• Class Number 7790
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Siobhan McDonnell
    • Dr Siobhan McDonnell
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course discusses disaster governance and global policy perspectives for Disaster Risk Reduction in the context of the principles set out in the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2007 and the emphasis on 'Build Back Better' encapsulated in the Sendai 2015
documents. It focuses on resilience theory, adaptation, and transformation in societies impacted by disasters.  Taking a wide range of case studies from Asia and other areas of the world, this course explores the issues of participatory disaster governance, the role of decentralization of disaster resources and responsibilities, and best practice principles in preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery and reconstruction.  By investigations of the application of human security and sustainable development principles, the course will take the student into the intersecting research communities of development, climate change, disasters, and poverty alleviation in studying how disasters impact on human, social and political behaviour, and how disaster impacted populations respond to these crisis events.

Learning Outcomes

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

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Develop a critical capacity to evaluate the principles and practices of disaster risk reduction and management;
  2. Develop a deep understanding of disaster resilience, risk mitigation, and recovery policies as they arise from natural hazards around the globe;
  3. Develop the capacity to participate in debates on disaster governance and societal reconstruction. 

Required Resources

Oliver-Smith, Anthony and Susanna M. Hoffman (eds) 1999. The Angry Earth: disaster in anthropological perspective. New York: Routledge.

Fred Kruger, Greg Bankoff, Terry Cannon, Benedikt Orlowski, E. Lisa F. Schipper (eds) (2015) Cultures and Disasters: Understanding Cultural Framings in Disaster Risk Reduction, (London: Routledge).

Sakai, Minako, Edwin Jurriens, Jian Zhang and Alec Thornton (eds) 2014. Disaster Relief in the Asia Pacific: agency and resilience. London: Routledge.


Two compulsory readings for each week, as well as recommended readings, will be available on the Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction and Overview of the Course Materials and Assessment No tutorial this week.
2 Framing ideas: Challenging the idea of 'natural disaster' and exploring International Disaster Governance Frameworks Tutorial
3 Resisting Resilience: Conceptual Framings of Disaster Tutorial
4 Understanding Disaster Vulnerability: Indonesian Case Study Tutorial
5 Disaster and Livelihoods: Java and Phillipines Case Studies Tutorial
6 Governance and Disaster: The Myanmar Crisis (Practitioner Perspective) Tutorial
7 'Disaster' in the Age of the Anthropocene: Indian experience Tutorial
8 Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies: Community Disaster Committees in Vanuatu Tutorial
9 Disaster and Gender: Fiji After Cyclone Winston Tutorial
10 Vulnerability, Disaster Migration and Resettlement: The Ambae Islander Volcano Evacuations Tutorial
11 Governance and Disaster: The Papua New Guinea Drought Tutorial
12 Review and Recap No Tutorial

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Presentation 20 % 31/07/2019 28/11/2019 1, 3
Short essay (1500 words) 20 % 05/08/2019 28/11/2019 1, 2
Long Essay (3000-4000words) 50 % 25/10/2019 28/11/2019 1, 2
In-class active participation 10 % 24/07/2019 23/10/2019 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.


There is no examination for this subject.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3


1) Prepare and present a powerpoint presentation on a topic of his/her choice related to the subject matter of the course. The powerpoint presentation will be for 15 minutes duration and will be worth 20% of the assessment. There will be a 5 minute question and answer discussion in-class on the topic of the presentation.

Registration for presentations in a particular week will be available on wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 05/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Short essay (1500 words)

2) Prepare a short article/blog of 1500 words to accompany the powerpoint presentation. The paper must have at least 10 references. The paper must be submitted via Turnitin on Wattle no more than five days after the presentation. This paper is worth 20% of the assessment.

Around 3-5 excellent papers from (2) will be encouraged to be published as a blog after discussion with the course convenor.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Long Essay (3000-4000words)

3) Prepare a longer paper of 3000 – 4000 words on a different topic, of your choice, and related to the course. It must have at least 20 references. This paper must be submitted via Turnitin on Wattle by Friday 25 October 2019, 11:55pm, and is worth 50% of the course assessment.

By the end of week 4, each student should have prepared a short paragraph and draft outline on his/her selected topic and come to discuss with me.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 24/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3

In-class active participation

4) There will be 10% of the assessment allocated for active in-class participation. To earn these points, students must attend lectures, or notify me if they cannot do so (eg for illness, family or work-related commitments), do the in-class readings, and participate actively in the in-class debates and discussions.

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

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

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.

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.

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.

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 Siobhan McDonnell
6125 0751

Research Interests

Dr Siobhan McDonnell

Monday 15:00 17:00
Monday 15:00 17:00
Dr Siobhan McDonnell
6125 0751

Research Interests

Dr Siobhan McDonnell

Monday 15:00 17:00
Monday 15:00 17:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions