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This micro-credential examines the political economy of elections in Melanesia (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Bougainville). It considers the factors shaping the conduct of elections across the region, and implications of elections on democracy, governance, development and security. Incorporating insights from comparative politics, anthropology and development studies. The micro-credential explores how elections in the region differ from developed country electoral experiences and what this means for efforts to support electoral processes. Implications for the development of electoral support programs that respond to the specific Melanesian context are also considered. The focus of the readings is to provide a deeper grounded and contextual understanding of elections, drawing heavily on applied research conducted in Melanesian countries. Regional case studies are used to elucidate key aspects of elections.


  1. The political economy of elections in Melanesia
  2. Elections and (in)security
  3. Elections, governance and development
  4. Money politics and electoral competition in Melanesia
  5. Political parties and campaigning
  6. Elections, ICTs and social media
  7. Women and elections
  8. Electoral administration and electoral integrity in Melanesia
  9. Elections in PNG
  10. Elections in Solomon Islands
  11. Elections and external actors – interests and engagement
  12. Supporting elections in Melanesia – policy and programming challenges

Learning outcomes 

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

  1. Understand the contextual factors that condition how elections in Melanesia work
  2. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the relationship between elections and security, governance, development and stability
  3. Appreciation of the challenges faced by key political and social actors such as women and civil society in participating in elections in Melanesia
  4. Demonstrate a good understanding of the policy challenges involved in administering elections in Melanesia.
  5. Appreciation of the distinctiveness of Melanesian elections in a comparative context

Indicative assessment

Risk assessment and stakeholder analysis: 30%; Links to LO: 1, 2, 4 and 5

Election support design project: 70% Links to LO: 1, 2 and 3

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: DPA24

  • 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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