Women’s Emancipation and Development Agency (WOMEDA) Executive Director Juma Massisi (seated, center) facilitates conversation among women and Amizade students in Kayanga, Tanzania, as part of research that supported a successful United States Agency for International Development grant award for WOMEDA.


DukeEngage students Jeline Rabideau and Jenny Denton worked with middle school girls, such as ​Katie, in Western North Carolina to enhance literacy skills through digital storytelling projects focused on their families.


DukeEngage independent project student Alex Saffrit collaborated with a community member, Moses, in Nkokonjeru, Uganda, on a solar cooker project.


Ernesto Alaniz, community maintenance leader, Villanova civil engineering student Allie Braun, and Water for Waslala program manager Iain Hunt cooperate to inspect a new water tank near Santa Maria Kubali, Nicaragua.

Recommended Reads

Important news and blogs:

A few favorite books:

  • The Post-Development Reader collects excellent essays from talented writers, researchers, and activists who ponder the limitations of our language, our understanding of development, the tools at our disposal, and the kinds of communities we wish to build.
  • Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, by MIT Economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, shares insights from the work of their Poverty Action Lab, which (controversially) utilizes randomized control trials in efforts to fight poverty. 
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (Vintage), a best-selling book by Pulitzer-prize-winning team Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky successfully positions the struggle for women’s rights as the most important rights issue of our time.
  • The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, by Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs, contextualizes current challenges through an optimistic review of development to date, along with arguments for targeted development initiatives in specific villages. 
  • We are in the process of building this list, but feel free to send your own suggestions (or suggestions for review) to buildingbetterworld {at} gmail(.)com. Thank you.
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