The Graduate Institute of Development Studies (GIDS) was established in 2012 by the Lahore School of Economics to stimulate an interdisciplinary approach to development policy and practice that would promote equitable and sustainable development in a period of rapid globalization and technological change. It aims to address the pressing concerns that have arisen as the development process has unfolded in the developing world, including Pakistan.
The programme at the Institute is designed to equip its students with the analytical skills necessary to engage with development-related activity and to work across the broad areas of sustainable development as policymakers, administrators, researchers, teachers, and activists. It offers opportunities for work with government establishments, multilateral and bilateral development agencies, national and international NGOs, private-sector firms, and teaching and research institutions.
Development studies is concerned with understanding and analysing the dynamics of change that affect the economic structure and society in a developing economy. To undertake an effective study of development, it is necessary to draw on a variety of inter-related disciplines for a more comprehensive perspective of the numerous dimensions that define development. As a field of study, therefore, development studies spans an array of disciplines in the social sciences and addresses issues of concern in the broad areas of social, political, and economic development. This multidisciplinary perspective provides a more balanced understanding of the constituents of development and facilitates an integrated approach to the study of contemporary development challenges.
As a crosscutting discipline, development studies draws on a range of subjects as varied as economics, sociology, history, geography, anthropology, law, governance, innovation and technological change, gender studies, globalization, and the environment. These disciplines contribute important dimensions to the dynamics of social transformation and reflect the inherent diversity of development studies.
The Institute aims to provide, through scientific inquiry and teaching, a comprehensive understanding of development as managed change, and the policy challenges it faces in the developing world in general and Pakistan in particular. It prepares students for both scholarly and practical purposes. In pursuit of this objective, GIDS offers a range of study options on development issues from an interdisciplinary perspective combined with a research agenda organized around themes of current concern. It aims to generate and disseminate knowledge that furthers understanding of the preconditions and change factors in developing contexts. Teaching and research at GIDS is designed to take place in-house as well as across the different faculties of the Lahore School of Economics.