Policy Topics: Sustainable Development


Units: 6


This course is taught from the point of view of the policy entrepreneur faced with developing policy on international development in an environment of competing priorities and paradigms, complex problems, diverse constituents, and multiple international stakeholders. The perspective of four different actors will be highlighted throughout the course: US Government; non?governmental organization; developing country; and multilateral institution. Students will learn analytic frameworks to hone their skill in two distinct components of policymaking: crafting sound policies and mastering the policy process. The course readings and guest lectures will provide insight and a realistic grounding in how to operate most effectively in the fluid and fastpaced global policy environment, and provide lessons on how to navigate and prevail in the highly contentious and charged policy debates surrounding international development. This course will not delve deeply into the equally challenging area of policy implementation, though suggested readings are provided. The course presumes no previous knowledge or experience in international development and does not attempt to provide a comprehensive review of the theoretical literature in the international development field.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, the student will have: 1) a much broader and deeper understanding of global development issues and stakeholders after exploring the history, landscape and current challenges; 2) analytical skills to more effectively serve as an effective policy-maker; and 3) tools to engage as a global citizen, including the use of science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Attainment of these course objectives will be assessed through class participation, a policy memo and a team project.