Executive Master in Development Policies and Practices (DPP)

Seeks to contribute to sustainable and effective development actions those are equitable and respectful of cultural and social diversity


New intake – the 7th: July 2018

Are you ready? Contact our staff for more information


Ms. Diep: diep@aitcv.ac.vn

Tel.: +84 24 3766 9493, Ext. 126

Cellphone: +84 (0)936 262 684



The Executive Master in Development Policies and Practices (DPP) is a continuation of the previous programs which include the Executive Diploma in Development Studies – DFD (2003-2006) and the International Executive Master in Development Studies – IMAS (2006-2012).

Since 2003 supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Canton of Geneva and other institutions, the program has trained more than 300 development professionals coming mainly from Asia, Africa, Latin America but also from Switzerland and other ‘Northern’ countries.

The DPP program seeks to contribute to sustainable and effective development actions those are equitable and respectful of cultural and social diversity. It aims at strengthening public, associative and private institutions active in local and regional development, by reinforcing the competencies of their staff.

The training has two key objectives: strengthening of analysis and leadership skills, and realization of an applied study in the professional environment. This study represents an important operational asset for the participant’s institution


  • Designed for working professionals: 2 full-time months and 4 part-time months at place of work
  • Multilingual and held in several regions of the world (Burina Faso, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Peru, Switzerland and Vietnam)
  • Strengthening of analysis and leadership skills; completion of a job-related professional thesis
  • Geographic diversity of participants and lecturers: curriculum tailored for regional practice
  • Interaction between regions/continents and extension of professional networks


  • Asian Institute of Technology in Vietnam (AIT-VN), Hanoi, Vietnam
  • University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Accra, Ghana
  • KIMEP University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Yam Pukri, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in collaboration with the Institut supérieur de technologies appliquées (ISTA), Bamako, Mali
  • Centro de Estudios y Promoción del Desarrollo (desco), in collaboration with the Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (IDEHPUCP), Lima, Peru

Module 1

Module 1 has a duration of 5 full-time weeks. It takes place simultaneously in Ouagadougou (for French-speaking African participants), in Accra (for English-speaking African participants), in Lima (for Latin American participants), in Hanoi (for Southeast Asian participants) and in Almaty (for Central Asian participants).

Swiss and other ‘Northern’ participants chose their destination, in principle according to their professional context and thesis topic.


  • Regional analysis of public policies and local/international actors at stake / Better target interventions and coordinate efforts
  • Acquisition of analytical and methodological skills / Define de professional thesis proposal
  • Acquisition of management tools / Design and monitor projects with a strategic perspective

Download outline of MODULE 1

Module 2

Module 2 takes place, in principle, at the participant’s place of work. It has a duration of 4 part-time months. In parallel to his/her professional activities, the participant performs his/her analytical abilities in conducting and writing a professional thesis.

A distance teaching on gender issue is also organized during Module 2.

Module 3

Module 3 takes place in Geneva during three full-time weeks. Three regional groups meet in January, and the other three groups (of which Afghanistan) in February.


  • Strengthening and reflecting on communication, negotiation, mediation, teamwork and intercultural skills
  • Delivery of the professional thesis findings and interaction within thematic groups, with professors and experts
  • Analysis of the policies and practices of Geneva-based organizations and public administrations

Download outline of MODULE 3

The international dimension of the DPP is reflected in the geographic diversity of its partner institutions and lecturers. Whether in Africa, Asia, Latin America or in Geneva, professors/experts from both the Graduate Institute and partner institutions collaborate on teaching. There is also close collaboration with regional universities, bilateral agencies, NGO’s, public administrations and international organisations.

The partner institutions work together on the administrative and logistical coordination of the programme. They are also closely collaborating on the pedagogical inputs (teaching contents of Module 1 and supervision of professional theses) and are part of the Admission Committee reviewing and selecting new programme participants.

Dr. Nguyen Huong Thuy Phan
Dr. Christophe Gironde

Willi Zimmermann

Dr. Alexandre D. Freire

Caroline Brassard

MA. Nguyen Thi Bich Diep
Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong
Nguyen Minh Chau

Dr. Fredric W. Swierczek

MA. Pham Thi Thanh Thuy

MA. Do Thi Lan Anh

The DPP programme is aimed at professionals coming mainly from Africa, Latin America, Central and Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, it is also open to Swiss and other ‘Northern’ countries candidates working in international cooperation, whether they are based in the field or at the headquarters of their organisation.


  • Professionals who currently hold or aspire to key positions in a development or international cooperation role, in public or private-sector, NGOs or civil society associations
  • University degree (minimum 3 years) and several years of professional experience (or an equivalent combination of training and experience)
  • Support of the candidate’s organisation
  • Proficiency either in English, French or Spanish
  • Optimal age: between 30 and 45 years

Admission process

Admissions are approved by a committee including all partner institutions. In addition to the quality of the application files, the committee’s decisions are also guided by a necessity to ensure balance based on regional origin, gender, educational and professional background, and proposed professional thesis topic. There is no automatic right of admission either on the basis of professional experience or educational background.

The Admission Committee will be gathering in April 2018 and candidates will be informed about their admission / non admission during May 2018.

Document for application file

  • Online application form
  • Form to be completed by your organisation and to be sent with a short cover letter on headed paper and signed by the contact person (the one who filled the form)
  • Scanned copies of your academic degrees

-> Complete the online application form
-> Download the form for your organisation


Applications will be open until 15 March 2018 and the programme will start in July / August 2018. Complete application files must reach us by electronic email to dpp@graduateinstitute.ch.

Our Renowned Professors

Alexandre D. Freire

Dr./ Programme Director

is Senior lecturer at the Graduate Institute and Director of the Executive Master in Development Policies and Practices (DPP).

Nguyen Huong Thuy Phan

Dr./ Regional Academic Coordinator for Southeast Asia

is a water and climate change specialist with more than 20 years of experience working with intergovernmental organizations, international academic institutes and governmental agencies.

Caroline Brassard

Adjunct Assistant Professor

consults with various international organizations and civil society organizations in Asia on the area of poverty alleviation, and development effectiveness.

Christophe Gironde

Dr./ Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, Graduate Institute

made his PhD at Institut universitaire d'études du développement and University of Geneva.

Fredric W. Swierczek

Tiến sĩ/ Phó giáo sư

Chuyên môn: Quản lý Văn hoá giao thoa, Kinh doanh Châu Á, Quản lý Chiến lược, Hành vi Tổ chức và Thay đổi. Quốc tịch: Mỹ

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