IDM013-Participatory interventions in development

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: Familiarity with the role of research and extension in development would be useful
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Peter Dorward


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Learn how participation and participatory approaches can support the processes of development. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of participation and learn how to maximise the benefits in development initiatives. Develop skills in the use of specific participatory methods and how to integrate them into practical work.

The aims of the module are to: 1) explore changing understandings of innovation processes and decision-making in natural resource based livelihoods, with particular respect to participatory and bottom-up approaches; 2) consider what participatory approaches and methods are together with their strengths and limitations and; 3) consider the implications of 1 and 2 for the management and organisation of practical development and extension/research interventions.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • Explain the reasons for the development and widespread use of participatory processes and methods
  • Use a range of participatory methods
  • Identify the advantages and limitations of greater use of participation in practical development work
  • Explain approaches to analysing and understanding decision-making processes used by beneficiaries (e.g. poor people in rural communities) and fact ors influencing decision-making
  • Identify the main factors that influence the success of participatory interventions
  • Develop a plan for a participatory intervention or ‘project’ which draws on the above learning outcomes.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

  • What is participation and what is it trying to achieve* Decision-making processes of beneficiaries
  • Reasons for the emergence of participatory approaches
  • Participatory methods (practical activity)
  • Advantages and disadvantages of participatory approaches
  • Planning and ‘management’ of participatory interventions: operationalising participation and implications for management

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A mixture of lectures, group work, analysis of case studies and videos are used in the taught sessions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 75
Report 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
One essay/project of around 2500 words (75% of marks) and one case study report of around 500 words with brief presentation (25% of marks)
Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-assessment will be by the re-submission of a new written essay/project.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 27 July 2020


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