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About the center


​​Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Development

Who we are?

Cider is the Interdisciplinary Centre of Development Studies that belongs to La Universidad de los Andes.​​ It builds, divulges and applies knowledge ​at promoting development procesess that lead to broadening the options available to improve people’s quality of life at local, regional, national, and global levels.



Through research, Cider looks to promote, using an interdisciplinary approach. New knowledge on the problems and challenges of the development by undertaking top quality projects in partnership with pairs and national and international organizations. Cider research projects are organized within the framework of the following four lines, crossed by transversal topics such as ethics and public policy:

- Gender, equity and development

- Planning, governance and territorial development

- IInstitutions, peace and development

- Sustainability, environment and development


Internal image of Cider's house


Academic Programs

Cider offers five graduates programs and collection of courses for undergraduate programs all of which are renowed for their academic excellence, thematic relevance and pedagogical innovation:

- MA: Interdisciplinary Studies in Development.

- MA: Urban and Regional Planning.

- MA: Gender.

- Specialization: The State, Public Policy and Development.

- Specialization: Territorial planning and management

- Specialization: Organizations, Social Responsibility and Development.

- Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Development.



Cider act as consultant to public and private organizations whose purpose is to study and manage the field of Development. Some of our most recent works include:

- Designing the course: Social Accountability and Monitoring and Evaluation Tools within the framework of the Millenium Development Goals, for the UNDP.

- Preparation of the document: The Growth of Cities in the East of Africa: the Consequences in terms of the Food Supply, for the RUAF Fundation.


Students can focus on one of four thematic areas:

1) Gender and Development, in which analyze contemporary issues and debates regarding development from a gender perspective with a view to analyze and design new programs and public policies.

2) Territorial Management, in which students study the relation between space and development and acquire tools to generate development from a territorial perspective.

3) Social Responsibility for Development, where students analyze social responsibility, examine the relation between business and development, and learn to design strategies to address the problems related to this subject.

4) Security, Peace and Development, which gives students the opportunity to analyze contemporary violence and insecurity, their relation with development and the policies and initiatives that can be implemented by governments, companies and civil society to contribute to peacebuilding.


Research and Professional Tracks

All students must write a dissertation. However, students have a choice between a research track and a professional track. Either way, they must write up a dissertation: in the research track the dissertation is a working paper with all the characteristics of a publishable article. In the professional track, students will choose between the analysis of a public policy or a sequence of policy interventions on one issue.


Validation of Specialization Courses

The Center also offers one-year, 20-credits, ‘Specialization’ programs. Graduates from any of these programs who are accepted to the Master’s in Development Studies, may apply to validate up to 16 Specialization credits in the Master’s Program. They must have been approved within 3 years prior to the application for validation. Specialization graduates interested in this option are encouraged to contact the CIDER Academic Program Coordination to review their individual case.


Focus on gender and development

The student will be familiar with the principal current problems and debates concerning Gender and Development and will have knowledge to explore these in-depth using theoretical frameworks, case studies and current situations for the contribution of new knowledge and innovative analysis into the current reality of the country and Latin America.

Issues and Debates

- Problems of equality, power and identity in population and life direction changes, biased strategies of development, care work, urban-rural development and household changes, among others.

- Contemporary problems of development from a gender perspective and its public policy interventions: marginalization, exclusion, invisibility and victimization.

Learning Objectives

The student will be able to:

- Know the different traditions and schools of thought regarding gender and its contribution to the distinct disciplines of scientific knowledge especially in the field of development studies.

- Acquire scientific, ethical and critical capabilities from a gender perspective for the analysis of development problems, the adoption of critical points of view regarding these and the creation of action proposals.

- Apply the basic theoretical and analytical concepts of gender from a multiple disciplinary and school of thought perspective in the interpretation and critique of development issue studies.



Gender and Development Theories

The student will learn the principal concepts, focuses and contributions of the theories and the traditions of studies on Gender and Development and will be able to apply these concepts and focuses for the critical and innovative analysis of development processes from a gender perspective in distinct social spaces and territorial levels, as well as the creation of alternative proposals.

Gender in Practice: Incorporation of gender perspectives in projects and policies

The student will be able to understand how to apply gender perspectives in different development contexts and to incorporate them into the formulation, implementation, supervision and evaluation of research and intervention projects and policies as well as in their life situations. Based on the class presentations and discussions, the students will be capable of applying quantitative and qualitative methods of gender analysis, design guides for the creation of new indicators and create budgets which are sensitive to gender, among other aspects.

Focus on territorial management

This focus is directed at students interested in learning more about the relationship between space and development and tools, programs and policy instruments to promote development using a territorial perspective.

Issues and Debates

- Local and Regional Economic Development.

- Value, innovation and institutional capabilities.

- Urban and regional planning and land use policies. Learning Objectives

The student will be able to:

- Explain the relation between space and development, particularly related with the generation of wealth and growth based on the different focuses, concepts and instruments.

- Apply the basic concepts of the theories and analysis of local and regional development from the perspective of economic geography, urban planning, urban and development sociology and other disciplines.

- Understand the implications of land use codes and urban regulations in the development of distinct urban and regional contexts.



Local and Regional Economic Development

The student will become familiar with the principal concepts and discussions on the theories of local and regional economic development. They will study the relation between space and development, in particular in relation to the generation of wealth, employment, institutional capabilities and competitiveness, Upon finishing the course, the student will be capable of applying these concepts to create local and regional development proposals and analyze development processes at distinct territorial levels.

Urban Planning and Land Use

Since the enactment of Law 388 of 1997, local authorities in Colombia are in charge of urban and regional planning. Nevertheless, planning cities and regions is a complex issue due to the multiple interactions among environmental, social, economic and political forces, among many others. Therefore, the purpose of this course is to offer conceptual and empirical tools as well as a review of the regulatory framework that can help the student understand the context in which urban planning and land use policies in Colombia take place. It seeks to prepare the student to understand and contribute to this important theme in the current public agenda of Colombia and Latin America more broadly.

Focus on social responsibility for development

This focus area provides tools for the analysis of the concept of social responsibility and its associated theories framed within development studies. In particular, the relation of business with development is focused on and strategies are proposed to address related problems.

Issues and Debates:

- Business strategies to contribute to social, economic and sustainability development in work zones; Corporate Social Responsibility, base of pyramid strategies, social entrepreneurship and development agreements will be studied at length.

- The contribution of businesses toward critical development problem resolution such as poverty, climate change, conflict, human rights and food security.

- Exercise of social responsibility in Colombia from an ethical perspective.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

- Analyze the environments in which Social Responsibility is developed in the Territory.

- Recognize and examine how businesses design and implement strategies which contribute to development.

- Apply theoretical and methodological elements to analyze businesses in light of fundamental ethics and strategies for generating development.



Ethics, Social Responsibility and Development

This course aims at helping students understand the importance of defining Social Responsibility in terms of ethics and to acquire tools for analyzing and proposing development strategies for organizations of different natures based on ethics.

Business and Development

This course aims at helping students understand and analyze the role of businesses in the development processes through the study of different strategies created by businesses to redefine their purpose in today’s world.

Students shall reflect on questions such as: What is the relation between businesses, poverty and development? What are business strategies for contributing to development?

To Keep in Mind

What is the principal difference between the Specialization in Organizations, Social Responsibility and Development (ORSD) and the Master with a focus on Social Responsibility for Development?

The emphasis in the specialization is on the distinct organizations, both in the private and public sectors as well as civil society at large which intervene in development through social responsibility. There is interest in the organization itself and how this functions from within out, prepares and acts in a socially responsible way.

The emphasis of the Master is on the individual work carried out by the student throughout the two-year program in which s/he will focus on a personal issue that the student hopes to respond to and study more in-depth with the relation between social responsibility and development as a backdrop.


Focus on Security, Peace and Development

The courses in this thematic area provide interdisciplinary frameworks to analyze violence and insecurity and their relationship to development as well as the theoretical foundations and practical implications of peacebuilding efforts launched by the international community, states, companies and civil society.

Themes and debates

- Forms of insecurity and violence and their causes.

- Organized crime, mafias and urban gangs.

- Mutations and symbiosis between political and criminal violence.

- International and national peacebuilding experiences. - Implementation of peace agreements.

- Relation between types of violence, inequality and development.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

- Discuss and illustrate how economic and social change can lead to different forms of violence and insecurity or contribute to security and peace.

- Recognize how the state, companies and civil society can design and implement policies and programs and development projects that contribute to peace.

- Apply theoretical and methodological elements for the analysis of interactions between development and diverse experiences of peacebuilding in specific contexts.

Courses Peacebuilding in Theory and Practice

This course deals with the meaning and evolution of the concepts of peace and peacebuilding and revisits significant international experiences to analyze various aspects of the peacebuilding process, e.g. disarmament, demobilization, transitional justice, among others. The course also examines the reach and limitations of peace initiatives in diverse contexts with special emphasis on the Colombian case.

Economic Policy of Armed Conflicts and Insecurity

This course examines the most significant forms of collective violence in the world today and discusses the most important hypotheses and controversies regarding their causes and impacts and their relation with development. The state of current research on violence and development will be examined as well as its influence on the formulation of policies. Upon completion, students will be able to propose new research questions and strategies to guide research and policiy-making on violence and development in the future.




Our staff

Teaching Staff

All our professors have doctoral training and their diverse disciplinary backgrounds provide a fertile soil for interdisciplinary research and education. Their experience and research interests include issues such as: social accountability, ethics of development, social responsibility, local economic development, violence and peace-building, gender and development, employment and public policy, environmental problems, poverty, rural development, food security and urban agriculture. The Center’s interdisciplinary and diverse body of knowledge and expertise nourishes its research, graduate, consultancy, and continuing education programs.

Andrés Hernández Quiñones

PhD in Political Science and Administration with emphasis on Moral, Legal and Political Philosophy, Universidad Central de Barcelona, Political Science Degree, Universidad de los Andes. ​ 

Carlos Zorro Sánchez

Doctor of Social Sciences of Development, School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Paris. Doctor of Development Economics, University of Paris (Pantheon—Sorbonne). Doctor of Legal Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Degree in Economic Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

​Diana Marcela Gómez Correal

Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States. Magister in History, from the National University.

​Gonzalo Alfredo Vargas

PhD in Development Studies, London School of Economics. Master’s in Economics, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Bachelor Degree in Public Administration, ESAP, Colombia.

Jairo Enrique Santander Abril

Ph.D. in Political Science, Master in Planning and Administration of Regional Development and Specialist in Public Policies ofUniversidad de los Andes. Economist of the National University of Colombia.

Javier Armando Pineda Duque

PhD in Geography, University of Durham. Master in Economics, CIDE Mexico. Planning and Development Studies in the Cepal-Celade, Chile. Degree in Economics, Universidad del Valle.

Javier Hernando García Estévez

Ph.D. in Economics, from the University of Barcelona, ​​in Spain, and Magister in Economics, from tha same institution.

​María Cecilia Roa García

PhD in Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Master in Development Studies at the London School of Economics.

Nathalia Franco Borrero

Director. Ph.D. in Managment, from the University of Tulane, in New Orleans, United States. Master in Management from the same institution. Specialist in Management of International Resources for Development - Fundraising of the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. Bogotá Colombia. Professional in Political Science from the Universidad de los Andes. Bogotá Colombia.

​Sergio Montero

PhD in Urban and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley. Master in Urban and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley. Bachelors’ Degree in Economics, Universidad de Granada (Spain).



Cider: 43 years contributing to the development of the country.​​​​​​​​