11.471 Political Economy of Development Projects: Targeting the Poor

Spring 2003

Children in developing country.
Children standing in front of a ceramic plant in the Brazilian state of Maranhao. (Photograph courtesy of Monica Pinhanez.)  

Course Highlights

The assignments section contains the term paper assignments, along with exemplary papers by students. The readings section contains a full reading list, including an article by Professor Tendler.

Course Description

This course treats public-sector policies, programs, and projects that attempt to reduce poverty and unemployment in developing countries, mainly through directly income-generating activities and employment. Topics covered are:
  • the nature of poverty and targeting,
  • the political-economy and politics of poverty-reducing initiatives,
  • implementation experiences,
  • employment and local economic development, particularly as related to small and medium enterprises and the informal sector,
  • cooperatives and other forms of collective action for income generation, and
  • decentralization, civil society, and non-government organizations.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Judith Tendler

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session