- Conduct research into burning development issues that impact on the lives of Nigerians in different parts of the country; but such research shall be especially sensitive to the needs of the University’s catchment areas.
- Function as a network platform, bringing together scholars from different disciplines and from various parts of the country to share ideas on development issues.
- Stimulate debate and interrogation of policies, theories and practice to enliven the discourse of development and to enrich departmental teaching programmes.
- Organize development dialogues between stakeholders drawn from community, academia, government and the private sector in order to bring multi-sector thinking into policy formulation and implementation by government.
- Run a consultancy service that would allow the Institute and Ahmadu Bello University to generate income and at the same time to make input into the policy process by government