• Class Number 4327
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Caroline Schuster
    • AsPr Caroline Schuster
    • Dr Chitra V
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

This course examines mainstream and alternative concepts of development by focusing on development issues and case studies located in so-called Third World countries. It examines the historical background to development ideas and practices, and the cultural presuppositions and assumptions on which they are consequently based, as well as the ways in which they impact on different cultures throughout the world. Of particular interest will be alternative concepts of development, such as people-centred development, gender and development, equity in development, local knowledge and values, sustainable development, and participation and empowerment in development.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Critically evaluate development programs and projects in terms of their social and cultural impact.
  2. Apply anthropological concepts and theories to an understanding of planned social change.
  3. Critically examine key ethnographic writing in terms of its theoretical and methodological approach. 
  4. Present and engage in group discussion about development.
  5. Devise strategies for successful development outcomes.

Research-Led Teaching

This course combines critical, theoretical perspectives on development aid, with an applied focus on policy and planning. Throughout the course, the convenors will draw on their extensive research on development, planning, and community response, with cases drawn from ethnographic fieldwork in Latin America and South Asia. 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, or both.

The following graphic ethnography will be read during week 6-7. It is available through the ANU library or as a physical copy at the ANU bookstore and Impact Comics in Canberra:

Schuster, Caroline E. Forecasts: A Story of Weather and Finance at the Edge of Disaster. University of Toronto Press, 2023.

Staff Feedback

Formative assessments will include written feedback in the form of a marking rubric, in-text annotations and a general comment (for the minor essay) and verbal feedback upon request (tute participation). In addition, students should feel free to approach the convenor for general feedback if they have concerns regarding their academic performance.

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

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 tutes and lectures). The convenor is not in a position to accommodate students' work and extra-curricular commitments.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1: Introduction No tutorial this week
2 Week 2: De-naturalising Development
3 Week 3: Planning and Dreaming
4 Week 4: Securing the Nation
5 Week 5: Disaster and its Aftermath Assessment 1: Timeline project
6 Week 6: Forecasting and Risk Management 1
7 Week 7: Forecasting and Risk Management 2 Assessment 2: Zine on financial planning
8 Week 8: Policy Mathematics
9 Week 9: Expertise Assessment 3: Research-based Project Proposal; Part 1 Annotated Bibliography
10 Week 10: Breakdown
11 Week 11: Technosolutionism
12 Week 12: Complexity Assessment 3: Research-based Project Proposal; Part 2 Team pitch day and poster session
13 Assessment 3: Research-based Project Proposal; Part 3 Peer review

Tutorial Registration

MyTimetable registration

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Timeline - tracking a development concept 25 % 22/03/2024 1,2,4,5
Zine on financial planning 25 % 19/04/2024 1,2,4,5
ASSIGNMENT 3: Research-based Project Proposal 10 % 31/05/2024 1,2,3,5

* 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 22/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Timeline - tracking a development concept

ASSIGNMENT 1: Timeline

Due on: Week 5

Weight: 25%

Total word count: approx. 800 words

Policies are built on concepts such as participatory development and integrated coastal planning, or based on ideas such as carbon credits, clean coal, waste-to-energy, and often have terms such as "Anthropocene," "Global South," or "GDP." Pick a core term or concept that is central to any policy that interests you. For example, if you are interested in energy policy then "waste-to-energy" might be of interest to you. Find out the history of the term and how it was used to structure policy and to govern. 

Construct a timeline of this concept. Some of the things you can put in your timeline are: When was the term first used? When did it appear in policy? How has critical research addressed this concept? You can look at how it changed over time or how it is used differently in different contexts.

Your timeline should have seven to eight entries. Please ensure that you include the following:

  1. summary of the concept you are tracking across time (300 words, including references)
  2. each entry should be approx. 50 words and must include full bibliographic citation with the DOI

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 19/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Zine on financial planning

ASSIGNMENT 2: Zine on financial planning

Due on: Week 7

Weight: 25%

Total word count: approx. 400 words

In week 6, we began learning about market-led development, focusing on financial instruments and how they structure policy. For this assignment, take a financial instrument/model that interests you and learn how it works. Create a one to two-page zine describing your findings. You can use images if you like or you can keep to text if you are not comfortable with drawings or visual media (many comics do not use images and work with creative typography). However, please note that part of your grade is based on your zine design and creativity.

If you find that you cannot fit 400 words into your zine (for example, if you have a lot of images and do not want to use too much text in your design), you can opt to write a summary and include that with your zine submission.

There are several templates for making zines, which you can find online. Here is one resource that may be of interest to you:


If you would like to make a single-page zine as a folded booklet, you could use this template:


Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 31/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

ASSIGNMENT 3: Research-based Project Proposal

ASSIGNMENT 3: Research-based Project Proposal

Due on: Week 9 and Week 12

Weight: 50% (20+20+10)

This assignment has three components. Two are individual and one is group-based.

Each tutorial section will be divided into groups (~5 students each). Together, you will decide to conduct research into one of Canberra's public programs. This could be public infrastructure or a service-based program. The goal of the project is to identify gaps in the program and come up with a "proposal pitch" for the government and/or a non-profit explaining your findings through a poster and a 5-minute presentation.

For example, your group might decide to study Canberra's bus system and the policies that structure this infrastructure. Your goal would then be to identify issues created by the current policy structure. Please note that the goal is NOT to provide solutions, but to identify the complexities produced/overlooked as a result of the way the program is administered or structured.




Word Count: 1,000 (including complete references for all annotations)

Individually, you will study one aspect of the public program. For example, if you are in a group studying public transport policy, you might want to look into transit wait times or policies governing fares. Or, if your group is studying public housing policy, you might want to look into access, or wait lists, or even associated support services. 

This exercise will allow you to function as an "expert" on that particular aspect of the policy (it is okay if there are multiple experts on the same topic in the same team, but do try to talk to each other to ensure an even distribution). 

For this first component, your individual task will be to produce an annotated bibliography on your chosen area/ policy aspect.


What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography gives your readers a general overview of the existing research or resources on a particular subject. It provides not just a full scholarly citation, but also a short note about the report/ article's findings/ analysis.

For example, for bus wait times, you might want to look into government reports, research on wait times, research on public transport use, and historical research on bus transport (these are just examples-- you might find other relevant things).

Requirements: at least three reports/news articles/archival resources + at least three scholarly sources


GROUP (20%)


Word count: 800

For the final presentation, imagine that your team gets a chance to present your findings to a public official. But you only have five minutes to present your pitch. A crucial part of your pitch will be a poster containing your research findings and your key arguments/ concerns.

The poster should be A1 size (this is pretty large and you should plan your layout) and contain approx. 800 words. You can use the presentation skills you gained through your second assignment.



DUE after the final presentation

WORD COUNT 300 X 2 (two reviews)

For this last component, imagine you are the public official reviewing a team's poster and pitch. Provide constructive feedback for any two teams other than yours. Your feedback should be helpful: it should identify what worked and also what did not work/ could be done better. For example, avoid saying something like "The layout did not work"

Instead, try to think with your colleagues and tell them how they could have improved their layout. 

Remember to be kind and positive in how you frame your review. 

Each review should be approximately 300 words, including any references.

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 essays 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 or tutorial reading reflection submissions (they are not essays, but essential preparation for tutorials).

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 feedback within two weeks of submitting their assessments. Late assessments 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.

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 Caroline Schuster

Research Interests

Associate Professor Caroline E Schuster has two decades experience researching the global microfinance industry, including microcredit for women entrepreneurs and microinsurance for climate-impacted communities. She is an economic anthropologist with specialisations in environment and gender and sexuality.

AsPr Caroline Schuster

By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Caroline Schuster

Research Interests

AsPr Caroline Schuster

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Chitra V

Research Interests

Associate Professor Caroline E Schuster has two decades experience researching the global microfinance industry, including microcredit for women entrepreneurs and microinsurance for climate-impacted communities. She is an economic anthropologist with specialisations in environment and gender and sexuality.

Dr Chitra V

By Appointment

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