The history of Development Studies at SUA goes back to 1969 when interdisciplinary courses were first introduced at the University College Dar es Salaam of the then University of East Africa. In 1970, when the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) came into being, a Department of Development Studies was established within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In July 1973 the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) was established under the provision establishing the University of Dar es Salaam.
The function of the Institute was to instruct students and carry out research on issues and problems of development/underdevelopment. The Institute had also the mandate to address the three major development problems-poverty, ignorance and diseases, which were named by the Tanzanian government as closely related evils of development.
Since independence, the Tanzanian government devoted its efforts to fighting against these problems, in which case extensive programmes related to poverty reduction were initiated. With all these concerted efforts, only short lived improvements were realized due to, among other things, lack of skills to run those programmes, especially technical skills, environmental management and protection, evaluation as well as finance management.
Other challenges that were identified facing the poverty reduction initiatives by the Tanzanian government are documented in the National Poverty Eradication Strategy (1998), in the National Rural Development Strategy (2001), in the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 (1999), in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2000), and in the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP).
In 1984, when SUA was established by elevating the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science to a fully-fledged University, a Development Studies Unit (DSU) was set up under the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. The duty of the DSU was to carry out the work formerly done by the IDS for UDSM. In March 1988, the DSU was elevated to a Development Studies Institute by government order.
For more and detailed informtion,please visit The Department of Development Studies website