CIDES is the Graduate Center for Interdisciplinary Development Studies of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA), in La Paz, Bolivia. UMSA is the largest public university in Bolivia, it was founded in 1890 and it is currently among the most important universities in Bolivia. CIDES’s programs in graduate studies includes eight master’s programs and two Ph.D. programs that are offered regularly. Encouraging and facilitating graduate education on rural issues has been at the center of CIDES’s programs, research and out-reach activities. The MA program in rural development is the first MA program offered in Bolivia focusing in rural studies. The doctoral program on rural development started in 2015, it is also the first doctoral program on rural issues offered in Bolivia and has been very successful both in terms of the number of applications received as well as in terms of the topics and defense of the first group of Ph.D. dissertations.
Research is developed at CIDES at two levels. At the individual level, through the production and publication of working papers, articles, and books that involves professors in regular basis. The result of individual research also includes the numerous MA and more recent Ph.D. thesis that students produce as part of their program requirements. Research also takes place within research projects usually involving professors, invited researchers and students. One of the important aims is to provide opportunities for students to engage in research as part of collaborative platforms involving other universities and research centers inside and outside Bolivia.
Research and publications on rural development, peasantry and the transformation of rural societies have been wide and diverse. Most recent publications on these issues by current professors at CIDES includes: “Climate change and adaptation in the Bolivian highlands” by Elizabeth Jiménez Zamora, “Indigenous Utopias: development projects and indigenous power in plurinational Bolivia” by José Nuñez del Prado, “Theory and Practice of Food Security in Bolivia” by Andrea Boudin and Bishely Elias, “The solidary economy in Bolivia” by Ivonne Farah, et.al, among other.