Sustainable development

Principles of International Development Project

Fundamentals of planning and executing international development projects

Term Offered
1–29 September 2023

This course has two sections: lectures and group work. In the lecture series, you can learn about the core issues of developing countries, project evaluation methods, relationships between engineering and international development, applications of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to preserve world heritage sites, natural disasters, and education in the context of international development, global urban climatology and the case of an international plant construction project.

The group work session aims to develop a proposal for an international development project. Suppose you are an expert consultant on a project, and it has been requested that you recommend development policies and projects to politicians and/or economic leaders in a developing country. Developing countries must determine policies and implement projects while balancing social and economic dimensions. Prioritisation of policies is essential since the budget is always insufficient to cover all projects. Politicians and economic leaders must select a specific policy and project as a priority issue for their limited resources. Political situations are not always stable, and thereby, economic activities have been sluggish in some developing countries. The selection of priority issues affects the developmental direction of the country.

The outline of the group work is as follows. First, each group selects one country out of the developing countries with less than $5,000 GDP per capita according to the World Bank. The country selection can be considered using the following criteria: i) The country has not been well developed in its political system and infrastructure. ii) The country faces a number of political and economic challenges. iii) The country has an enormous income gap. Second, we assume nine policies for developing countries: industry, infrastructure, foreign investment, democracy and citizenship, education, finance, governance, hygiene and health, and poverty reduction in the group work, and determine their prioritisation order using the method of diamond ranking. Finally, the students propose an effective project to achieve the more highly prioritised policies based on the results of diamond ranking and present an outline of the project that includes the project procedures, positive and negative ripple effects on other sectors/policies, a budget plan complete with financial resources, and methods to be used for procurement.

Course Outline

  • Lecture 1: Basics of Project Evaluation (Prof. Hanaoka)
  • Group Work 1: Guideline, Country Selection
  • Lecture 2: International Plant Construction Project (Prof. Sasaki)
  • Group Work 2: Prioritization of Development Policies (1)
  • Lecture 3: Engineering and International Development (Prof. Takada)
  • Group Work 3: Prioritization of Development Policies (2)
  • Lecture 4: Application of ICT to Preserve World Heritage Site (Prof. Yamaguchi)
  • Group Work 4: Interim Presentation, Selection of Case Study
  • Lecture 5: Development and Natural Disasters (Prof. Takagi)
  • Group Work 5: Project Procedure, Evaluation Criteria
  • Lecture 6: Education and International Development (Prof. Umemiya)
  • Group Work 6: Budget Plan, Fund Resource, Procurement, and Ripple Effects
  • Lecture 7: Global Urban Climatology: How Can It Serve Society? (Prof. Varquez)
  • Group Work 7 & 8: Final Presentation

*Please note that topics and schedule are subject to change.


  • Prof. Shinya HANAOKA, Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Shinobu YAMAGUCHI, Professor and Director, UNU-IAS
  • Prof. Jun-ichi TAKADA, Professor and Vice President for International Affairs, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS
  • Prof. Hiroshi TAKAGI, Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Alvin Christopher Galang VARQUEZ, Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Masakazu SASAKI, Visiting Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Toyo Engineering Corporation
  • Prof. Naoki UMEMIYA, Visiting Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Japan International Cooperation Agency