• Class Number 4700
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Christopher Hoy
    • Christopher Hoy
  • 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

More than a decade has passed since the declaration of the 2000 Millennium Development Goals. Poverty is still a hot issue that drives international and national policy debate. Following the Global Financial Crisis, the world has seen the unfolding sovereign debt crises in the Eurozone. Poverty reduction not only concerns (less) developing countries. Developed and developing countries alike share a sense of urgency in reducing poverty. 

This course aims to provide a deeper understanding on poverty:

  •       What is poverty?
  •       How poor is poor?
  •       How to measure poverty?
  •       What are the causes and what are the cures?

Learning Outcomes

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

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

  • know how we fare in fighting global poverty
  • gain a understanding of various common measurements of poverty and inequality 
  • appreciate the ongoing debates on poverty-related issues 
  • understand some poverty reduction policy practices and options 
  • identify the key drivers of poverty and the key challenges ahead

Required Resources

Weeks 2-3: Counting the Poor

Monetary Measures of Poverty

Coudouel, A. Hentschel, J. and Wodon, Q. (2014). ‘Poverty Measurement and Analysis’. pp29-53. Available here: https://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPRS1/Resources/383606-1205334112622/5467_chap1.pdf

World Bank (2014) ‘A Measured Approach to Ending Extreme Poverty and Boosting Shared Prosperity’. pp. 29-40. and pp.225-240.

Alternative Measures of Poverty

World Bank (2018). ‘Piecing together the Poverty Puzzle’. pp87-110.

Alkaire, S (2009). 'The capability approach to the quality of life', a paper presented in the FemPov Workshop, March, Olso. pp.1-12

Bessell, S. (2015). 'The Individual Deprivation Measure: measuring poverty as if gender and inequality matter', Gender & Development.

Blog post


Weeks 4-5: Poverty reduction: How did we fare? Understanding the determinants of poverty and inequality

World Bank (2018). ‘Piecing together the Poverty Puzzle’. pp19-41.

Narayan, D. Chambers, R. Shah, M. Petesch, P. (2000). ‘Voices of the Poor: Crying Out for Change’. vol. 2 Ch1.

Collier, P (2007). ‘The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done’, Ch.1.

Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. (2012). ‘Why nations fail: the origins of power, prosperity and poverty’, Ch 13.

Blog post


Weeks 6-7: The role of growth and redistribution in reducing poverty and inequality

Sumner, A. (2010). 'Global poverty and the new bottom billion: Three quarters of the world•s poor live in middle-income countries', International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, UNDP.

Hoy, C. and Samman, E. (2015) “What If Growth Had Been As Good for the Poor As Everyone Else” Overseas Development Institute Working Paper (Executive Summary)

Hoy, C. and Summer, A. (2016) “Global Poverty and Inequality: Is There New Capacity for Redistribution in Developing Countries?” Journal of Globalization and Development. Vol 7. Iss 1. p117–157.

Ravallion, M (2016). ‘The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy’. Ch.8.

Blog post


Weeks 8-11: Policies and politics involved in the reduction of poverty and inequality

Social protection and Employment programs

World Bank (2018). ‘The State of Social Safety Nets 2018’. Report Overview. pp1-24.

McKenzie, D. (2017). ‘How Effective Are Active Labor Market Policies in Developing Countries?’ World Bank Policy Research Paper. pp1-20.

World Bank (2016). ‘Taking on Inequality’. pp129-153.

Foreign Aid

Moyo, D. (2009). ‘Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa’. Ch4.

Sachs, Jeffrey (2005). ‘The End of Poverty’. Ch15.

Glennie, J. (2012). ‘What if three quarters of the world’s poor live (and have always lived) in Low Aid Countries?’ ODI Background note.

Sustainable Development Goals

Stuart, E. and Woodroffe, J. (2016). 'Leaving no-one behind: can the Sustainable Development Goals succeed where the Millennium Development Goals lacked?'. Gender and Development.

Nicolai, S. Hoy, C. Berliner, T. and Aedy, T. (2015). ‘Projecting progress: reaching the SDGs by 2030’. Overseas Development Paper (Executive Summary).

Kenny, C. (2015) ‘MDGs to SDGs: Have We Lost the Plot?’ Available here: https://www.cgdev.org/publication/mdgs-sdgs-have-we-lost-plot

Politics of poverty reduction and redistribution

Mosley, P. (2012). ‘The Politics of Poverty Reduction’, pp.190-201.

Fraser, A. (2005). ‘Who's richer, who's poorer? A journalist's guide to the politics of poverty reduction strategies’, Panos Media Tool Kit on PRSPs No.1.

Hoy, C. and Mager, F. (2018). ‘Why are relatively poor people less supportive of redistribution?’ Available here: https://blogs.worldbank.org/impactevaluations/why-are-relatively-poor-people-not-more-supportive-redistribution-guest-post-christopher-hoy

Blog post


Week 12   Challenges: What’s next?

Granoff, I. Eis, J. Hoy, C. Watson, C. Khan, A. and Grist, A. ‘Targeting Zero Zero: achieving zero extreme poverty on the path to zero net emissions’. ODI working paper (Summary).

Richter, P. and Hanna Brauers (2016). `The Paris Climate Agreement: Is it sufficient to limit climate change?’. German Institute for Economic Research. pp.1-7.

Ravallion, M. (2016). ‘The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy’. pp.592-604.

Blog post


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 Overview What is the course about? Getting to know each other Poverty and inequality reduction? Is it even possible?
2 Week2-3 Counting the poor Common monetary measures of poverty and inequality: e.g. Headcount ratio, GINI index, relative poverty. Alternative approaches to counting the poor: eg Multidimensional Poverty Index and the Individual Deprivation measure. Does it matter how poverty is measured?
3 Week 4-5 Poverty reduction: How did we fare? Understanding the determinants of poverty and inequality Global poverty: Where are we? Why are nations poor? Common explanations for poverty
4 Week6-7 The role of growth and redistribution in reducing poverty and inequality Is it all about growth? Is there a tradeoff between reducing poverty and inequality? What is the capacity for redistribution?
5 Week 8-11 Policies and politics involved in the reduction of poverty and inequality The potential of social protection and employment programs to reduce poverty This there a role for Foreign Aid? Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda by 2030 The politics involved in poverty reduction and redistribution
6 Week 12 Challenges: What’s next? Poverty and climate change Other new challenges? Lessons learnt: Wrapping up

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Test 20 % 07/03/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Seminar presentation 20 % 21/03/2019 04/04/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Research Paper 50 % 31/05/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Class participation 10 % 28/02/2019 04/07/2019 1,3,4,5

* 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: 20 %
Due Date: 07/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5


A one-hour test will be held in March to assess understanding of lectures (outcomes 1-5).

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 21/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Seminar presentation

Seminars will be held throughout the semester. Commencing Week 4, a Seminar will be held during the Lecture in which students are given the opportunity to show they are able to apply the concepts they have learnt in class. Further details about the presentation will be provided in the first class of the semester (outcomes 1-5).

Evaluation criteria for presentation:

1) the evidence of critical reading and thinking;

2) the capacity to understand issues, knowing its strengths and weaknesses;

3) complete presentation within the time limit;

4) ability to stimulate discussion and handle questions.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Paper

Research and write a paper (2500 words in length). Topics will be provided on 8 March (Friday), posted on the Course Wattle site. The paper is to be submitted by 31 May (Friday) at 11:55 pm and in accordance with Course Requirements detailed in this Course Outline and on the POGO website. (outcomes 1-5)

Papers would be evaluated according to the following criteria.

1)    understanding of key concepts;

2)    critical analysis;

3)    clarity of organisational structure;

4)    use of appropriate examples or data;

5)    appropriate and accurate use of sources;

6)    compliance with word limit (plus or minus 10%)

Please note that each criterion is not equally weighted.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 28/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5

Class participation

Students will be assessed on their attendance and active participation in class (outcomes 1, 3-5).

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. 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.

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).
Christopher Hoy

Research Interests

Christopher Hoy

Thursday 17:00 17:30
Christopher Hoy
6125 7716

Research Interests

Christopher Hoy

Thursday 17:00 17:30

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