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Capacity Building in Afghanistan

Executive Master's in Development Policies and Practices

At the request of the Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, UNITAR and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva are jointly implementing a Executive Master’s in Development Policies and Practices (DPP).
The first edition of the DPP masters (2013-2014) was completed in February 2014, the second edition (2014-2015) in February 2015, and the third edition (2015-2016) in June 2016, thus completing the intital three-year agreement between UNITAR and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This unique programme is being offered mainly to Afghan civil servants from the Ministry of Finance but also includes students from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President. To date 35 Afghan government officials have graduated from this unique programme. The second edition of the DPP master’s was financially supported by the Japanese government.
The programme lasts for 10 consecutive months and ends in the conferral of a Master’s degree for successful candidates who fulfill all requirements, including the publication of a professional thesis relevant to their work in the Afghan public sector. All professors are Ph.D. lecturers and have practical experience in development policy and government affairs. Classes take place in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Switzerland, and are complemented with e-learning courses and mentorship offered by UNITAR.


The programme aims to strengthen the knowledge, skills, and capacities of ministerial officials on the themes of effective governance and sustainable development.


The Master’s curriculum is implemented by professors from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and by UNITAR trainers.

Curriculum 2015-2016

Module 1 (3 weeks in Abu Dhabi + 2 weeks in Istanbul, after a recess)

  • Introduction to Development Frameworks
  • Analysis of Regional and International Development Issues
  • Public Policy and Public Administration
  • Investigation Methods and Tools
  • Strategic Managament of Development Actions

Module 2 (6 months in Kabul)

  • Public Financial Management Systems
  • Fundamentals of Risk Management
  • Combating Corruption in Public Financial Management
  • Gender Public Policy
  • Writing of a Master’s thesis

Module 3 (3 weeks in Geneva)

  • Mediation and Decision-making
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Networking with International Organizations
  • Presentation and defence of the Master’s thesis

2013-2014 Edition of the Executive Masters Degree Programme


Graduation Ceremony of the 2013-2014 Edition

The list of graduates from the 2013-2014 session

2014-2015 Edition of the Executive Masters Degree Programme

From left to right : Mr. Philippe Burrin, Director, Graduate Institute; Mr. François Longchamp, President of the Conseil d’Etat of the Republique et Canton de Genève; Mr. Allawdin Zalmai, General Directorate of Budget, Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan; Mr. Cédric Dupont, Director, Executive Education, Graduate Institute; Ms. Sohpie Huber Kodbaye, Executive Director, Executive Education, Graduate Institute; Mr. Alex Mejia, Senior Manager, Decentralized Cooperation Programme, UNITAR, Mr. Alex Dormeier Freire, Director, Executive Master in Development Policies and Practices (DPP), Graduate Institute.

Graduation Ceremony of the 2014-2015 Edition (26 February 2015)

List of Graduates from the 2014-2015 Edition

Graduation Ceremony of the 2015-2016 Edition (June 2016)

DPP Graduation Ceremony, June 2016

Download the flyer of the Programme

Download the brochure of the Programme