DEVELOP 710 : Development Policies and Institutions


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Provides students with in-depth knowledge of policy approaches to alleviate poverty, enhance social justice and achieve sustainability. Contemporary development policies carried out by governments, donor agencies and UN organisations will be scrutinised. Examples of policies that will be covered in the course are land reform and migration policies, gender policies, climate adaptation and mitigation as well as ethical trade policies.

Course Overview

This course aims at providing students with an in-depth knowledge of national and international policy approaches to alleviate poverty, enhance social justice and achieve environmental sustainability. The course will scrutinise contemporary development policies carried out by national governments, international development banks, donor agencies and UN organisations. Examples of policies that will be covered in the course are land policies, food aid policies, gender policies, migration policies, climate adaptation and mitigation policies as well as ethical and fair trade policies. Students will develop the ability to analyse complex policy-making issues, making use of both theory and empirical evidence from specific cases.

A major emphasis of the course will be on the Sustainable Development Goals and the policy frameworks that are developed by various national and international actors to address them. Students will also learn how to write a policy brief in small groups, drawing on real cases around contemporary policy issues in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Course Requirements

Restriction: DEVELOP 700

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Master of Arts

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand the complexity and dynamics of development policy making and the importance of policy space, particularly for least developed countries in Asia and small island developing states (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  2. Identify major policy debates at the national and international level around poverty and hunger alleviation, migration, climate change and trade (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8)
  3. Explain how policy is framed in national and international development agendas and forums (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  4. Evaluate the aims of development policies and critically assess policy narratives and different approaches to policy-making (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8)
  5. Communicate policy ideas in both written and verbal form (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Presentation 20% Individual Coursework
Policy Brief 30% Group Coursework
Critical Policy Essay 40% Individual Coursework
Individual Reflection on Group Policy Brief 10% Individual Coursework

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures, 4 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 4 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including seminars and group work activities to complete components of the course.
Lectures will not be available as recordings (unless there are particular circumstances, such as inability to deliver on-campus teaching). 
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is not required for delivering the assignments.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

There is no particular course book or text book required for this course. Readings will be made available through the Reading List and through Files on Canvas.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.


Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Well-being always comes first
We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.