• Class Number 4244
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic On-line
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Patrick Kilby
    • Dr Patrick Kilby
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

The course aim is to give students a good understanding of the key issues in humanitarian action, and how they affect developing countries. The focus will be on both complex emergencies arising out of conflict, natural disasters, and resulting issues including human rights and gender.

It will cover topics such as international, local and community humanitarian responses, and the key characteristics of each. The UN, International NGOs, local NGOs, bilateral and government agencies will be examined as key players. There will also be a special focus on the key role of the military .The course will consider several case studies with different social and cultural contexts from the Pacific, East Asia, and South Asia, and Africa. Contemporary case studies will be used as much as possible.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the key concepts and approaches used by development scholars and practitioners who work in humanitarian interventions;
  2. Understand the likely social and economic impacts of humanitarian policies and practices in their work.
  3. Reflect critically on their own experiences and understanding of humanitarian interventions in the light of the concepts and methods introduced in this course.

Required Resources

The resources needed are on Wattle: readings are updated according to topics from relevant journals and book chapters

Course Websites

This course will use the online learning management system—WATTLE—to provide resources in a digital form. If there are technical issues please advise Patrick Kilby immediately. You can log on to WATTLE using your ANU student number (uXXXXXXX) and ANU (ISIS) password: for the course and program details are all on the WATTLE site. There is also a MAAPD Program WATTLE Page which is a useful guide to the broader University Resources available.

There is a direct link to each of the required readings via the Library, and for each topic there is also a link to a sub-directory of Supplementary readings, which may also be of interest for that particular topic. The list of supplementary readings for each week is often quite long, and so it is not expected that you read them all, but rather have a look at the abstract or first paragraph of each and if it interests you then keep reading. These readings are intended to give you an idea of the breadth of ideas on a particular topic so you can extend your knowledge beyond what is discussed in class and is expected of the course. The supplementary list for each week is regularly updated. Note that the required and supplementary readings are accessed through the ANU Library, and as such are protected by copyright, and so are for the use of ANU students and staff only.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments on Turnitin submissions
  • verbal comments if requested
  • feedback to the whole class

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Referencing requirements: The referencing style is in-text referencing.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: humanitarianism: complex emergencies and natural disasters Tutorial
2 Humanitarianism in the 2000s Tutorial
3 Humanitarianism in practice: the range of interventions and actors Tutoria;l Forum 1
4 From Humanitarian Intervention to the Responsibility to Protect Tutorial Forum 1
5 Merging of humanitarian aid and military operations Tutorial Minor Essay
6 Humanitarianism and gender Tutorial
7 Compassion, media and celebritisation of humanitarian aid Tutorial; online game
8 Documentary: "Living in Emergency" Tutorial; online game
9 Humanitarian Engineering Tutorial
10 Case Study: natural disaster Tutorial
11 Case Study: complex emergency Tutorial
12 Sphere standards for humanitarian intervention as a basis for Monitoring and Evaluation of humanitarian action Tutorial

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation 10 % 01/06/2019 15/06/2019 1, 2, 3
Argumentative Essay 10 % 22/03/2019 15/04/2019 1, 2
Humanitarian intervention critique 20 % 01/04/2019 15/04/2019 1, 2
Online forum 50 % 10/06/2019 20/06/2019 3
Online game 10 % 03/05/2019 03/06/2019 2, 3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 01/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Tutorial Participation

Participation in Tutorials (10%) is expected and they will be scheduled to suit most needs and time zones either on campus or online using Adobe Connect. Students are expected to read the readings ahead of class and to come prepared to take part in class discussion. All students most prepare one insightful discussion question based on the readings which may either allow deeper inquiry into one of the specific readings or illuminate connections between them.

Students are expected to actively participate by asking questions, make comments and engage in conversation. Hence, simply attending tutorials does not equate participation. The quality of contributions is far more important than quantity. Although well-informed debate and discussion is encouraged, this must at all times be taking place in a collegial and respectful manner. Up to two tutorial absences is acceptable and will not affect your participation grade

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 22/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Argumentative Essay

Purpose of assignment: The purpose of the minor essay is to allow students to engage with key theoretical, conceptual, and analytical aspects relating to humanitarian action. The minor essay is an “argumentative essay” where students must argue “pros” or “cons” a statement. The statement is based on topics from weeks 1-5 of the course. Students must only rely on readings from these weeks.

Essay topics: Argue for or against one of the following statements:

  • Topic 1: Humanitarian action can best be described as “adhocracy” (Dunn 2012).
  • Topic 2: "[h]umanitarian action is noble when coupled with political action and justice. Without them, it is doomed to failure.” (Alain Destexhe, quoted in Chandler 2001:696)
  • Topic 3: “There are no humanitarian solutions to humanitarian problems.” (Sakado Ogata, quoted in Barnett & Weiss 2008: 25)

Value: 20%

Word length: The essay shall be 2000 words in length (within a variation of 10%), exclusive of bibliography.

Marking criteria (see marking rubric for details): Detailed assessment criteria is made available through Wattle. You will be assessed on the basis of your demonstrated understanding of the content, the quality of your critical analysis of the readings, your ability to structure your review and communicate in a formal academic writing style, and your ability to refer to academic and other sources appropriately and using an appropriate referencing style. Protocol for academic writing: you should follow standard guidelines for academic writing and in text referencing.

The minor essay will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Strength and logic of argument: The essay requires a personal response from the student. The marker will be looking for and evaluating the student’s capacity to provide an informed, logical and coherent argument. Students should avoid descriptive writing and should strive to write a critical essay that demonstrates their capacity for analytical thought.
  • Evidence of engagement with source material: Students should demonstrate that they have read the source material critically, and have been able to use them to support their argument. Familiarity with the relevant source material, as demonstrated in the text of the essay, is an important characteristic of an academic essay.
  • Structure of essay: The essay should have three recognisable sections. The introduction sets the scene for the reader and articulates the writer’s argument. In the body of the essay, the writer provides evidence that supports the essay’s central argument. The argument should be developed in a logical and coherent manner, and should avoid repetition and argumentation that is not directly relevant. The conclusion draws together the various strands of the argument, sums up, reasserts the validity of the central argument, and provides a general sense of closure of the essay. The conclusion can also suggest further issues to consider
  • Standard of English expression: Students should strive to express themselves as effectively and clearly as possible. The conventions of contemporary English grammar should be observed. Although essays will not be primarily graded based on considerations pertaining to grammar syntax and spelling, it is important to note that poor expression of English clouds what your are trying to convey in your essay, thereby affecting other criteria for marking (such as assessing whether the essay contains a clear and forceful argument.) Students who submit essays that are substandard in terms of English expression may be asked to resubmit their essay (with a substantial deduction of marks). Students who feel they need support with their academic essay writing should contact respective support services the University offers. The essay must be at least 1.5 spaced with generous margins, and include page numbers.
  • Effective and correct use of citations: Harvard in-text citations must be used correctly and consistently. Please follow the guidelines from ANU’s website: https://academicskills.anu.edu.au/resources/listing/ 142. A bibliography of all sources used in writing the essay must be appended to the essay. This must be consistent with the Harvard citation system. Please note that when referencing reports you have downloaded from the web, they are “online documents” and need to be referencing accordingly (i.e. acknowledge the url and include access date).
  • Make sure all direct quotes are correctly cited with quotation marks (or indented left and right and one font size smaller for quotes more than three lines). Failure to do this may be seen as 'poor academic practice' under the ANU student integrity policy and penalties applied. In all of these cases the registrars office has required that it be advised.

Submission details: Your review is to be submitted to the Assignment Section of Wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 01/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Humanitarian intervention critique

Purpose of assignment: The major essay gives students the opportunity to apply the theoretical, conceptual and analytical tools from earlier weeks in the course to a case study of their choice relating to humanitarian action

Instructions: Students are required to identify a particular humanitarian intervention relating to any of the topics from weeks 6-12, and provide a critique of it. This may be a specific aid organisation's programme in a specific geographical location (i.e. MSF's gender-based violence project in PNG), or it may be a specific humanitarian event (i.e. "the 2004 Tsunami"), or a specific approach pursued by certain aid programmes (i.e. "humanitarian protection").

Value: 50%

Word length: 3500 words (within a variation of 10%), exclusive of bibliography.

Marking criteria (see marking rubric for details): Detailed assessment criteria is made available through Wattle. You will be assessed on the basis of your demonstrated understanding of the content, the quality of your critical analysis of the readings, your ability to structure your review and communicate in a formal academic writing style, and your ability to refer to academic and other sources appropriately and using an appropriate referencing style. Protocol for academic writing: you should follow standard guidelines for academic writing and in text referencing.

Submission details: Your review is to be submitted to the Assignment Section of Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 10/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 20/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3

Online forum

Purpose of assignment: To demonstrate the student’s ongoing critical engagement with the key issues discussed in the course.

Forum Dates: Weeks 3&4,

Instructions: You will be allocated to a small groups of 6-8 for this exercise. You and the other students in your group will interact with one another through two online workshops hosted on the WATTLE site each over two weeks. You will be expected to respond and contribute to the discussion. The Course Convenor will start the process off. You will be asked to respond to a discussion starter (150-200 words), and identify some key issues and pose two or three key questions for the rest of your group to consider. You will subsequently respond to, and making connections between, the discussion starter and the contributions of other members of the group. There will be a follow up question mid-way through the forum.

Marking criteria" When contributing to your group’s online discussion, you will be assessed on the basis of the number of responses you make (i.e. at least two, but preferably more, significant responses to each discussion, and the follow-up questions by the convenor) and the quality of those responses, that is your understanding of the topic and your ability to engage with the discussion questions and other responses.

Protocol for contributing to the online discussion, Language & Word Count: Always use appropriate online etiquette (polite and correct language and spelling etc.) The posting should be about 150-200 words. Being concise, even when you have much to say is an important skill, so longer postings will be penalised.

Content: Responses should be well-considered and supported with ideas from the lectures, readings, other courses, your own experiences or prior knowledge. Always show how your response relates back to the previous discussion.

Academic honesty: If you are paraphrasing or quoting from readings/articles/reports in your postings, please include an adequate acknowledgement (does not need to be a full citation).

N.B. Keep to the point of the original discussion and the posed questions as much as possible (don't let the discussion stray). If you want to follow-up on a tangential idea or point please use the general class discussion area where you can ask question and make general observations.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 03/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 03/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Online game

An online game of a humanitarian situation will be developed across the class (including ANTH8054 students). You will be allocated a role and will develop a position for the role (e.g donor, affected person, local community etc) and reach a position with others in that rile and then negotiate with others in a changing environment.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

The grade and comments on your assignments will be available through Turnitin. If you open your assignment and click grademark on the top left the comments can be seen both within the text of the assignment and in a comments box on the bottom right.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Student cannot resubmit their assignment. The first submission on Turnitin is the final submission..

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Patrick Kilby

Research Interests

Dr Patrick Kilby

Wednesday 12:00 15:00
Wednesday 12:00 15:00
Dr Patrick Kilby

Research Interests

Dr Patrick Kilby

Wednesday 12:00 15:00
Wednesday 12:00 15:00

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