Over 60 Years of Development Studies at The University of Manchester

The Global Development Institute has been the centre of Development Studies at The University of Manchester for over 60 years.

Over the years we've had a few different names. In 1958 we were originally founded as the Department of Overseas Administrative Studies, initially to provide training to the new generation of post-colonial administrators from newly independent South East Asia countries. 

By the late 1960s we began to offer an official Postgraduate Diploma in Development Administration. We grew to become a fully-fledged teaching and research outfit, with a master's programme launching in the mid-1980s. 

The big shift towards research and postgraduate teaching crystalised in 1986 when we became known as the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) and began accepting PhD candidates. During the 1990s, the academic profile of IDPM rose rapidly as staff produced ground-breaking books on structural adjustment, microfinance and the rise of NGOs. IDPM also established new research centres on poverty and development economics.

The Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI) was established in 2005 with the support of the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Foundation to focus on large research projects. BWPI pushed forward thinking and practice on chronic poverty, social assistance, supply chains and the politics of development. Close links with IDPM were retained through a complementary research agenda.

In 2016, IDPM and BWPI joined forces to become the Global Development Institute, acknowledging the rapidly shifting landscape of development. We're now Europe's largest teaching and research institute focused on poverty and inequality, home to over 50 academics, with 95 PhD candidates and 630 master's students, and with over £3.5 million in research income last year.

From being a small training unit on the edge of the University, the Global Development Institute now leads one of its major research beacons on global inequalities. Our research and postgraduate teaching are influential around the world and we have an alumni community of over 11,000, many of whom are deeply engaged in promoting development in many countries.

As part of our 60th Anniversary celebrations, Dr Janek Gryta wrote a paper exploring the history of Development Studies at The University of Manchester.