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Global Development

Institution
Limerick Institute of Technology
Web Site
Typology
Syllabus
Thematic Area
Social Sciences and Humanities
Factual description
Students in the final year of a 4-year Community Development Degree programme took a module on Global Development. The learning outcomes were:

1. To critically analyse different theories of global development and evaluate their application.

2..      To critique economic models of growth, environmental sustainability, geo-political dynamics and social justice

The lecturer had experience of working with an NGO in Ethiopia for 3 years and proposed that Ethiopia would be the country of focus for the module. In order to make theory-to-practice linkages and to add to the depth of student engagement with the module, the lecturer organised that the students would receive inputs from 4 sectoral experts in the fields of Governance, Health, Capacity Building and Agriculture. All of these sectoral experts have many years experience of working on these issues in Ethiopia and are still engaged there at both practice and policy levels. Given COVID-19, all inputs took place virtually via Zoom. Two students undertook to host each session, welcoming the guest lecturer and asking a set of questions relevant to the topic. The experts also recommended key readings appropriate to that sector and made them available to the students on Moodle.

An essay assignment was set that asked students to reflect on an aspect/s of development in Ethiopia and to consider this and ask ‘what are the enabling and constraining factors for development in Ethiopia’? in the light of what they read and heard.
Relevance in complex systems
Ethiopia’s development is dynamic but also extremely complex and challenging, encompassing a range of political, social, economic and environmental challenges. A Case-study approach can address such complexity.
Strong points
1 Students were made aware of the policy frameworsk applied to national and regional development projects.

2. It allowed input from a number of sectoral experts

3. It provided a real-world critique of various theoretical models
Transferability potential
It provides a model whereby practitioners can offer up-dated material from a real-world setting to students