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GEOG402 Development Planning and Practice

Explores policy formulation and delivery of effective development interventions in urban and rural areas, primarily in developing countries.

GEOG 402 is one of three required papers in the 180 point, 12 month Coursework Master of International Development and Planning. The paper provides foundational knowledge of development and planning in practice in an international context. The Master's degree that this paper will serve combines an enhanced understanding of development issues and needs with the professional skills and competencies that professional planning education provides. The paper is also available to first year students taking other MA and Postgraduate Diploma programmes.

Paper title Development Planning and Practice
Paper code GEOG402
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,409.28
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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The content of this paper assumes that students will have completed a degree in Social or Environmental Science or another relevant degree.

Please contact: Associate Professor Doug Hill for more information on the recommended background for this paper.


Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Doug Hill

Paper Structure
  • Introduction to the course
  • Changing definitions, changing practice
  • Planning and development priorities
  • Development approaches & goals
  • Community-based development planning
  • Resource overview: priorities and problems
  • Physical and human resources: different contexts, different priorities
  • Developing a coherent integrated resource management plan
  • Ensuring the efficacy of development strategies through participatory fieldwork and research

The paper is 100% internally assessed.

Teaching Arrangements

The paper is taught through weekly lectures and discussion based on published literature, internet sources and video sources.


Textbooks are not required for this paper. Directed reading and a detailed list of key sources will be given at the first meeting.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of alternative methodologies and types of approaches to Development Studies and their application in planning policy and practice
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in critical thinking and an ability to deliver a clear and well organised presentation
  • Critically appraise a range of theories, concepts and approaches in Development Studies and be aware of how they can be applied in development programmes and interventions
  • Be capable of searching and reviewing up-to-date national and international literature in International Development and Planning
  • Be capable of planning research, and collecting and applying data in international development and planning
  • Be capable of evaluating data, writing up and presenting examples of development interventions
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of two critical development planning issues; one primarily environmental (coastal planning and hazards, water resources, rural land) and one primarily urban based (urban growth, housing, urban land)
  • Understand how to positively shape practice and policy relating to development programmes, to realise their potential to enhance the quality of life at home and overseas, and particularly among poor people in low and middle income countries

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 14:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41