International Development

MPA International Development

The MPA International Development policy stream focuses on the analysis of economic and public policies for developing countries.

This policy stream teaches students the skills to understand the drivers of key decisions in government policy and to utilise analytical tools to evaluate the impact of different policy options. This policy stream prepares students to work at the highest levels in international development organisations, government development agencies, NGOs, development consultancies and private sector companies. 

Core courses

All students on the International Development policy stream take all of the following courses:

Political Economy of Development I (DV448)

(0.5 units)

This course will develop your understanding of the political pressures that constrain development policy-makers at at all levels of government — local, national, and global — and across all sectors of the economy — public, private, and non-profit. Why do the governments of some developing countries take good care of poor rural families while other governments privilege urban elites? Why have democratic institutions taken root in some developing countries but not in others? Why do some developing countries embrace free trade while others erect trade barriers? If you want to understand the larger forces that can bias political and organisational actors toward ‘suboptimal’ development policies—and you want more experience putting cutting-edge political economy theories to use in solving current development problems — this course is for you.

Political Economy of Development II (DV449)

(0.5 units)

Building upon the theoretical material and its applications introduced in Political Economy of Development I (DV448), this course emphasises politics on the ground in developing countries. Throughout, we will pay close attention to actors, interests, institutions, and power to understand who gets the policies they want, why, when, and how? Drawing on real-world examples including taxation and social spending, you will learn strategies for enacting pro-development reforms that might otherwise be politically infeasible, as well as widely-used measures and indicators of governance and democracy. Upon completing this course, students can expect to be able to critically engage with the key debates in international development, identify political constraints that may impede implementation of pro-development policies, apply theory to explain ‘real world’ cases of success and failure and design strategies to increase the political feasibility of pro-development policies.

Development Economics (EC454)

(1.0 units)

This course teaches the development economics skills needed for high-level public policy making. The focus is on theoretical and empirical skills to analyse public policies in developing countries and those topics at the forefront of development economics including political economy, trade liberalisation, growth, access to finance, technology adoption, education, health, infrastructure, property rights, land reform, gender, environment, mass media and political accountability. 

Core faculty

Professor Robin Burgess

Professor Robin Burgess

Professor of Economics
International Growth Centre
STICERD

Dr Gharad Bryan

Dr Gharad Bryan

Lecturer in Economics
International Growth Centre
STICERD

Dr Lloyd Gruber

Dr Lloyd Gruber

Assistant Professor in the Political Economy of Development
Department of International Development

 
Careers

Graduates from the MPA in International Development have pursued careers in international development organisations, government development agencies, NGOs, and private sector companies including UNICEF, UNESCO, and the UN, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oxford Policy Management, and Adam Smith International.

Alumni stories

Hana Chambers

Hana Chambers

UK Civil Service
Class of 2016

Josephine Gantois

Joséphine Gantois

Research Associate, Columbia University
Class of 2013

Dennis Keller

Dennis Keller

Senior Manager, Telenor Digital
Class of 2012 

Kenryo Mizutani

Kenryo Mizutani

Analyst, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation
Class of 2012