About the Department

Welcome to the Department of Development Studies (DDS) Website at Sokoine University of Agriculture.  Hereyou will find plenty information about our staff, graduate and undergraduate academic programs, research, outreach and community engagement activities. The Department  provides an exciting and attractive environment for learning and research, for students and academics. We provide high quality educational opportunities for our undergraduate and postgraduate students in areas of development studies, rural development, poverty analysis and project management.

Students apply this knowledge through ‘hands-on’, field practicals and community-based research experiences, which equip them with relevant skills in the field of development. Research is another area in which we are growing. The Department has a truly extraordinary academic staff with an array of specialization which reflects the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature of our research in addressing development challenges.

We seek to discover new knowledge related to development challenges and support the translation of this knowledge to improve people’s lives. At DDS, students and staff successfully, work together to achieve this goal.It is also my hope that this web site will help to strengthen collaborative relations with our development and research partners, loyal alumni and friends. I invite you to take time to browse our website and check back regularly for updates about our academic members, academic programs and research.


      Dr. Raymond John Salanga
      Head of Department
The Department of Development Studies originates from the  Development Studies Institute after forming the College of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2015. 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.
The Department plays a distinctive role in SUA by  focusing on action-oriented research programmes and problem-solving activities
The overall objective of the DDS is to address challenges of development by employing a multidisciplinary approach.


Department of Development Studies,

College of Social Sciences and Humanities,

Sokoine University of Agriculture.


TELEPHONE: +255 023 2604645 OR +255 023 2603511-4

Ext. 3101/3102/3121

FAX: +255 023 2604646  

E-MAIL: dds@sua.ac.tz


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