Rural Poverty and Development

School: School of Government
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

Lecturers: Dr Robert Leurs, John Watson and Willem van Eekelen

The overall aim of this module is to critically evaluate a number of rural development policy interventions, in the context of various definitions and explanations of rural poverty. This will include:

  • An introduction to the various explanations of rural poverty, as well as providing an overview of the evolution of rural development policy interventions over the last 50 years or so.
  • A critical examination of some land based policies, focussing on market led approaches to land reform, as well as one response to the ‘failure’ of land based reforms, namely migration.
  • A critical examination of some very significant and well known examples of technology based policies, such as the so called ‘Green Revolution’ and to examine what the lessons of that experience are for the current genetically modified food revolution.
  • An introduction to the basic needs approach and a critical examination of two key related policy interventions in this respect (girls’ primary education and primary health care).
  • An understanding and critical assessment of the dynamics and socio-economic results of different types of agricultural markets.
  • A recognition, understanding and critical assessment of a few common rural development programme approaches.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Articulate different explanations of rural poverty and development; and
  • Critically evaluate a number of different rural poverty policy interventions.


This is by two 3,000 word assignments.

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.