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Intervening in Development (DEVT90053)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeDEVT90053
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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.

Intended 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.

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.

Last updated: 11 November 2018