The Ford Program


The Ford Program conducts and supports research that contributes to an understanding of how people become aware of their own capabilities and responsibilities. Growing out of our community engagement, our research points to sustainable solutions to problems identified by our partners and the community members with whom they work.  At the same time, our research offers students a rich and practical hands-on learning experience.

We seek to understand:

  • The pathways and determinants of integral human development
  • How improving individual or community recognition of human dignity and other holistic components of development can influence economic growth and social change
  • How community engagement can instill self-confidence, individual responsibility, reciprocity, and community awareness

To ensure lessons learned inform future research projects and practical efforts to promote human flourishing, we share such lessons with our community partners as well as development scholars and practitioners. These products can include:

  • Case studies of community change processes
  • Program evaluations that measure progress toward integral human development
  • Pilot projects that identify effective approaches for leveraging community perspectives and resources to promote development and improve long-term socioeconomic outcomes

Complete Project List

Research Opportunities for Faculty and Students

The Ford Program provides grants and organizational support to Notre Dame faculty members and students to conduct research with our field partners. We connect students and faculty members to counterparts at universities and other institutions in areas where we work in order to maximize local knowledge and increase the efficiency of research in the field.

Interested in exploring research opportunities?

Write to Ford Program Director Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC.


Upcoming Events

Featured Event

Mark Your Calendars
Muhammad Yunus

Global Citizenship for Human Development: A Conversation with Muhammad Yunus

Thursday, April 12, 2018
Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus, the recipient of the 2017–18 Ford Family Notre Dame Award for International Development and Solidarity, is an economist, social entrepreneur, and Nobel Laureate, heralded around the world as a pioneer of microfinance. More recently, he has become known for his efforts to harness capitalism as a force for good that promotes equitable human development and global sustainability...
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Raymond C. Offenheiser ‘71

Ray Offenheiser is the inaugural director of the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development and distinguished professor of the practice in the Keough School of Global Affairs, where he serves also on the Keough School’s Leadership Council...
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March 23 to March 24
Romero Days 2018 - Memorializing Martyrdom: Romero's Beatification and Our Task Today
Rev. Robert Pelton, CSC , Peter J. Casarella, Douglass Cassel, David M. Lantigua, Sean O’Brien
March 23
Deadline: Undergraduate Mentoring Award Nominations
Deadlines, Undergraduate Programs


March 26
The Quest for Material Progress in Global Perspective: Colombia, 1850-1903
Working Groups, Latin American History Working Group
Jairo Campuzano Hoyos