Moral clarity matters.

At the Center for Values in International Development (the Center) we

line drawing of a person climbing a sequence of columns to reach a flag

Elevate

Elevate the awareness, understanding, and essential role of a values-based discourse in international relief & development

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Integrate

Integrate ethics pragmatically to inform all aspects of relief & development activities

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Advocate

Advocate for the regular use of applied ethics to yield more just, caring, equitable, and sustainable development outcomes and processes

Our Vision

The Center envisions a global movement towards respect for universal human dignity, under which ethics holds a pragmatic and influential role.

Our Mission

Centering values in international relief & development.

The Center is redefining the current relief & development paradigm so that ethics takes a front-seat. The Center applies moral considerations and ethical analyses to achieve more just, caring, equitable, and sustainable processes and outcomes. The Center works with governments, multilateral and bilateral aid agencies, foundations, and development practitioners to incorporate ethics into all aspects of their activities to foster human flourishing and a healthy environment.

gloved hands draw up a syringe

But our lives matter more, right?

By Chloe Schwenke, PhD (President) | January 29, 2021

Boundaries matter – politically and morally. Governments generally limit their focus to attending to the needs and aspirations of their own citizens, all within the context of national borders, and in anticipation of or in response to the threats and opportunities coming from outside those borders. The sophisticated institutions of diplomacy, defense, and global trade […]

insurgents gather outside the US Capitol

When the Insurrectionists Came to Town: Reflections on our Cultural Blight and Reclaiming Shared Values

By Phil Crehan | January 15, 2021

Called on by the President of the United States, the insurrectionists came to our nation’s capital and made their violent intentions abundantly clear by desecrating our Capitol Building. As would make sense, this has dominated the public conversation over the past week, with many in power trying to hold a corrupt president to account. Although […]

Statement from the Center for Values in International Development on the Democratic Crisis in the United States

By Chloe Schwenke, PhD (President) | January 10, 2021

Seldom in our recent history has the United States engaged in such a profound and urgent discourse on the meaning, significance, and relevance of our shared values as a nation. Since the appalling assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, our urgent reflection about our identity as citizens of a mature democracy – on […]

blackboard with text "first do no harm" and signature Hippocrates

Do No Harm

By Chloe Schwenke, PhD (President) | January 9, 2021

The medical profession in the West has relied on the Hippocratic Oath for roughly 2,500 years.  Verbose at 183 words (in the 1923 Loeb edition), the Oath is frequently distilled to just four words: “First do no harm”. This wise and important maxim is worthy of emulation. While not being a member of the medical […]

a girl sits with her head bowed and hand on top of her head, holding a sign saying "I'm not for sale"

An unseemly rush for legacy at USAID

By Chloe Schwenke, PhD (President) | December 14, 2020

The clock is about to strike midnight on the Trump administration’s federal grip on American governance, including at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Mid-December following the election of a new administration is typically a time of transition for all federal agencies and departments, where the priority shifts to getting papers and briefing notes […]

a dictionary page with the word Ethics highlighted

David A. Crocker: Human development should be guided by norms and values

By Guest | November 11, 2020

This piece first appeared in the joint ISC-UNDP project Rethinking Human Development, 2020. You have worked for many years on the ethical dimensions of development and know very well the trajectory of the capabilities approach. How do you think we should rethink the concept of human development in the current context? I believe that the current […]

arms and hands of several shades grasp each others' wrists

Self, Other, and Ethics of Care in International Development

By admin | October 7, 2020

In my current research on international development, I’ve concluded that the feminist theorist and moral philosopher Serene J. Khader presents the most engaging, fresh, and thought-provoking perspective on the issues that international development practitioners face in their work[note]. According to her, such practitioners often engage, either knowingly or unknowingly, in what she terms “unjustified unconscious paternalism,” […]

two women in masks wait to cross the street

Libertarian Choice, Moral Relativism, or Social Obligation: The World of COVID-19

By Guest | September 19, 2020

Over the past couple of months, the world has been thrown into an unprecedented situation unlike any circumstance we have ever encountered. While our daily lifestyles have been altered in unimaginable ways, we are increasingly aware that reconciling our lost sense of normalcy in society depends upon our adherence to safety guidelines and protocols. Though […]

youth demonstrate with a sign saying "sea levels are rising but so are we!"

Listen to the Next Generation’s Voices!

By admin | August 27, 2020

“Youth Activism is on the rise across the globe.” “Young people are angry.” Such headlines appear prominently across the United States, pointing to young people as beacons of hope, energized both by anger and by eternal optimism. Whether it is Emma Gonzalez’s heart wrenching moment of silence at the March for Our Lives protest, or […]

an elephant's eye

About that Elephant…USAID’s new gender equality policy

By Chloe Schwenke, PhD (President) | August 21, 2020

As far as it goes, the USAID draft 2020 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy is a fine document. Unfortunately, being a fine document isn’t enough. Women – and humanity – deserve so much more from this latest iteration of a longstanding development priority. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – the world’s largest […]

The Center for Values in International Development
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