Social Analysis of Poverty and Development

School: School of Government
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

Lecturer: Robert Leurs

The purpose of the module is to familiarise students with the major social approaches to, and methodologies of, understanding poverty and development, and with the application of these approaches to projects, programmes and policy formulation.

The module is delivered via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), with hard copy materials. Students engage in structured group discussion board activities with the tutors.

Topics explored include:

  • Approaches to the definition and measurement of poverty
  • Axes of social difference
  • Analytical frameworks for social analysis
  • Concepts and methodologies of participation in development
  • Concepts and methodologies of gender analysis in development
  • Mainstreaming social analysis

By the end of this module, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the complex nature of, and critically evaluate, the changing definitions of poverty and their policy implications;
  • Understand a number of key social axes of difference, and critically articulate their role in poverty reduction and development;
  • Understand, and critique, social analysis frameworks, such as the livelihoods concept and framework;
  • Understand, and critically evaluate, the nature, applications and limitations of methodologies of social analysis, such as participatory learning and action (PLA);
  • Understand, and critically evaluate, the nature, applications and limitations of methodologies of gender analysis;
  • Understand, and critically evaluate, the advocated shifts towards a new development professionalism and learning process approaches to development project and programme interventions; and
  • Understand, and critically evaluate, the poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs) and processes.


Two 3,000 word assignments (50% each).

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.