EDS230 Global Development and Aid

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Shai André Divon

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:60

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:

Organised activities: 26 hours of lectures/discussions in class, 20 hours of student-led seminars, and 2 hours guidance in written assignments. Total: 48 hours.

Individual studies and preparations for group presentations 202 hours.

Total: 250 hours.

Teaching and exam period:The course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel, .

About this course

This course examines aid in a larger context of global development. The students learn about institutions, actors and practices that constitute the aid sector, and about global development trends which challenges it. The students will also get insight into initiatives and visions of social change and transformation through alternatives to development.

In the first part of the course students are introduced to the rationale, history and theory of development aid. We examine the aid sector and the ways it operates and changes. Students learn about key actors, institutions and modalities of aid. We focus on the policies of aid conditionality and various principles and practices of development aid.

In the second part of the course we consider debates and perspectives on global trends that challenge the development geography in the 21st century. This includes the importance of international initiatives related to South - South cooperation, the implications of development policies based on the new global and universal sustainable development agenda, and different interpretations of trends regarding global inequality and their consequences.

In part three of the course students are introduced to different alternatives to development aid. We look at various examples of reformist and transformative alternatives.

Learning outcome

Knowledge and Competence:

  • Be familiar with institutions and actors within the aid industry and the different stances on the merits of aid
  • Understand and be able to use critical perspectives on development thinking and practices, drawing on critical social theory
  • Learn about current perspectives on development and changing constellations of power in a multi-polar world
  • Acquire insight into some alternative understandings of development, and be able to evaluate development aid based on these
  • Be familiar with some examples of alternative development models and ways these are put into practice


  • Be able to engage in academic discussion linking literature to group and plenary debates on specific themes
  • Be able to search for information and acquire presentation skills through work in seminars
  • Develop academic writing skills
  • Evaluate and analyze ethical dilemmas central to the field of studies of development, aid and politics
  • Lectures, discussion and seminars in class. Use of audio visual material, and guided group work and presentations.
  • Continuous feed-back to the class in plenary sessions, group work ,and assignment. Guidance and feed-back on individual writing assignments. Availability during office hours outside class hours by e-mail or by appointment.
  • Portfolio assessment

    - One individual essay (1000 - 1500 words)

    - One term paper (3000 words)

    Graded A-F

  • External examiner will be involved in the evaluation of the final term paper (3000 words)
  • Mandatory and active participation in group work and presentations.

    Required attendance to mandatory lectures and seminars as specified by the course responsible.

  • 26 (13 X 2) hours of lectures and discussion, 20 (10 X 2) hours of student led seminars.
  • B-IEDS
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)