Making Change Happen

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Development Studies

Module overview

Please note: This module will run from academic year 2024/25 (January 2025 - March 2025)

This module builds on the theoretical knowledge and foundations gained through the first two years study, and asks how you will situate yourself in processes of social transformation and change for global development. Through a series of workshop-style sessions, you will explore and use a variety of tools, frameworks and approaches to develop your skills as activists, allies and / or development workers.

The module explores three key areas, each vital to mobilising and achieving transformational change.

Part One explores how global development problems and challenges are identified, including an understanding of who the key stakeholders are, how different communities (and parts of communities) may be differently impacted by the issue, and gathering evidence to support your case.

Part Two looks at how you design a programme for change, be it an advoacy campaign, a development intervention, a protest or policy approach.

Part Three then turns to the planning of the intervention: understanding how policies are made and opportunities for intervention; thinking about alternative approaches and comparing their respective merits; and finally designing your own programme for change based for an issue you have identified.

Teaching is undertaken through workshop style sessions which will include a combination of classwork, practical exercises, and training workshops. Through these workshops, you will have the opportunity to consolidate and develop a range of key skills, including analysis of real-life situations, investigatory skills, presentation, teamwork and proposal planning – skills essential for transitioning into future work and as active global citizens.

Students will have the opportunity to design their own plans for change, based on a ‘problem’ they have identified themselves and for which they have gathered relevant evidence, putting into practice the skills they will have acquired through this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module


LO1) Identify development problems or challenges within communities through the use of specific tools designed to identify issues and stakeholders.
LO2) Provide evidence to show the nature and extent of a development problem and which community is most affected
LO3) Understand policy-making processes and at which points interventions are most likely to be able to shape, influence or create new policy approaches
LO4) Use a range of frameworks and analytical tools to design and justify an intervention based on the analysis of the 'development problem'
LO5) Design professional development intervention, advocacy and campaign work through the use of relevant skills and tools in response to real-life calls for proposals, producing a monitoring and evaluation plan, making presentations
LO6) Develop team-building skills that will facilitate their doing these things in a professional setting


  • Practical classes and workshops: 3hrs per week
  • Indpendent study: 240 hrs

Scope and syllabus

The syllabus is split into three sections:

PART ONE: Frameworks and tools for identifying problems and issues in global development, including:
• Understanding what evidence to gather
• Evidence gathering tools and frameworks
• Participatory approaches
• Working with communities and stakeholders

PART TWO: Theories of change and engaging with structures of power, including:
• Understanding policy-making process and identifying access points for change
• Theories of change
• Power, structures and systems

PART THREE: Planning for change, including:
• Planning a development project
• Planning an advocacy campaign
• Constructing alliances

All three parts build to and provide support to students for the final group project and presentation of their own planned campaign or intervention.

Method of assessment

  • Strategy paper or outline theory: 2,000 words (50%)
  • Team proposal: 2,000 words (50%)

Suggested reading

  • Duncan Green (2016) How Change Happens. Oxford: OUP.
  • Eric Olin Wright (2019) How to be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century Mosse, D. ‘Is Good Policy Unimplementable? Reflections on the Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice’ Development and Change 35(4) pp 639-671, 2004
  • Hickel, Jason (2016) The true extent of global poverty and hunger: questioning the good news narrative of the Millennium Development Goals, Third World Quarterly, 37(5):749-767.
    Craig Valters (2015), Theories of Change: Time for a radical approach to learning in development’ (London, ODI)
  • Harley, Ken (2005) Learning from logframes: reflections on three educational development projects in East and Southern Africa, Compare 35(1):27-42.
  • Moser, Caroline O. (2014) Gender planning and development: Revisiting, deconstructing and reflecting, UCL Bartlett DPU working paper 165/60,
  • Punch, Keith F. (2000) Developing Effective Research Proposals, London: Sage
    Trifonas, Peter Pericles (2003) Pedagogies of Difference: Rethinking education for Social change, New York: Routledge.
  • Scott, Martin (2014) Media and Development, London: Zed.

Additional reading

  • Howley, Kevin (2005) Community media: people, places and communication technologies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Scheyvens, R. and Storey, D. (eds.) 2003 Development fieldwork: a practical guide, London, Sage Publications (Ebrary)
  • J. B. Aune,. ‘Logical Framework Approach and PRA – mutually exclusive or complementary tools for project planning?’ Viewpoint, Development in Practice, Vol 10 no 5 Nov 2000
    David Lewis, Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development (London: Taylor and Francis)
  • O’Neal-McElrath, Tori and Mim Carlson (2013) Winning Grants step by step, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
  • Williams, Suzanne (1994) Gender Training Manual, Oxford: Oxfam.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules