Our Work

The Duke Center for International Development (DCID), a unit within Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, focuses on promoting sustainable development through its research, education and engagement with students, policy makers, practitioners, development partners, civil society and the private sector. 

Preparing ChangeMakers

We lead and administer the Master in International Development Policy (MIDP) program for mid-career professionals, as well as a concurrent Certificate in International Development Policy (IDP) for full-time graduate/professional students at Duke and local universities. A non-degree Certificate in International Development Policy is also available for professionals who would like to sharpen their skills and knowledge but are not seeking an academic degree program.

In partnership with Rotary International and the University of Chapel Hill's Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs, we host Rotary Peace Fellows and co-manage the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center, one of seven Rotary Peace Centers in the world.

We are the founders of Duke’s first Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program, a graduate fellowship program offering financial assistance to returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

We have decades of experience designing and delivering short-term educational training addressing the challenges facing policymakers and leaders. Each summer we offer in-person and virtual executive education programs for development professionals. We also create and execute custom training programs for a variety of clients. Previous clients include the World Bank, United Nations, U.S. Department of State, Oxfam America, and senior government officials from Bangladesh, China, India and Liberia.

Strategic Research and Global Policy Advising

DCID regularly collaborates with international and bilateral agencies, consulting firms, foundations, universities, NGOs and national governments. Advisory projects have included a range of issues, from recommendations on cost-benefit analysis to options for improving property taxation.

Our faculty carry out wide-ranging research and have published academic articles, books and policy briefs on a variety of topics, including global health, economic governance, tax policy reform, domestic resource mobilization, fiscal decentralization, the evolution of foreign aid strategies, sub-Saharan Africa’s growth prospects, and the design of conflict-sensitive development strategies.

About half of our core faculty have a doctorate in economics, and the remainder have doctorates in public policy, international relations, political science and urban planning. About two-thirds of our faculty have an international background, and all have had significant work experience in the Global South. As a hub for international development policy and practice at Duke, we also have a large number of affiliated faculty from across units and schools, substantially expanding the scope of our research and education activities.


Dr. William Ascher and Dr. Malcolm Gillis founded the Center for International Development Research (CIDR) in 1985 to focus on policy issues related to international development and to provide a forum for collaboration among scholars, professionals, practitioners and technical experts from around the world. The center established Duke's Master of International Development Policy program as well as executive training programs for professionals and organizations around the world.

In 2001, the CIDR was renamed the Duke Center for International Development and members of Harvard University’s Public Finance Group joined the center’s faculty, greatly strengthening our capabilities in overseas advising and executive education.

In 2002, the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center was created as one of seven Rotary Peace Center Partner Universities in the world. Managed jointly by DCID and UNC Global, the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center offers Rotary Peace Fellows a rigorous program of study and applied field experiences in areas relating to peace and conflict resolution.

Today DCID is represented around the world by an MIDP and executive education alumni base of over 6,000 individuals from more than 200 countries. Through research, teaching, advising, training and policy engagement, we are impacting sustainable development policy and practice around the world.