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.


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