CPT-11806 Technology, Development and Natural Resources


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work30
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. SR Vellema
Lecturer(s)dr. SP Koot
dr. ir. H Maat
dr. ir. JA Bolding
dr. ir. SR Vellema
Examiner(s)dr. ir. SR Vellema

Language of instruction:

NL and/or EN


Technology plays an important role in shaping sustainable development. In fact, many people associate 'development' with the uptake of new technology, and have high expectations of its potential benefits in addressing poverty, diseases, and environmental degradation. Others point to the downside of technology and emphasize how technologies intensify existing inequalities and create tensions in society, for example in the access to natural resources. In this course we use three theoretical frameworks to examine how the impacts of technology on development and the use of natural resources are mediated by interactions and negotiations between different actors. Real life situations in India, the Philippines and Namibia are used to apply concepts for assessing how the interactions between technology, natural resources and society create enabling or constraining conditions for sustainable development.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize and compare different theoretical frameworks analysing the connection between technology, natural resources and society;
- apply selected concepts (from different theoretical frameworks) to distinguish the consequences of technology for different actors and to classify the potential contributions of particular technologies to addressing development challenges in specific contexts;
- practice the basic rules and principles of writing scientifically sound texts communicating a clear message to distinct audiences;
- write a coherent and well-structured text which appraises and selects different concepts to outline a recommended intervention strategy for policy makers.


The course consists of lectures, literature study, tutorials, group and writing assignments and individual paper writing. These activities are geared to understanding why and how specific technological interventions or promises affect the sustainable use of natural resources and contribute to achieving (international) development goals.


- individual paper / Policy brief (50%);
- three group assignments (25%);
- computer-based test with closed questions (25%).
A minimum grade of 5.5 applies to all three.


The course will make use of articles and documents that are made available electronically.

Compulsory for: BINInternational Development StudiesBSc5MO
BILInternational Land and Water ManagementBSc5MO