International Development in Practice // Eck Institute for Global Health // University of Notre Dame

Eck Institute for Global Health

International Development in Practice



Dr. Steve Reifenberg


Number of Credits:



Semester Offered:



Course Description:

A central theme of the course is to understand what have we learned over the past decades from systematic research and from experience in the field about “what works.” The course makes use of cases studies and draws lessons from instructive stories of failure as well as inspirational stories of change. The course focuses significant attention on “bright spots” in development– specific interventions that have made meaningful contributions. The course aspires to help train students to think like creative, effective, and thoughtful development professionals.

A central feature of the course will be the opportunity to work throughout the semester as a member of team – “Development Advisory Team” -- directly with a development organization “client” that has identified a specific problem or opportunity. Development clients are in Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mali, and Zambia, as well as two organizations that have presented projects across a multiple countries.

The course is highly interactive and will require active participation in class discussions, as well as in multiple exercises and group projects.


Learning Goals:

This class aspires to develop relevant knowledge and practical skills for students interested in engaging in positive change in a complex world. In this course on international development, students will:

1. Examine the processes that bring about individual and societal change in an international context;

2. Explore the roles, complexities, opportunities and constraints of development projects in areas such as poverty reduction, social development, health and education; and,

3. Develop practical skills related to project design, planning, management, negotiations, communications, and the evaluation of international development projects. 



Fall 2013- International Development in Practice Syllabus