Research and Community Engagement

The Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity

The Ford Program conducts research and evaluation that can inform development theory and practice while making a positive, measurable, and sustainable difference in people’s lives.

Mission

The Program is dedicated to research, teaching, and service that increase the effectiveness of efforts to promote Integral Human Development, a holistic model of flourishing rooted in the dignity and full potential of the human person.

Ford Research Highlight: “Nurturing Social Enterprises”—Uganda

Current Projects

Reports from the Field

Promoting the dignity of every person and the common good of all people

The Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity is dedicated to research, teaching, and service that increase the effectiveness of efforts to promote Integral Human Development, a holistic model of flourishing rooted in the dignity and full potential of the human person.

With the goal of understanding the challenges and aspirations of people living in extreme poverty around the developing world, we conduct research that grows out of engagement with local communities.

We learn from community members, working with partner organizations that directly implement programs to provide quality education, enhance health, foster livelihoods, and promote accountable and responsive government.

We assist development practitioners, policy makers, and people grappling with poverty in their own communities to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to promote integral human development, a holistic model of flourishing rooted in the dignity and full potential of each person.

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.

Integral Human Development

We work in communities with a focus on integral human development—the holistic development of the human person, covering all aspects of life: social, economic, political, cultural, personal and spiritual. It promotes the dignity and equality of every person and the common good of all people in the community.

Rooted in Catholic social teaching, this model of development is closely related to the capability approach to development championed by economist and Nobel-laureate Amartya Sen.

More about our projects

We work with partner organizations and community members to identify key concerns and invite researchers to investigate such challenges with the aim of offering sustainable solutions. The Ford Program works with a variety of implementing organizations, maintaining a special relationship with the Congregation of Holy Cross, which founded Notre Dame, and the communities Holy Cross serves around the world.

Interested in exploring a partnership with the Ford Program? Please contact Director Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC.

Partners

Caritas Kenya
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Kenya
Congregation of Holy Cross
Faculty of Business Administration and Management, Uganda Martyrs University
Holy Cross Parish, Dandora, Kenya
Institute for Educational Initiatives, University of Notre Dame
Luigi Giussani Institute for Higher Education (LGIHE)
Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development
Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya
TechnoServe
UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI), Uganda
Uganda Martyrs University (UMU)
UPFORD (University Partnership For Outreach, Research and Development), Uganda
Verizon Foundation

Ford Program Newsletters

 

Spotlight

Ford Program Highlights

The Ford Program strives to reach people's lives making positive impacts across multiple facets of social, economic, political, cultural, personal and spiritual life.

Calendar

Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Deadlines

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