Course Subject
Course Number
Course Credit

Decentralized Development Planning and Policy Reform in Developing Countries

Course Description

The last three decades have witnessed a global proliferation of public sector restructuring, decentralization, and democratization in developing countries. Traditional development planning has adapted (unevenly) to these trends as they have unfolded. This course presents an overview of the evolution of the theory and practice of planning in developing countries with a particular focus on subnational governments. A central theme is that there are certain universal norms and processes in development planning, but the structure and performance of a planning system depend heavily on the economic, political, institutional and cultural context of a particular country. The course outlines and assesses planning models and systems, reviews approaches used by developing countries and international development agencies to support decentralization and local planning, and introduces a range of practices and tools used by local planners in developing countries. The overall focus is on how local planning systems, techniques and processes can be strategically designed and implemented to work effectively in different contexts. Detailed case studies and exercises based on them are an integral part of the course.


CORE-GP.1022 or URPL-GP.2660; and PADM-GP.2201 (or permission from instructor)


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