« Asia and the Pacific/Research Methodologies and Special Topics

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This micro-credential is designed for current and prospective policy makers and aid professionals involved in the design and implementation of aid projects in the Pacific. Adopting an evidence-based and multi-disciplinary approach, it examines critically the challenges of aid programming in the Pacific context. Beginning with an assessment of the political and development context in the region, the credential considers how the Pacific context complicates key elements of the design and implementation process including: partnering with local actors, developing a context responsive theory of change, monitoring and evaluation, risk management and inclusivity. The micro-credential has a strong practical focus based around four Pacific case studies in the areas of governance, gender, health and education.


  1. The political and development context in the Pacific – Implications for design
  2. How change happens in a Pacific context - Theories of change
  3. Locally-led development - Partnering with local actors
  4. Monitoring and evaluation in a Pacific context
  5. Meeting donor requirements in Pacific designs - Risk management and sustainability
  6. Inclusivity in Pacific program design
  7. Program implementation in a Pacific context – Modalities and aid approaches
  8. Thinking and working politically in the Pacific – Situating donors in the Pacific context
  9. Case study – Gender and leadership
  10. Case study – Governance and elections
  11. Case study – Skills
  12. Case study - Health

Learning outcomes 

Upon successful completion, enrollees will have the knowledge and skills to: 

  1. Identify key stages and actors in program design and implementation
  2. Define the development contexts in the Pacific and their relevance to aid programming
  3. Determine the relevant drivers of the political economy in which aid programs are designed
  4. Critically assess different programming modalities used in Pacific development programs
  5. Design an original development program that is fit for purpose in a Pacific context

Indicative assessment

Problem Identification and Theory of Change critical review: 30%; Links to LO: 1, 2 and 3

Aid Design Project: 70%; Links to LO: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Assumed knowledge 

This Micro-credential is taught at graduate level and assumes the generic skills of a Bachelors or equivalent. 

Micro-credential stack information 

 This Micro-credential is currently not part of a stack.


  • Course Code: DPA25

  • Workload: Contact hours: 24 hours, face-to-face or online (eg via Zoom). Individual study and assessment: approx. 100-120 hours.

  • ANU unit value: 6 units

  • Course Code Level: 8000

  • Contact:  ANU Department of Pacific Affairs: dpa@anu.edu.au

This Micro-credential is taught at a graduate level.  This is not an AQF qualification. 

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