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Understanding what drives human well-being is critical for sustainable development, particularly in developing economies.

The course will provide an extensive number of applied developing country examples to understand concepts and measures of development and how issues such as economic growth, extreme poverty, health and gender inequality interact. Within this process we highlight programs and policies that work for the very poorest people in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOovarF203s&feature=youtu.be

An interest in development issues is the only pre-requisite for this online course. No prior knowledge of development economics is required.

Kirjaudu sisään nähdäksesi Moodlen kurssiavaimen.

Muiden yliopistojen opiskelijoiden ilmoittautuminen opintoihin

Ilmoittaudu täyttämällä ilmoittautumislomake (Ilmoittaudu- painike ja "ilman tunnusta"-ilmoittautuminen), täytä tieto omasta yliopistostasi sekä opiskelijanumerosi.

Saat onnistuneesta ilmoittautumisesta automaattiviestin, jossa on mm. linkki opintojaksosi tietoihin.
Saat ilmoittautumista seuraavana päivänä ohjeen Helsingin yliopiston käyttäjätunnuksen aktivointiin.

Voit suorittaa jakson ilman Helsingin tunnusta, käyttämällä oman yliopistosi tunnusta Moodle kirjautumiseen (HAKA-login).

Moodle linkki: https://moodle.helsinki.fi/course/view.php?id=38757
HUOM! Moodle avautuu vasta opintojakson alkaessa.
Saat kurssiavaimen ennen jakson alkua.

Opintojen jälkeen:
Suoritukset kirjataan Helsingin yliopiston opintohallintojärjestelmään. Jos et aktivoinut HY:n tunnusta, näet suoritustiedot kirjautumalla pankkitunnuksilla Oma Opintopolku palveluun: https://opintopolku.fi/oma-opintopolku/

Opiskelijat huolehtivat itse avoimessa yliopisto-opetuksessa suorittamiensa opintojen hyväksiluvusta omissa yliopistoissaan.

Ilmoittautuminen ja opintomaksu

0 euros.

The course is exceptionally free for all participants. Read more: Distance learning around the country. Welcome!

Registration begins 45 days before the beginning of the course. The exact registration time is shown by clicking the Register button.

  • The online registration is available for those who have Finnish identity number and an online bankig ID.
  • If you don't have Finnish identity number and / or an online banking ID, you should register at the Admission Services of University of Helsinki.
  • If don't have Finnish identity number and/or an online ID and you live outside Finland / cannot visit University of Helsinki, it is unfortunately impossible for you to register to the course.
  • International students at the University of Helsinki can enrol on the course with their University of Helsinki username.

More information:

University of Helsinki username

As an Open University student you'll get the University of Helsinki username to access the university's IT systems. The username should be activated after the registration online or at the university.

Online activating requires strong electronic identification. If it is not possible, you should visit the Helsinki University ID-point.

More information:

The ECSTS credits

The ECTS credits are possible to people who have a Finnish identity number.

More information:

More information on studying at the Open University:

Open University reserves the right to make changes to the study programme.


If you are interested in topical issues that underpin development policy then the course will interest you.

No prior knowledge of development Economics is required.

The course provides an overview of the main development concepts such as poverty and economic growth and how issues such as government expenditure relate to development. The course provides extensive examples from developing countries - linking development concepts to several country case studies (inc Uganda, Jamaica and Bangladesh). Part of activities will also take a look at programs and policies 'that work' in developing countries. Please see https://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/pdf/10.3362/9781780448435

and the video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOovarF203s&feature=youtu.be

Language skills levels
In order to complete the course you must already have a good command of English. The course requires a starting level of B2-C1 ( CEF).

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  • Understand and apply the main theories and principles of economic development, particularly in relation to growth and poverty.
  • Understand the linkage between theory and practice.
  • Develop analytical skills relevant to the assessment of these different economic development principles.
  • Examine the main sources of economic and social data relevant to economic development – particularly in relation to economic growth and poverty analysis.;
  • Understand the knowledge and skills acquired to the study of the main forces sustaining and limiting economic development today, and the design of effective policy interventions.

Course Content:
Introduction to Development Economics
Economic Growth - Theories/Concepts and Empirical Evidence
Poverty – Understanding the Principles
Case Study: Chronic and Extreme Poverty in Developing Countries
Poverty and Economic Growth
Case Study: Poverty and Growth – The Role of Inequality
Poverty and Health
Case Study: The Influence of HIV/AIDS on the Chronically Poor
Public Expenditure in Developing Countries
Case Study: How Important is The Public Sector and What is It’s Role
Taxation in Developing Countries – Providing the Basis for Growth
Case Study: Payroll taxes and the informal economy
Development Economics – Other Issues and Summary

Grading: 0-5

Online course with exercises + essay (3000 words)
The course will be complemented with group work exercises and be assessed through a written assignment.

Online learning environment Moodle will be used on the course. The course Moodle will open on Monday 11 th of May 2020.

The essay must be returned to Moodle on 14 June 2020 at the latest.

Teacher: Dr David Lawson

The lectures are providing by Dr David Lawson, who has more than 28 years of applied policy experience in developing countries, having worked for and advised a series of donors (including WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and NORAD) and developing country governments. He is Senior Researcher at Nordic Africa Institute (nai.uu.se) Adjunct Professor, University of Helsinki and Associate Professor Public Policy and Development, University of Manchester

The course is part of optional studies in Master´s programme in Society and Change and it can also be included in Society and Change -study modules (25 cr or 35 credits).