International Development

International Development Program
International Development Program
International Development Program

The International Development (IDEV) program educates and trains development practitioners who are passionate about finding sustainable solutions to end poverty.

Helping countries and communities to overcome the problems of poverty, disease and exclusion, and to protect human rights are among the biggest challenges our globalized world faces today.

The IDEV program nurtures a corps of international development practitioners for leadership roles in policy and practice.

Program Activities
Events Calendar
Our Alumni
External Resources

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The International Development (IDEV) Program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of developing countries, with the aim of preparing students for careers in development. Students in the IDEV Program receive rigorous academic training that helps them better conceptualize the development process in its economic, political and social dimensions.

Academic Calendars

IDEV 2015 Practicum Client Presentations: ASER Center, FEMSA, Mercy Corps, PFAN (Deloitte), World Bank Water and Sanitation, and World Resources Institute (WRI)
2016 IDEV Students visit Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant with Professor Nagpal
Bologna IDEV students attended the 2017 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ball in Vienna. Pictured left to right: Adam Weber, Kun Zhang, Audrey Stienon, Erin Smith, Tatiana Lang, Alice Schaus, Grace Cramer, Helena Molina, Pablo Villar Vileikis, Karina Asbjornsen, Rochana Cooray, Raphael Bousquet, Jamil Wyne and Irene Rivera Calderon.
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Program Activities


Development Roundtable

Coordinated and led by IDEV students, this events series provides speakers the opportunity to address the challenges of global development assistance and to suggest new initiatives that will improve the field. Learn more about the Development Roundtable.

Executive Director of UN Women, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. (Photo Credit: Noel St. John)


Internship Program

Internships are an integral part of the learning experience and an entrée to future employment. The IDEV Program encourages students to pursue internships and research opportunities in developing countries during the summer and in Washington, D.C., during the school year.  IDEV collaborates with a range of partner agencies, NGOs, think tanks, and government agencies to help students secure substantive summer internships that build on the skills learned during the first year.  Providing stipends for unpaid internships offers students the flexibility to accept overseas positions which meet their needs and interests. Please click the links below to read more about sponsored students' internship experiences in the blogs they have written for SAIS Perspectives:

Savannah Newman took time to visit the Taj Mahal during her summer internship with the Mann Deshi Foundation in India.

Charley Allegar got up close and personal to a turtle during his internship at Save the Children in Mexico.



Perspectives: IDEV Student-Led Publication

Each spring IDEV publishes Perspectives, with articles on cutting-edge issues in development, many written by IDEV faculty, students and alumni.  Each annual issue focuses on a specific theme of development.  The editorial team has launched a new online platform in November 2014 to host the IDEV program's perspectives on international development.



You can visit our archive here

AY2018-19 Perspectives Annual Launch event was held on October 23rd, 2018 and it is available for viewing here








International Development Program | MA Requirements (Entering Class 2018-2019)

Learning Goals and Objectives

MA students must complete 64 credits and all degree requirements in order to graduate.

Students who are approved for a Dual Degree program or with Advanced Standing only need to complete 48 credits or 56 credits as determined by Academic Affairs, but still must fulfill all degree requirements.


International Development Concentration

Students concentrating in International Development (IDEV) must complete at least 24 credits of applicable coursework and a program capstone. IDEV concentrators must complete a Plan of Study and have it approved by the program.

In addition, International Development concentrators must complete constrained International Economics and Quantitative Reasoning courses. Students may not double-count the constrained International Economics or Quantitative Reasoning courses toward their concentration.

IDEV concentrators must complete Microeconomics (with a grade B- or above) prior to matriculating at SAIS through Summer, Non-Degree, or Pre-Term programs or by passing the waiver exam.

IDEV Concentration Requirements
To complete the IDEV concentration, students must complete:

  • 1 course International Development Proseminar (SA.400.821) [required in the fall semester of the first year]
  • 2 courses starting with the prefix SA.400.XXX
  • 3 courses from one of the Professional Tracks. Students choose one of the following
    • Development Economics (DevEc)
    • Finance and Development (F&D)
    • Governance, Politics and Development (GP&D)
    • Management for Development (MfD)
    • Social Entrepreneurship and Business (SEB)
    • Social Policy and Programs (SP&P)
    • Self-Designed (Program Approval Required)

Approved Courses for IDEV Professional Tracks AY18-19

The concentration requirements, along with the other requirements for the MA, can be found on the IDEV Requirements Chart.

Fall 2018 IDEV Course Schedule

Students who wish to add a second policy/regional concentration must choose IDEV as their primary concentration.

International Development concentrators must complete one of the following capstones:

  • IDEV Oral Exam with an IDEV examiner and an economist
  • IDEV Practicum
  • MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors—if eligible)

International Economics Concentration

Students must complete 16 credits. The four required courses are:

  • Macroeconomics (pre-requisite: Microeconomics - completed prior to matriculation at SAIS)
  • International Trade Theory (pre-requisite: Microeconomics)
  • International Monetary Theory (pre-requisite: Macroeconomics)
  • One constrained IDEV economics course from below or another development economics course approved by the program:
    • SA.320.724 Introduction to Economic Development 
    • SA.320.731 Microeconomics of Development 
    • SA.320.735 Topics in Growth and Development 
    • SA.320.750 Comparative Perspectives of Economic Growth & Development 
    • SA.320.744 Economic Development 
    • SA.320.715.20  Theories and Models of Economic Development (Bologna campus only)

Students may not double-count the constrained International Economics course toward their 6 required IDEV concentration courses.

If a student is waived from a required course(s), the student must take a replacement International Economics course(s) to fulfill the concentration requirement.

International Economics GPA Requirement
Students must achieve an International Economics concentration GPA of at least 2.67.

In the standard case, the concentration GPA is the average of the grades in Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, International Monetary Theory and the Constrained IDEV economics course.  If one or more of the required courses is waived, the highest grade(s) from any eligible replacement International Economics course(s) is used.

Students who do not meet the minimum International Economics concentration GPA must re-take required courses (or take additional replacement courses if any required course(s) are waived) until the minimum is achieved. The highest grade from any attempt at a required course is used in this calculation.


Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

Students must complete one course from the list below as their constrained IDEV course.

  • Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
  • Econometrics (pre-requisite: Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
  • Applied Econometrics (pre-requisite: Econometrics)
  • Macro Econometrics (pre-requisite: Econometrics)
  • Quantitative Global Economics (pre-requisite: International Monetary Theory)

Students may not double-count the Quantitative Reasoning course toward their 6 required IDEV concentration courses.

Students may not double-count the same course toward the Quantitative Reasoning requirement and as a replacement International Economics concentration course and vice-versa.

If a student is waived from a Quantitative Reasoning course, the student must take a different course from the list above to fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Students who pass the non-credit Statistical Methods for Business & Economics course in Pre-Term will have fulfilled the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.


Core Requirements

MA students must fulfill two Core requirements from the subjects below. Students may fulfill a Core requirement by passing a for-credit Core course or by passing a non-credit Core exam.

  • American Foreign Policy Since WWII
  • Comparative Politics
  • Evolution of the International System
  • Theories of International Relations

International Development concentrators are strongly encouraged to complete Comparative Politics as one of the Core requirements.

Students may not take a Core exam in the semester in which they plan to graduate. If Core requirements are not completed before the start of a student’s final semester, the student no longer has the option of completing the exam and must enroll in the Core course(s) for credit.


Language Proficiency

MA students must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in a non-native language taught at SAIS. Students enroll in non-credit language courses to prepare for the proficiency exam.

Students whose native language is not English may use English as their proficiency language. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering the school, even if not using English for proficiency, and may be required to take additional English language coursework.


Electives, Minors, and Specializations

Beyond the requirements, MA students may have room in their degree for electives, a minor, and/or a specialization(s).

Students may pursue an optional minor in any policy/regional area other than General International Relations.

Students may pursue an optional specialization(s) in five areas International Economics or Emerging Markets.


Program Requirements by Academic Year

Entering Class 2017-2018
Entering Class 2016-2017
Entering Class 2015-2016
Entering Class 2014-2015
Entering Class 2013-2014
Entering Class 2012-2013
Entering Class 2011-2012
Entering Class 2010-2011
Entering Class 2009-2010

IDEV Professional Tracks AY17-18
IDEV Professional Tracks AY16-17
IDEV Professional Tracks AY15-16



International Development Minor Requirements:

  • 3 IDEV courses (12 credits) including:
    • SA.400.821 International Development Proseminar
    • 2 additional courses (8 credits) with the IDEV prefix of SA.400.XXX

General Minor Requirements:

  • MA students may pursue an optional minor in a policy or regional program. A student cannot pursue a minor in General IR or International Economics, but can pursue a Specialization in International Economics
  • A student can have only one minor and can declare a minor at any time prior to graduation.
  • Students do not receive bidding priority for a minor.
  • All minors require three courses. Some minors require a specific course(s) and/or language proficiency.
  • A student may use a maximum of one applicable cross-listed course (4 credits) toward both a minor AND concentration requirements. In the IR or Asia concentrations, the cross-listed course must be from the primary concentration area and not from the 2 additional required courses in the other IR or Asia areas.


International Development Practicum

In order to expand the opportunities to work directly with public, private and non-governmental organizations, IDEV offers a two-semester Practicum class to second year students for credit. Successful completion of the Practicum also serves as a Capstone for graduating students. In academic year 2017-18, 24 students were enrolled in the Practicum.

View SAIS IDEV Practicum Locations in a full screen map

What is a Practicum?
A practicum is a course designed to provide students the tools and opportunity to work with an external client on a development problem or opportunity. It allows students the opportunity to apply their research, analysis and practical skills to an issue that is of direct relevance to a client. The team of students works closely with the client to produce a high quality output in the form of a publishable report, policy or program that may be implemented by the client. In addition to allowing students to translate their knowledge into practice, the practicum experience also allows students to make valuable contacts with potential employers.

How is the Practicum implemented?
Approximately 20 second year IDEV students are eligible for taking the practicum as a course for credit, over two semesters. They are selected in the Fall semester based on their coursework, prior experience and demonstrated interest. Students form teams and work with a professor throughout the Fall semester to conduct research and design a proposal collaboratively with previously identified clients. They meet once a week to discuss research methods, their proposals, and progress with the professor assigned to lead their team. Teams undertake field research during winter break and complete a report to the client upon their return. Students are required to meet with the professor at an assigned class time each week. Every member of the team is held responsible for the timely completion of assignments. The practicum requires that student teams meet outside of class both with each other as well as with the client. The entire team is held responsible for coordinating logistics with the client. Students are evaluated both individually and on the basis of the final product that they deliver to the client.  Professor Deborah Brautigam, Director of the International Development Program, has been quoted in Foreign Policy magazine saying that the practicum "gives students an invaluable, hands-on experience to work with an international development organization and address an important development challenge. Participants often say their practicum work was one of the most important experiences they had in graduate school. These are not research projects. Practicum students address practical problems that the client needs to solve.” To read more about the the Practicum program in the Foreign Policy Guide article, click here.

In AY 2018-19, 24 students were selected for the IDEV Practicum. Six teams will travel to Taiwan, the Caribbean, Nepal, India, and Angola to support their clients.

New Balance (Taipei, Taiwan): The New Balance team is evaluating the presence of forced labor and recruitment fees in New Balance's global supply chain, with a particular focus on the company's Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers.

PANCAP (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago): The PANCAP team will be working with the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the World Health Organization's "treat all" HIV/AIDS policy for four countries in the Caribbean region. To this end, our team will be conducting a broad economic analysis of the region to create an overarching research report on the regional implications of the policy, as well as country-specific economic analysis reports. Additionally, we will be creating a standardized cost-benefit analysis tool that will be used at the country level to determine the actual cost of advancing the "treat all" policy.

Winrock (Kathmandu, Nepal): The Winrock team will travel to Kathmandu to conduct research on how Winrock’s employment platform, Bong Pheak, can be replicated in different contexts to reach unskilled and low-skilled workers and connect them to employment opportunities regardless of qualifications. The team will create a case study to document Bong Pheak’s transition from a USAID-funded project to a social enterprise and draft a business plan to be guide replication of the platform in other countries and/or migration corridors.

Athena Infonomics (New Delhi, India): The Athena team will be supporting Athena Infonomics’ ongoing research for the Gates Foundation by analyzing the challenges to the effective operation of the cooperative banking system and government crop procurement system. These institutions have the potential to help poor farmers in Uttar Pradesh access higher prices, but Athena’s research has found that many farmers are unable to benefit from them. Based on desk research, data collected by Athena, and interviews in the field, the team will recommend interventions to help make cooperative banks and government procurement more reliable sources of support for farmers.

­Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) (Bangalore, India): The GAIN team is researching technological innovations in India's agribusiness sector, specifically in Bangalore, that can help improve access and affordability to nutritious, safe, desirable and healthy foods. We will be identifying supply chain paint points and replicable, scalable technological solutions to these issues.

Jefferies (Luanda, Angola): This team will work with Jeffries and the SAIS China Africa Research Initiative (CARI) in Luanda to conduct research on Chinese loans extended to Africa, with a focus on interpreting the principles China would apply in its restructuring of sovereign debts to Africa.

In AY 2017-18, 24 students were selected for the IDEV Practicum. Six teams travelled to India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines to support their clients.

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), New Delhi, India - The GAIN team investigated the sanitation and nutrition environment of street vendors serving perishable, freshly-cooked food and identified challenges and opportunities in serving the urban poor in New Delhi and Jaipur. The research focused on perceptions of an enabling/disabling environment for street vending, the urban supply chain, and demand and created an assessment tool to measure the street vending sanitation and nutrition environment which GAIN can use for determining areas for future programmatic interventions. Final Deliverable.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), Manila, Philippines - The IFC team conducted global stocktaking of successful models for financing young entrepreneurs. They compiled a set of case studies to identify best practices and lessons learned to inform concrete policy recommendations for the G20's Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.
International Development Enterprises (iDE), Hue, Vietnam - iDE is an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating income and livelihood opportunities for the rural poor, in Vietnam. The goal of this team's project was to develop a business case on the replicability of Hydrologic, a viable social enterprise started by iDE in Cambodia, in the Vietnam context. Hydrologic manufactures, distributes, and sells water filters in rural Cambodia and has to date successfully sold over 500,000 filters to households at the base of the pyramid. Final Deliverable.
LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India - This project aimed to assess the cost effectiveness of LVPEI, a network of ophthalmologic clinics in India serving over 2.5 million mostly-low-income patients in India. Additionally, it performed an operational analysis of a select sample of primary care centers. Altogether, the results helped the organization improve its allocation of resources while getting a better understanding of its impact to the communities it serves. Final Deliverable 1. Final Deliverable 2., Phnom Penh, Cambodia - This team worked with in Cambodia to design a business model for scaling-up access to Water and Sanitation Services (WSS) for financially excluded people through Digital Financial Services (DFS). Final Deliverable.

Athena Infonomics, Chennai, India - The Athena team worked to identify a social infrastructure project in India that was a viable candidate for a Social Impact Bond (SIB) funding and partnership structure. They then proposed a primer for such SIB structure for the selected project based on consultations with potential investors, implementing partners, government officials, and other relevant actors. Final Deliverable.

2018 IDEV Practicum Team

© All information contained herein is the sole property of Johns Hopkins SAIS International Development Program.  Any unauthorized use, such as distributing, copying, modifying, or reprinting, is not permitted. To obtain permission to reproduce or distribute this document contact

In AY 2016-17, 23 students were selected for the IDEV Practicum. Six teams travelled to India, China, Kenya, and Uganda to support their clients. The field work conducted by each team in January 2017 is summarized below:

  • Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (New Delhi, India) - Improving Municipal Nutrition Security in New Delhi: identifying key blockages in the value chains of selected nutritional food items in Delhi in order to propose intervention points for the Client. Final Deliverable.
  • World Wildlife Fund (Beijing, China) - Promoting trade and investment in Green Products (GPs) between China and Kenya: develop key products and sectors in China, in tandem with team in Kenya, where GPs have the greatest economic and environmental benefit for China-Africa economic interactions. Final Deliverable.
  • World Wildlife Fund (Nairobi, Kenya) - Promoting trade and investment in Green Products (GPs) between China and Kenya: develop key products and sectors in Kenya, in tandem with the team in China, where GPs have the greatest economic and environmental benefit for China-Africa economic interactions. Final Deliverable.
  • International Center for Research on Women (Kampala, Uganda) - Strategic planning for the recently opened ICRW African Regional Office: Stakeholder analysis and strategic proposal to guide the development of ICRW’s activities in Africa. Final Deliverable.
  • Quona (Mumbai, India):  Implementing the agile development model to enhance Quona’s social performance management tool and facilitate the adoption of common valuation practices among portfolio clients. Final Deliverable.
  • Athena Infonomics (India) - Maternal and Child Health Data Management: Understanding the challenges around and improving MCH data collection, management, and analysis. Final Deliverable.

    IDEV AY2016-17 Practicum Client Presentation on 4/26/2017 with Presentation Video and PowerPoint Presentation, as well as a Storify.

2017 IDEV Practicum Team (Photo Credit: Anshu Singh)

In AY 2015-16, 23 students were selected for the IDEV Practicum.  Six teams traveled to Kenya, Nigeria, India, Egypt, and Sri Lanka, in order to support clients by working on projects ranging from decision-making tools for sanitation decision makers to evaluating business models for training and vocational education.  The field work conducted by the teams in January 2016 is summarized below:

IDEV AY2015-16 Practicum Client Presentation on 4/27/2016 with Presentation Video and PowerPoint Presentation.

2016 IDEV practicum team (Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Kasuya, Johns Hopkins SAIS)

In AY 2014-15, the Practicum grew to include 22 students who traveled with their teams to Cambodia, the Philippines, China, India and Mexico, based on the location of the client and the project. Consulting teams once again negotiated a demanding terms of reference with their clients and produced an array of high quality outputs, described below.

IDEV AY2014-15 Practicum Client Presentation on 4/29/2015 with Presentation Video and PowerPoint Presentation.

2015 IDEV Practicum Team 

Mercy Corps Team: Grace Harter, Meredith Kummings, Daniel Hudner
(not pictured, Joanna Van Asselt)   (Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Kasuya, Johns Hopkins SAIS)

In AY2013-14, 16 second year students successfully completed the first IDEV Practicum. Four teams delivered high quality, valuable products to a diversity of clients from the World Bank to large and small NGOs in India. Deliverables included surveys in rural Indian villages and large cities such as Bangalore, primary data collection through phone interviews in the US, stakeholder and sector analysis based on secondary sources. Students completed business plans, monitoring and evaluation guides, new research guides and methodologies for their final deliverables with the following clients:

  • Indian Institute of Emergency Medical Services (Kottayam, India)
  • LV Prasad Eye Institute (Hyderabad, India)
  • Reap Benefit (Bangalore, India)
  • Water and Sanitation Program, World Bank (Washington, D.C.)

IDEV Practicum Client Presentations 2013-14 on 4/29/2014 with 2013-14 Student Final Deliverables



Our Alumni


IDEV Alumni

In addition to making a decisive impact on the field of international development, IDEV graduates have established an active alumni network and maintain a close relationship with the program. They also give back to the program in many ways - delivering presentations at brown bag lunches, assisting in the school's Admissions Office and on career development panels, offering job and internship advice to current students, and serving as the best possible advocates for recruiting new students.

If you would like to stay connected, check us out on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

We appreciate the responses from all of you who have contacted us regarding your current endeavors.  We hope to establish a complete list of IDEV student alumni updates. 

If you are interested in contacting our alumni or have additional questions regarding IDEV alumni affairs please contact the International Development Program at

To refer a prospective student to Johns Hopkins SAIS, please click here.

Alumni are welcome to walk in to the SAIS library at any time to use books and online resources for no charge, and can borrow books for a fee. Alums also have free access to some online resources remotely via KnowledgeNet. Check out the SAIS Library's Guide for Alumni for more information.

We've launched our Alumni Newsletter in AY2015-16 to keep you updated with the latest news, research and events from IDEV, and to provide an opportunity for you to connect with your fellow alumni.  Within the newsletters, you will find: alumni updates and contact information, news from the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI), information on how to contribute to SAIS Perspectives, updates on this year's IDEV Practicum Projects, upcoming IDEV events, information on new courses, professors, and more!

Below are links to our previous newsletters:

Fall 2015 Edition
Spring 2016 Edition
Fall 2016 Edition
Spring 2017 Edition
Fall 2017 Edition
Spring 2018 Edition
Fall 2018 Edition

External Resources


SAIS Perspectives

SAIS Perspectives is an annual publication of the International Development program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. The publication provides a forum for discussion of critical, cutting-edge topics with the goal of proposing innovative ways of thinking about the practice and policy of international development. 

Professor Cinnamon Dornsife, Faculty Advisor prior to 2014, promoting SAIS Perspectives.

2018-2019 Perspectives Editorial Team
Professor Tanvi Nagpal, Editorial Advisor (
Maya Gainer, Editor-in-Chief (
Allison Decker, Senior Editor (
Deboleena Rakshit, Senior Editor (
Saksham Khosla, Editor (
Yifan Powers, Editor (
Sarah Sassoon, Editor (

Click here for past publications. 

Online Office Hours Sign Up - Fall Semester 2018

For Professors Nagpal, Dornsife, and Honig, please sign up at Sign Up Genius

  • Top right corner, click on “Find a Sign Up”
  • Input,, or under “Search by Email” and enter random text for non-spam verification
  • For Professors Nagpal, Dornsife, and Honig: Click on “Professor [Last Name]'s Office Hours”.
  • Check off the time slot of your preference, and click on “Submit and Sign Up”
  • Enter your name in the “My Comment” section and complete your personal information and click on “Sign Up Now!”
  • Voila! You are done!

You will need your e-mail address for making or changing an appointment online.  If you need to meet with Professor Brautigam or Professor Nagpal outside of office hours, please contact Nicole Kazi at to schedule an appointment.


Johns Hopkins SAIS Honor Code Documents

According to "The Red Book: Johns Hopkins SAIS Student and Academic Handbook", enrollment at the school obligates each student to conduct all activities in accordance with the rules and spirit of the school’s Honor Code. The Honor Code governs student conduct. It covers all activities in which students present information as their own, including written papers, examinations, oral presentations and materials submitted to potential employers or other educational institutions. It requires that students be truthful and exercise integrity and honesty in their dealings with others, both inside the school and in the larger community.  For more details, please see The Red Book.

An online course is available to students to help learn about JHU academic standards, and how to avoid plagiarism during your studies.  This course covers important topics on how to cite, quote, paraphrase, and summarize.  To access this online course, please have your JHED and password ready and login here.


Reading and Writing Guides

Contact Us

Tanvi Nagpal
Director of the International Development Program, Associate Practitioner-in-Residence
(202) 663-5947
BOB 732

Deborah Bräutigam
Bernard L. Schwartz Professor in International Political Economy, Professor of International Development and Comparative Politics
BOB 733

Daniel Honig
Assistant Professor of International Development
BOB 735A

Cinnamon Dornsife
Senior Advisor of the International Development Program, Associate Practitioner-in-Residence
BOB 726

Ada Ho
Academic Program Coordinator
BOB 728

Nicole Kazi
Academic Program Assistant
BOB 734

Address & Phone

International Development
Bernstein-Offit Building
1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20036

202-663-5943; 202-663-5929