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The Political Economy of Externally Financing Social Policy in Developing Countries

Tuesday March 3rd, 2020
280N York Lanes, 2:30–4:30pm

Dr. Andrew M. Fischer
Institute of Social Studies (The Hague), Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dr Fischer presents some principal findings arising from his research project (Aiding Social Protection) funded by the European Research Council. Mainly focusing on cash transfer (CT) programmes, two-fold issues are explored in examining official financing for social protection programmes in developing countries. The first is monetary-financial, and how external funding is channelled into social expenditures. The second focuses on how financial and non-financial external influences play into the political economy of social policy as a key site in these countries’ local distributive and redistributive struggles. Among many other things, he will highlight the often-contradictory tensions recipient governments must address so as to preserve policy space when facing various international development agendas and aid modalities, while re-examining understandings about the origins and motivations regarding the adoption and expansion of CT programmes, and the politics around recipient government ‘ownership’ of them.

image of a poster promoting a talk by Dr. Andrew Fischer

Good Morning Ethiopia

In a small village in rural Ethiopia, Helen Claire Andrus (a York Development Studies graduate student) discovered the pedagogical and community-building potential of radio. She discusses how radio is used to spread important information to rural farmers, and her own work studying the practice of photography by development organizations. Read "Listening together: Radio helps empower a family and the community" by Helen Claire Andrus — farmradio.org/listening-together

Twongere Umusaruro Cooperative members, Rwanda (2016)

From our Community to Yours

All images on this website were taken by students and faculty members on their respective fieldwork experiences in various corners of the globe. We invite you to explore our program further to learn more about our supportive and engaging community.


A Life-Changing Experience

The Master’s in Development Studies provides students a home for an intellectually rewarding academic experience that fosters interdisciplinary learning, teaching and research on the multi-dimensional processes of socio-economic, political and cultural developmental changes in the Global South. Its novel interdisciplinary curriculum examines theories and practices of development that join theoretical learning to proficiencies in practical research and place-based knowledge.

photo of men grinding corn

Rural workers grinding corn, Arusha region, Tanzania. Photo by Leon Liberman, (2016).

Facilitating Positive Change

In focusing on the key conceptual, analytical and practical agendas in contemporary development research, it provides students with possibilities for development praxis through encouraging opportunities to learn about the relationships between theory and practice through hands-on fieldwork and research experience in the Global South.