Introduction to international development

This online course quickly brings you up to speed with the most important global issues and emerging debates in international development.

Course dates

Our unique introductory course has been completely revised to reflect the latest thinking and practice in international development. This course quickly brings you up to speed with the most important global issues and emerging debates.

Using a mix of real-life examples, group discussion and practical activities, you will learn about the historical context to development work, the global balance of power and the major actors, as well as the current approaches to development and what makes for successful development work.

Course structure 

Three half-day live online sessions plus individual and group work in the afternoons, between sessions.

Total time commitment over the period of the course is 15 hours:

  • 9 hours of live online sessions
  • 6 hours of self-paced activities

Who is it for?

Suitable for people who are new to international development, thinking of moving into the sector or wanting to gain a greater understanding of the "bigger picture". It is also appropriate for those wanting to refresh their knowledge of the theory and practice of development work.

What you will learn

  • Understand the historical context, theories and principles of development
  • Learn about the global balance of power and the big players
  • Identify the pros and cons of different approaches to development
  • Evaluate the UK's role in development and discover how development is financed 
  • Explore the implications of climate change for development
  • Learn how the Sustainable Development Goals will influence development
  • Consider how the world of development will change and the implications for you and your organisation


This course will be delivered entirely online, through facilitated live sessions (using Zoom) as well as individual and group activities on the Bond learning platform. We work hard to make sure you get the same level of interaction and facilitator support as you would in our training room. You’ll work in breakout rooms, use case studies and take part in group activities – all online.


  • Introductions and expectations
  • What is development?
  • Development patterns and key players
  • Approaches to development
  • Financing development
  • The UK's role in development
  • Sustainability and climate change
  • The Sustainable Development Goals
  • The future of development
  • Review and evaluation


All course times in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Check the live session start and end time in your timezone here (please ensure you choose the right date when checking timezones).

Pre-course activity: approximately 2 hours' additional work required before live session 1

Live session 1: Monday 16 November, 9.30 - 13.00 GMT

Group task: approximately 2 hours' additional work required between live session 1 and 2

Live session 2: Tuesday 17 November, 9.30 - 13.00 GMT

Individual task: approximately 1.5 hours' additional work required between live session 2 and 3

Live session 3: Wednesday 18 November, 9.30 - 13.00 GMT

Booking deadline

Bookings will close at 15:00 GMT the last working day before the course to enable us to email participants the joining instructions ahead of the first live session.

Course prices

Band 1


Band 2

Bond members >£2M annual spend

Band 3

Bond members <£2M annual spend

* 10% off if you book 8 weeks in advance; 5% off 3 or more bookings.

Contact us for special discounts if you're a student or unemployed.


off if you book early*


off multiple bookings*

Event dates

Monday, November 16, 2020 to Wednesday, November 18, 2020

22 places available


Jane Davies

Jane has designed and delivered training for many different audiences including teachers, humanitarian workers and volunteers. She started working in development in 1998 as a VSO volunteer and has also been a Senior Education Officer with ActionAid.