• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Development Studies, Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Annabel Dulhunty
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course is available for on-campus & remote (online) learning. All students participate in interactive, real-time classes.

Aid policies and programs have shaped international relations and domestic policies for the past seventy years. By providing overseas development assistance, countries have sought to shape geopolitics and influence the domestic policies of recipient countries. In the 21st century, aid has been more closely examined than ever and countries and multilateral institutions are trying different strategies for delivering aid. The question remains, however, as to whether overseas aid is a worthwhile enterprise or whether it is merely an exercise in political power.

This course will examine the debates both for and against aid. It will explore all perspectives and students will be encouraged to formulate their own stance on the different merits and issues of aid policies and programs. A number of case studies will be used to analyse the experiences of both donor and recipient countries. This course will compare Australia’s aid program with comparative programs in Europe and North America. It will also investigate the effects of aid in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and Latin America and will examine what decoloniality means for aid. It will also have a practical focus, exploring policy proposals for aid and reflecting on diverse aid mechanisms and alternatives to aid.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically analyse both bilateral and multilateral aid policies and programs, finding and interpreting data from a variety of sources.
  2.  Demonstrate skills in applying theory to current issues in aid policy and programming.
  3. Develop a strong understanding of the key theories and ideas which have shaped domestic and multilateral aid policies.
  4. Examine the connection between aid, coloniality and power.
  5. Analyse the global aid structure and articulate an informed argument on aid clearly, based on evidence. 

Indicative Assessment

  1. Case study analysis (1500 words) (25) [LO 2,3,5]
  2. Policy pitch (7-10 minutes) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Critical essay (3500 words) (35) [LO 3,4,5]
  4. Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


 A standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including in class time and independent study.

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text.

Preliminary Reading

Bhambra, G.K. (2014). ‘Postcolonial and decolonial dialogues’, Postcolonial Studies, 17:2, 115-121.

Bseiso, J., Hofman, M. and Whittall, J. (2021). Everybody's War – The Politics of Aid in the Syria Crisis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Engel, S. (2014). ‘The not-so-great aid debate’, Third World Quarterly, 35: 8, 1374-1389.

Ferguson, J. (1990). The Anti-Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gautier, L. Karambé, Y., Dossou, J.P. and Mallé Samb, O. (2022). ‘Rethinking development interventions through the lens of decoloniality in sub-Saharan Africa: The case of global health’, Global Public Health, 17:2, 180-193.

Ostry, J.D., Loungani, P. and Furceri, D. (2016). ‘Neoliberalism: Oversold?, Finance and Development, 53:8, https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2016/06/ostry.htm

Whitfield, L. (2009). The Politics of Aid: African Strategies for Dealing with Donors. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
8976 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A
8977 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 Online N/A

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