In the International Development Management study programme, you do not choose a specific specialisation. By compiling part of the study programme yourself around 5 core themes, you can deepen your knowledge of what you want to do, without getting stuck in a single direction. Below, you can read more about the 5 themes that could play a primary role in your study programme.
Environmental Justice focuses on the (unfair) relationship between nature and society. The survival of certain ecosystems is under threat. Certain natural resources are scarce and becoming increasingly scarcer due to climate change, while many people depend on them for their lives and livelihoods. In addition, some populations are exposed to, for instance, environmental hazards, hazardous waste and land or water theft. This theme takes an in-depth look at environmental degradation, historical injustices and human rights inequalities in relation to nature. You will deal with contemporary cases and look for sustainable solutions to restore the balance between nature and society.
The number, complexity and impact of disasters are increasing due to climate change, among other factors. 50% of disaster-affected populations live in conflict zones. Disasters and conflicts are expected to coincide more frequently in the future, so understanding the interaction between disasters and conflict is critical. Furthermore, there is a need to design flexible approaches to disaster and conflict risk reduction, taking local conditions into account. You will work on realtime cases, analyse them and design solutions to increase resilience of local populations.
The gap between rich and poor is widening, and inequality is even visible geographically. For instance, between urban and rural areas or between northern and southern countries. Social inequality, for example based on gender, race, ethnicity or age is also commonplace. This theme focuses on the challenges of marginalisation of minority groups, discrimination and polarisation. How do you give a voice to different groups in society? You design multi-stakeholder processes with input from all stakeholders to make change inclusive and fair. You will also explore advocacy and human rights to work towards an inclusive society.
Our current approach to food production and consumption negatively impacts communities affected by food apartheid. This is exacerbated by conflict, climate change and pandemics. All communities have the right to equal access to affordable, healthy and ecologically sustainable food that is culturally appropriate. Improving food security therefore requires action at multiple levels: from food policy and food systems management to empowering vulnerable communities. You will work on analysing different contexts and develop solutions to ensure communities are healthy and resilient through fair and stable access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food.
Production chains of cotton, coffee or cocoa, for example, are often characterised by many unsustainable practices. People at the start of the various chains (e.g. Indigenous peoples, fishers, farmers and seasonal workers) are often negatively impacted and face increasing inequality between different parties in the value chains. The interests of vulnerable groups are often not represented in corporate governance structures. This theme focuses on working towards greater equality in the chain, while respecting local interests. It focuses on empowering small-scale producers in the chain and shows how existing power structures work. You will learn about the different steps in value chains, address current challenges and explore alternative approaches and tools to make chains more equitable, inclusive and sustainable.