The history of the Graduate Program in Public Policy and Development (PPGPPD) begins in 2011 with the debates of the Interdisciplinary Research Group of Rationalities, Development and Borders. In December 2015, CAPES approved the PPGPPD Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Development, field of concentration on Development Public Policy in Latin America, as a degree in the field of Urban Planning and Regional/Demography.
The professors involved in the construction of this Graduate Program have an extensive academic experience, having worked in undergraduate and graduate courses in several national and international higher education institutions, and they aim at meeting society’s expectations and also the hopes of UNILA’s implementation committee, which perpetuated its desire in the book called “UNILA under construction”, published in 2009 by the Mercosur Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEA): “It is hoped that UNILA’s community competently and ethically contributes to the beginning of social and political scenarios which match the level of planet responsibility that is required in this new millennium from all persons and institutions. (…) The evolution from disciplinary knowledge to inter and transdisciplinary knowledge, as far as methodological challenges are concerned, must practiced and pursued in UNILA. The research projects and pedagogical practice in the university must reflect such innovation.” (IMEA, 2009, p.18).
Moreover, the Graduate Program in Public Policy and Development (PPGPPD) contributes to filling the great institutional gap in the higher education structure in Latin America, in Brazil, in the Southern region and particularly in the State of Paraná, which lack highly qualified professionals to work on solving problems related to the inefficient practice of public policy focused on the promotion of development. However, PPGPPD will also try to establish UNILA in the region where it is located, through its research projects, in accordance with its institutional vocation. “UNILA shall act in the bordering regions through its vocation to academic interchange and empathetic cooperation with MERCOSUR countries and other countries in Latin America”. (Law # 12189/2010, article 1).