Development, N.G.Os and Foreign Aid

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 17 January 2022
Friday 25 March 2022
07 May 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA R9L2 European Studies with Politics,
BA R9L8 European Studies with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L900 International Development,
BA L901 International Development (Including Year Abroad),
BA L902 International Development (Including Placement Year),
BA L921 International Development (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module examines international development and foreign aid combining theory, empirics and practice.

In the first part of the module, we examine theories and concepts of development and the evaluation of development interventions. We then focus in on foreign aid.
The second part of the module examines the policies and politics of foreign aid from the perspective of donor countries, international organizations and recipient countries.

The third part of the module examines the, sometimes controversial, role of foreign aid in three issue areas: international security, migration and global health.
Throughout the module, we examine a range of N.G.O. development programmes and their outcomes and, finally, students are given a chance to develop a proposal for a development programme of their own.

Module aims

This module aims to give students:

1. An introduction to theories and concepts of international development, including those used in practical settings by NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and researchers.
2. A multifaceted understanding of foreign aid, by examining three different perspectives: donor countries, intergovernmental organizations and international NGOs, and recipient countries.
3. An examination of important debates in foreign aid through the lens of three important issue areas.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will have:

1. A detailed understanding of key concepts and theories of international development.
2. A critical awareness of the various actors and perspectives in the study of international development.
3. Critical problem-solving skills applied to difficult issues in international development.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

1 x 2 hour seminar per week


  • Johansson, Pernilla. (2010-9) 'Debt Relief, Investment and Growth', in World Development. vol. 38 (9) , pp.1204-1216
  • Arndt, Channing; Tarp, Finn. (2017-05) 'Aid, Environment and Climate Change', in Review of Development Economics. vol. 21 (2) , pp.285-303
  • Ravallion, Martin. (2009) 'Evaluation in the Practice of Development', in The World Bank Research Observer. vol. 24 (1) , pp.29-53
  • Temple, Jonathan R. W. (2010) 'Aid and Conditionality', in Handbook of Developmental Economics. vol. 5, pp.4415-4523
  • Alberto Alesina; Beatrice Weder. (Sep 2002) 'Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?', in The American Economic Review. vol. 92 (4) , pp.1126-1137
  • Collier, Paul. (2007) 'Bad Governance in a Small Country', in The bottom billion: why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.64-76
  • Ezrow, Natasha M.; Frantz, Erica; Kendall-Taylor, Andrea. (2015) Development and the state in the 21st century: tackling the challenges facing the developing world, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Jeffrey Sachs; Pia Malaney. (2002) 'The economic and social burden of malaria.', in Nature. vol. 415 (6872) , pp.680-5
  • Berthélemy, Jean-Claude; Beuran, Monica; Maurel, Mathilde. (2009-10) 'Aid and Migration: Substitutes or Complements?', in World Development. vol. 37 (10) , pp.1589-1599
  • Radelet, Steven. (2003) 'Bush and Foreign Aid', in Foreign. vol. 82 (5) , pp.104-1172003
  • Peinhardt, Clint; Sandler, Todd. (2015) 'Foreign Aid and Global Health', in Transnational cooperation: an issue-based approach, New York, NY: Oxford University Press., pp.120-147
  • Kuziemko, Ilyana; Werker, Eric. (2006-10) 'How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations', in Journal of Political Economy. vol. 114 (5) , pp.905-930
  • Sarah Blodgett BermeoDavid Leblang. (2015) 'Migration and Foreign Aid', in International. vol. 69 (3) , pp.627-657
  • Easterly, William. (2002) 'How Did Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Become Heavily Indebted? Reviewing Two Decades of Debt Relief', in World Development. vol. 30 (10) , pp.1677-1696
  • Gamso, Jonas; Yuldashev, Farhod. (2018-12-01) 'Targeted Foreign Aid and International Migration: Is Development-Promotion an Effective Immigration Policy?', in International Studies Quarterly. vol. 62 (4) , pp.809-820
  • Burnside, Craig; Dollar, David. (2000) 'Aid, Policies, and Growth', in The American Economic Review. vol. 90 (4) , pp.847-868
  • Simmons, P.J. (1998) 'Learning to live with NGOs', in Foreign Policy. (112) , pp.82-96
  • Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo. (2007) 'The Economic Lives of the Poor', in The Journal of Economic Perspectives. vol. 21, pp.141-168
  • Dupuy, Kendra; Prakash, Aseem. (2018-02) 'Do Donors Reduce Bilateral Aid to Countries With Restrictive NGO Laws? A Panel Study, 1993-2012', in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. vol. 47 (1) , pp.89-106
  • Easterly, William. (2001-11) 'Debt Relief', in Foreign Policy. (127) , pp.20-
  • Haynes, Jeffrey. (2008) 'What is Development?', in Development studies, Cambridge: Polity., pp.1-17
  • Robeyns, Ingrid. (2006-09) 'The Capability Approach in Practice*', in Journal of Political Philosophy. vol. 14 (3) , pp.351-376
  • Hübler, Michael. (2017-02) 'The Future of Foreign Aid in a Globalizing World with Climate Change', in Global Policy. vol. 8 (1) , pp.41-51
  • Karns, Margaret P.; Mingst, Karen A.; Stiles, Kendall W. (2015) International organizations: the politics and processes of global governance, Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
  • Alesina, Alberto; Dollar, David. (2000) 'Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?', in Journal of Economic Growth. vol. 5 (1) , pp.33-63
  • Bräutigam, Deborah A.; Segarra, Monique. (1990) 'Difficult Partnerships: The World Bank, States, and NGOs', in Latin American Politics and Society. vol. 49 (4) , pp.149-181
  • Neumayer, Eric. (2003) The pattern of aid giving: the impact of good governance on development assistance, London: Routledge. vol. 34
  • Starrs, Ann M. (2017-02) 'The Trump global gag rule: an attack on US family planning and global health aid', in The Lancet. vol. 389 (10068) , pp.485-486
  • Easterly, William. (2003) 'Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?', in The Journal of Economic Perspectives. vol. 17 (3) , pp.23-48
  • Cosgrave, John. (no date) The Impact of the War on Terror on Aid Flows, Chard: ActionAid.
  • Brown, Stephen; Grävingholt, Jörn. (2016) 'Security, Development and the Securitization of Foreign Aid', in The Securitization of Foreign Aid, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan., pp.1-17
  • Hertz, Noreena. (2005) 'Why We Must Defuse The Debt Threat', in Contributions to Political Economy. vol. 24 (1) , pp.123-133
  • Martin Ravallion. (2003) 'The Debate on Globalization, Poverty and Inequality: Why Measurement Matters', in International Affairs. vol. 79 (4) , pp.739-753
  • de Haas, Hein. (2007-09) 'Turning the Tide? Why Development Will Not Stop Migration', in Development and Change. vol. 38 (5) , pp.819-841
  • Daron Acemoglu; James Robinson; Simon Johnson. (2003) 'Disease and Development in Historical Perspective', in Journal of the European Economic Association: MIT Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Critical Summary  01/02/2022   
Coursework   Topic and literature review for Concept note  15/02/2022   
Coursework   Concept Note   22/03/2022   

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Miranda Simon, email: miranda.simon@essex.ac.uk.
Dr. Miranda Simon
Module Supervisor: Miranda Simon - miranda.simon@essex.ac.uk / Module Administrator: Lewis Olley - govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 400 hours, 20 (5%) hours available to students:
380 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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