We use our own and third-party cookies to perform an analysis of use and measurement of our website, to improve our services, as well as to facilitate personalized advertising by analysing your browsing habits and preferences. You can change the settings of cookies or get more information, see cookies policy. I understand and accept the use of cookies.

icono de curso

Development Finance and the Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs


Credits: 4 ECTS

Second semester

Elective Courses




Global debates about international development efforts often boil down to questions of money: How should we finance ambitious agendas like the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Who should pay for the response to emerging global challenges like the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and state fragility? And should development assistance still flow to fast-growing emerging economies like Brazil, China, and India that are now running sizeable aid programmes of their own, but where hundreds of million of people are still living in extreme poverty? 

The course will assess emerging financing trends and proposed solutions with a keen eye on the underlying incentives and political constellations that explain the behaviour of different development actors. Throughout, we will be taking a critical approach, focusing both on the content of the policies and financing proposals that are put on the table, and on emerging tensions between ‘conventional’ donors, rising powers, and aid recipients that often prevent more effective and efficient responses to a given development challenge. The course will prioritize multilateral over bilateral financing mechanisms, even though we will also devote some time to discussing emerging bilateral aid programmes of rising powers like China. We will conclude with a review of increasing efforts -and challenges- to improve the use of the growing amount of domestic resources within developing countries to tackle local problems like poverty.


The course will follow an interactive format, based on short introductory lectures, student presentations and student-led case studies. We will typically begin with a 30-45 minute interactive lecture, followed by a seminar in which students will be given a range of tasks to perform in order to consolidate their understanding of the course content, including discussions, case studies and student presentations. Students must read the required reading prior to class (these will be available on course webpage). Additional readings are provided for students who wish to deepen their understanding of the course content.

The course will be evaluated as follows:

  • A final 'take home' exam (30%)

  • Class presentations (25%). Ca 10 minutes, presented individually by students, follwed by 5-10 minutes Q&A and discussion. Presenters should help animate this in-class discussion. Students in seminars with more than one presentation should coordinate the content of their presentations.

  • Short individual essay of ca 1500 words (30%). The essay should provide a critical analysis of the organization or mechanism covered in your presentation and can include aspects not covered in your talk. It is due 1 week after your presentation. You should use and reference external literature where possible.

  • In class participation (15%)

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)


Register for our open Master’s Programmes webinars. Read more