Development research

The Expert Centre for Sustainable Business and Development Cooperation (ECSAD) is an initiative of four Dutch university institutes: the Maastricht School of Management (MsM), the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University Rotterdam), the Amsterdam graduate Business School (University of Amsterdam) and EIBE (European Institute for Business Ethics, Nyenrode University). The Expert Centre combines the skills and expertise of the four institutes in business research, consultancy and training in order to address the multidisciplinary nature of sustainable development issues.

The Expert Centre for Sustainable Business and Development Cooperation focuses on the role of international and local business in promoting economic growth and sustainable development in developing countries. Whereas traditional approaches to development issues tend to overemphasize either the public or the private sector, ultimately sustainable development requires input from and interaction between governments, the private sector and civil society in order to be successful.

The Centre brings together experts with backgrounds in international business, management, international relations, economic and social development, and sustainability. The researchers and consultants from The Expert Centre combine a thorough knowledge of business and civil society with a sound understanding of the complicated set of problems that many developing countries are facing today.

The Expert Centre is active in:
a) Research; introducing a business perspective to development. The research programme combines traditional insights in business administration, management, economics, political science and sociology with new studies linking firm-specific information to macro-economic data, thus enhancing the understanding of the relation between the private sector, civil society, globalisation and sustainable development. The studies take a multidisciplinary approach and may have either a country perspective, or focus on supply chains, sectors, or specific topics such as environmental, social and health issues.

b) Training and consulting; translating cutting-edge knowledge to practical solutions and new insights for management practice, business-civil society engagement, policy and business development, international cooperation and capacity-building. This applies particularly to developing countries and countries in transition, where restructuring, reform and privatisation processes require the transfer of knowledge and expertise, in close collaboration with local partners to build on indigenous experience and take into account the particular circumstances in the region/country concerned.

c) Partnership building; Serving as a platform for knowledge transfer, and for exchanges between and among governments, international organisations, MNEs, SMEs, NGOs and other stakeholders from North and South, in specific projects or through e.g. workshops and conferences. This is an area in which research expertise and experience in training and consulting can be combined, thus paying attention to the opportunities of international, regional and local partnerships, but also the dilemmas and potential pitfalls involved. The already existing international network of the Expert Centre is vital in the further development of this partnership function.

For more information about the Expert Centre, please send your inquiries to:

Expert Centre for Sustainable Business and Development Cooperation
Attention: Diederik de Boer, MSM
PO Box 1203
6201 BE Maastricht
The Netherlands
T +31 (43) 3870808
F +31 (43) 3870800