Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

PA 974 Contemporary Issues in Development Policy


Issues and Cases in International Development

This is a new course focusing on high-profile, contemporary development issues and related cases studies. The course has three objectives: first, to expose students to a range of high-profile development issues—including contemporary debates around these issues, the key actors involved, and the fundamental role of institutions and policies; second, to illustrate how analytic methods and approaches taught in MIPA core courses (e.g. policy analysis, statistical methods, macro and micro economics) are used to assess and analyze development progress; and third, to continue to build and improve students’ ability to frame, analyze and write about key policy issues.

The class will involve a mix of presentations of contemporary topics combined with a strong focus on case studies drawn from specific country settings. Issues are likely to include e.g. key drivers of economic growth, rising inequality, education, health, extreme poverty and targeted programs, international migration, climate shocks, the role of community-driven development, and fragility, corruption and conflict. Teaching will be complemented by a number of visiting speakers from UW faculty as well as outside academics/practitioners, to expose students to a range of ideas and real world experiences.

The overall aim is to help students develop a deeper understanding of the key drivers of development progress or lack thereof (based on relevant concepts of poverty, well-being, and social justice)—in real world country and institutional settings.

Spring 2015