The Graduate School of Development

The Graduate School of Development (GSD) consists of UCA's Institute of Public Policy and Administration, the Mountain Societies Research Institute, and the Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit.

Over 100 publications have been produced through the GSD since 2011. GSD aims to generate knowledge that has practical application in the context of Central Asia. The School is multi-dimensional, interdisciplinary, and is designed primarily as a professional graduate school. The programmes are organised to address the unique resources and needs of the region by generating a pool of highly skilled professionals, and fostering policy-oriented research in the fields of:

  • Business and Economic Development;
  • Education Policy;
  • Natural Resource Management and Environment;
  • Public Administration and Public Policy;
  • Rural and Regional Development;
  • Tourism and Leisure Studies.

It is envisioned that each of these areas will evolve into independent Institutes as a critical mass of courses, faculty, and research is reached to enable students to obtain specialised degrees in the future.

Institute of Public Policy and Administration

The Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA) was established in 2011 to strengthen public policy in Central Asia. It provides in-depth analysis on current and emerging policy issues facing the region, and improves the analytical capacity of governments and civil society to use evidence-based research in the decision-making processes.

To date, it has published more than 40 research papers in these areas in English and Russian as part of the IPPA's Working Paper Series. The Institute aims to improve the quality of governance through initiatives such as its Executive Masters in Economic Policy, and Certificate Programme in Economic Policy, for civil servants in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Mountain Societies Research Institute

The Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) conducts trans-disciplinary research to help inform and contribute to the Sustainable Mountain Development agenda in Central Asia. It's research is aimed at addressing the development needs of the region and improving the well-being of mountain societies in Central Asia. Themes include natural resource management, land systems and livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity conservation, climate change, and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

MSRI has published Background Paper series and Policy Brief series, which provide structured assessments of knowledge (and knowledge gaps) in priority areas, and help to inform MSRI's emerging research agenda. The Institute has also created a Knowledge Hub to serve as a central point for information and data related to mountain societies in the Central Asian region.

Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit

The Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit (CHHU) was launched in 2013 to generate new dialogues on Central Asian heritage and identity. It preserves the rich and diverse cultural heritage through research, documenting, archiving, and supporting work of regional scholars through the UCA's Cultural Heritage Book Series.

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