"Innovate. Educate. Impact."

Our motto is more than a phrase. It’s a philosophy that illustrates how our three specialized and intensely focused operating divisions work together to fulfill the greater mission of NDIGD.

Applied Innovation Division

Applied Innovation DivisionA member of NDIGD's Applied Innovation Division in Uganda at the unveiling of a new solar panel system and ICT lab as part of the CE3 Project.

Our Applied Innovation Division supports multi-disciplinary research for integral human development and helps bridge the gap between cutting-edge Notre Dame research and development need.

Through this division, NDIGD is unique in its ability to leverage expertise across multiple disciplines to advance solutions to complex problems. NDIGD supports innovations with potential development applications in science, technology, engineering, health, business, economics, political science, and other social sciences. Through this division, NDIGD supports the mission of the Keough School of Global Affairs to not only understand, but also actively attend to the cultural, social, ethical, economic, political, and technical dimensions of global development. To achieve this, the Applied Innovation Division:

  • Supports innovations such as new research methodologies, business models, policy approaches, or delivery methods that benefit the global community;
  • Provides assistance with strategic planning, design, and implementation of global development programs and policies; and
  • Builds partnerships among the academy, government, business, and civil society to increase outlets for innovation and opportunities for research application.

Education and Training Division

Education and Training DivisionThe 2017 class of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, one of the flagship exchange programs of the Education and Training Division.

Our Education and Training Division builds on faculty expertise at Notre Dame to provide a stimulating and inspiring learning environment for development professionals, professional leaders, and students from around the world.

Through this division, NDIGD provides multidisciplinary teams and approaches to develop training and education programs that improve the capacity of domestic and international development institutions. NDIGD leverages the experience, cultural diversity, and educational backgrounds of program participants to create an engaging learning environment for all. The Education and Training Division implements eminently practical curricula that:

  • Emphasizes discussion and critical thinking;
  • Engages participants in small group settings;
  • Provides clinical, hands-on experiences;
  • Incorporates digital learning; and
  • Fosters mentorship and coaching.

The Education and Training Division works with the world class faculty of the University of Notre Dame who use their experience to provide course content that incorporates the latest trends and knowledge in their respective fields. NDIGD provides technical, administrative, and logistical support to effectively deliver that content. Together, we provide development actors with access to cutting-edge research and world-class instruction on the most pressing issues affecting the world today.

Impact Evaluation Division

Impact Evaluation DivisionStudents collecting water samples for testing in Arcabuco, Colombia, as part of Project Ricardo, a project designed to bring clean water to the area through evaluating the region's infrastructure deficiencies.

Our Impact Evaluation Division uses rigorous and complex designs to determine the short- and long-term impacts of projects created at NDIGD, elsewhere Notre Dame, or at one of our partner organizations.

Measuring impact requires the use of rigorous and complex designs to determine short- and long-term impact. Designing an impact evaluation necessitates a delicate balance between methods and project constraints that include the collection of qualitative and/or quantitative data. NDIGD'S Impact Evaluation Division aims to use randomized control trials (RCTs) in projects due to this methodology's reputation as the gold standard in impact evaluations. An RCT design randomly assigns an intervention to a least one group (an experimental group), while another group (a control group) does not receive the intervention. In most instances, this methodology provides the ability to measure whether or not the intervention in question caused a change in the outcome(s) of the experimental group. In cases where a RCT is not feasible, the Impact Evaluation Division uses other quasi-experimental designs and the use of mixed methods to understand project impact and how outcomes were achieved, if at all.

Today's corporations, funding agencies, governments, and NGOs are rightly no longer satisfied with simply throwing money at projects in developing countries without seeing results. Contemporary global development projects increasingly include impact evaluation as a critical component, with the goal of identifying a measurable impact on project outcomes. Without understanding the true impact, or lack thereof, it is difficult to learn from and therefore improve upon project design and approach.

Within the broader mission of the University and the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Impact Evaluation Division chooses work aimed at improving human dignity.