Finding a job in development

by David Week on 13 September 2010


I’m planning to write a series of posts about building a career as an architect in development. That’s in the pipeline. In the mean time, I thought I would post a set of sites where you can find jobs in development.

Saundra over at Good Intentions Are Not Enough is putting together a comprehensive list of places to look. I’ll post a link to her page once she’s published it. Until then, here are the links I’ve sent to her for inclusion:


Alana Shaikh runs a low-cost ($2 per month) Development Careers list, here:

She says:

I talk — in detail — about careers in international development. Includes reader advice, candid discussions of job vacancies, and my uncensored opinions about just about everything. Publishes at least once a week. New subscribers now receive the “Questions, Answers, and Extraneous Rants, Volume II” ebook, containing the most recent newsletters. If you want to pay via paypal instead of amazon, buy the ebook instead of subscribing, or have questions about the list, drop me an email:

  • David Week

    UPDATE: Some additional insights from “Tales from the Hood”:

    “Landing an aid job… Over the past several weeks an increasing number of you have written directly to me asking for advice on how to find an aid job or how to successfully apply for an aid job. This is the condensed version of my best advice, as a frequent hiring manager:”

  • Guest


    I am currently a senior in high school who has a passion for architecture. I have applied to numerous architecture undergraduate programs in Canada, but I have a long term goal as integrating my architecture knowledge/experience into the development sector. I would like to also gain a Commerce degree somewhere along the way. Could you give me some advice? What are the prospects of gaining a job in this field? Is going through architecture school worth it? Thanks again, and I am very glad I found your highly intuitive and informative blog!

    Regards, An aspiring architect. 

    • David Week

      Hi. Most architects in development do not do play a traditional “architect” role. They function more as analysts, supervisors and advisers. They look at the whole delivery of education, health, justice or housing infrastructure. They are more likely to design a program or a project, than a building. They improve on local standards, rather than complying with Western standards. They are systems architects, rather than crafters of fine artefacts. They work with people, rather than CAD software.

      To become a licensed architect, takes 7-8 years of dedicated effort. If you are seriously committed to both architecture and development, then you might split that in two. Take a non-architecture undergraduate degree, to give you a good development frame and grounding. And then carry that theme through in a three-year masters of architecture degree for people that did not do an undergraduate degree in architecture.

      OR, might be easier to reverse that. Do an u/g architecture degree to understand the basics of environmental design. Alternative, do the u/g in urbanism, because cities are very, very big topic in development (much more than buildings.) During u/g, make sure you do all the pre-requisites for the masters, which you the take in a development related field: like economics, education, public health, evaluation, program management, poverty studies, or international development. Carry your environmental design thinking into your masters.

      Yep, I like the second option best.

  • Nick


    I was just wondering if you ever managed to write those posts about building a career as an architect in development? I am an Architect from the UK and keen to get involved in the area. Only I have discovered a certain amount of resistance/disinterests in Architects. Mainly we are though of being a ‘luxury item’.

    I have enjoyed reading through your blog and wondering if you had any advice in this area?

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