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A Cutting Edge of Development

Failed states like Somalia. Stagnant middle-income Latin American countries. Emerging African economies. These (and many other parts of the world) are stark examples of a single truth: The world of development practice has become increasingly complex as practitioners are forced to explain extreme differences in growth patterns and possibilities.

At the same time, growth itself has become an inadequate goal to many—acceptable only if it is both sustainable and inclusive. Development paradigms are constantly shifting. And while these models try to make sense of this evolving landscape, most never seem to generate solutions for the pressing challenges of today.

An Executive Program in Development Thinking

Developed at the Center for International Development at Harvard, this program explores the very latest in development practice and research and how to incorporate those ideas into the strategic decisions of senior officials leading development institutions and government agencies. The latest program looks at a major rethink of Growth Diagnostics, the methodology that underpins many countries’ national strategies, many multilaterals’ country partnerships, and many projects’ determination of what constrains projects from achieving its goals. Participants have the opportunity to be active participants in the creation of new frameworks for development. 

Modeled on the work of Harvard Professor Ricardo Hausmann on the Theory of Economic Complexity, Ricardo who is Professor of the Practice of Economic Development and the Director of Center for International Development, has explained his theory of economic complexity and productive theory. The United States Institute of Leadership and Diplomacy program of "A Cutting Edge in Development of Thinking"  modeled this program based on the theory of complexity and productivity.


A Cutting Edge in Development Thinking will provide:

  • Diagnostic frameworks to analyze latest thinking on constraints to the growth process

  • Pioneering research on project management and implementation to build organizational capacity to achieve project outcomes

  • Investment tools to guide economic strategies and the identification of new economic sectors for diversification and inclusion

  • An interactive learning environment for you to meet, network and debate pressing development issues with renowned Harvard faculty and other leaders engaged in similar work

  • A lasting network of peers with similar backgrounds and experience

  • Evidence-based strategies for leveraging these research findings to make strategic and tactical decisions

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