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Innovation for Economic Development (IFED), Short Course

  • Application Deadline
  • 5 days
, MA,
Provides leaders with a unique opportunity to integrate science, technology and innovation into a national development policy. Focuses on meeting human needs, participating in the global economy, and making the sustainability transition.


Leaders in key decision-making roles around the world are paying increased attention to the role of technological innovation and institutional change in prosperity. To support these efforts, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Executive Education offers Innovation for Economic Development, a program aimed at helping leaders design policies that enhance economic growth, global competitiveness, and environmental sustainability.

The program focuses on the prospects of technological leapfrogging using case studies from broadband technology, nanotechnology, solar energy and synthetic biology. It examines the critical role that entrepreneurial universities play in the process of economic catch-up.

Led by a cadre of renowned authors, leading researchers, practitioners, and distinguished professors who are experts in their fields, the program examines strategies and measures for aligning technology and innovation trends with development policy objectives. Moreover, the program helps leaders design and implement innovation policies for economic development. Participants will emerge well equipped to apply global lessons and capitalize on technology developments in their own organizations, countries or regions. They will also join a global network of nearly 500 alumni of the program around the world.

Learning objectives:
  • Explore the role of innovation systems, industrial clusters, engineering and technology in economic transformation
  • Examine the evolution and impact of emerging technologies in fields such as information and communications technologies, genomics, energy, and nanotechnology
  • Identify how entrepreneurial ecosystems contribute to value creation and capture
  • Align technological developments with policy objectives
  • Design and implement innovation policies for economic development
  • Identify strategies for strengthening science and innovation advice as well as diplomacy

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 5 days
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Topics to be discussed include:
  • Scientific and Technological Frontiers
  • Innovation Systems
  • Infrastructure
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Medical Technology
  • Agricultural Technology, including biotechnology
  • Green Technology


The program is designed for ministers, deputy ministers, senior civil servants, diplomats, development leaders, university presidents and professors, chief executive officers, senior editors, as well as those working in international development agencies. Senior advisors to heads of state and government, as well as corporations with specific interest in development should also apply.

Participants represent a broad cross-section of fields, including finance, economic and development planning, infrastructure development, industry, trade, science and technology, information and communications, education, healthcare, agriculture, energy, environment and natural resources, regional development, development cooperation, and national defense.

Participants must demonstrate proficiency in English and be able to participate fluently in dialogue with faculty members and fellow participants.


  • Faculty Chair: Calestous Juma (@calestous)
  • Program Director: Mahlet Aklu

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

  • As a program participant, you are responsible for securing the appropriate visas (B1 Visa) and travel documents you need to travel to the country in which your program is located.
  • Once admitted to a program, the Program Director can provide you with a letter as documentation for your visa application.
  • Please note that you should request a B-1 visa and not an F-l student visa for attendance to a program. Program participants are not considered full-time enrolled students at Harvard University, and they are therefore not eligible for Harvard’s F-l student visa sponsorship.

Work Experience

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    8500 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8500 USD per module and a duration of 5 days.
  • National Applies to you

    8500 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8500 USD per module and a duration of 5 days.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Cambridge

  • 1814 - 3760 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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