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Keeping the overall ambit of the vision and mission and its credentials as a premier institution of the region and on the basis of a prioritized needs assessment, CIIT Abbottabad expanded its role to encompass Development Studies as a separate Department with several programs from BS to PhD.  In view of the present and emerging needs of the discipline, the institution took initiative and established on Department of Development Studies during 2004.

While initiating the program, it was envisaged to foster the national development process through broad-based higher and professional education that is responsive to the needs of the society; helps in the socio-economic development process (with particular focus on the region) by providing higher level education opportunities to develop a national and local talent pool; provide a sound foundation and opportunity for specialized education, training and skills development; assessing the changing market trends and needs to broaden the academic base in a bid to increase options and opportunities for appropriate jobs in the private and public sectors in the regional, national and international arenas.

Development Studies is an interdisciplinary field. Contemporary themes of the subject encompass a wide array of ideas and perspectives both from an academic and practical standpoint. These ranges from broad-based multi-disciplinary agendas, debates and knowledge sharing that directly or indirectly bears upon development issues from a global perspective to those embedded in specific regional and local contexts. The study encompasses the multifaceted aspects of ‘development’ effectively, it is necessary to draw upon many disciplines to construct a balanced understanding of historical and contemporary processes. Emphasis is placed on the study of societies, economies and institutions of the developing countries, their inter-connectedness with the developed world and the processes through which the international institutions and mechanisms impact upon the overall goals of development within a global context.

Development Studies programs aims at developing an in-depth knowledge, skills and expertise in the development field from an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspective. Such a perspective examines and builds upon the existing paradigms of development in a highly dynamic and rapidly changing environment and its relevance to Pakistan.Focus remains on perspectives that have a bearing on the emerging and most current trends (knowledge, skills and practices) related to social development issues within the overall framework of sustainable development and inter-related spheres. Emphasis is placed on providing a sound basis for conceptual understanding of issues related to the study of development policy with particular reference to Pakistan.