Definition of Development Studies in the Noragric context:
The field Development Studies is concerned with the processes, constraints, and opportunities for social, political, cultural, economic, ecological, institutional and technical change, progress and development in different societies and settings. Development aims at improving the life (livelihood security, environmental well-being, quality of life etc.) of people and it is most appropriately defined with their active participation.
At Noragric, development studies is typically:
- Holistic in analysis, yet problem-oriented and practical in aim
- Pursued through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches which make use of the specialised expertise offered by various academic disciplines
- Undertaken in partnership with local governments, institutions and groups
- Concerned with sustainability, equity and empowerment
Rural development studies relate to problem-oriented studies at processes of change aiming at providing knowledge and increasing our understanding of the complexities of development processes. Based on increased knowledge and understanding, development studies are committed to contributing towards solving the problems being studied. Accordingly, development studies can be defined as the study of the interface of society and nature with the intention of contributing to the improvement of sustainability and equity. According to Amartya Sen, development is best seen as an expansion of people's capabilities. As such, development studies should also contribute to augmenting the human resources available to the development process.