Development Studies is an interdisciplinary field of social science involving sociology, economics, human geography, governance, political processes and policy studies. It is an established area of professional education since more than half a century, and currently, it is one of the important undergraduate and post-graduate degree programs in the world especially in the UK and the US.
It has a well formed body of theoretical knowledge that is continuously added upon through scholarly inputs of pioneers such as Professor Robert Chambers of Institute of Development Studies (IDS) University of Sussex, Akhtar Hameed Khan, Shoaib Sultan Khan, Lawrence Haddad and several more. Experts, like Todaro and Smith, define development as the social "process of improving the quality of all human lives". The field of Development focus on improving quality of human lives through three core areas of intervention i.e. economic development, modernization and through ensuring just distribution of resources across the society.
The usual areas of study and application comprise gender, poverty, climate change, governance, community participation, sustainability, environment, food security, livelihoods, microfinance and cultural development.