MESCI-Development Economics and International Cooperation

Master in
Development Economics and
International Cooperation

Academic Life

Leaders of Change – Maya Terro

Maya Terro is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of FoodBlessed, a hunger-relief and food rescue organization.

For Maya Terro, the work of her organization Foodblessed is entirely community-based and volunteer-driven; the very essence of the initiative is to rekindle the lost bond between the people of Lebanon. She believes that volunteering has tremendously shaped her, personally and professionally, and that by consistently trying to make this world a better place for her community and herself, she became a better person in the process.

More information here


"Developing sustainable food systems to achieve zero hunger: the need for new paradigms"


The workshop is addressed to post-graduate university students enrolled in the Master in International Cooperation and Urban Development, and will include sessions presented by university professors, international experts and government officials. The event represents as an opportunity to explore current urbanisation trends and analyse implications for the future of food systems, food security and nutrition.[read more]


An interesting interview to Lizzette Soria

Take Five: A decade of making public spaces safe for women and girls

Lizzette Soria works as policy specialist for UN Women’s flagship initiative Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces. The initiative was launched in 2010 with local and national governments, grassroots women and girls, women’s rights organizations and other civil society groups, UN agencies, and other partners in five cities: Quito (Ecuador), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Kigali (Rwanda), Cairo (Egypt), and Delhi (India). The initiative aims to develop and implement evidence-based and comprehensive approaches to prevent and respond to sexual harassment against women and girls in public spaces.Today, nearly 50 cities, including cities in the Global South and North, are part of the initiative. [read more]

Word Bank Group

Convergence : Five Critical Steps toward Integrating Lagging and Leading Areas in the Middle East and North Africa

Policymakers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have long tried to integrate their people spatially and economically. Wishing to bring communities together and narrow economic gaps, governments have made large capital investments in transport corridors and "new cities." Hoping to provide jobs in places with little economic activity, governments have designated new industrial zones supported by spatially targeted business incentives. Yet the results of these place-based initiatives in MENA are limited. [read more]

World’s food systems rely on biodiversity

FAO Director-General urges “robust” outcome from Convention on Biological Diversity negotiations.

24 February 2020, Rome - Everything we eat is produced in ways that imply some transformation of the environment, which means we must have careful discussions of the type and scale of transformations we are prepared to accept, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said today in opening remarks to negotiators at a high-level meeting on biodiversity.

Agriculture and food systems are "at the heart of the concept of sustainable development" and are central to deliberations regarding the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, he said.

The Director-General spoke at the beginning of the second meeting of the Open-ended Working Group established by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which FAO is hosting.

"I know that the world is eagerly waiting out there for demonstrable progress towards a clear, actionable and transformative global framework on biodiversity," said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Acting Executive Secretary of the CBD.

Qu signaled his hope that participants would lead to a "robust" outcome to be agreed at the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, in October 2020. The framework decided there will set the course for the next 10 years and beyond.

"Biodiversity is fundamental for ecosystems, for human beings, and is the basis of food diversity," Qu said, noting the enormous challenge awaiting of feeding more than 9 billion people in 2050 in ways that assure healthy diets and avoid overexploitation of natural resources. [read more]

Justices of the Peace, allies in the fight against forced labour in Peru

As part of its efforts to eliminate forced labour in Peru’s Amazon region, the International Labour Organization is working in collaboration with the most affected communities.

UCAYALI, Peru (ILO News) – A network of Justices of the Peace have joined the International Labour Organization’s efforts to eradicate forced labour in Peru’s Amazon region.

Illegal logging has affected the region for decades. This activity has not only had a devastating impact on the landscape and environment, but has also blighted the lives of whole generations of mainly indigenous communities who have found themselves trapped in forced labour.

Many of these loggers are recruited by labour intermediaries who trick them into debt bondage by offering wage advances, food and timber exchanges. Before long, the workers become ensnared in a cycle of debt and servitude that is passed on from one generation to the next. [read more]

Stronger together: the power of farmers' organizations

Small family farms make up 85 per cent of all farms worldwide, and smallholder farmers make up the majority of the world’s rural poor. To mitigate the challenges that come with working in isolation − and to increase profitability and productivity − these smallholders often form organizations.

Working together makes it easier for small-scale farmers to access raw materials such as seeds, water and fertilizer and to aggregate their yields, enabling them to reach larger markets. This in turn allows them reduce costs and improve their bargaining power, better positioning them to improve their food security and move out of poverty. And when farmers thrive, other players in the food system benefit, too.

But to fulfil this role, these organizations often need tailored attention and support. IFAD recognises the central role of farmers’ organizations in smallholder development and is committed to supporting them in building their capacity and strengthening their ability to perform.

In 2005, IFAD established the Farmers’ Forum, a framework for the partnership between IFAD and organizations of smallholder farmers. [more]


The exam session has begun

Christmas holidays are getting closer and the end of the first semester is about to end. Good luck to all Mesci students for this first goal!

Mesci Tutors 2019/2020

Ciao Carmen

Dear MESCI family,

It is with deep sorrow and profound sadness that we announce the passing away of our friend and colleague Carmen.

She worked tirelessly and never lost her drive and commitment to her work and to all of us, in spite of her very difficult battle with cancer. Carmen always had a smile, an energy and a presence. She filled a room with sunshine.

Working with her has been a privilege and now our hearts are broken for the loss of this incredible woman who has been the pillar and the hearth of our programme.

She will be deeply missed.

Our thoughts go to her sisters and to her daughters.


Leave your memory for Carmen

Nobel Prize in Economics 2019

The economists Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer are the winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Their work adopts an experimental approach in studying global poverty, which will dominate the scenario of Development Economics in the next future. World Bank's most recent data display that more than 700 million people live in extreme poverty and their research will considerably improve our ability to fight global poverty. Their first findings date back to mid 1990's with surprising results. Since then, over 5 million Indian children have benefited from effective poverty-reduction policies, like tutoring programs in schools. Another example is represented by the subsidies for preventive health care that have been introduced in many countries. The winning of this year Nobel Prize, thus, is only the conclusion of a long-standing path, which helped to undertake and achieve strong improvements in developing countries' welfare.
Finally, another little but relevant good news is that Esther Duflo is the second woman in history receiving the Nobel, 10 years after the first winner. Having obtained the renowned prize at 46 years old, she also classifies as the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, evidencing all the value of their work.

Mesci Tutors 2019/2020

Workshop on "Coping with large migration flows in low and middle income countries"

The Italian Center for International Development (ICID) of CEIS (Center for Economic and International Studies) of the University of Rome "Tor Vergata", organizes a Workshop on International Development.

The report analyzed the challenges that low and middle income countries face in dealing with large flows of refugees and migrants and especially on the interventions that can support their efforts in providing refugees with access to social protection.

 Mesci Students 2019/2020
Roma, October 22nd 2019

MESCIs at Villa Mondragone

On 25th of June Villa Mondragone hosted the annual Tor Vergata's Economics seminar. Lectures and discussions among academics, young economists and international hosts on sustainable development and the future of globalization took place here. MESCIs students enjoyed the conference and the view of beautiful roman lanscape from the Villa.

MESCI's students in front of Villa Mondragone.

An incredible MESCI's year has already ended

The las week of lessons spent with Dominick Salvatore (professor with honors, director of Fordham University Phd program) closed this MESCI's academic year 2018/19.

The class of this year was one of the best the programme has ever had. We wish to all of them the achievement of their goals in meaningful careers for building a more inclusive and sustainable society.

We are looking forward to meet the incoming students who will start the program in September!

MESCI students 2018/19 with professor Dominick Salvatore

Climate change simulation's game

Sustainable development, environment and climate change is the last course before Easter's Break. Professor Alessio  D'amato involved us in a climate change simulation game, during which we figured as nations in charge to reach a climate agreement. As good international cooperation's students we are, we came to the final agreement to not exceed the 2.2 °C increasing in temperature by 2030. Maybe homo economicus is going toward the extinction, giving the way to the cooperative man?

Mesci students with professor Alessio D'Amato.

Refugee Integration Workshop in Barcelona

From 18 until 21 of February 2019 MESCI students attended the joint workshop “Temporary reception facilities in Barcelona: searching for urban refugee integration”. As a result of a one-week interdisciplinary teamwork with other students from the universities Grenoble-Alpes, UIC Barcelona and TU-Darmstadt a variety of promising ideas and policy recommendations were generated on the subject of refugee integration.


Presentations on the final day of the joint workshop at UIC Barcelona

Food Systems, Nutrition and Agenda 2030 at 45th CMS FAO

From 15 until 19th October 2018 MESCI students participated in the 45th session of The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in FAO, Rome. CFS is the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for meaningful dialogue and interaction for all stakeholders working together to ensure food security and nutrition for all.


The students of 2018-2019 MESCI academic year in front of FAO headquarters in Rome