NDIGD is comprised of three divisions, each related to a core competency of our organization. 

Impact Evaluation


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. The Impact Evaluation division aims to use randomized control trials (RCTs) in projects, considered the gold standard in impact evaluations. An RCT design randomly assigns an intervention to a least one 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 caused a change in the outcome. However, depending upon the intervention and its implementation, there may be many reasons in which an RCT is not possible. In these cases we use other quasi-experimental designs and the use of mixed methods to understand the impact and how it was achieved. The time has long since passed when corporations, funding agencies, governments, and NGOs were satisfied with throwing money at projects in developing countries. Global development projects increasingly include impact evaluation as a critical component, with the goal of producing 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, we choose work aimed at improving human dignity. Our projects span a wide range of topics including global health, education, and human development.

Education & Training

Yali Fellows

NDIGD provides multidisciplinary teams and approaches to develop training and education programs that improve the capacity of domestic and international development institutions. The Education and Training Division builds on faculty expertise to provide a stimulating and inspiring learning environment for development professionals, professional leaders, and students from around the world.  NDIGD leverages the experience, cultural diversity, and educational backgrounds of program participants to create an engaging learning environment.  We accomplish this by implementing eminently practical curricula that:

  • emphasize discussion and critical thinking;
  • engage participants in small group settings;
  • provide clinical, hands-on experiences;
  • incorporate digital learning; and
  • foster mentorship and coaching.

University of Notre Dame teaching faculty use their experience to provide course content that incorporates the latest trends and knowledge in their field. 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.

Applied Innovation

Applied Innovations

The Applied Innovation Division supports multi-disciplinary research for integral human development. The Division helps bridge the gap between cutting-edge University of Notre Dame research and development need. NDIGD is unique in its ability to leverage expertise across multiple disciplines to advance solutions to complex problems.  We support innovations with potential development applications in science, technology, engineering, health, business, economics, political science, and other social sciences. 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 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.