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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Campus Attendance


10 cp from 100-level units in International Development Studies

Unit rationale, description and aim

Graduates working in international development often undertake project-based work and need the knowledge and skills of project management in order to initiate, plan, implement and evaluate complex projects

Effective project management is vital to ensuring the success of on-ground development projects. This practical subject explores the role of projects and project managers in the local and international development field. The unit focuses on the design of projects that are implemented in collaboration with,  and empower local communities. The aim of the unit is to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to manage development projects throughout the project life-cycle, from the initial stages of planning and applying for funding through to evaluation.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Discuss the role of individual projects in contributing to the needs of the international development sector and the people it servesGC2
LO2Analyse the ways in which project managers work collaboratively with local communities and other stakeholders to plan, implement and evaluate a development projectGC1
LO3Analyse a problem in the developing world and propose a project that aims to address part of the problem in a sustainable wayGC2
LO4Design and develop a project proposal including rationale, logical framework, schedule, budget, and risk management planGC4


Topics will include: 

  • Introduction to project management
  • Understanding and critical analysis of different approaches to project management in the international development context such as log frame analysis.
  • Project life cycle
  • Project planning and initiation
  • Collaboration and empowerment of local communities
  • Logical framework
  • Scheduling
  • Budgeting
  • Grant applications
  • Risk management and ethical considerations
  • Evaluation and monitoring
  • Sustainability

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit may be offered face to face or in multi-mode. Students engage with project management theories and practice via lectures (either face to face or online) and discuss, practice and assimilate ideas in workshops. Students will learn the skills of project management and will apply these skills to create a project plan for a project designed to solve an international development problem. The project plan will be developed incrementally in the workshops (and at home) as students learn how to work with local communities to analyse a problem, plan and manage a project in a way that is sustainable. Students will undertake practical learning and assessments that focus on real world problems and challenges with the goal of developing their problem solving, decision making and investigative skills with regard to project development and management in workshops.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The practical assessments in this unit allow students to engage incrementally with the process of project development and planning applying the theory they learn in a practical way. Students will be guided as they move through the required steps. Building towards the final project proposal, students will begin with a preliminary project plan that identifies the problem, undertakes a stakeholder analysis and proposes the aims, outcomes, deliverables and activities for the project. Students present the project to their class as a pitch providing opportunities for peer evaluation and learning. The project scope will be developed through to conclusion via a full project proposal. The schedule provides scaffolded learning with opportunities for students to practise their skills and receive feedback as they work incrementally on their proposal applying the skills they learn each week. Students’ understanding of project management theories and practices will be assessed using online activities.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Online Activities

The purpose of the online activities is to assess students’ understanding of the theories and practices applicable to managing international development projects.


LO1, LO2

Project Preliminary Plan and Presentation

The purpose of this assessment task is to allow students to pitch their project highlighting the rationale, aims and objectives for the project and how their plan will achieve the outcomes wanted by stakeholders.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Project Proposal

The purpose of this assessment task is to design and develop a full project proposal including rationale, logical framework, schedule, budget, and risk management plan.


LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Golini, R., & Landoni, P. (2013). International development projects: Peculiarities and managerial approaches. Project Management Institute Inc., USA.

Golini, R., Landoni P.,& Kalchschmidt, M. (2018) The adoption of the logical framework in international development projects: a survey of nongovernmental organizations, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 36:2, 145-154, DOI: 10.1080/14615517.2017.1354643

Ika, L., & Donnelly, J. (2017). Success conditions for international development capacity building projects. Project Management (35), 44-63.

Julian, R. (2016). Is it for donors or locals? The relationship between stakeholder interest and demonstrating results in international development. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 9(3), 505-527

PM4DEV (2019). Project Management for Development Organisations - Resources. Available from

PM4DEV (2015). Development Project Management. Available from

PM4DEV (2019). Project Risk Management. Available from

Schmidt, T. (2013). Strategic project management made simple: Practical tools for leaders and teams. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

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