Towards the Introduction of Master’s Program In Economics of Sustainable Development Management In Iraqi Universities
Professor Hajeer Adnan Zaki Ameen
Translated by: Hala Al-Salam
IFPMC – LONDON
From the bottom line, it seems that most of nowadays intractable problems are, in fact, an output of short-sighted decisions, taken in the past and were limited to that period without the decision-makers estimating the future implications of such decisions.
Sustainable development, by its simplest definition – is a wide-horizon vision for the decision makers, to continuously evaluate their decisions in light of effects which could inflict those who are, currently- according to the time factor, not present with us, but they fall into the circle of our future responsibilities.
From that fact we can conclude that Iraqi economy, nowadays, suffers from a countless problems and within several aspects – finance, development, employment, population pressure in cities, countryside’s backwardness, transportation, supply chains, trade policies, and many other problems due to the failure of the responsible future vision of decision-maker, or failure of taking a required decision at a required timing on the first place.
Therefore, in line with the growing international academic trend, to promote specialization in sustainable development field and its management at the macro and micro levels, and based on the overlapping approach to the nature of the required study, we call for creating specialized study program to enhance the scientific and specialized horizons of sustainable development community, as well as to contribute in assigning the elements of economic, administrative, environmental, health, and population life, in a way contributes to deepening knowledge of ways, tools, and potentials for development in the present without bargaining the ability of future generations to secure their needs.
This program, like other studying programs in the international academic institutions, starts from analyzing the knowledge gap in this field – in which its pioneership was in Columbia University – in United States then followed by other academic institutions, since 2008 and it continued to grow steadily.
perhaps, it is most worth in the developing societies, especially in Iraq, to devote an integrated academic program in this field where most of the present and future economic problems revolve around the failure of current policies in realizing their future consequences in fields of economic development, social development, healthcare-management economics, responsible management, environmental protection, population issues, poverty, pollution, work-related uncertainty, employment, urbanization, civilizational and cultural development, agricultural prospects, resources, financial and economic crises, and finally the empowerment and verification of zonal, regional, and international security components , in a century which most important features is the transition to a knowledge and learning intensive economy.
knowledge gap in sustainable-development study:
From the above, it is possible to summarize the features of knowledge gap in the comprehensive instructional vision on sustainable development studies, according to the results of the expanded studies of the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development – in the following points:
1. A systematic, overlapped work, is needed to address all above and other issues – which are no longer possible to be treated and supply their specialists, except through academic cross-interdisciplinary programs at the level of study and research, as, and based on what observed by the knowledge-gap studies, the term ‘Development, or Sustainable Development’ was taken up in specialized studies biased towards this – or that specialization, whether in the fields of social, natural, or engineering sciences, while effective horizon of this topic requires, for now, cross-disciplinary programs, which confirmed that dealing with sustainable development issues at the level of policies application has become contradictory in many cases, since the indicators of economic policy-making in all sectors at the level of Education, Health, and Environment, have remained determined by ministries of finance whose knowledge is limited – in the presence of a holistic vision, of what will be their outputs, and also, its specialists rely on the economic theory data – inside closed rooms, away of reality repercussions.
2. Emergence of need for another type of specialists, qualified to link the social, applied, and natural sciences to ensure the required overlapped understanding of sustainable development issues.
3. Realizing that the accelerating context of scientific progress became require a continuation of continuing education cycle in vision, for education in sustainable development issues, that characterized by high mobility and feedback over various time periods, which requires adequate statistical expertise for evaluation, prediction and re-evaluation in light of desired goals.
Program scope and required skills:
Overlapping and intertwining nature of development issues requires broad knowledge of various scientific studies; ambitious study program should include three basic scientific fields, where specialists should be familiar with, whether at classroom level or later – at research level;
They, specifically, include branches from:
I. Social sciences, by which mean – special and other basic branches of economics, management, budget planning, financial management, credit, human resource management, project design, institutional structures, statistics, politics, conflict resolution, law, communication sciences technological communication., information transfer, statistical analysis of data, logistics, education, anthropology, verbal skills, alternative dispute resolution methods, in addition to the formal and informal education systems.
II. Health, nutrition and malnutrition sciences, epidemics, pollution, population, demographics, family planning, and population growth.
III. Applied and natural sciences: in fields of transportation, energy, agriculture, industry, rural and urban engineering, basic infrastructures, environmental and ideological systems, geographic information systems.
IV. Those who hold bachelor degrees in applied and social sciences, as well as some natural sciences are able to enrol in this program, for example – but not limited, Graduates of medicine, engineering, science, Administration and Economics Faculties.
It is also possible to expand and elaborate the input circle after developing vocabularies and curriculums, for example but not limited, the graduates of the Faculties of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences, and the Faculties of Administration and Economics, and it is possible to expand and detail the input circle after developing the vocabulary and curriculum.
Graduate of MA in Economics of Sustainable Development Management have the following qualifications:
1) Find long-term solutions to issues of agriculture, trade, finance, health and population planning, for different societies at zonal, regional and international levels.
2) A holistic, Cross-disciplinary knowledge in dealing with holistic aspects of sustainable development
3) The ability to use and employ cross-cutting knowledge from other disciplines in deepening the sustainable development dimension in its initial achievement.
4) Keep the pace with the trends of cutting edge scince
and the comprehensive cognizance, and employ them in the field of sustainable development
5) Making a decision – administrative, economic, or at any of competence fields, based on the future perspective of the decision consequences.
6) Understand and apply the fundamentals of responsible management.
7) Understand and apply the fundamentals of responsible economics, as well as evaluate existing economic and financial policies on the basis of the sustainable development dimension at the micro and macro levels.
8) Keep the pace with the growing global trends, participate in academic discussions to develop sustainable development studies, and write reports.
9) Intellectual capability in preparing researches, required by the top management and the local administrations, on the basis of the sustained development dimension
10) Forming perceptions on the international efforts, required to achieve the global goals of sustainable development.