Our Mission

The Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University is a university-wide center that works to advance the understanding of development challenges and offer viable solutions to problems of global poverty. CID is Harvard's leading research hub focusing on resolving the dilemmas of public policy associated with generating stable, shared, and sustainable prosperity in developing countries. Our ongoing mission is to apply knowledge to and revolutionize the world of development practice.

CID's primary activities and programs seek to:

  • Change the way in which growth strategies are conceived, designed, and implemented
  • Reinvent development policy to facilitate countries’ move to higher productivity activities
  • Extend markets to the underserved and empower the disenfranchised
  • Improve service delivery in education, health, and other social services
  • Design institutions, policies and practices that promote sustainable development which meet human needs while conserving the earth’s life support systems

In order to effectively address the world’s most intractable problems, CID seeks to bridge the gaps between disciplines. By convening Harvard’s leading experts and engaging colleagues throughout the world, CID pursues the science of explaining the sources of and remedies for entrenched global poverty, and the political and environmental circumstances that surround it. 

As a university-wide research center, CID draws upon faculty, staff, and researchers from the:

Harvard Kennedy School Faculty of Arts and Sciences
School of Public Health Medical School
Graduate School of Education Graduate School of Design
Law School Business School

Though housed at the Kennedy School, connections with all of these schools positions CID to engage directly with governments and to access policy makers to effect good policy decisions and increase prosperity in all regions of the globe.

The leadership of CID recognizes that solutions to global challenges are possible, but will require breakthroughs in approaches at the cutting edge of the hard sciences, the social sciences, ethics and politics.

Ricardo Hausmann, Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the Kennedy School, became the Director of CID on October 12, 2005.

"Over the last 200 years, new technology and forms of social organization have permitted many countries to attain an incredible improvement in living standards characterized by adequate food, shelter, clean water, education, good health, and enough income to live with dignity. However, many countries are still mired in poverty. What can these societies do to attain levels of human comfort that we know are achievable? These are the questions that animate the work at the Center for International Development."

Ricardo Hausmann

Research at CID is conducted through three primary programs that address the core intellectual challenges of sustainable development: