Advancing Scholarship and Applied Research for Catalyzing Development

The Center for Global Development and Sustainability (GDS) is an interdisciplinary and multinational group that advances scholarship and applied research on problems of vulnerability in developing countries as well as in advanced economies. Its core faculty, students, postdocs and affiliated researchers include those from varied disciplines of the natural and social sciences, development studies and the humanities. GDS engages in partnerships in the U.S. and throughout the world that build understanding and expand capacity for sustainable and emancipatory development.

Our Focus Areas

A woman works in the field just before a monsoon in Purulia, India. © 2013 Madhabendu Hensh/Self, Courtesy of Photoshare

Resilient and Sustainable Communities

Projections suggest that by the end of the twenty-first century, environmental change and climate variability will have substantial impact on food security and public health and, consequently, the scope for sustaining livelihoods and reducing poverty. Working in collaboration with regional partners, GDS seeks to further applied empirical research to develop adaptation, resilience, and sustainable livelihood options for marginal and vulnerable populations in the U.S. and in low- and emerging middle-income countries.
Photo of Kathmandu University, Nepal

Capacity Building for NGOs and Universities

Development and health programs require active monitoring of progress based on a comprehensive understanding of the problem to be resolved. Baseline studies that document and analyze the situation in the community before the project starts are often not conducted or available to program planners and hence create failures in development and health project implementation. GDS is developing institutional capacity within nonprofits and NGOs by conducting collaborative baseline research and trainings for local staff on low-cost methods to collect data on key indicators. GDS also is working with universities on curriculum design, pedagogy and governance issues.
Sitangkay Municipality is an undeveloped landless town in the province of Tawitawi, Philippines. © 2007 Requel Legaspino, Courtesy of Photoshare

Program on Social Exclusion

The Program on Social Exclusion advances research and scholarship on the barriers that still block large groups from meaningful participation in economic growth in both developing and advanced economies. The Program examines societal influences that aid or constrain inclusive policies including attitudes toward race, ethnicity, caste and tribal identity, gender, sexual orientation and religious tradition, and promotes global dialogue to promote inclusion.

GDS Activities

Blue illustration of heads for J-CASTE journal

CASTE: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion

CASTE: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion” released its first issue on Feb. 26, marking Brandeis University’s first-ever peer-reviewed academic journal. J-CASTE advances peer-reviewed scholarship across disciplines into caste systems in South Asia and beyond.

Painting from cover of CASTE Journal

2020 Bluestone Rising Scholar Prize Competition Now Open

The Bluestone Rising Scholar Prize was created through the generosity of the late Seymour Bluestone, MD, in order to advance social justice research through the Center for Global Development and Sustainability. The Award recognizes individuals who show great promise to make outstanding scholarly contributions in their future careers to the study of caste.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Fifth Annual Caste Conference

GDS and the New School teamed up for the 5th International Conference on the Unfinished Legacy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The conference was held in New York City, October 2019.