« Asia and the Pacific/Politics and Nature of the State

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This micro-credential aims to develop conceptual and applied knowledge of governance and service delivery challenges in Melanesia. By examining existing and emerging trends in the region, particularly in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Bougainville, this micro-credential considers contemporary policy debates involved in the politics of governance reform, decentralisation and its associated implications for development. Specifically, the micro-credential considers the role of Constituency Development Funds (CDFs) in providing local-level development and service delivery to communities in Melanesia. It introduces participants to scholarly discourse on a range of topics incorporating insights from comparative politics, public administration and development studies to engage with debates on decentralisation, government service delivery and the emergence of CDFs in the Melanesian context. Case studies of applied policy relevant research conducted in Melanesian countries are explored.


  1. The role of the state and concepts of governance
  2. Decentralisation and the post-colonial Melanesian state
  3. Long standing challenges of government service delivery
  4. The emergence of CDFs
  5. The politics of governance reforms
  6. Policy and programming challenges in supporting governance

Learning outcomes 

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the contextual factors behind governance reforms in Melanesia, including reasons for their successes and ongoing challenges
  2. Critically reflect on and engage in an in-depth analysis of key policy reform initiatives relevant to the Melanesian context
  3. Appreciation of the challenges faced by key political actors, public servants and development partners in Melanesia

Indicative assessment

Class participation: 10%; Links to LO: 1, 2 and 3

Concept review and in-class briefing: 40%; Links to LO: 3

Written case study (3,000 words): 50%; Links to LO: 1 and 2

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: DPA11

  • Workload: Contact hours: 12 hours, face-to-face or online (eg via Zoom). Individual study and assessment: approx. 50-60 hours.

  • ANU unit value: 3 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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