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Development finance as an emerging discipline: Perspectives from the South African context

Jeremy Dobbin and Hendrik Lloyd

Development Southern Africa, 2020, vol. 37, issue 1, 162-177

Abstract: It has never been assessed whether development finance is regarded as a distinct and autonomous professional or academic discipline. This qualitative study explored the current perspectives on development finance from within the South African development finance context. Key individual informants (n = 31) were purposively sampled and surveyed in order to capture their perceptions, and to maximise the variance in perspectives identified. The findings revealed pervasive disagreement regarding the defining characteristics of development finance, its pedagogy, and professionalisation. Furthermore, the majority of informants perceived a shortage of local experts and agreed that practitioners should possess qualifications in development finance explicitly. The majority of informants regarded development finance as a separate academic discipline; and agreed that universities should offer undergraduate development finance education. It is recommended that future research and pedagogy address obvious epistemological issues: what counts as development finance knowledge and who has authority to define and produce it?

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2019.1604211

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