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Unit information: Managing and Evaluating Development in 2015/16

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Unit name Managing and Evaluating Development
Unit code POLIM2036
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Fornes
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit focuses on the development of personal and technical skills that development workers increasingly need when working with international development organisations. In order to achieve these objectives, the participants will be asked to analyse and present solutions to real management issues throughout the course. During this process, the participants will face different challenges, like making decisions in the absence of perfect information, allocating resources, leading multi-disciplinary teams, defending their findings, or asking for resources to implement their plans. They will also carry out a final project intended to find feasible alternatives to specific problems where they will have the opportunity to practice the abilities, skills, and knowledge acquired in this unit as well as in other units of the MSc programme. In order to complement this knowledge, the unit will also concentrate on the development of four personal skills: team building, project and resource management, effective communication, and leadership; abilities increasingly demanded by international development organisations when recruiting staff. It is expected that by the end of the unit, participants acquire hands-on experience in managing and consulting, along with the opportunity to practice the personal skills needed to perform these activities.


This unit is designed to understand and apply some of the most important tools, techniques, and abilities needed in the management of development organisations, and focuses on the development of management capabilities increasingly required by such organisations. The unit also includes workshops intended to develop in the participants the personal skills required to manage staff and resources.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit, it is expected that you will acquire:

" An understanding of the management theory within the context of development,

" A comprehension of the meaning of analysing, planning, managing and evaluating development programmes,

" Hands-on experience in managing and consulting,

" Personal skills needed to lead multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary teams,

" The abilities to reflect on their own previous experience,

" The skills to think strategically.

Teaching Information

There are ten seminars in the unit, attendance is compulsory. Every session is based on both the readings and the case studies assigned for this day. Each session will be divided into two parts: first, a discussion on the issues assigned for this day; second, the presentation and analysis of a case study. The objective of this is linking concepts with practice. The unit's material/case studies are posted on Blackboard and all the communication will be handled using this system. Participants should visit Blackboard for new information and updates on a regular basis. The class is divided into groups of 3 or 4 students. These groups work together during the semester to carry out the project as well as to analyse the case studies every week. The latter means that every group should bring to each session its own analysis of the case studies.

Assessment Information

(i) 1500 word essay (45%)

(ii) final project in teams (40%)

(iii) team-mates assessment (15%).

The changes try to incorporate the nature of the course, the development of personal skills, in the assessment process. The rationale for this assessment follows: (i) The aim of the short essay is to provide an opportunity for students to understand, use, and apply one of the management tools studied during the unit with the idea that this practice will help them in the final project in groups. The essay is due on week 20, as it falls in the middle of the term, it also aims at developing the skill of working under pressure. (ii) The final project in groups is an opportunity to test and practice what students have learned working as part of a team throughout the unit, mainly in terms of transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, etc, This project is due on week 22. (iii) Assessment by team-mates attempts to minimise free-rider behaviours during the work in groups.

Reading and References

  • R. van Tulder and A. van der Zwart, International Business-Society Management. Linking Corporate Responsibility and Globalisation (London and New York: Routledge, 2006).
  • H. Anheier, Nonprofit Organizations. Theory, Management, Policy (New York: Routledge 2006)