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Development Studies: Getting Started

Information resources to support Masters in Development Practice and other Emory development studies programs

ELDIS How To Guides


Training Opportunities: ReliefWeb


Getting Started

There are numerous development studies resources. This guide will focus on:

  • Major development websites,
  • Locating books, reports and articles,
  • Resources from governments, international bodies and organizations,
  • Specialized regional and country information including news sources,
  • Mapping and statistical resources,
  • Locating videos & language training,
  • Information on jobs and other funding sources. 

Introduction & "How To" Guides

The BBC's Guide to Development Speak, defines development as: 

The process of improving the quality of human lives around the world. Development includes three aspects: 

  • Raising people’s living levels - incomes and consumption levels of food, medical services, education. 

  • The growth of people’s self-esteem through systems and institutions which promote human dignity and respect. 

  • Increasing people’s freedom to choose by enlarging the range of their choices, for example a greater variety of consumer goods and services.


There are numerous "how to" guides for development work, qualitative research, and social science methods.  Many research methods guides are also available online through Sage Research Methods Online and Oxfam.  Here are some sample titles to get your started.  You can discover more by searching the catalog and the following subject headings: 

Print and Digital Guides to Development

Africa: A Practical Guide for Global Health Workers. 2011. WA 300 HA1 A258 2011 (Health Sciences Library)

Another day in paradise : international humanitarian workers tell their stories. 2009. HV40.3 .A56 2009

Building a Better NGO: Greater than the Sum of the Parts? 2013. JZ4850.C76 2013

Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. 2003. HD62.5 .D44 D48 2003

Doing Development Research. 2006. HC59.7 .D59 2006

Fieldwork in Difficult Environments: Methodology as Boundary Work in Development Research. 2008. HD77 .F54 2008

Finding a Way in International Development: Options for Ethical and Effective Work. 2013.HD77 .P37 2013

Inside the Everyday Lives of Development Workers : the Challenges and Futures of Aidland. 2011. HD2769.15 .I55 2011

International Development Studies: Theories and Methods in Research and Practice. 2008. HD77 .S86 2008

Methods for Development Work and Research: A New Guide for Practioners. 2005. HD77.M55 2005

Research for Development: A Practical Guide. 2nd ed. 2013. HD77 .L39 2013

Starting Out in Development from WhyDev?

Sustainable Development Handbook. 2008. HC79 .E5 R652 2008


Five Games and Apps to Change the World  (INESAD Development Roast)

An article by Ioulia Fenton of the Center for Economic and Environmental Modeling and Analysis at INESAD profiling development games and apps geared toward raising awareness about healthy food options, sustainable farming, and deforestation.   

Millennium Village Simulation (Columbia)

The Millennium Village Simulation is a web-based simulation of economics and survival for one family and their village in a sub-Saharan African village. In a virtual world of extreme poverty, disease, and environmental variability, students are challenged to help a family of two survive and prosper over a fifty-year period.

ReliefSim (Columbia)

ReliefSim is a unique, web-based training tool designed to create a believable representation of the decision-environment confronted by refugee camp managers during a humanitarian crisis. The tool allows students and trainees to test their knowledge and abilities around decision-making in a humanitarian crisis, and to experiment with techniques in a realistic, but not real, environment. Focuses on public health.

SimPachamama: A Game for Living Well in Harmony with Nature (INESAD)

SimPachamama is an Agent Based simulation tool, which mimics the behavior of a small community located at the agricultural frontier. The user takes on the role of the mayor of the community, and the objective is to implement policies so as to improve human well-being as much as possible without destroying the environment.

TIP: Most major development websites  have a section called "manuals" or "toolkits" which have excellent "how to" information.  See for example ELDIS' Manuals and the Global Development Network's Toolkits.  

Subject Librarian

Nidia BaƱuelos
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322

Travel Resources

Global Road Warrior (Emory Only)

Going overseas? Find out everything you need to know about traveling in your destination from money to the social courtesies.

International Travel/Travel Warnings (State Department)

A variety of information for U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad, including Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  Watch for latest travel warnings and travel alerts.

The Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) 

Records major incidents of violence against aid workers, with incident reports from 1997 through the present. Initiated in 2005, to date the AWSD remains the single most comprehensive global source of this data. Contains numerous links to reports and agencies dealing with aid worker security. A project of Humanitarian Outcomes. Also of interest is,  a group devoted to the safe use of mobile technology.

Traveler's Health (CDC)

Latest information on health conditions and vaccination requirements throughout the world from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Travel & Research Resources (Emory International) and Travel Well Booklet (Emory Healthcare)

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