About The Department of Governance and Development Studies
The Department of Governance and Development Studies is among those in the College of Social Sciences and Law. It is chaired by a head (HOD) and the Department manages not only the courses in the curriculum (listed below), but also two common courses, Civics and Ethics, and Logic, which are delivered across the campus. All academic staff of the Department are immediate members of the Department Council, with each having an equal vote on any matter that calls for decision at Department level. The Council is chaired by the HOD. Under the Department are different course teams and an exam committee responsible for managing academic activities. There are course teams like ‘Governance’, ‘Development’, ‘International courses’, ‘Logic & Civics’, and others. The exam committee coordinates all activities related to the administration of exams and tries to maintain the quality and impartiality of exams given in the Department.
Background of the Department
The Bachelor of Arts in Governance and Development Studies (GaDS) was introduced as an academic programme under the Faculty of Social Sciences of Hawassa University and under the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Jimma University in 2006 and started actual operation in September 2007. The programme was launched with the intention of producing professionals who will be agents for the formation of a democratic society, building good governance and assuring sustainable development in Ethiopia. This programme marks a new area of study in Ethiopian higher education. Up until its foundation, there were no higher educational institutions in Ethiopia which provided such academic programmes.
The Bachelor of Arts in Governance and Development Studies is purposively designed as a multidisciplinary academic programme. This measure was taken based on the fact that the two important issues which constitute the heart of the programme – governance and development – are the concerns of different academic disciplines. Governance and Development Studies strongly correlates with and draws content and ideas from such disciplines as political science, international relations, economics, development studies, public administration, management, environmental science, sociology, and law.
The programme deals with: the art and science of managing and administering the functions of the government; leading and administrating non-governmental organisations; managing and coordinating development activities; initiating, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating development projects; and, community mobilisation and problem-solving.
Future plan of the Department
The Department is currently restricted to an undergraduate programme in Governance and Development Studies and the delivery of two common courses across all departments of the University. However, in the near future it hopes to expand to Master’s and PhD levels. There is a plan to open a postgraduate MA programme in Governance & Development Studies in 2012 and again another MA in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2014. It will also launch a PhD programme in Governance & Development Studies in 2016. Preparations are well underway to strengthen the Department in terms of human resources by sending staff members for further education in local universities and abroad.