rural development; apply knowledge gained in the classroom in a real-world setting; develop technical skills relating to development activities; and gain an understanding of sustainable development that comes with in-depth research.

There are two goals for this project:

  1. to support the engagement in rural development of a new generation of committed development leaders from Global South countries; and
  2. to enhance the impact of IFAD-supported operations.

These goals will be achieved through the following objectives:

  1. to build the capacity of Global South MDP students to compete for employment opportunities; and
  2. to increase the analytical and institutional knowledge required by IFAD-supported operations at project and country level.

The main output will be 120 academic quality deliverables where MDP students have the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to demands from IFAD projects and partners and effectively disseminated around the world through e-journals and newsletters; websites, and multi-media materials for presentation purposes.


Important:  Field practicum opportunities are posted by IFAD and its partners, without any screening or other review by the MDP Secretariat and its home institution.  The MDP Secretariat does not have any control over the field practicum opportunities, and cannot guarantee the existence, quality, safety, or legality of the field placements posted on this website.  Accordingly, you must work directly with your faculty advisor in your home school to carefully review any opportunity before undertaking any commitment.