Development Policy and Management

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Tasha Fairfield CON. 6.04, Mr Frank Wietzke CON. 6.02 and Dr Rajesh Venugopal CON 8.09


This course is compulsory on the MPA in International Development. This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy and MPA in Public and Social Policy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The course is also available as an outside option, where regulations and numbers permit but only with permission of the teacher responsible. Please note that students who are enrolled in another International Development core course, such as DV400 or DV431, are ineligible.

Course content

This course introduces students to current debates, strategies, policy recommendations, and political challenges in international development. The Michaelmas term features lectures from leading LSE experts on key subjects including poverty, environment, industrialisation, conflict, and the role of institutions and democracy in shaping development outcomes. The Lent term examines a subset of these topics in greater depth, with particular attention to the issues of democracy, poverty, and inequality. This second half of the course emphasizes politics on the ground in developing countries. Who gets the policies they want, why, when, and how? Throughout, we will pay close attention to actors, interests, institutions, and power. Understanding the politics of policymaking is critical for development specialists and policy practitioners. Policies recommended by technical experts are not always politically feasible, and progress may require implementing second-best solutions. Moreover, approaches that work in one case may not work in another. Drawing on real-world examples from a range of policy domains including taxation and decentralization, we will discuss strategies for enacting pro-development reforms that might otherwise be politically infeasible. Upon completing the course, students can expect to (1) be able to critically engage with the key debates in international development, (2) be able to identify political constraints that may impede implementation of pro-development policies, (3) apply collective action, institutional, and other political economy theories to explain ‘real world’ cases of development policy successes and failures, and (4) design strategies that can help make pro-development policies more politically feasible in a given country context.


15 hours of lectures, 4 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students receive feedback on formative coursework in MT based on individual written work and a 'development policy application' (DPA) project that will serve as practice for the assessed DPA in LT.


Exam (60%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (20%, 1500 words) in the MT.
Presentation (20%) in the LT.

This course is assessed through a 1,500 word essay in MT (20%), a team-based development policy application in LT (20%), and a three hour exam (60%) in ST.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 12.4
Merit 70.5
Pass 17.1
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2012/13: 39

Average class size 2012/13: 11

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 91.1%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)