Course description

The world has made progress in reducing extreme poverty and non-communicable disease. Yet our economic growth model both in rich and poor nations has created a global climate crisis. The course explores the promise of sustainable development that integrates natural and social science concerns, and reviews failures of sustainability that have at times increased landlessness, disease, hunger, pollution, and social disintegration. We examine principles and best practices in development and learn underlying concepts in population dynamics, poverty reduction, public health, and technology innovation to meet critical needs in energy and food security. Case studies help us learn the importance of methods for planning, monitoring, and evaluation. Students are introduced to the institutional landscape for development assistance including multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the New Development Bank; bilateral agencies as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA); nongovernmental organizations as Oxfam and BRAC; and local civil society groups. The course aims to benefit students seeking a foundation in development as well as those wishing to enhance skills in policy advocacy. Overall, we consider the ethics of development practice that must guide our interactions and interventions.


  • Professor of International Development and Director, Center for Global Development and Sustainability, Brandeis University
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