Introduction to Development Projects

Modular value: 20 credits

Module Convenor: Philip Amis

Aim of the Module

This is a skill based course that is primarily designed to provide students with practical skills they are likely to use in development contexts. The course introduces students to the planning and analysis of small scale development projects. Types of project covered include donor funded, government and NGO projects, primarily those aimed at income generation and poverty reduction. The course begins with the project cycle and continues to project identification, logical framework based planning, budgets and forecasts, project valuation, management and evaluation. The course is practice-based with widespread use of group based case studies and exercises, many drawn from real projects. The course is introductory in nature and no prior economics or financial training is needed.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will be able:

  • Demonstrate a general understanding of the project planning and delivery process and to be able to make a critical assessment of their limitations and strengths. 
  • Be able to design and implement simple development projects but also to be aware of the potential problems that they may face 
  • Be able to read larger scale project proposals and similar documents with understanding and to critically evaluate them 
  • Be familiar with specific develop tools such as the logical frame work and to be able critically evaluate their use 
  • To be able to design and a simple monitoring and evaluation system
  • To be aware of the different potential interventions in specific contexts

Teaching and learning approach

The course consists of ten two hour sessions. Considerable emphasis and importance is placed on students learning for themselves in a structured environment. The course is practice-based with widespread use of group based case studies and exercises, many drawn from real projects. This is primarily focused on contemporary policy and project documentation.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction: the role of projects in development
  • The Project cycle and Environment 
  • Project Identification 
  • Preparing a project concept note 
  • Logical frameworks and other tools; methods and a critique 
  • Preparing a budget 
  • Monitoring a Budget 
  • Preparing a work plan 
  • Project implementation and management 
  • Project monitoring and evaluation


  • One three hour examination (50%)
  • One assignment of 1500 words (50%)

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