This unit critically examines various community development perspectives. The focus is on understanding the context of international development and sharing practical skills and responses to these contexts. Students will critique how they understand their own location and how their views have been shaped by the dominant economic paradigm. The unit focuses also on various development frameworks and their stance regarding environmental sustainability, equality and human rights.  Further, the unit engages learners in a self-critique as global players in development and social change and/or contributors towards environmental degradation. Students interrogate practices in poverty reduction, marginalisation, community organisation and conscientisation, to develop clarity of their own praxis.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically analyse own position and motivation to undertake community development work;  
  2. Apply practical tools for community development contexts;  
  3. Critically analyse international and local community development contexts;  
  4. Critically reflect on the key principles of community development;  
  5. Critically analyse contemporary development-related issues; and  
  6. Critically evaluate the roles of culture, politics, economy and different social contexts in community development.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Journal Weekly reflections on topic covered in previous lecture. Students can focus on one or more ideas. 30%
Review A review of one of the articles/chapters in the course study guide. Lead class discussion and analysis of article/chapter. 30%
Essay Essay on one of the suggested topics. 40%
Total effective word limit 5000 words or equivalent.

Required reading

Human Rights and Below: Achieving rights through community development,
Ife, J 2010,
UK & Aust, Cambridge University Press.

Global citizen action,
Edwards, M & Gaventa, J (eds) 2001,
Earthscan, London.

The globalization reader 4th ed
Lechner, F & Boli, J 2011,
Blackwell, Oxford.

Predatory globalisation: a critique
Falk, R 1999
Polity Press, Cambridge.

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