Is effective leadership of development organisations only about the ability to implement multiple programmes and managing teams? Or, are organisational leaders expected to have broader understanding of development theories, India’s overall development journey, frameworks of development action, and organisational cultures and leadership approaches? Should leadership of development organisations be based on the same organisational principles which apply in the corporate world? Or, does the development ecosystem and organisational context require us to rethink some of these principles?

If you wish to get the answers of these questions, then join Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Development Leadership by Azim Premji University. Yes, applications are now open for mid to senior level development practitioners.

This Diploma programme emerges from and responds to such questions to enable mid-career and senior level professionals to prepare for leadership roles in their organisations. We aim to advance participants’ understanding of development leadership beyond programmatic considerations, by helping them anchor their rich experiences and within a broader understanding of civil society and its trajectories.

What they offer?

This programme will help participants to:

  • Deepen their perspectives on the wider historical processes and lived experiences shaping development realities in India to better inform their work.
  • Imagine alternative development approaches and outcomes, which foster equity, justice and sustainability.
  • Strengthen capabilities of leadership to build inclusive, adaptive and collaborative organisations.
  • Enhance analytical, communication and other competencies for oversight of financial management, data analysis and communication for development action and advocacy.


  • The fee for the programme is INR 72,000 (this includes tuition fees, accommodation fees for the on-campus component and GST). Other expenses such as travel, food, etc. will have to be borne by the participant or their organisation. Financial assistance will be considered upon request.
  • For partners or small NGOs, a fee waiver of 50% can be considered. This is at the discretion of the University.

Who should join?

  • This programme is designed for professionals with eight or more years of experience in the development sector. It is open to those working in NGOs, social movements and grassroots organisations.
  • The programme will be conducted in English.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Undergraduate degree in any discipline
  • Eight or more years of work in any domain of the development sector, preferably with marginalized groups in urban or rural locations
  • Fluency in English (reading, written, spoken) Currently in leadership roles in their respective organisations, or likely to move into such roles within the next three years
  • Consent and recommendation from the applicant’s current employer.
  • They encourage applications from women and other groups which are underrepresented in the leadership of social sector organisations in the country.

NOTE: If you need to bring young children to the on-campus component, please contact then for childcare requirements.

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