Social Change and Sustainable Development

when 28 August 2018 - 7 September 2018
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 5 EC
fee CHF 4000

The 2018 Summer School of the International Graduate School (IGS) North-South will focus on “Social Change and Sustainable Develpment”. The course will delve into the following tentative topics: Social and demographic change in rural areas, use and governance of natural resources, decentralized governance, challenges of urban development.

The course will last 11 days and consist of a mix of lectures, exercises, coaching, interdisciplinary group work, and fieldwork. The programme includes the following blocks:
• Conceptual seminars on development and change providing insights into concepts of and debates on sustainable development, global change processes, and emerging dynamics, as well as reflections on the methodological implications of research on global change and sustainable development conducted with an inter- and transdisciplinary research approach. Special attention will be given to the local and national socioeconomic and political context which is influenced to a large extent on the sustainability of livelihoods.
• Methodological seminar discussing how to translate research questions into survey questions and how to implement a survey.
• Case studies focusing on the topic of the summer school. Participants will prepare for the fieldwork in groups with support from local resource persons (inputs), conduct 3 days of fieldwork, then jointly analyse and present their findings. The output of each case study will be a mock proposal for an inter- and transdisciplinary research project.

Course leader

Organizer: Nepal Centre for Contemporary Research (NCCR), Kathmandu, Nepal; Development Study Group (DSGZ), University of Zurich, Switzerland; Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland; Institute of Geography and Sutain

Target group

The main target groups of the course are Northern and Southern PhD candidates at an early or advanced stage of their project, and senior researchers from the global South who are doing research on sustainable development and global change, and are engaged in an interdisciplinary research partnership project.
To apply for the IGS North-South Summer School, you must fulfil one or more of the selection criteria listed below.
• You are a PhD candidate from the global North or South, or a senior researcher from the global South.
• You are interested and engaged in a research partnership project related to Global Change and Sustainable Development.
• Your English is fluent.
• If the number of applicants exceeds the maximum number of participants, we will give priority to students involved in a research project in the area; and to students who are affiliated with one of the Swiss partner institutions.

Please send the following information along with your application in English to the IGS North-South secretariat (igs-north-south@cde.unibe.ch) by 16 March 2018.
– Contact information (Name, email, full address, university affiliation, citizenship, languages, funding for participation in Summer School)
– Curriculum vitae
– Short description of your research project. Please specify the start date, the research institutions and supervisors involved, and the research donor.
– A personal letter of interest (maximum 300 words). Please explain why you would like to participate in the IGS North-South Summer School.

Course aim

The goal of the Summer School is to provide an intercultural, inter- and transdisciplinary learning and exchange platform for PhD students from different countries around the world, representing a number of different scientific disciplines. The event is also designed to lay the basis for future bi- or multilateral research collaborations.

Fee info

CHF 4000: A limited number of places are available for self-payers; the course fee amounts to CHF 4000, and includes local transport for field trips, accommodation, and full board for the duration of the whole course, but not the price of the airfare to the venue.


Students who are affiliated with an institution or programme that is linked with the IGS North-South (University of Basel: swisspeace and Swiss TPH; University of Bern, University of Lausanne and University of Zurich) have the possibility of applying for