SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Development Practice

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Term 2

This module provides an introduction to development practice by examining some of the key challenges and constraints faced by development practitioners in the light of trends in development theory and policy. It is divided into three subject areas. First, a range of planning and management tools and frameworks employed by governments, donor agencies and NGOs are examined. These include tools associated with project cycle management including log frame analysis, participative planning and management, monitoring and evaluation frameworks. Second, the module examines the organisational challenges for improved development practice. This involves analysis of capacity building challenges including those relating to management, culture, leadership and learning. Finally how development agencies relate to one another, and approaches to coordinated action, are examined with a particular focus on managing external relations, building alliances and advocacy. Students are encouraged to develop their own particular interests within the module and to explore the implications of policy and practice in particular countries, by particular agencies or in specific sectors.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

This module is designed to provide students with exposure to a range of development and relief planning and management methods and some practice in using them and an understanding of present and future trends in the development policy and planning assumptions, priorities and practice of different kinds of development agencies and enable them to develop a critique of development and relief policies, strategies and planning practice.


Teaching takes place through a weekly 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial.

Method of assessment

60% examination, 40% coursework. Each student will be expected to submit one essay of no more than 4000 words, worth 40%. Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules