Working in development cooperation: thoughts on the Pavia Master
25 years have passed since the first edition (1997-98) of the Master in Cooperation and Development in Pavia, alsoknown as the "Master of Pavia". An innovative Master course for the topics covered and for the structure adopted: an equal and complementary collaboration between an academy - University of Pavia and the University Institute of Higher Studies of Pavia (IUSS) - and three non-governmental organizations, CISP, COOPI and VIS.
For sure, that challenge we set as a partnership at the time, namely to strengthen the skills of cooperation workersand to "seed" international cooperation institutions with their skills and vision of human development, proved to be a winning one. Today, hundreds of former Masters students are working around the world within international organisations, civil society organisations, government cooperation agencies, businesses, organisations and local authorities, and even governments.
We started when the Millennium Goals were not in the picture yet, but it was clear to all of us that the empowerment of women and men, and an inclusive development, are the cornerstone of sustainable human development.
The partnership at the base of the Master started from the belief that development studies and training require cooperation. Over the years, new academic partners in Colombia, Palestine, Kenya and Nepal have set up master's programs similar to the one in Pavia. That is the origin of the Cooperation and Development Network (CDN).
Since 2015, the 2030 Agenda with its 17 goals, many of which are still far from being achieved, has been at the core of our cultural and strategic mission. There are only a few years to 2030 and the debate on the provisional evaluation and on “what to do next” is already underway. The whole development cooperation world is reflecting on the challenge of how to improve, how to evolve to and contribute to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda.
The Master of Pavia is also participating to this challenge and is analysing the changes in the global context and the new training needs of cooperation operators. That is the right way for it to remain innovative and useful in building a world that is becoming more and more complex.