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Caroline Makasa, Zambia

When I discovered the MSc course in Sustainable Development on the internet I was thrilled because I could study part-time and work, all at the same time. The fact that the degree can be studied over a five year period is excellent especially as I have a very busy schedule.

MSc in Sustainable Development (CeDEP distance learning student)

The term sustainability was often used at meetings, workshops and other forums and so I began to wonder what it really meant. The more I read about it, the more I became interested and wondered about how it could be applied to what I was doing. At that time I was working for the Zambia Development Agency, which is charged with the responsibility of promoting trade and investment in the country.  

When I discovered the MSc course in Sustainable Development on the internet I was thrilled because I could study part-time and work, all at the same time. The fact that the degree can be studied over a five year period is excellent especially as I have a very busy schedule.

My study experience has been both challenging and exciting.  I began my studies in 2008 and I often had to juggle between working and studying, as my work frequently involved travelling to other countries. The following year, I changed jobs and now work for UNIDO as National Project Coordinator for the Joint UNIDO –WTO Trade Capacity Building Framework Programme. In this job I have been able to apply many of the things that I have learnt, such as issues relating to sustainable development and project planning. I have realised that there are some things that can be better incorporated into a project and also the importance of continuous monitoring and evaluation.

I have a keen interest in the interface between trade, development and poverty reduction. These are wide areas with unending debates such as the Doha Round of negotiations which are still ongoing at WTO and mainly relate to agricultural subsidies that developed countries give to farmers. Development can also be viewed from different perspectives but ultimately very little can be achieved without political will and good governance. My research topic for my MSc is a case study which looks at bureaucracy versus entrepreneurship in a public sector service organisation. I will be submitting my research report in this year and look forward to graduating in December!