DEVT 2101 - Community, Gender and Critical Development

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

This course critically explores some of the ways in which community and gender influence and are transformed by contemporary development policies, processes and programs. Students will evaluate key concepts and frameworks in terms of the anthropology of development and critique international development and planned culture change from modernist, gender-based and poststructuralist perspectives. The course takes an actor-oriented perspective, grounding applied practices in macro-economic, historical and socio-political contexts of local people's development experiences. It privileges the ways in which development beneficiaries perceive, understand and feel about the imposition of development and culture change and to what extent they can gain knowledge and/or power over this process through the analysis of several community-based case studies. The course also looks at some of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed to seek practical solutions in these settings, exploring various participatory field methods concerned with generating shared information, ensuring community empowerment and participation and in eliciting community/ local views.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DEVT 2101
    Course Community, Gender and Critical Development
    Coordinating Unit Anthropology and Development Studies
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Incompatible DEVT 2001 or DEVT 3001 & ANTH 2021 or ANTH 3021
    Assessment Workshop presentation 20%, Workshop participation 10%, Essay 1,000 words 25%, Report 2,000 words 45%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Alison Dundon

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

     1. Secure and accurate understanding of the nature and theories of development at the community and/or grassroots level as well as the main critiques of development from a gender-based perspective.

    2. Knowledge of and insight into key issues and concerns raised about the nature of development and development studies from a critical perspective.

    3. Ability to understand and apply key theoretical approaches to contemporary development contexts and situations.

    4. Capacity to critically evaluate central themes, propositions and concepts in development studies, particularly those concerned with community development and gender-based development.

    5. Commitment to an academically rigorous comprehension of the diversity of community and participatory development contexts, policies and practices.

    6. Sensitivity and ability to work collaboratively in teams as well as individually in a learning and research intensive environment.

    7. Understanding of and commitment to continuous learning and research into development policies and programs, and acknowledgement of specific cultural and social issues in global development programs and policies.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is a Book of Readings available for this course from the Image and Copy Centre, Level 1, Hughes Building. The Book of Readings consists of a copy of the Course Profile, and the essential readings for each tutorial week as listed in the course structure. 
    Recommended Resources
    For those who wish to read beyond the essential readings for each week or for use in developing and researching assessments, supplementary readings have also been suggested for each week and will be available on MyUni (articles) or in Reserve at the Library (books). Please see Helen Attar, Research Librarian for Anthropology and Development Studies for further enquiries about sources online and in the library. Contact details: Tel: 8303 5345; Email:
    Online Learning
    Lectures will be recorded each week and made available on MyUni. Course lecture PowerPoints and additional notes or references will also be made available on MyUni after the relevant lecture. The PowerPoints only refer to the main points or issues raised in the lectures and are not a substitute for attending and/or listening to recorded lectures. Essay questions will also made available on MyUni as will any adjustments made to lecture and tutorial times or locations (or cancellations), and other announcements. 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Course work is made up of three components: lectures, workshops and assignments. Attendance at and participation in lectures and workshops is essential for completion of the course as is the submission of all assessment requirements. All are essential for learning and development in this course.

    There is a one hour lecture each week in this course, which is essential to your successful completion of the course. These lectures introduce and examine the central themes of the week’s topic and the information that you receive is vital for your participation in tutorials as well as the successful completion of assessment requirements.

    Students are required to attend a two hour workshop each week. Attendance at and participation in these workshops on a weekly basis is a primary requirement of this course. There are ‘essential’ readings set for each workshop beginning from Week Two, which are available in a book of readings available from Image & Copy Centre (Level 1, Hughes Bld). These readings are designed to complement the material presented in the lectures and are essential for participation in the workshops. All students are expected to have read each week’s ‘essential readings’ for the workshop. For those who wish to read further, supplementary readings have also been suggested for each week.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students are expected to spend twelve hours per week on each course. In DEVT 2101, the 12 hours of required work are as follows:

    Contact Hours:

    Lectures: One hour per week

    Workshop: Two hours per week

    Research, reading and preparation for tutorials and assessment:

    Workshop preparation (reading): between two and four hours per week

    Preparation for assignments and supplementary readings:

    Five to seven hours per week (average)

    Learning Activities Summary
    The course is structured in two parts:

    In the first four weeks I introduce central concepts, issues and theories in the anthropology of development as well as wider development discourses. In this part of the course we also begin to question the basis and relevance of some of these concepts in the practice of development. In Part A of the course, we critically examine the principles and practices associated with gender, community and participation.

    In Part B, we look at case studies drawn from many parts of the world in order to not only illustrate the practice and experience of development at the community level but also because it allows us to critically examine some of these central and definitive concepts and practices.


    Week One:
    Critical Development - Buzzwords and Fuzzwords 

    Week Two:
    Gender and Critical Development

    Week Three:
    The ‘Community’ in Development

    Week Four:
    Community Participation and Development

    Week Five:
    Preparing for and writing Assignment


    Week Six:
    Mining and Community Development

    Week Seven:
    Volunteering, Tourism and Community Development

    Week Eight:
    Poverty, Gender and Rights

    Week Nine:
    Gender, Work and Empowerment

    Week Ten: 
    Governance, Gender and Development

    Week Eleven:
    Well-being, Community Empowerment and the Future of Development

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small Group Discovery Experience will take place throughout the course but particualrly in the following:

    Weeks: 3, 4. 6. 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    There are four (4) components of assessment for this course: these include an essay, a student-led workshop, a report, and workshop participation. The weightings of each component are set out below:

    20% - Student-led Workshop 
    45% - Report
    25% - Essay
    10% - Workshop Participation 

    Assessment Component Word Length Due Date Percentage Course learning outcome
    Student-led Workshop 30-40 minutes (in total) Chosen week 20% 1-7
    Report 2000 words TBA 45% 1-7
    Essay 1000 words TBA 25% 1-7
    Workshop Participation Ongoing 10% 1-7
    Assessment Related Requirements

    The assignments set for DEVT 2101 Community, Gender and Critical Development are an essay; a student-led team workshop; a report; and workshop participation. Students are also required to attend a two hour workshop each week. Attendance at and participation in these on a weekly basis is a primary requirement of this course.

    Assessment Detail
    A report of 2000 words will be submitted by each individual student. The report will be based on a critical analysis of the central concepts and case studies of development examined in Part B. Requirements and suggestions for the report will be discussed in the lectures and workshops and be made available on MyUni. 

    Student-led Seminar

    Student-led seminars will take place between Weeks 6-11. There will three components to the student-led seminars, which can be run in any sequence by seminar team leaders:

    1. A slideshow or pre-recorded video clip of between 5-10 minutes, poster or other form of visual/aural media that presents a series of slides or presentations or images etc that point to the central issues raised in the readings for the week as well as an introduction to the primary issues of the topic. There will be no formal presentation but rather this creative visual/aural representation of the key issues raised by the week’s case study.
    2. An activity that is based on interaction with the whole class that is organised and run by the team of workshop leaders. This could take the form of a role play, or a debate or a game that is based on the case study, or the construction of a project or policy document by members of the class.
    3. Discussion questions for the class, designed to engage all members of the workshop group and encourage their participation in the discussion.


    Each student must submit an essay of 1000 words. Essay questions drawn from Part A of the course and Instructions and Requirements will be available on MyUni and discussed in lectures and workshops.
    Essays are to be submitted online via the MyUni site. For guidance on how to submit your assignment electronically via MyUni, please go to and click on the ‘Submit an Assignment’ tutorial.

    Assignments submitted MORE THAN TWO WEEKS AFTER THE DUE DATE without an approved extended submission date will not be accepted or assessed. Please see the Course Coordinator or Tutor as early as possible if you think that you may not be able to complete your essay by the due date. Extensions for essays will be assessed in terms of demonstrable physical or emotional hardship and should be accompanied by adequate documentation (medical or counsellor’s certificate for example). In the interest of justice for all students in the course, PENALTIES OF 5% PER WORKING DAY will be deducted from essays handed in without an approved extension. Word lengths of assignments should be adhered to but unless the assignment is more than 20% over or under the stated word limit, there will be no penalty recorded on the marking schema. In general, keeping the assignment within 10% (under or over) of the word limit is ideal.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.