AAR4816 - Theory and Methods


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Assignment 100/100

Course content

This course introduces and critically examines theories, concepts and understandings relating to urban development and resilience. The course begins by examining the nature of urban vulnerability. It looks at what constitutes basic needs, and how meeting basic needs alone is not enough for a sustainable livelihood. It explores how poorer communities build up and manage tangible and intangible assets, and how assets are used both to build capabilities and to reduce vulnerability to shocks and stresses.

The nature of governance is examined, and crucially how poorer people’s access to resources are helped or hindered by systems of control and relative discrimination, including gender differences and the significance of rights based approaches.

The course is structured around an approach where people are placed in the centre. With this as the starting point, the course explores programming approaches commonly used in urban development and resilience programmes.

Learning outcome

By the end of the module students should be able to:

1. Understand the linkages between and principles of key concepts including vulnerability, capacity, assets, access, rights and governance
2. Apply a theoretical framework for understanding and critically analysing development and emergency interventions and the linkages between them
3. Gain an appreciation of development and urban resilience practice from the perspective of those affected.
4. Demonstrate an ability to understand and critically review appropriate methods.

Learning methods and activities

The course combines lectures, seminars and group work with role play simulation.

Further on evaluation

You can register for a re-scheduled examination in the next exam period

Required previous knowledge

Completed three years bachelor education in a relevant field. The course must be taken together with course AAR4825 Urban Action Planning. Project Work, and course AAR4820 Reflections and Implications.

Course materials

Indicative readings include:
Anderson, M and Woodrow, P (1998) Rising from the ashes, development strategies in times of disaster, IT Publications, London
Chambers R (1995) Poverty and livelihoods: whose reality counts? Environment and Urbanization, 7; 173-204
Collier, P. (2007) The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can be Done About It, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Collins, A. (2009) Disaster and development, Routledge, London
Few R, McAvoy D, Tarazona M and Walden V (2014) Contribution to Change. Practical Action Publishing. Rugby. Available at: http://www.ecbproject.org/downloads/contribution-to-changeweb-pdf-updated-11-12-2013.pdf
Payne, G. and Majale, M. (2004)The Urban Housing Manual: Making Regulatory Frameworks Work for the Poor, Earthscan, London
Scheyvens R. and Storey D. (2003) Development Fieldwork:A Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Twigg, J (2004), Good practice review, disaster risk reduction, No 9, March 2004, ODI, London
Wisner B, Blaikie P, Cannon T and Davis I (2004): At Risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters; Second edition, Routledge, London and New York


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.