1st Edition

The Project in International Development Theory and Practice

By Caitlin Scott Copyright 2023
    184 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    184 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The project has become fundamental to international development and humanitarian practice, playing a key role in defining objectives, funding streams and ultimately determining what success looks like. This book provides a much-needed overview of the project in international development practice, guiding the reader through the latest theoretical debates, and exploring the core tools and stages of planning and design.

    The book starts with an overview of the role of the project through development history, before taking the reader through the stages of a standard project management cycle. Each chapter introduces the stage, the most common tools used to support that phase of planning, and the critical debates that exist around it, with examples to illustrate discussions from around the world and a range of development fields. The book explores the challenges to working effectively in contemporary aid contexts, including the role of politics and the pressures wrought by the demands to demonstrate quantified results. Throughout, the book argues for the need to see the project as a form of governmentality that arranges resources and people in time and space, and that extends neoliberal forms of managerial control in the sector.

    Ending with suggestions for innovation, this book is perfect for anyone looking for an accessible and engaging guide to the international development project, whether student, researcher or practitioner.

    1. Introduction: The Project in International Development   2. Project management in the aid sector   3. Project Inceptions  4. Project Planning : from logframes to adaptive management  5. Monitoring: indicators, adaptation and learning  6. Evaluation and Impact  7. Conclusion


    Caitlin Scott is Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Development Management and Practice at the School of Global Development at the University of East Anglia (UEA), United Kingdom.

    A timely and neatly presented book that critically reflects upon insufficiently questioned arenas. Scott's multi-sectoral experiences allow for a compelling tightening of the theory-practice gap, guiding readers through the project management cycle as both a practical tool and an instrument for governing aid and taming its politics.


    Nadine Hassouneh and Elisa Pascucci, researchers at “The Bad Project”, Tampere University, Finland.



    The project concept and project formats are extraordinarily pervasive in development organizations, yet are largely taken for granted and insufficiently reflected on. Caitlin Scott’s impressive book helps to fill this basic gap in consideration, and it does so clearly, incisively, and thought-provokingly.


    Des Gasper, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam