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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Analysing Development (Distance Learning) (PGSP11319)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionAid is a specific instrument within international relations, employed in the achievement of both moral and strategic objectives by a range of international actors. For many countries in the developing world, aid has played and continues to play a crucial role in dealing with humanitarian emergencies, funding social services, stimulating economic development, and supporting the work of non-governmental actors. Yet it can have perverse effects, putting recipient states in a situation of dependency vis--vis their international sponsors and undermining public services while seeking to strengthen them. In some situations, aid has fuelled economic crises and political turmoil. This course provides both a practical overview of international development assistance, and equips students with the knowledge and tools to critically assess the social and political effects of aid, and the way aid policy is made and executed. We will explore the main rationales and theories for providing aid, the major themes in aid of the last two decades and contemporary debates. The course will have a strong focus on aid policy and strategies, drawing heavily on grey literature produced by aid agencies (OECD, international financial institutions, major bilateral donors, the European Union) and large NGOs. The course is suitable for students interested in future employment within aid agencies, international NGOs or developing countries, as well as professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge of aid policy and practice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students will have gained familiarity with the major trends in development aid and the rationales behind it. They will have an understanding of important past and contemporary debates in development aid, and will have learned how to engage critically with the complex social, political and economic contexts in which aid programmes are designed and delivered. Students will gain experience in the analysis of aid policy documents and strategies.
Assessment Information
5000 word research paper (100%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus 11. Introduction: history of aid and the 'aid effectiveness' drive
12. Aid, Poverty and Growth: the main theories of aid
13. Why do we give aid? Moral and strategic objectives
14. More government, less government? The shifting politics of aid modalities
15. 'Targeting' aid: setting the Millennium Development Goals
16. Conditionality and selectivity
17. Moral dilemmas: aid and its unforeseen consequences in conflict zones
18. Dependency and self-reliance: the 'ownership' debate
19. Aid for democracy-promotion: can aid induce 'good governance'?
20. Conclusion: Does aid work? Can it work?
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Black, R. and H. White (2004) Targeting Development: Critical Perspectives on the Millennium Development Goals
Degnbol-Martinussen, J. and P. Engberg-Pedersen (2003). Aid: Understanding International Development Cooperation.
Gibson, C.C, Andersson, K., Ostrom, E. and S. Shivakumar (2005) The Samaritan's Dilemma. The Political Economy of Development Aid.
Lancaster, C. (1999). Aid to Africa. So Much to Do, So Little Done.
Lancaster, C. (2007). Foreign Aid. Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics
Maren, M. (1997) The Road to Hell. The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity
Riddell, R.C. (2007) Does Foreign Aid Really Work?
Tarp, F. (2000) Foreign Aid and Development. Lessons learnt and directions for the future.
Uvin, P. (1998) Aiding Violence
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern This course will be entirely taught as a distance option (no face-to-face lectures) using a range of innovative and interactive teaching methods. Students will have virtual lectures delivered by a team of lecturers; they will be requested to share their perspectives related to the weekly lecture and readings on message boards and wikis; they will 'virtually' meet with their tutor and colleagues during the synchronised online tutorial; and they will be able to take advantage of Edinburgh University facilities for e-learning students, such as, for example, downloading documentaries, testing their knowledge with online quizzes and developing their own blog.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Samuel Spiegel
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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