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MSc Human Resource Management (International Development) / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Development Practice: International Contexts and Worlds of Action

Unit code MGDI71981
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


  • To help study fellows to further their understanding of their own position within the broad context of international development. The goal is to reorient thinking and help study fellows locate themselves within the larger context of governance, development management and development institutions.




A focus will be on thematic challenges in human, political, socio- economic development and their implications for local and wider development of their future participation.  Another major focus is on expanding study fellows’ perspectives on arenas of public action beyond their initial, current or future professional or institutional fields. The aim is to promote their thinking about practice, across and between groups, organizations, sectors and regions and discipline boundaries.



Learning outcomes

On completion of this course unit participants will be able to:


A detailed syllabus shall be provided at the beginning of the 1st Semester.

Teaching and learning methods

1 * 3 hour session per week.

The teaching and learning strategy has three strands:

(1)  Formal lecture inputs to cover selected development practice (DP) and theories

(2)  Study fellow assigned inputs on

        - Critical overviews of DP themes and theories

        - DP in a variety of country organization contexts

(3)  Applications of (1) and (2) to case studies

- Learning and teaching process also include blackboard and web-based e-learning.



Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this course unit participants will be able to:

  • understand the broad context of human and socio-economic development.
  • broaden their perspective as development practitioners, with a focus on organizational fields of actions such as human resource management, human resource development and organizational change and development, beyond the specific worlds in which they live and work.


Intellectual skills

  • locate themselves in relation to unknown or less familiar arenas of action, including sectors, cultures and economies and to understand the interplay between such variables affecting action for development.
  • enable them to analyse the implications of insights into these contexts for governance and management across the boundaries of cultures.

Practical skills

  • prepare them for further learning and professional development in a range of development practitioner skills relevant to effective behaviour in known and new organization and social and work role contexts

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • understand and critically analyse a set of key development-related concepts and explore linked frameworks with which to make informed decisions to solve challenges in a wide range of organizational contexts.

Employability skills

¿ relate a broad view of aspects of the world of development to their own behaviour in their familiar organizational context and a wide range of other uncertain changing development contexts ¿ including sectoral, institutional, organizational, national and ethnic, and role-determined ones.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

There will be many opportunities for formative feedback. Oral feedback will be provided in response to class discussions. Summative feedback will be provided on assessed coursework.

Recommended reading

    • Selected reading materials and a comprehensive reading list with relevant sources will be provided during the course. However, study fellows are advised to consult standard texts on the topics listed in the course content. The following readings and sources will be useful:



    • Adjei, Joseph & Arun, Thankom G. & Hossain, Farhad (2009) Asset Building and Poverty Reduction in Ghana: The Case of Microfinance, Savings and Development, 3(XXXIII) 265-291
    • Anheier, H. K. (1990): Private Voluntary Organizations and the Third World: The Case of Africa. In: Anheier, H. K. & Seibel, W. (Eds.): The Third Sector. Comparative Studies of Nonprofit Organizations. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
    • Ferguson, J. & Gupta, A. (2002): Spatial States: Toward an Ethnography of Neoliberal Governmentality. American Ethnologist, 29(4), 981-1002.
    • Goodsell, C. T. (2006): A New Vision for Public Administration. Public Administration Review. 66(4) 623-635
    • Hay, C. and Smith, N.J. (2010): How policy makers (really) understand globalization: The internal architecture of Anglophone globalization discourse in Europe. Public Administration, 88 (4), 903-927.
    • Hossain, Farhad (2006): Digital Divides and Grassroots-Based E-Governance in Developing Countries. In: Anttiroiko, A. and Malkia, M. (Eds.): The Encyclopedia of Digital Government, Idea Group Inc., USA
    • Hossain, Farhad & Rees, Chris & Knight-Millar, Tonya (2011) Microcredit and International Development: Contexts, Achievements and Challenges. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
    • Hossain, Farhad (2002): Small Loans, Big Claims. In: Foreign Policy, Washington, D.C., P. 79-82, September/October 2002.
    • Hossain, Farhad & Tuhafeni Helao (2008): Local Governance and Water Resource Management: Experiences from Northern Namibia, Public Administration and Development, 28(3), 200-211
    • Ishii, Risako and Farhad Hossain and Christopher J Rees (2007): Participation in Decentralized Local Governance: Two Contrasting Cases from the Philippines, Public Organization Review 7(4) 359-373
    • Jamil, Ishtiaq, Askvik, Steinar and Hossain, Farhad (2015, Eds): Administrative Culture in Developing and Transitional Countries, London: Routledge
    • Peters, Guy B. (2001): The Future of Governing. Lawrence, Kansas: The University Press of Kansas.
    • Rees, Chris & Hossain, Farhad (Eds., 2013): Public Sector Reform in Developing and Transitional Countries: Decentralisation and Local Governance, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
    • Turner, Mark, Hulme, David and McCourt, Willy (2015, 2nd Ed.): Governance, management and Development – Making the State Work. London: Plagrave
    • Werlin, H. H. (2003): Poor Nations, Rich Nations: A Theory of Governance. Public Administration Review, 63(3) 329-342




    • African Affairs
    • African Development Review
    • Asian Affairs
    • Contemporary South Asia
    • Development and Change
    • Development in Practice
    • Enterprise Development and Microfinance
    • Global Governance
    • International Journal of Public Administration
    • International Review of Administrative Sciences
    • Journal of Development Studies
    • Journal of International Development
    • Journal of Microfin

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mohammad Farhad Hossain Unit coordinator

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