Although tropical and sub-tropical countries contain some of the most diverse and resource rich environments, they also face the most significant development challenges. Achieving sustainable development in these countries will require major advances against hunger, poverty and disease while ensuring the protection of natural resources. Increasingly, making these advances will depend on practitioners who are able to address development challenges holistically.

Initiated with the generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the MDP degree at the University of Florida is focused on training development practitioners who are able to address development challenges facing poor, resource rich communities in innovative ways. The UF MDP bridges the Natural, Social and Health sciences and Management skills. The program builds on University of Florida’s internationally recognized Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) program.

Read more about the program in the MDP Brochure

MDP Framework

MDP Framework


Our program strength lies in our faculty, who have, over the last 30 years, developed a niche working with communities in Africa, Latin America and other regions using grassroots participatory approaches to development and research. Faculty teaching in the program are involved in various cross-national collaborative projects including Community Based Natural Resource Management Project (Dr. Child and Dr. Barnes) and African Power and Politics (Dr. Serra).

The MDP program is administered jointly between the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida.