ESDA in University of Ibadan

The Master’s Programme in Sustainable Integrated Rural Development in Africa (SIRDA): An Overview of implementation at the University of Ibadan




The Master’s programme in Sustainable Integrated Rural Development in Africa (SIRDA) was formulated under the United Nations University Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (UNU/ESDA) initiative.  The programme is thus a part of a global consortium of eight African Universities offering a Master’s degree in Sustainable Urban Development, Integrated Rural Development, and Mining and Mineral Resources Development. The SIRDA Programme at the University of Ibadan is hosted at the University’s Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV). It is a professional, interdisciplinary programme which seeks to impart in concerted practical ways knowledge and skills required for reducing poverty and improving the human living conditions in rural Africa. It is practice-oriented and underpinned by a philosophy of human capacity development through training of trainers of rural development practitioners. Field demonstrations and other practical aspects of the programme informed by appropriate theories and models, take place through hands-on training in selected rural communities. The overall SIRDA programme curriculum integrates the social sciences, natural/biological sciences and management skills into a holistic approach to sustainable development.

The programme spans three academic semesters. Core classes are taken in the first two semesters while the third is devoted to an intensive 12 weeks’ field practicum/internship during which they apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first two semesters to address specific development challenges. At the completion of the field practicum/internship, students are expected to produce a comprehensive report which will be presented for defence as an essential final step in earning the SIRDA degree. Students who successfully complete the programme will be awarded a Master of Sustainable Integrated Rural Development in Africa.

The SIRDA programme at the University of Ibadan accepted its first cohort of students in 2015. The program has graduated a total of six candidates so far while three more candidates are currently at the final lapse of the programme.


Target Groups


The Professional Master’s Degree in Sustainable Integrated Rural Development is intended to attract students from all over Africa. The target groups are rural development agents (e.g. Agric Extension Officers, forestry field workers, state /district assembly officers), secondary school teachers, rural social or community workers, middle-level policy makers, scientists of research institutions, junior university lecturers, research & teaching assistants and other professionals whose vocation relates to rural development.