School of Environment, Resources and Development, (SERD)

The main objective of the course is to provide knowledge on the key development challenges of the developing countries. It deals with the concepts and theories of development, poverty analysis, problems of education, health, aid, role of NGOs and civil society, and regional disparity in the developing world.

On Completion of the course students would be able to:
  • explain the problems of the developing world and the poor.
  • Analyze the disadvantages of the developing countries and their reasons.
  • Critically assess the current policies and draw some suggestions on policy changes and also practices. 


I.         Growth, Development, under-development and Anti-development
1.        Growth, Development and under-development
2.        Development Theories: Modernization theory, dependency and world systems theory, women in/gender and development, and recent schools such as human development, post-development etc.
3.        Development and disparities: Income, Rural-urban and Regional
4.        Anti-development
II.        Expectations and Achievements in Development Planning
1.        Failure to achieve structural transformation of the economy
2.        Continuing and increasing poverty and inequality
3.        Search for explanations: Conventional, dependency, terms of trade and their implications, power structure at national and sub-national levels; core-periphery and rural-urban relationships.
III.      Poverty analysis and Poverty Alleviation
1.        Definition and measurement
2.        Different faces of poverty and inequality: Income and non-income poverty, famine, chronic poverty, multi-dimensional poverty.
3.        Poverty eradication/alleviation strategies and management: The basic needs, microfinance, Sustainable Livelihood Approach, well being.
4.        Experience of poverty alleviation programmes and efforts to reduce inequality in Asia.
IV.      Changing Approaches to Rural Development
1.        The Sectoral Approaches: Agricultural development and land-reform, development of rural infrastructure, development of education and health
2.        Decentralization and participation: Top-down and bottom-up planning
3.        The Right-based Approach to Development
V.       International Development Co-operation
1.        The Role of Aid in development.
2.        The role of donors in development: Multilateral, The World Bank, UN organisations, bilateral and the emerging donors.
3.        The policies of the donors: sectors, countries, regions within countries.
VI.      The Non-state Actors in Development: NGOs, civil society, Global Civil Society and New social Movement


1.         Hopper, P. (2012). Understanding Development. Cambridge: Polity.
2.         Trebilcock, M. J. and Prado, M. M. (2011). What Makes Poor Countries Poor? Institutional Determinants of Development. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
1.         Lynch, K. (2005). Rural-Urban Interaction in the Developing World. London: Routledge.
2.         Walker, A., Sinfield, A. and Walker, C. (2011). Fighting, Poverty, Inequality and Injustice. Bristol: Policy Press.
3.         Esteva, G., Babones, S. and Babcicky, P. (2013). The Future of Development – A radical Manifesto. Bristol: Policy Press.
There are many good journals available in the AIT library (both hard copies and online) however the top journals are:
1.         World Development (Elsevier)
2.         Development and Change (Wiley)
3.         Third World Quarterly (Taylor and Francis)
4.         Development in Practice (Taylor and Francis)

Lectures (45 hours), self-study 135 hours. Students also need to work for about 10 hours for one assignment.

The teachingand learning methods followed in the course are: lectures, discussions, review of recent publications which include journal articles. It also includes a group presentation.

Mid-semester exam 30%, assignments and presentation 30% and final exam 40%. Both exams will be open book. In the examination, an “A” would be awarded if a student can elaborate the knowledge learned in class by giving his/her own analysis on the issues discussed, from journals, books and other sources. A “B” would be awarded if a student an overall understanding of all topics, a “C” would be given if a student meets below average expectation on both knowledge acquired and analysis. A “D” would be given if a student does not meet the basic expectations in understanding and analyzing the topics and issues presented in the course.

A Dr. Mokbul Morshed Ahmad