Intervening in Development

Subject DEVT90053 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 1-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Bart Klem


Subject Overview:

This subject complements the Development Theories compulsory subject, which taken together will give students a strong grounding in both the theories and the practice of development. This subject interprets ‘intervention’ broadly to cover efforts (policies, programmes, projects, activities) that are understood by the actors concerned to be promoting of international and national development. This covers the efforts of the international development industry, but it is also interested in the interventions of national governments in the developing world, the role of emerging donors like China, India and the Gulf states and other agents of development including the private sector and social movements. It aims to show how intervening in development can involve a wide span of activities from the implementing of aid projects, to reforming the civil service, to campaigning for social justice, to improving the tax system. This subject aims to give students an introduction to the complexity and diversity of development settings and interventions and an understanding of why some forms of intervention have been more successful than others.

To enrol in this subject, students must be admitted to the Master of Development Studies

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • understand the current trends and debates around the policy and practice of key development actors; and
  • understand the key challenges and opportunities of developing countries in intervening in development in a legitimate, effective and coherent way; and
  • oversee contemporary critiques of development interventions and possible alternatives, link these to theoretical positions, and be able to critically engage with underlying questions of evidence; and
  • take well-argued position in these debates in verbal discussions and an authoritatively written essay.
  • Assignment: 2,000 words - students will select one of four topics (40%), due throughout weeks 4 - 10
  • Essay: 3,000 words (60%), due in the examination period

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

The subject coordinator will provide a list of required readings. Students are not required to purchase any books for this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Student who successfully complete this subject should:

  • be able to unravel development interventions, place them in historical context; and
  • be able to critically reflect on them and engage with underlying questions of evidence; and
  • be able to shift perspective between academic and policy perspectives; and
  • be able to treat the knowledge, language and workings of both realms at their own merit, and identify tensions and connections between them; and
  • be able to write and verbalize coherent and convincing arguments about development interventions.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Development Studies
150 Point Master of Development Studies
200 Point Master of Development Studies

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