module specification

GI6010 - International Aid and Development (2016/17)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2016/17
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title International Aid and Development
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Coursework 3500 word essay
Coursework 20%   10 minute presentation with handout
Seen Examination 40%   2 hour seen examination
Running in 2016/17
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

Issues such as corruption, extreme poverty, gender inequality, and economic instability have long been on the agenda of international organisations, yet implementing practical solutions to these problems is often complex and fraught with difficulty. This module uses case studies of  policy interventions in these and other areas to critically examine the role of key international agencies such as the World Bank, INGO’s and multilateral donors engaged in reform projects in developing societies. The core issue that the module considers is ‘Does aid work?’


Please note: This module supersedes GI3036/GI3062

Module aims

-To develop a detailed understanding of the role and functions of the principal agencies promoting reform in developing and transitional societies

-To critically examine the differing perspectives which have been used to understand the work of these agencies

-To develop skills of analysis based on national case studies involving international intervention in governance or development projects


The syllabus will be divided into two parts.

The first part will deal with core themes including the history and aid functions of key international organisations.

The second part will consider by means of national case studies, the contemporary issues in which these agencies have been closely involved.

These issues include measures to:

  • combat gender inequality,
  • achieve economic stability and growth,
  • reform ‘governance’,
  • eradicate corruption,
  • modernise civil services,
  • reconstruct ‘failed’ states,
  • achieve millennium development goals in health and education

A key focus throughout will be to evaluate the effectiveness of such ‘aid’ through rigorous analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.

Learning and teaching

The course will be delivered primarily through lecture and student led seminar/discussion, in which students will be expected to demonstrate understanding of the key issues in international administration. Students will be expected to research and prepare a presentation on one detailed case study, and to write an essay on another. Extensive use of web sources will be a feature of the course. Visiting speakers will also be used to explain the work of some of the aid agencies discussed. The module explicitly focuses on the practical implementation of aid policy and involves regular contact with practitioners, hence enhancing employability.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student will be able to:

1. Critically evaluate the structures, functions and impact on developing societies of the major multilateral agencies such as the IMF, World Bank, and INGO’s using examples from specific country case studies.

2. Describe and use the contrasting theoretical models that have been given to explain the activities of these agencies

3. Define and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of  modern ‘Aid’

Assessment strategy

One 10 minute presentation and handoutcomprising a case study and evaluation of a specific intervention by an international organisation in one country or region

One 3500 word essay on one other title given in the weekly programme. In completing this assignment students must illustrate the role played by international organizations in the topic area chosen, in particular regions or countries.
The same region or country, or topic area cannot be chosen for both assignments
One seen examination of 2 hours duration comprising a choice of 3 essay questions

Formative assessment will also be included in the course


Allen, T and Thomas, A.(2007) A Poverty and development into the 21st Century  OUP, Oxford Burnell, P and Randall, V. (2011) Politics in the Developing World,  Oxford University Press.
Collier, P (2008) Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it, OUP
Easterly, W (2007) The white man’s burden: Why the West’s efforts to aid the rest have done so
much ill and so little good, OUP
Hancock, G (1989) Lords of Poverty: The power, prestige and corruption of the international aid
Karns, M. and Mingst, K.A. (2010)  International organizations : the politics and processes of global governance  Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York
Maren, M (1997) The road to hell:the ravaging effects of foreign aid and international charity  NY:Free Press
Momsen, Janet Henshall (2003) Gender and development, London : Routledge, London and New York
Moyo, D (2009) Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa, NY:Farrar Strauss
Rai, Shirin (2008) The gender politics of development : essays in hope and despair, London: Zed Books,London
Rieff, D (2002) A bed for the night: Humanitarianism in crisis, Vintage
Rittberger,V and Zangl, B (2006) International Organization:  Polity, Politics and Policies Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York
Sharachchandra M. Lélé (1991) ‘Sustainable development: A critical review’, World Development, Volume 19, Issue 6, June 1991, Pages 607-621
Turner, M and Hulme, D (1997) Governance, Administration and Development,  Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York
NaliniVisvanathan [et al.]  (2011) The women, gender and development readerEdition 2nd ed, Halifax :Fernwood Pub. ; London ; New York : Zed Books Ltd, London
White,B, Little, R and Smith, M  (2005) Issues in World Politics Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York

Key journals :
World Development; Journal of Development Studies; Oxford Development Studies; Development Policy Review; Studies in Comparative International Development; Sustainable Development; European Journal of Development Research; Development and Change
Development; Third World Quarterly; Public Administration and Development; Development in Practice; African Development Review; Gender and Development; Journal of Third World Studies; Journal of Development Economics; Democratization.

An extensive directory of online resources is available in the module handbook