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Subject data sheet

International Development Policy

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Code: 4VG32NBK99M
Name: International Development Policy
Number of hours per semester: 2+2
Credits: 6
Fall/Spring: Spring
Language: English
Prerequisites: none
Course type: 
Department: Világgazdasági Intézet
A Course leader: Tétényi András

Course description: The course focuses on international development policy from two aspects. The first part of the semester looks at the macro level and tries to provide an understanding of why countries give aid, who do they give it to and what effects it has. It also discusses the international development policies of some major donors. The second part goes to the micro level, and looks at specific development projects and programs. How can we determine the effects, efficiency, and longer term impacts of these projects? The course discusses the various dilemmas that emerge while analyzing the effects of development projects, and provides broad methodologies for overcoming these issues. A large emphasis is placed on understanding the most effective method for evaluation, Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), but also methods that are applicable to smaller scale projects.

Assessment, grading: 1. Regular class work
Seminars will include individual and group work to practice and elaborate topics discussed in lectures.

2. Developing a project evaluation plan
Each student will receive a short description of a development project, and based on the methods discussed in class, (s)he will have to prepare a written plan on (s)he would evaluate that project. Evaluation plans must be handed in until the 10th of April through Moodle, and each student will also have to present it during the last seminars. Exact details on what the plan should contain will be discussed.

Please note that any plagiarism in the evaluation plan will result in an automatic failure of the course.

Assessment, grading:
The final grade is composed as follows:
Final exam 70 per cent
Written evaluation plan 10 per cent
Presentation 10 per cent
Class activity 10 per cent

The final exam at the end of the semester will cover all material in the readings and issues discussed in class, but not covered in the readings. You should achieve at least 50% on the final exam to get a final grade. It will include about 7-8 questions, both theoretical and also small assignments related to specific projects. There will be three dates to write the final exam, students can take the exam on any of these three dates, but it should be noted that there will be no additional exam possibilities under any circumstances.

Class activity points will be based on how regularly students contribute meaningfully to discussions. Class attendance sheets will be taken. Anyone missing more than 4 seminars will not be able to pass the course. Also, students should try not to be late, as attendance sheets will be circulated at the beginning of the class. Those who are studying abroad during the semester or face some kind of obstacle preventing them from participating in class should contact me during the first two weeks. We will not accept any excuses later on.

Final grades are awarded according to the standard ECTS grading scale (see below). Grades are non-negotiable. Please take into account that any complaints concerning the points of the final written exams (except for obvious adding mistakes) will result in a re-evaluation of the entire test.

Percentage achieved Hungarian Grade Explanation
90-100 5 Excellent
80-89,9 4 Good
70-79,9 3 Satisfactory
60-69,9 2 Sufficient
0-60 1 Failed

Aims and objectives and description of the course: Date of class Topics to be discussed, readings required for the class
Week 1
30th of January Introduction: concept, framework and requirements of the course. Actors of development assistance, reasons for countries providing foreign aid.
Recommended reading: Collier (2008); Easterly (2006 and 2008); Alesina and Dollar (2000).
Week 2
6th of February A history of foreign aid in light of the economic development mainstream theories of their times. Double lecture
Recommended reading: Szent-Iványi and Lightfoot (2015), chapter 3; Szent-Iványi and Tétényi, András (2013); Lightfoot and Szent-Iványi (2014)
Week 3
13th of February
The effects of aid on the macro level. How to measure macro aid effectiveness? Why does aid seem so ineffective?
Recommended reading: Easterly and Williamson (2011)
Seminar: Watching interview with Dambisa Moyo and answering questions
Week 4
20th of February
Impact evaluation: importance and an overview of methods. Reading: Road to Results Ch 1-2.
Recommended reading: OECD (2016), chapter 2
Seminar: Arguing for the conduction of project evaluations and development assistance
Week 5
27th of February Developing results-oriented monitoring and evaluation systems and the creation of indicators. Reading: Road to Results Ch 3.
Recommended reading: Bryman Ch 7
Seminar: Creation of indicators
Week 6
6th of March Stakeholder analysis and the theory of change. Reading: Road to Results Ch 4-5.
Recommended reading: Vogel, Isabel
Seminar: Creating theories of changes
Week 7
13th of March Research design and questions. Reading: Road to Results Ch 6 - 7
Recommended reading: Bryman Ch 3
Seminar: Creating research designs
Week 8
20th of March Data collection I. Reading: Road to Results Ch 8.
Recommended reading: Bryman Ch 9-10, 19, 20, 21
Seminar: collecting information through qualitative methods I.
Week 9
27th of March Data collection II. Reading: Road to Results Ch 8.
Recommended reading: Bryman Ch 11-12, 24,25
Seminar: collecting information through qualitative methods II.
Week 10
3rd of April Choosing the sampling strategy and analyzing qualitative data. Reading: Road to Results Ch. 9 and 10 (until page 388).
Recommended reading: Bryman Ch 8, ch 13, and ch 18
Seminar: Options of analyzing data
Week 11
10th of April The basics of quantitative analysis. Reading: Road to Results Ch. 10 (page 388 - 413).
Recommended reading: Bryman Ch 15
Seminar: Presentation of project evaluations plans
Week 12
24th of April Managing evaluations. Reading: Road to Results Ch. 12.
Recommended reading: OECD (2016), chapter 3
Seminar: Presentation of project evaluations plans
Week 13
Week 14
8th of May Ethical issues in development evaluation. Reading: Road to Results Ch. 14.
Recommended reading: Bryman Ch 6
Seminar: Presentation of project evaluations plans
Week 15
Final exam
Two further exam possibilities in late May/early June TBA

Time of class: Mondays 13.40 - 17:00

Learning outcomes: By completing this course, you will
• be able to critically evaluate the effects of the international development system;
• gain knowledge in the methodology of assessing the impact of development projects;
• polish your presentation skills;
• develop your problem-solving skills and ability to think critically.


Compulsory readings:

  • • Degnbol-Martinussen, John – Engberg-Pedersen, Poul (2003, 2005): Aid: Understanding International Development Cooperation. London: Zed Books The book is available in three copies at the Central Library
  • • Linda G. Morra Imas – Ray C. Rist (2009): The Road to Results. Designing and Conducting Effective Development Evaluations. Washington: World Bank (referred to as Road to Results).

Recommended readings:

  • • Alesina, Alberto – Dollar, David (2000): „Who gives foreign aid to whom and why?” Journal of Economic Growth, 5: 33-63.
  • • Bryman, Alan (2012): Social Research Methods. Oxford University Press.
  • • Collier, Paul (2008): The Bottom Billion. Oxford University Press
  • • De Coninck, John et al. (2008): Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in Development Organisations. Sage Publications
  • • Easterly, William (2006): The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. New York: Penguin Press
  • • Easterly, William, ed. (2008): Reinventing Foreign Aid. Cambridge: MIT Press
  • • Easterly, William and Williamson, Claudia (2011): “Rhetoric versus Reality: The Best and Worst of Aid Agency Practices” World Development, 39(11), 1930-1949
  • • Lightfoot, Simon and Szent-Iványi, Balázs (2014): „Reluctant Donors? The Europeanization of International Development Policies in the New Member States”, Journal of Common Market Studies, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp. 1257–1272.
  • • OECD (2016): Evaluation Systems in Development Co-operation: 2016 review. OECD: Paris.
  • • Szent-Iványi, Balázs and Tétényi, András (2013): „The East‐Central European New Donors: Mapping Capacity Building And Remaining Challenges”, Journal of International Development, 25(6): 819-831.
  • • Szent-Iványi, Balázs and Lightfoot, Simon (2015): New Europe’s New Development Aid, Routledge, New York.
  • • Vogel, Isabel (2012): Review of the use of ‘Theory of Change’ in international development, Review Report, Department for International Development (DFID, UK), April 2012.
Compulsory readings:
Recommended readings:


Last modification: 2017-01-24 13:15:37


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A "Tantárgyfelelős tanszék", a tantárgyfelelős neve a tantárgy oktatói és a kurzusinformációk automatikusan frissülnek a tanulmányi rendszerünk alapján.