- Class Number 4340
- Term Code 3330
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Topic Online
- Mode of Delivery Online
- Prof Sharon Bessell
- Prof Sharon Bessell
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 20/02/2023
- Class End Date 26/05/2023
- Census Date 31/03/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
Poverty remains one of the most significant policy challenges facing the world today. In countries across the global South and the global North there is a need for urgency in addressing poverty, reflected in the first of the Sustainable Development Goals. While there was progress in addressing extreme poverty in the first two decades of the twenty-first century, the global coronavirus pandemic has resulted in that trend being reversed, with tens of millions – perhaps billions – of people being plunged into poverty. Poverty constrains, and sometimes destroys, the lives of individuals. It is a denial of basic human rights and undermines the development of human capital and the progress of well-being. Yet even the definition of poverty is contested and ways of measuring and addressing it are intensely debated.
This course will equip students to understand those debates. It will examine the policies and programs that have achieved success and those that have missed the mark. It will cover:-
- Conceptualisations and definitions of poverty.
- Debates around poverty measurement and various approaches.
- Intersections of gender, age, disability, location, ethnicity and poverty.
- The relationship between inequality, marginalisation, and poverty.
- The ongoing implications of colonisation and global maldistribution.
- Policy and programs to reduce poverty.
- The evolution of global thinking around poverty reduction, including the Sustainable Development Goals and SDG1.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Analyse complex theories and debates around reducing poverty.
- Debate key perspectives on definitions and measurement of poverty.
- Distinguish and demonstrate an advanced understanding of the social groups that are especially vulnerable to poverty.
- Understand the interconnections between poverty and marginalisation and inequality.
- Analyse the policies and programs that have achieved success and those that have not.
- Demonstrate knowledge to develop policies and programs to reduce poverty.
My own research revolves around issues of social justice, equality, and human rights. My research focuses on three broad areas. First, social policy for children who are living in difficult circumstances; I am currently leading two projects on multidimensional child poverty - one in Australia and one in Indonesia. The second area of focus is the gendered and generational nature of multidimensional poverty. The third is childhoods across generations. You can find out more about that research at http://childrenspolicycentre.org/ or http://sharonbessell.com
Over the past thirteen years, I have led research on new approaches to assessing and responding to multidimensional poverty. You can find out more about our work at immp.crawford.anu.edu.au. The third are of focus is gender equality, and particularly women's political participation.
This course critically engages with both the literature and policies, programs, and services designed to address poverty. It is also shaped by my own research, which focuses on the gendered and generational nature of multidimensional poverty and the structural and systemic drivers of poverty.
Additional Course Costs
Examination Material or equipment
You will need a laptop and (probably) smartphone to engage in class quizzes and activities. If you are in the online class, your computer will need to have a microphone. You will need internet access, as some of our class activities use online platforms. Please contact Professor Bessell if you have any concerns.
Pre-recorded lectures for each topic discussed are on our Wattle site.
There is no text book for Poverty Reduction, but key readings will be available on our Wattle site.
Most topics have several readings - and our Wattle site will make clear which are expected and which are optional. It is not compulsory that you read every article - but the more you read, the more you will gain from the course. Ideally, you should go beyond the readings provided - particularly for your assessment tasks - and explore the literature more broadly. Of course, if you do not do any reading, you will not gain maximum benefit from the class.
Videos and podcasts
There is an enormous range of excellent videos and podcasts available on the topics we will be discussing. Some of the most powerful or interesting are posted on our Wattle site as additional resources that you may wish to use. These may be especially helpful for your assessment tasks.
Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.
ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.
Staff FeedbackStudents 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 FeedbackANU 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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Tuesday 21 February What is poverty? Conceptualisations and Definitions In this session, we ask 'what is poverty?'. We will explore and constructively critique some of the ways in which poverty is conceptualised and defined, and discuss the implications for policy. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|2||Tuesday 28 February Measuring Poverty: Key Debates and Concepts In this session we explore some of the key debates around the ways in which poverty is measured and consider key that underpin measurement. We examine income-based and multidimensional approaches to measuring poverty, assessing the benefits, drawbacks, and purposes of each. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|3||Tuesday 7 March Global Poverty and Inequality In this session we examine poverty and inequality globally. We look at trends over time and at global efforts to reduce poverty - including the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the efforts of key international agencies. We also consider the impacts on poverty of COVID-19 and responses to the pandemic. We also assess the nature of global inequality and the impacts for both the poorest countries and the poorest people in countries that are not defined as 'poor'. In this session, we will also explore the implications of global climate emergency for poverty. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|4||Tuesday 14 March Poverty within countries: Australia This is the first of three sessions, where we look at case studies of poverty in three very different country contexts. In each of these case study sessions, we will look at the extent and nature of poverty, key drivers of poverty, the ways in which poverty has been represented in political and public narratives, and policy responses. In this session, we will focus on Australia. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|5||Tuesday 21 March Poverty within countries: Indonesia In this, the second of our case study sessions, we will focus on Indonesia. We will explore the extent and nature of poverty, key drivers of poverty, the ways in which poverty has been represented in political and public narratives, and policy responses. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|6||Tuesday 28 March Poverty within countries: Malawi In this session, we complete our case studies, focusing on Malawi. We will explore the extent and nature of poverty, key drivers of poverty, the ways in which poverty has been represented in political and public narratives, and policy responses. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE Mid-semester break starts next week. No classes on Tuesday 4 or Tuesday 11 April.|
|7||Tuesday 18 April Climate Change and Poverty In this session, we will have a guest lecturer to discuss the impacts of climate change on poverty, who is likely to be most affected, and what policy responses are needed within countries and globally. THIS SESSION WILL INVOLVE A JOINT CLASS WITH BOTH THE IN PERSON AND ONLINE GROUPS. THE TIME FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE ANNOUNCED CLOSER TO THE DATE The ANZAC Day public holiday is next Tuesday. No class on Tuesday 25 April.|
|8||Tuesday 2 May Poverty, Gender and Intersectionality In this session, we examine the ways in which different identities or characteristics shape the experience of poverty for individuals and specific social groups. We explore the gendered nature of poverty, as well as the ways in which patterns of discrimination play out to create or exacerbate poverty. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|9||Tuesday 9 May Poverty and Social Exclusion In the previous session we used intersectional and gendered analysis to examine how patterns of poverty play out. In this session, we further discuss the relationship between poverty and social exclusion and explore various policy responses. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|10||Tuesday 16 May Preventing Poverty In this session we look at policies and strategies designed to prevent poverty, including early intervention and primary prevention strategies. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|11||Tuesday 23 May Challenges and Opportunities In this final session together, we recap on the key debates and ideas covered in the course and explore the policy challenges and opportunities for addressing poverty. RECORDINGS AND READINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR COURSE WATTLE SITE|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Infographic and mini-presentation||35 %||17/04/2023||10/05/2023||1,2,6|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
PoliciesANU 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 RequirementsThe 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 AssessmentMarks 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.
Attendance and active participation is expected in all classes (on-line or face to face) - and is important to ensure students gain the most from the course.
This course does not include a formal examination.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
There will be three short, in-class quizzes during the course. Dates for the quizzes will be available on the course Wattle site prior to the start of the course.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,6
Infographic and mini-presentation
The infographic and mini-presentation will enable students to engage with and deepen their understanding of a specific policy/program that has impacted on poverty (either positively or negatively). The task rubric and key dates will be available on the course Wattle site prior to the commencement of the course.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5,6
The essay is a research based task, which provides students with the opportunity to explore and understand the drivers of and responses to poverty. The task rubric and key dates will be available on the course Wattle site prior to the commencement of the course.
Academic IntegrityAcademic 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 SubmissionThe 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 SubmissionFor 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 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 RequirementsAccepted 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 PenaltiesExtensions 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.
Distribution of grades policyAcademic 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 studentsThe 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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Sharon’s research interests revolve around issues of social justice and human rights, focusing on three broad areas: (i) the first is social policy, social justice and the human rights of children; (ii) childhoods over time and intergenerational relations; and (iii) the gendered and generational dimensions of poverty.
Prof Sharon Bessell