CPT-36806 Critical Reflection on Research in International Development Practice


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work9
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. H Maat
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. S van Bommel
dr. ir. H Maat
drs. LFP Pijnenburg
dr. ir. MJ Voors
dr. BJ Jansen
Examiner(s)dr. ir. H Maat

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

SDC-36306 Perspectives and Themes in International Development Studies


This course fosters critical reflection on the use of research in international development practice. There are many research-related activities in aid programs and development projects. Different research designs and methodological strategies are used in various stages of development intervention, for different purposes, and with different societal audiences in mind. In this course students will learn to reflect critically upon the epistemological, normative, ethical and political aspects of research in international development practice. After learning how to use a framework for reflection, the acquired understanding and reflective skills are applied to a variety of cases and examples of development research in practice. The course also teaches students to understand, analyse and evaluate linkages between methodological preferences, different disciplines and theories of development (inter-, multidisciplinarity). The course provides a solid basis for students to reflect on science-society interaction, transdisciplinarity and their future roles in international development.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- apply core philosophical and ethical issues in international development research;
- assess their previous knowledge of research approaches and development perspectives in relation to the core philosophical and ethical issues;
- analyse presented research approaches and cases from international development practice;
- critically assess the use of research designs and research results from different disciplinary traditions in the professional field of international development;
- appraise complementarity, ambiguity, contradictions and politics in the professional field of international development research and practice;
- appraise roles of development specialists as researchers and practitioners.


The course consists of lectures, literature study, tutorials, group discussions and paper writing.


- 4 group assignments (40%);
- a written test with open questions (40%);
- active participation discussions and group work (20%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


The course will make use of scientific articles and professional papers, available electronically.

Compulsory for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMSc4WD