The University of the Fraser Valley’s mandate provides an impetus for the institution’s teaching and research activities in the area of international development. The Global Development Institute (GDI) is one of several interdisciplinary centres at UFV. Many programs, faculty, staff and students have a commitment to teaching and research in the global area of development and the Institute has offered a focal point for these activities and a vehicle for interdisciplinary collaboration and programs. It strengthens UFV’s tradition of engagement in community development whether in Canada or abroad.
Development projects and research programs of the Institute generally fall within four themes:
- Good governance and the rule of law,
- Children and development,
- Environmental sustainability,
Each of these areas builds on the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and the promotion of international human rights standards, including the rights of the child as articulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). There is an urgent need for relevant research and partnerships between government, NGOs and academics.
A review of the recent activities of the Institute’s associates and the students highlights the considerable expertise already gathered at the Institute and the potential for further collaboration and development in the four key areas mentioned above.
The Global Development Institute has articulated four major objectives:
- To facilitate, support, and engage student and faculty research in the four strategic areas of development.
- To create effective partnerships with communities, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in order to maximize internship and research opportunities for students.
- To make policy recommendations to governments and NGOs to facilitate change, and to advocate on behalf of those living in poverty.
- To support and strengthen the Global Development Studies Program.
These objectives will be supported through funded consultations, projects and research. Several funding agencies are being approached to support a number of proposed projects and activities. In addition, the Institute will continue to be involved in contract research related to rule of law, child protection, and environmentally sustainable development.
The Institute is one way in which UFV is helping communities address critical development issues and challenges both locally and globally. Our Institute differentiates itself from many others not only by its commitment to student involvement in project and research activities, but also by the unique context within which it, like UFV, operates. UFV is situated in a diverse and multicultural community open to the rest of the world like few other communities are. The Fraser Valley is recognized as a leader in humanitarian relief and development and is the headquarters of several important NGO’s. UFV has also established partnerships in India, in part through the efforts of the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, and the Institute can build on these important relationships. The potential for programming, student internships and further research and project collaboration is considerable.