Right Livelihood College (RLC)

Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung

The Right Livelihood College campus at the Bonn Centre for Development Research (ZEF) hosts workshops twice a year at which DAAD scholarship holders from all over the world exchange views with prominent international personalities.


The Right Livelihood Award (RLA), in the German-speaking world commonly known as an alternative Nobel Prize, has been awarded to individuals, organisations, and social movements for developing and implementing practical solutions and models for decent living conditions since 1980.

The Right Livelihood College (RLC) is an RLA capacity-building initiative located at the Centre for Research Development (ZEF) at the University of Bonn. The RLC supports interdisciplinary research into development-related topics, for example social justice and poverty.

In this context, the DAAD supports special workshops at the ZEF twice a year funded by the Federal Foreign Office (AA). At these workshops, selected PhD students get together with RLA prize winners to advance research and international exchange related to development policy. Both sides profit from the mutual transfer of knowledge and expertise: in their respective areas of work, the project builds a bridge between the practical work of the prize winners and academic discourse.

In addition, the DAAD awards a scholarship once a year to PhD students from Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). These students have the opportunity to co-research with an “alternative Nobel prize winner”.

Programme objectives

The programme supports the development of practical solutions and models which promote “Right Livelihoods”, or, in other words, decent living conditions. In workshops held twice a year, the aim is to promote the international and transdisciplinary exchange of knowledge between RLA prize winners and young academics.

The RLC scholarship also enables the further study of research topics targeting decent living conditions.

Overall, these measures are intended to provide innovative impulses for development cooperation.


The programme successfully creates opportunities for international networking between PhD students and RLC prize winners. Until now over 166 participants from DAC countries in various parts of the world have taken part in workshops with RLC prize winners on development-policy topics.

Since 2011, the RLC scholarship has enabled a total of six scholarship holders from Malaysia, India, Kenya, and Columbia to investigate research topics focusing on the promotion of decent living conditions. Two of the scholarship holders have already successfully completed their PhD.

Given the variety of regional and academic focal points, the research results of the RLC scholarship holders provide impulses for development cooperation, for example relating to

  • the social and economic consequences of extractive forest management in Chile,
  • the agricultural practices of indigenous peoples in India,
  • the causes of conflict between neighbouring ethnic groups in Kenya, and
  • self-organisation among slum-dwellers in India.


DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service
Department P31 Institution Building in Higher Education

Ilona Daun

Senior Desk Officer
Tel.: +49 228 882-8614
Fax: +49 228 882-98614
Email: daun@daad.de

Anja Munzig

Programme/Project Administrator
Tel.: +49 228 882-8735
Fax: +49 228 882-98735
Email: munzig@daad.de

Further information

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