Institute for Human Development

​Institute for Human Development​​

“The Aga Khan University Institute for Human Development brings together researchers, teachers, practitioners and students from across the university and the entire Aga Khan Development Network, linking with partners in other parts of the world.  Their collective focus on early child development represents both a unifying theme at the heart of the university and the network, and one of the areas most critical to the future of the communities we serve.” 
- Dr Greg Moran, Provost
​Message from the Director, Dr Kofi Marfo

Understanding and supporting the development of people in the day-to-day contexts in which they live and experience their multiple worlds are fundamental to any society’s hope of attaining a high quality of life and well-being for its citizens. The Institute for Human Development (IHD) is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge with direct relevance for policies, programs, and practices that enhance life experiences at all stages of human development.  In its foundational years, the Institute seeks particularly to become a major instrumental agent, locally as well as globally, for advancing knowledge about the earliest years of children’s development and harnessing such knowledge for the purposes of shaping policies and interventions that ensure a strong start in life for all children wherever they may live.​​

IHD's Inaugural 
Conf​erence and 
Launch took place 
​in February 2015
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To build capacity and drive innovation in research and higher education to produce and disseminate new knowledge of human development that advances the quality of individual lives and contributes to the building of successful pluralistic societies, with a particular focus on children, families, and communities within resource-poor regions of the world.


IHD will generate new knowledge through basic and applied research; apply the knowledge gained through research to inform programmes, services, and practices within community settings; influence policy formulation and implementation in ways that reap the benefits of the systematic research produced at the institute and elsewhere; and deliver educational programmes at multiples levels of study to prepare a wide range of human development specialists and professionals.​


Dr Kofi Marfo comes to AKU from the University of South Florida, where he was a full Professor for 22 years and Founding Director, Center for Research on Children’s Development and Learning.  He previously taught at Kent State University, Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada), and the University of Cape Coast (Ghana). He currently serves on the Institute of Medicine’s Forum, Investing in Young Children Globally.​