• Class Number 5007
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Sverre Molland
    • AsPr Sverre Molland
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

In this course we will examine several key concepts pertaining to the anthropology of development. We will carefully scrutinise how anthropologists tackle a range of analytical tools and "buzzwords" that are ubiquitous in development and, and explore how they are related to understandings of social organization, society and culture, relationships, networks and institutions in the social sciences. This course is designed taking into account (a) students' own participation and contribution to curriculum design, (b) diverse students' interests straddling academic and applied, policy-orientated analysis and, (c) students freedom (and responsibility) to develop an independent research project that can either take the form of an academic research paper or a policy position paper. The course is structured in three main parts. Part I (week 1-4) serves as a primer for key theoretical debates within the discipline. This equips students with the necessary tools to to critically analyse key concepts in development . Part II ( week 5 onwards) covers several key concepts in the anthropology of development. Students are given the opportunity to vote for which topics to cover in class. This presents students with an opportunity to take ownership of the curriculum and select key concepts students deem central to grasp contemporary and emerging development aid processes. Part III endows students the opportunity to develop an independent research project in relation to one key concept. Two scaffolding workshops are provided throughout the semester in order to assist students with developing their research project.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. explain the social science background to a number of key development concepts;
  2. critically evaluate the use of particular concepts in development projects, policy, and practice;
  3. write a critical case study of the role of a key development concept, exemplifying ability to use primary sources; and
  4. evaluate the differences between social science and specifically development-related perspectives on the concepts and practice.

Research-Led Teaching

This course combines critical, theoretical perspectives on development aid, with an applied focus on aid work and policy interventions. Throughout the course, the convenor will draw on his own research and work experience as an aid consultant and former staff member of the United Nations Development Programme. The course is highly suitable for any intellectually curious student who either wants to pursue a career in development aid, develop a critical appreciation of international development (broadly denied), or both.

Required Resources

Students must have access to necessary computer equipment as classes involve the use of various collaborative online tools (such as Padlet) which requires either a computer (laptop), tablet, or smartphone. Students who have difficulties accessing such tools must contact the convenor immediately at the beginning of the semester.

We will read Katy Gardner, and David Lewis. 2015. Anthropology and Development: Challenges for the Twenty-First Century (London: Pluto Press) the first weeks of the semester (available as ebook through the ANU library).

In addition, the following textbooks are also highly recommended as background readings:

Crewe, E. and Axelby, R., 2013. Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in a Globalised World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Olivier de Sardan, J.P., 2005. Anthropology and development: understanding contemporary social change. London: Zed Books.

Edelman, M. and Haugerud, A., 2005. The Anthropology of Development and Globalization From Classical Political Economy to Contemporary Neoliberalism. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

Students may also familiarise themselves with the following journals: Development & Change, Third World Development, Oxford Development Studies, Development in Practice, and many others.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • marking rubrics
  • verbal comments
  • feedback during seminars

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

This course is designed taking into account:

  1. students' own participation and contribution to curriculum design
  2. diverse students' interests straddling academic and applied, policy-orientated analysis
  3. students freedom (and responsibility) to develop an independent research project, which can either take the form of an academic research paper or a policy position paper.

The convenor has only set topics for the first four weeks, where we will be covering foundational key concepts and anthropological theories and analysis pertaining to development (based on Katy Gardner and David Lewis's foundational text book on the Anthropology of Development). At the end of week 1, students will vote on which topics to cover for the remaining weeks from the following list (in alphabetical order):

  1. Anthropocene, anthropology and aid
  2. Anthropological approaches to corruption (and its applicability to aid and governance)
  3. Anthropology, development and Decolonization (localisation agendas)
  4. Behavioural change
  5. Community
  6. Covid impacts (the triple crises of epidemiology, economy and epistemology)
  7. Crisis (politics of disaster, catastrophe and ruins)
  8. Degrowth
  9. Neoliberalism
  10. Resilience
  11. Securitization of aid and governance
  12. Tech utopias, surveillance capitalism and big data (humanitarian drones, blockchain, and 'application' of aid and policy)

Student may suggest additional topics to vote for. Once the topics are finalised, students must propose at least one selected reading for any of the weeks, including providing a rationale for why the reading is suitable for all students in class (this is an assessable item due in week 3). The convenor will select suitable readings based on students' suggested readings and other additional weekly readings as appropriate (by week 4).

In addition, two weeks during the semester will take the form as dedicated scaffolding workshops for students final research paper, with associated milestone assessments (i.e. developing of research topics and annotated bibliography, and preliminary articulation of research/policy problem).

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introducing key concepts in anthropology of development
2 Development and anthropology: theories and historical legacies
3 Anthropology of development and development anthropology Assessment 1: student-selected reading rationale statement
4 Buzzwords, fuzzwords and an anthropological inquiry (access, effect, control): gender, participation and empowerment
5 Student-selected concept 1
6 Student-selected concept 2 Assessment 2: reflective essay
7 Student-selected concept 3
8 Student-selected concept 4 Assessment 3: student research topics and annotated bibliography
9 Workshop A: identifying a research topic
10 Student-selected concept 5
11 Student-selected concept 6
12 Workshop B: moving from topic to research question Assessment 4: articulating a research question

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Student-selected reading rationale statement 10 % 12/08/2022 1
Reflected essay 20 % 02/09/2022 1,2,4,5
Workshop A: identifying a topic and annotated bibliography. 10 % 07/10/2022 1,2,3
Workshop B: moving from topic to research question 10 % 28/10/2022 1,2
Research paper/policy response paper 50 % 07/11/2022 1,2,3,4,5

* 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Although there is no separate participation grade for this class, the seminar serves as an important scaffolding for students research projects and general learning. Attendance is therefore highly recommended. The class is designed to cater for both on-campus and online students. The class is taught in a 'zoom room' which means that both on campus and online students can interact in real-time. All seminars are recorded and made available for all students. Although attendance in seminars are highly recommended, it is also possible to undertake the class in asynchronous mode. In addition, pre-recorded lecture content is provided via wattle for students' perusal ahead of weekly classes.

Students are expected to budget their time well. Students with either work commitments or extracurricular activities are expected to have made arrangements with their work supervisor (or equivalent) in advance of the semester in order to allow time for studies (including attending seminars) and timely submission of assignments.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 12/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1

Student-selected reading rationale statement

Students must identify one reading and present a rationale for why this reading is suitable for all students to read for one of the given student-selected concepts. The rationale must explain why the student thinks this is a good reading and how it will help all students deepen their understanding of the given key concept. Word count: maximum 250 words. Detailed marking rubric available in wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 02/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Reflected essay

The purpose of the reflective essay is to allow students to deepen their engagement and understanding of the foundational theoretical and conceptual material covered in class in week 1-4. The essay is based solely on Katy Gardner and David Lewis's foundational text book that we read in class (week 1-4). Students must select one essay question out of a wider selection (to be provided in week 3). Detailed assessment criteria are made available through turnitin in wattle. Word length: maximum 1000 words, inclusive of bibliography.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 07/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Workshop A: identifying a topic and annotated bibliography.

Students will share their research topic and an annotated bibliography with fellow students for discussion. The workshop will take place during the scheduled teaching hours, though students can also opt to participate asynchronously (i.e. comments can be posted in wattle before class). In addition to posting your topic and annotated bibliography, all students must comment on at least two other student projects. The annotated bibliography must contain a succinct description of the research topic (app. 100 words) and 2-3 of the key sources. Total word length: maximum 500 words. Marking rubric is available in wattle.

Advice on how to write an annotated bibliography can be found here: https://www.anu.edu.au/students/academic-skills/writing-assessment/other- assessments/annotated-bibliography

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 28/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Workshop B: moving from topic to research question

This workshop will assist students in turning their research topic in into a research question. Students will share their research question (in the form of a 250 words statement) with fellow students for discussion. The workshop will take place during the scheduled teaching hours, though students can also opt to participate asynchronously (i.e. comments can be posted in wattle before class). Students are encouraged to provide active, positive feedback on fellow students projects. Word limit: maximum 250 words. Marking rubric is available in wattle.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 07/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research paper/policy response paper

The major essay gives students the opportunity to investigate one topic of their choice. Students have the option of either writing an academic research paper, or a policy response paper which argues for or against a particular policy relating to development. The paper must relate to one, or a combination of the key concepts covered in class, and be grounded in academic research and evidence pertaining to the topic. The paper must include a clear articulation of a research problem (or question), and present a clear, forceful argument for a particular theoretical, analytical, or policy position. Although 'grey-literature' can be incorporated into the paper, most sources must be academic, peer reviewed and must engage literature pertaining to the anthropology development/development anthropology. Word limit: maximum 3000 words, inclusive of bibliography.

Detailed assessment criteria are made available through wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.

The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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) 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.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Students will receive essay feedback via turnitin. Late essays will be graded but may receive no comments.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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

In exceptional circumstances the convenor may allow, or (in the case of essays with sub-standard referencing and/or English expression) request re-submission of essays (based on a pass/fail grade).

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).

AsPr Sverre Molland

Research Interests

Associate Professor Molland has close to two decades of research and programme experience on human tracking, development and mobility in the Mekong region. Associate Professor Molland's research examines the intersections between migration, development and security in a comparative perspective, with specific focus on governance regimes and intervention modalities in mainland Southeast Asia. Associate Professor Molland is a former advisor on anti-tracking interventions with the United Nations Development Programme (Mekong region) and continues to engage the aid sector through consultancy work relating to development and migration.

AsPr Sverre Molland

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AsPr Sverre Molland

Research Interests

AsPr Sverre Molland

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