Every year, a group of students from the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at Manchester University in the United Kingdom travels abroad to examine specific development challenges in a country and explore different ways in which that particular country is addressing those challenges. In the past, the group visited places like China, India, Uganda, Jamaica, and Singapore.
This year, 55 students from the Masters programs at IDPM traveled to Bulgaria to meet representatives from the government, the World Bank, the private sector, and other stakeholder throughout the country in an effort to better understand the challenges facing the country and to learn about steps being taken to address them.
“We look for places that represent an interesting development case study and Bulgaria is such a case,” says Ralitza Dimova, Senior Lecturer of Development Economics at IDPM and leader of this field trip.
Having met with a broad range of national stakeholders from the government, private sector and non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the students engaged with experts at the World Bank in Bulgaria to discuss development challenges and opportunities.
The discussion went beyond traditional presentations and focused more on challenges-opportunities passionate development talk on what could be learnt from Bulgaria. The students probed into different areas of development, inquiring about opportunities for growth in the country in these difficult times for the EU, asking about how inclusion works in Bulgaria, and wondering who the most vulnerable groups in the country are and what is being done to help them out of poverty.