About The Department of Governance and Development Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Governance and Development Studies (GaDS) was instituted an academic program under the Faculty of Humanities and Social in Jimma University in 2006 and started actual operation in September 2007. The program was launched with the intention to produce professionals who will be an agent for the formation of democratic society, building good governance and assuring sustainable development in Ethiopia. This program marks the new area of study in Ethiopian higher education. Up until the foundation of this program there are no higher educational institutions in Ethiopia which provide the academic program under consideration. The Bachelor of Arts in Governance and Development Studies is purposively designed as multidisciplinary academic program. This measure was taken based on the fact that the two important issues which constitute the heart of program governance and development are the concern of different academic disciplines. Hence the academic discipline of Governance and Development Studies strongly correlates with and draws contents and ideas from different academic disciplines such as Political Science, International relations, Economics, Development studies, Public administration, Management, Environmental science, Sociology and Law.
Generally the program deals with the arts and science of managing and administering the function of government; leading and administering non-governmental organizations; managing and coordinating development activities; initiating, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating development projects; community mobilization and problem solving etc.


To became the center of academic excellence in Governance and Development Studies by adopting a newly emerging paradigms and development thinking as well as practices in areas of governance and development which lay the ground for the advancement of good governance and sustainable development in Ethiopia.


The mission of the program is to offer education that emphasizes on the pursuit of knowledge through research and institution and the development of a critical understanding on the issues of governance and development both nationally and internationally.


Graduates of Governance and Development Studies program will be acquainted with in-depth conceptual, analytical and practical skills. It is, thus, of a greatest advantage to the employers since graduates can duly handle duties assigned to them thereby working for the realization of broader institutional objectives. Thus, potential graduates will in general be:

  • Administrators in both  governmental and private institutions;
  • Policy advisors in different governmental and non-governmental organizations;
  • Program and project coordinators  in their areas of specialization;
  • Researchers on political, developmental and other social problems ;
  • Conduct political and development analysis required for sound decision-making for various national and international organizations focusing on their specific areas of specializations;                                                                                          
  • Development agents and practitioners of good governance in the society;
  • Analysts and reporters for various mass media organizations in the areas of their specializations; 
  • Serve in organizations which are engaged in advocating human rights, development and democracy; women empowerment, conflict management;
  • Effective and competent instructors in higher institutions;
  • Agents of governmental and non-governmental organizations to enhance decentralization, grass root participation & community development; and
  • Advisors and experts of public sector and institutional reform including civil service reform, capacity building, community participation and organization.


Thematic areas of the courses in the curriculum include: -

  • federalism, local government and decentralization
  • Regional development
  • Development planning and project management, development administration and public policy
  • Conflict management and resolution
  • Rural development and urban governance
  • Governance and democratization
  • Environment and development Gender issues
  • International relations, foreign policy and diplomacy, International political economy and African Politics.
  • Ethiopian politics and the current trend towards federalism and decentralization
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods


The graduates can work in the areas of:-

  • Leadership
  • Policy advising in the governmental and non-governmental institutions
  • Project and Program coordinators
  • Undertaking researches in political, social and economic fields
  • analysts in political, social and economic subject matters for different organization
  • Communication and journalism
  • Coordinating national or regional peace-building and conflict resolution efforts
  • Expert of institutions working in the fields of human rights, gender, environmental protection and conservation, capacity building, democracy etc.
  • Teachers and Researchers in higher learning institutions
  •  Coordinating mass mobilization and participation endeavors


  • Ministry of foreign Affairs
  • Ministry and bureaus of capacity building
  • Ministry and bureaus of finance and economic developments
  • Business and educational institutions
  • Ministry of Federal Affairs
  • Ministry of Education
  • Federal states councils
  • State and private mass media
  • Local and international organizations working in the fields of environmental protection democracy, human rights, gender, capacity building, peace-building and conflict resolution, poverty reduction, popular participation etc.
  • Development associations
  • Foreign embassies and international organizations such as UN, AU, IGAD etc.
  • Anti-corruption institutions and bureaus
  • Ombudsman and human right commissions
  • Research institutions and many others
  • Ministry of education (as teachers in the same department they were trained and as civic education teachers)