CPT-36806 Critical Reflection on Research in International Development Practice


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work9
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. H Maat
dr. AJK Pols
Lecturer(s)dr. IM Buizer
dr. S Hobbis
dr. ir. H Maat
drs. LFP Pijnenburg
dr. ir. MJ Voors
dr. AJK Pols
Examiner(s)dr. ir. H Maat

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

SDC-36306 Perspectives and Themes in International Development Studies


This course teaches critical reflection on the use of research in international development practice. With critical reflection we mean carefully considering one’s beliefs, knowledge and assumptions and identifying the underlying reasons for endorsing them. Aid programs and development projects often contain research-related activities. Research designs and methodological strategies from different disciplines are used in various stages of development interventions, for different purposes and with different audiences and beneficiaries in mind. Putting theories on how to plan, implement and evaluate development interventions into practice therefore not only depends on the strengths and weaknesses of those theories as such. It also depends on how research is mediated by partners, practical constraints and emerging opportunities. Being able to think through the political and ethical aspects of research as it is used in real-life settings, and to reflect on what counts as ‘knowledge’ and how it is produced, are crucial skills for those aspiring to work in international development. The course is structured around three components or phases of development projects: planning, implementation and evaluation. For each phase, we reflect on three different aspects of research in development practice: political, ethical and knowledge aspects.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
 - demonstrate critical reflection on the politics, ethics and epistemology of research in international development practice
- appraise the roles of development specialists, as researchers and practitioners, in particular how to deal with political choices, ethical dilemmas and what counts as ‘knowledge’ related to research in international development practice;
- assess the use of transdisciplinary perspectives, including marginalised views, for problems and solutions in international development practice;
- assess research approaches from different disciplines and how they contribute to interdisciplinary research in development practice.


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


- an interdisciplinary, reflective project plan (group, 70%);
- a written essay (individual, 30%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


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

Verplicht voor: MIDInternational Development StudiesMSc4WD