Our mission

The department fosters transformative thinking on development and global change. We do so through rigorous, interdisciplinary research on the underlying social, political and economic structures and processes that cause inequality and exploitation, and drive historical change. We are committed to diversifying and decolonising knowledge in our fields of study. We seek to influence the theory, analysis and practice of development worldwide. To this end, we work in collaboration with a network of scholars, development practitioners, policy-makers, international institutions and local organisations across the world. 

We promote intellectual breadth, depth and vibrancy through our seven postgraduate degree programmes and six research groups, which together keep us at the cutting edge of teaching and research. The department seeks to attract staff, students and research partners of outstanding calibre from all over the world. We value and nurture a democratic and supportive culture of learning and research. We invest in diversity through funding scholarships, inclusive recruitment and teaching practices, and the co-creation of knowledge with research collaborators. 

We capitalise on the interdisciplinary nature of our research and teaching to work closely with numerous departments, faculties and colleges within Oxford, enabling us to be uniquely well networked across the collegiate University. 

About ODID

ODID comprises a core of some 25 academic staff engaged in teaching and research, together with 50 research staff in four research groups that are at the forefront of their fields: the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, the Refugee Studies Centre, the Technology and Management Centre for Development and Young Lives.

Together with the Blavatnik School of Government and the Department of Economics, ODID leads the Oxford-LSE International Growth Centre (IGC) established by DFID (now FCDO) and co-hosts the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in Oxford.

These centres have support from key research partner institutions in developing countries, and engage in extensive policy advisory work for governments, international agencies and civil society organisations.

We teach around 260 postgraduate students on doctoral and master's programmes. These programmes are research-led, and combine rigorous research methods training with applied thesis work which prepares students for both academic and policy careers. We are also home to a considerable number of postdoctoral fellows and academic visitors from a wide range of developing countries.

We are part of the University's Social Sciences Division.

Equality and diversity at ODID

At ODID, we are uncompromisingly committed to equality and diversity, in both law and spirit. We embrace and value the contribution of every member of the department. The diversity of our global community of students and staff is one of our greatest assets. We consider inclusion to be the essential foundation of our pursuit of knowledge of international development. In achieving excellence in education and the highest academic standards, our core values are equality of opportunity and non-discrimination, which we expect all members of the department to uphold in all our activities. 

Intellectual freedom and freedom of speech and expression 

Intellectual freedom is the lifeblood of an academic institution. In our pursuit and dissemination of knowledge at ODID, we promote open and critical enquiry and exchange of ideas, and uphold freedom of speech and expression. We celebrate debate and discussion in an atmosphere of mutual respect, tolerance and recognition of the sensitivities of all members of our community, ensuring that no one feels either intimidated or censored. 

The Head of Department is Professor Jocelyn Alexander