Public policy and management: development assistance


The purpose of this module can be summarised by the questions that students will be asked to think about and analyse in their study of this topic.

  • Has aid increased the rate of economic growth in the aid recipient countries?
  • Does aid change government policies?
  • Does aid have a detrimental effect on governments’ accountability to their citizens?
  • Do donor conditions have an effect on the quality of governance in recipient countries?
  • Does the aid industry distort the labour market in recipient countries and adversely affect government capacity?
  • Do donors need recipient governments more that governments need donors?
  • Does food aid adversely affect food production?
  • Does aid promote corruption?

Topics covered

Unit 1: A Brief History of Development Assistance
Unit 2: Development Assistance and Economic Development
Unit 3: Humanitarian Assistance
Unit 4: Making Poverty History
Unit 5: The Aid Agencies
Unit 6: Funding and Resource Allocation
Unit 7: Implementation: Aid Modalities, Conditionality and Aid Effectiveness
Unit 8: Reflections on Development Assistance


  • one three-hour unseen written examination (70%)
  • two tutor marked assignments (30%)