Online Development Studies and Research Community (ODSRC)


Online teaching collaboration, online research collaboration, joint online curriculum, online educational programs, online platform, learning management system (LMS), alumni network


Japan, Germany


The Online Development Studies and Research Community (ODSRC) is a mutual project of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) with its Bonn International Graduate School for Development Research (BIGS-DR) and the International Program in Agricultural Development Studies (IPADS) at the University of Tokyo.

Project goals:
(1) Enhancing online teaching exchange.
(2) Integration of ZEF and project partner alumni as teachers and life-long students.
(3) Establishment of an international online study and research community in the field of development studies based on an open online platform with an open learning management system (LMS).

Online learning formats:
(1) Joint lectures: project partner (initially BIGS-DR and IPADS) will offer regular online lectures which will become part of their respective curriculars.
(2) Workshops: skilled-based workshops will be offered by peers for peers. Alumni and advanced doctoral students in development studies share their experience and know-how as scholars working at the interface of university theory and practice in government, NGOs, and the private sector.
(3) Online study modules: a series of online study modules will be offered. The modules will offer an interdisciplinary introduction into the field of development studies. The students will be able to complete the modules in an asynchronous fashion. Live-tutoring sessions and a wrap-up summer school will accompany the self-learning modules to ensure a balance of asynchronous and synchronous studying. ZEF, IPADS and partner lecturers and alumni from the Global North and South will be invited to instruct the students which will comprise of international master students and aspiring doctoral students.

The project will establish a community of practice in online development studies and research. Exchange of ideas and concepts will be possible from Global North to South, South to North and South to South.

Main Cooperation Partners


  • International Program in Agricultural Development Studies (IPADS) of the University of Tokyo (UTokyo)


  • DAAD Doctoral Studies Support Program (DSSP): Environmental peace-building and development in Colombia
  • Graduate Studies Program of WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use)
  • DAAD Ghanaian-German Center for Development Studies (GGCDS)
  • West African Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (WABES)
Main Funding Partners


Duration of the Project

2020 – 2021



Silke Tönsjost

Dr. Silke Tönsjost


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