Development Policy in Practice

Understanding of process’ as a concept for policy, intervention and implementation and will teach process tracing as a method for analysing process.

The translation of development policies and interventions into outcomes and development realities is an important area of knowledge for students and practitioners of development. The experience of India and other countries shows that in practice, policies and interventions may end up very differently from original intent. There is a need for equipping students of development to understand the processes of translation of development policy to practices and outcomes. Since the influential impact evaluation approach to development de-emphasises process, emphasis on process is especially important for students who are future development practitioners. They need to be familiar with not only estimating impact of a policy or intervention but also how impact is created. The course will introduce students to concepts and methods to trace and analyse processes through which development policies and interventions work. It will focus on government and NGOs in the Indian development context.

As there are broad distinctions between interventions by government and NGOs, the course will separately cover the translation of policies and interventions by government and NGOs. For government interventions, the course will emphasise the roles of bureaucracy, power and administrative politics. For NGO interventions, the course will emphasise organisational culture, social dynamics and community mobilisation. As these roles are not exclusive to each, the course will also cover cross-cutting influences (that is,
community mobilisation in government interventions, politics in NGO interventions, etc.)
as well as situations where government and NGOs partner together for interventions.

The course contributes directly to the specific MA programme objectives of reflectively
engaging with development challenges and nurturing broad capabilities of students to
engage with development environments; and it contributes directly to the specific curricular objectives of understanding development practices, engaging with lived
realities and demonstrating practical competencies for development action. The course
complements the core course Social Interventions which explores historical perspectives
and contemporary forms of state and non-state interventions that work to deepen
democratic values and spaces. As the Social Interventions course does not directly
examine how policies and interventions are implemented and understood in practice,
this course complements and builds on it by focusing on these aspects.