American University in Cairo Project Seminar Politics 5285 Fall Semester 2016 Waleed C147

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American University in Cairo

Project Seminar

Politics 5285

Fall Semester 2016

Waleed C147
Instructor: Dr. Ibrahim Elnur

Office RM 2007, HUSS Building, 2nd Floor

Office hours: By Appointment


Purpose of the course:
This course will examine the process by which development programs and projects are identified, designed and put into implementation. The emphasis of the course will be at project level. This will involve examining the project cycle, through which projects are identified, appraised, selected for finance, implemented and evaluated. Critiques of this process will also be considered. Students will also be exposed to the basic concepts and methodology of cost-benefit analysis.
By the end of the course students should have mastered the following skills:

  • Various methods of doing a need assessment, how to choose the most appropriate one and apply it to different contexts.

  • How to analyze the development problem in terms of causes, manifestations and consequences.

  • Ho to do a project planning.

  • How to operationalize project objectives into activities.

  • How to draw an implementation/action plan for a project.

  • How to design a development project budget.

  • How to identify potential donors for different types of projects.

  • How to a project proposal according to a select number of donors' formats.

Structure of the Course:
The course will be in the form of a seminar. Readings drawn from academic texts and program/project documentation will be set from week to week. Active class discussion of the reading material will constitute the basis for the weekly classes. As students become more familiar with the skills and procedures involved in producing project documentation it is expected that meetings will become more and more student led.

Grades will be determined on the basis of a substantial project design exercise, a mid-term essay, and student participation. Each student will produce a draft project proposal, this being the project design exercise. The completed student project will be defended orally in class. The project will account for 60% of the student’s grade, while one midterm essay (1500 words) will be worth 15%, one reaction paper (700 words) will be worth 10%, and participation will constitute the remaining 15% of the grade.

Policy on Academic integrity
The Code of Academic Integrity at the American University in Cairo intends to provide legal and ethical guidelines for the whole academic community at AUC including students, faculty and staff. AUC regulation on academic integrity will be strictly followed: See AUC regulations:
NB This is a compulsory element of the Professional Development option in your MA program. Given he centrality of this curse to your program I anticipate and insist on your full commitment to the course. Prolonged absences are bound to adversely affect your performance and they will not be tolerated. Similarly, I expect you to be fully prepared for each meeting and to participate fully in class discussion

The course readings will be drawn mostly from the following documents and volumes:

  1. Hira & T. Parfitt, Development Projects for a New Millennium, Praeger, 2004. (Hard copy is available in the copy center)

  2. European Union, Project Cycle Management Handbook (Hildastrasse, Germany: 2002). (Soft copy available)

  3. European Union, Aid Delivery Methods: Project Cycle Management Guidelines, March 2004 (A soft copy is available).

  4. EU: A project cycle manual and logical framework toolkit: A practical guide for equal development partnership (Hard copy is available in the copy center).

  5. UNDP, Regional Bureau for Africa and the Pacific, How to Write a Project Document: A Manual for Designers of UNDP Projects, New York, 1991(Hard copy is available in the copy center).

  6. UNDP Programming Manual, New York, 1999 (Soft copy available).

  7. UNEP Project Manual, New York, 2009.

  8. ITTO, Manual for Project Formulation, #rd edition, ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization), 3rd edition, 2009, (Soft copy available)

  9. Little, Mirlees, Project Appraisal and planning, (Basic Books, N.Y, 1974) (Hard copy is available in the copy center).

  10. Supportive reading: UNHCR, Practical Guid on the use of objectives, outputs, and indicators, Division of Operations Support (A soft copy and a hard copy is available).

  11. Additional readings will be supplied in soft form.

Outline of the Course
Session 1: September 8, 2016

Introduction to the course

Session 2: September 22, 2016

Development projects: Concepts, Critique, Rationale and Objectives.

  • ITTO: pp.9-32.

  • Little, Mirlees, Project Appraisal and planning; Chapter 6 and 7

  • Parfitt and Hira: Chapter 2.

Session 3: September 29, 2016

Project Cycle

  • European Union Manual for Project Cycle Management Guidelines: Part1 (pp. 9-16).

  • UNEP Project Manual: Project Cycle (pp.9-14).

  • European Union, Project Cycle Management Handbook (pp.1-.32).

Session 4: Makeup class date to be announced

Initial discussion/identification of student’s Project Formulation Framework topic.

Sessions 5 and 6: October 13 and October 20, 2016

Logical Framework Approach (LFA)

  • European Union Manual for Project Cycle Management Guidelines: Parts 2 & 3 (pp. 18-60).

  • ITTO: pp. 32-42.

  • The EU project cycle manual and logical framework: Section 5, UNDP Programming Manual: Chapter 4.

  • European Union, Project Cycle Management Handbook (pp.33-62).

  • Additional material on proposed case study will be made available.

Session 7: October 27, 2016

Budgets, Risks, Cross cutting themes

  • ITTO: p. 45-67.

  • UNDP Programming Manual: Chapter 5.

  • UNEP Project Manual: formulation, approval, monitoring and evaluation (Key elements in Project formulation) (pp.15-.23).

Session 8: November 3, 2016

How to write a project Document

  • European Union: Project Proposal Format.

  • UNDP: Project Proposal Format.

  • All projects should follow either UNDP or EU recommended project proposal format, but in all cases they shall use a logical framework.

  • Additional readings: How to write a project Document: A manual for UNDP Project , 1993

Session 9: November 10, 2016

Adjusting project design to donors' proposal format

(List of references are provided below).
Sessions 11 and 12: November 17 and December 1, 2016

Projects Targeting Poverty alleviation and Empowerment: On Microcredit and Microfinance

  • Khandakar, Elahi and (2004): Danopoulos, Constatine Microcredit and the Third World: Perspectives from moral and political philosophy, International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 31, No. 7, pp. 643-654.

  • Molla, Rafiqul Isalm et al (2008): Questioning Bangladesh’s Microcredit, Challenge Vol. 51, pp. 113-121.

  • Mahmud, Simeen (2003): Actually how Empowering is Microcredit?, Development and Change, 34 (4), pp. 577-605.

  • UNDP (2006): Review of UNDP Microfinance Portfolio, Revised January 2006.

  • Rosenberg, Richard (2009): Measuring Results of Microfinance Institutions: Minimum Indicators That Donors and Investors should track, A Technical Guide, CGAP, June 2009.

  • Guidelines for Designing Poverty-Focused Projects with Microfinance Components, The World Bank, Social Protection Team, June 2002.

Session 13: December 8, 2016

Faith-Based Development Projects: Project-Development Synergies; Typologies, and Performance

  • Tomalin, E. (2010): Religion and right-based approach to development, Progress in Development Studies, 6-2, pp. 93-108.

  • Sider and Unruh (2004): Typology of Religious Characteristics of Social Service and Educational Organizations and Programs, Nonprofit and Voluntary Quarterly, vol.33, no. 1, March 2004, pp. 109-134.

  • Amirkhanyan et al (2010): Faith-Based Assumptions about Performance, Nonprofit and Voluntary Quarterly, vol.38, no. 3, June 2006, pp. 490-521.

  • Reese, L. A. (2004): A Matter of Faith: Urban Congregations and Economic Development, Economic Development Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 1, February 2004, pp. 50-66.

  • Wiktorowics and Farouki (2000): Islamic NGOs and Muslim Politics: a case from Jordan, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 685-699.

Session 14: December 15, 2016

Student Presentations.

Adjusting project design to donors' proposal format








Arab Fund





  1. Australian Government Overseas Aid Program,

  2. United State Agency for International Development:

  3. Danish Development Policy:

  4. Japan’s ODA (Official Development Aid):

  5. Norwegian Development Cooperation: .

  6. Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency,

  7. Arab Fund for Australian Government Overseas Aid Program Economic and Social Development (AFESD),

  8. OPEC Fund for International Development,

  9. UK DFID, the Department for International Development,

  10. GTZ,

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