What you will study
The module consists of four programs. The first program is Discovering development management, which focuses on how global development takes place, the people that undertake development and the relationships between them. You'll explore the social, political and ethical dimensions of development in a variety of contexts and start to appreciate the complexity involved in resolving global development challenges.
The second program, Understanding development contexts, focuses on the development landscape and outlines the different institutions and organisations operating in this sector. You’ll consider the role of the state, of public and private sector institutions and organisations, along with civil society networks in shaping the development agenda and enacting social change. The complicated relationships between these institutions and organisations will be investigated, and you’ll start to learn about development management tools that can be used to gain a better understanding of complex development contexts.
The third program, Designing an intervention, critically engages with the tools, frameworks and methods associated with designing development interventions. You will be taken through the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating a development intervention.
The final program, Bringing about change, focuses on the argument that improvisation above rationalisation is needed in complex development contexts. You’ll understand how to bring about change and move to a more responsive, eclectic, and improvised process driven by the intended beneficiaries of development.
The module draws on case studies and research from the global south and global north to identify, explore and help you develop capacities – relating to concepts, frameworks, skill areas and techniques - that have a much wider application. These include:
- appreciating the history of development management, and recognising how the past shapes the present of development
- creating institutional and conceptual frameworks for analysing development management
- making cases for, planning, implementing and appraising projects
- knowing how and when to use different investigative methods and processes
- working with data, testing assumptions and making cases for intervention
- monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment
- learning for advocacy and strategic thinking.
You'll link these capacities to development management as a means of creating alternative strategies for development and bringing about social transformation.
By the end of the module, your analytical capabilities and strategic skills for facilitating change should have improved so that you can make a more informed and effective contribution to the environment in which you work.
This module will be delivered on the innovative platform of FutureLearn. You may already know FutureLearn, which was founded by The Open University, for the free short courses it hosts for universities and institutions around the world. In addition to these free short courses, FutureLearn has a growing collection of full fee-paying university courses linked to undergraduate and masters-level qualifications. These fee-paying courses feature additional options and tools that aren’t available on the free courses.
If you’ve studied with the OU recently, you’ll find that FutureLearn works a little differently. For example, it’s entirely online and highly interactive, so you won’t be using printed or offline course materials. However, you’ll still have access to our tools and resources, as well as new options that aren’t available in the OU’s virtual learning environment. Importantly, as a fee-paying student, you’ll still have the same excellent tutor support that you would on any of our other modules.