Honors Inquiry Series Example: Voices of Development


Allison Smith
Honors Inquiry: Voices of Development

I took Voices of Development, an Honors seminar, as one of my first classes at Northeastern. From the first day of class I knew that it would have a profound effect on my path in college. This course introduced me to the contemporary view of foreign aid, which intrigued me on a personal and scholastic level. Our coursework ranged from microfinance to the Millennium Development Goals to finding business-oriented solutions to the myriad problems of public health.

The paper below challenged me in a new and different way. The topic was to critically analyze Jeffery Sachs’ proposed solution to ending global poverty. Sachs, a professor at Columbia and senior advisor to the UN, probably knows a great deal more about development than I do, I thought at the time- how am I supposed to criticize his theories? Simply knowing the importance and intelligence of the author I was criticizing caused me to put a great deal of thought into my own response. I remember severely overdoing my research as I attempted to learn everything about the history of foreign aid before I sat down to write. Needless to say, that did not work out- but it did fuel my growing interest in the topic.

Rereading this essay about a year later, I recognize places where I was naïve or uniformed. But the experience of writing this paper, becoming engrossed in and challenged by a topic that was brand new to me, is what I really value.

The End of Poverty Critique