Course Title: International Perspective on Community Development

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: International Perspective on Community Development

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Marjorie Quinn

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 3483

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Successful completion of at least one year of a relevant undergraduate course

Course Description

This course involves a three-week study tour of Bangladesh. It is an intense learning-by-immersion experience focusing on community development and cultural learning. Temporary residence, including several days in each of two non-government organisations (NGOs) in rural Bangladesh, and ten days in Dhaka, visiting several other NGOs and government organisations, will give students opportunities to learn about Bangladesh, about approaches to community and international development, and the roles of local and international organisations in community development within a very poor country. It will also focus on learning and reflection about culture and cross-cultural communication and concepts and operations of race, racism and postcolonialism, particularly as these relate to community and international development.

Participant observation, and seminars offering the perspectives of local practitioners, academics and students will form the basis for student learning. A series of seminars will precede the visit to Bangladesh to prepare students for this international and cross-cultural learning experience. Seminars will also deal with practical aspects of travel to Bangladesh and the group travel experience.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the conclusion of the course you will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of theories and approaches to community development in a developing country and within an international context;

2. Think critically about the potential for community development and international partnerships within the changing national and global, social and economic environments;

3. Engage with ethical dimensions of community development in the context of global inequalities and cultural diversity;

4. Understand processes and strategies required for partnerships between different sectors and interests, for example, with local communities and NGOs, and international and partner NGOs;

5. Demonstrate some understanding of the history and development of Bangladesh;

6. Show evidence of relevant cultural knowledge, and capacity for cross-cultural learning;

7. Demonstrate skills in communicating in a cross- cultural situation, including engagement of interpreters where English is not the spoken language;

8. Engage intellectually and in practice with concepts of race, racism and colour in a post-colonial situation;

9. Relate discipline-specific knowledge to the experiences and learnings from Bangladesh; and,

10. Demonstrate ability to participate in and contribute to group living and learning in a foreign environment.

Overview of Learning Activities

1. Attendance at several seminars prior to the departure to Bangladesh is compulsory.

2. A three-week study tour in Bangladesh (usually in November) will involve: visits of observation to local and international non government organisations; stays of several days’ duration at two rural NGO’s; discussions with academics and development practitioners in Bangladesh; in-country integration seminars; communication with local people, sometimes necessitating working with interpreters, and visits to places of national significance.

Overview of Learning Resources

A detailed course guide will identify key texts, journal articles, websites, videos, CD resources and novels. In addition, a collection of key resources will be available from the RMIT bookroom. You will be directed to relevant resources within Bangladesh by RMIT staff and local academics and practitioners.

Overview of Assessment

There will be two assessment activities:
• A guided self-assessment process followed by dialogue with a staff member;

An essay: 3,000 words undergraduate, and 5,000 words postgraduate.