Building Capacity and Mobilising Civil Society

    Unit code: ASA5023 | Study level: Postgraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    City Campus
    Footscray Park
    Successful completion of 2 units of the course.
    (Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


    This unit of study critiques key developments and debates about civil society and democracy, its history and evolving roles and functions in the context of community development and civil society mobilisation. Students examine civil society's relationships with other actors, including other civil society organisations (CSOs), governments, international institutions and the private sector. Students interrogate the concept of capacity development and its relationship to processes of self-determination, democratisation and state development and consider the appropriateness and sustainability of capacity development and mobilisation strategies including in relation to supporting First Nations claims for rights and sovereignty. Case studies are utilised to provide authentic illustrations of key issues and tensions.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Critique key developments on civil society theories in terms of contributing to a more resilient communities, and a more equitable and sustainable world;
    2. Conceptually map the links between public policies, government and civil society organisations in building capacity;
    3. Debate competing conceptions of civil society and capacity development deconstruct roles and functions in international community development; and
    4. Theorise and transform thinking about key concepts, issues and debates in relation to building capacity in international community development contexts through authentic learning experiences.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Case Study
    Grade: 25%
    Blog post on a chosen country assessing the state of civil society and democracy.
    Assessment type: Project
    Grade: 50%
    Design and develop a training product (in 3 parts).
    Assessment type: Poster
    Grade: 25%
    Promote and explain a community campaign with a supporting rationale.

    Required reading

    Students will be provided with an up to date resources list via VU Collaborate.

    As part of a course

    This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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