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College of Law and Governance

Welcome to Hawassa University College of Law and Governance

About School of governance and development studies


The School of Governance and Development Studies (GaDS) was launched in September 2006 under the Faculty of Social Science (FSS). It first accepted one section of regular students in 2007/8 academic calendar. In addition to the regular program, it accepted three sections of evening students in the second semester of 2008/9 academic calendar. Besides, the School has launched a two-year post-graduate program in two streams, i.e Governance and Development Management in 2009. According to the approved curriculum of the post-graduate program, there are five fields of specializations.

The School has created a unit which coordinates common courses such as Civics and Ethics and Logic. It is the School of GaDS which has been giving these courses to needy Schools in the University and will continue to offer these courses in accordance with the new university structure.

According to the new Senate Legislation of the University adopted in 2009, the School is run by a School Director. As of the abolishing of the Social Science Faculty following the implementation of the Business Process Reengineering (BPR) in July 2009, the School has become directly accountable to the office of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research of the University.


The School of Governance and Development Studies (GaDS) was created with the objective of generating trained and skilled man power, who will be an agent for the formation of democratic society, building good governance and sustainable development in Ethiopia.

The Governance and Development Studies is a multidisciplinary field of study and practice dealing with the art and science of managing and administering the functions of the Government at federal and local levels; leading and administrating non-governmental organization and managing development agents. The emphasis is on the academic excellence in the preparation of students for the entry level positions in government employment, non-profit making organization, business firms and international agencies. The technical competencies fostered in the School’s curricula and extra-curricular activities enable students to think carefully and critically about important questions of governance and development issues, enhances their skills on conducting research; develop their writing and speaking skills, enables them to acquire knowledge for grounding problems in a political, social, economic or legal context and increase their demonstrating ability to collect information to analyze problems or to make a difference in the quality of people’s lives. With the joint effort of the School, government and non-governmental organizations, students shall work in groups and take part in community-based development and will actively participate in public affairs.

In precise, the general objective of the School is to generate well-trained and skilled human resources in the field of Governance and Development Studies with the aim of satisfying the need of the government and various development agents in Ethiopia with domestic and international character. The School prepares students for careers in the public, private and civil society Organizations’ sectors by incorporating marketable skills into the general curriculum thereby produces agent forces for assurance of good governance and sustainable development in Ethiopia.

However, the specific objectives of the School are to produce intellectuals in the area of Governance and Development Studies who are capable of conducting development and political analysis, which is crucial to development endeavor. Some of the most specific objectives of the School are:

  • To introduce the discipline of Governance and Development.
  • To provide basic understanding of how government functions.
  • Introduce various development models with special emphasis on LDC’s.
  • To provide profound knowledge on international economic and political relationship and interactions.
  • To explore theories and practices of development and how it is applied to the developing countries like Ethiopia.
  • To integrate development and political disciplines and develop techniques of resolving community problem at grass root level.
  • To portray techniques in conducting research and making development and political analysis.
  • To provide understanding about social dynamics of development and good governance which is based on research and scholarly analysis.
  • To provide understanding about the reality of Ethiopian society and scrutinize its problems in order to provide long lasting solutions in the area of governance and development.


Upon completion and beginning of the implementation of the BPR July 2009, the School has incorporated former staff of Civic and Ethical Education which previously existed as an independent School.

The School has 23 academic staff of which two are females. All the staffs for the undergraduate program are local while the post-graduate program is both local and expatriates. School Staffs as role model for the generation to come are entrusted to promote and maintain educational quality through joint effort to address the objective of the core courses and specializations for pursuing graduate, post-graduate and professional education in Governance and Development Studies. Through strong research oriented activities, students will also participate in policy analysis of contemporary problems and take hands on challenges of development management in Ethiopia. 


The School is engaged in partnership with the Civil Service Bureau of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regional State (SNNPR) through the Post-Graduate Program which has been launched with the technical assistance of the Bureau. Further negotiations are still going on how to strengthen cooperation and partnership with Bureau.

In a bid to strengthen its ties with international institutions of higher learning, the School has also initiated cooperation dialogue and exchange of information with the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Netherlands. Detailed proposals have been developed and communicated to the ISS so as to create strong cooperation in the areas of academic staff exchange, academic staff training, technical assistance and joint researches.

With its mission and vision, the School has awarded the Master Degree in Governance & Development (specialization in Governance & Development Management) to two batches. At present, School is striving to cater the utmost services as per the need and demand of the society and is running three weekend programs (including the new entrance), two summer programs and two regular programs (including the new entrance) at Master Level.

Short Term Training (Post-graduate Diploma)

Besides the above, the School has finalized all the preparations to launch the following short term post graduate diploma as of September, 2010:

  • Leadership
  • Diplomacy and communication studies
  • Conflict management
  • Project planning and management
  • Governance

The vision of the short-term program is to improve the execution capacity of government and non-government officials through tailored and problem-oriented short term trainings for effective implementation of development programs.


Governance and Development Studies is the new area of study in Ethiopian Higher Education. Until this time, there is no single institution that provides this program at a School Level.  However, different related programs are being provided in different higher institutions. Development issues are one of the focal issues of developing countries. It is undeniable fact that both the Government and the community need skilled human labor in the area of development with the knowledge of governance as well as political science and development economics.

Today, the problem of Ethiopia is not only economic but also political. Therefore, in order to solve these multifaceted societal problems, it is imperative to create responsible citizens who are equipped with the knowledge of political science, development issues, public administration, regional and global issues, conflict management, Human Rights as well as socio-cultural, economic and political issues of the country. This country needs not only technicians but also thinkers especially development thinkers as well as governors who can realize the overall situation that the country is facing. Therefore, the program is designed to create the competent graduates who are equipped with knowledge of both Political Science and Development Studies.

The School adopts new courses in its curricula in search of solution for fundamental problems that widely observed in governance and developmental realms in Ethiopia. Hence, students are exposed to a rigid series of new structured courses which never come into surface in undergraduate program before, such as Governance and Decentralization, Globalization and Issues in International Politics, Social Organizations and Social-Cultural Processes, Media and Political Communication, Development Theories and Practices, Development Economics, Regional growth and Development, Public Policy Making and Analysis, Public Administration and Development Management, Gender and Development Studies, Peace Building and Conflict Management, Institutions and Public Sector Reform, Urban Governance and Municipal Management, Environment and Natural Resource Management etc.

Contact Us:

School of Governance and Development Studies

Hawassa University

Hawassa, Ethiopia

(+) 251-0462200887

(+) 251-0462211927

Fax (+) 251-046-20-54-21