Diploma in International Development

Course Overview

If you are preparing to work in the field of international development, you need to acquire the knowledge, skills and contacts to function effectively in what may be unfamiliar or challenging circumstances.


This course accords students an opportunity to examine development processes, interventions, theories, policies and government structures in the global arena. It is expected that the student, after having completed the course, will be able to better understand a number of salient issues in the developing world. The student is expected to be able to apply concepts learned in class to the analysis of important issues in development studies. The course is structured around some key questions including:

  • What does “development” mean and does it mean different things to different peoples and cultures?
  • How has the historical experience of development influenced theories of development?
  • What is the role of the state in development? Has this changed over time and why?
  • What role do international development organizations play in development?
  • Why are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) increasingly important development actors? What are the limits on the NGO role in development?
  • How and why does being a woman change your life-chances and roles in the developing world?
  • How and why does being an indigenous person change your life-chances and roles in the developing world?
  • Is foreign aid effective?
  • What is sustainable development and how can it be achieved?

Furthermore, it is hoped that the student will reflect on ethical issues behind his or her personal commitment to development studies, and indeed, the endeavor of “development” itself. Why do we commit ourselves to practicing economic development? What right do we have to impose development on the Third World? Do these “others” even want to be “developed”? Is it even possible to practice development in a way that is respectful of local knowledge, cultures and diverse individual aspirations?

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to International Development Studies
  2. What is Development?
  3. Theories of Development?
  4. Gender & Development
  5. The State and Development
  6. Foreign Aid and Millennium Development Goals/ Sustainable Development Goals
  7. Free trade & Fair Trade
  8. Environment and Development
  9. Sustainable Development

Training Format:

  • All materials are made available through our Online Learning Platform
  • Students should commit approximately 5-6 hours of their time per week

Materials Provided:

Online delivery of curriculum materials, exercises and templates.


In order to demonstrate their understanding of the course content, students will be required to submit assignments at the end of every month.




ORGANIZERS: Capacity Africa Institute

LANGUAGE: English only

Kindly confirm your participation with:

Online Training Coordinator

Capacity Africa Institute