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The Australian National University

MAAPD program

The Master of Applied Anthropology & Participatory Development (MAAPD) will provide an understanding of the principal ways in which critical social inquiry and participatory processes can be applied to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development activities.

Graduates of the Master of Applied Anthropology & Participatory Development (MAAPD) program will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • gain an understanding of trends and changes in development theory and practice as they apply to local development processes;
  • apply critical social inquiry and participatory processes to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development activities;
  • undertake social assessments and integrate social perspectives and participatory practices with other forms of technical expertise in development work;
  • advise on the development policy processes of NGOs, the private sector, government, and multilateral agencies to ensure the inclusion of local and community perspectives.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the problems of combining social perspectives and participatory practices with other forms of technical expertise in development work.

The MAAPD program is taught by social scientists in specialist areas from

As a practitioner who had come straight from the field in a remote Indigenous community, the MAAPD provided me with a perfect blend of practicality and theory that has led to fantastic opportunity.
(Bill Fogarty, Australia)

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Who should do the MAAPD program?

The MAAPD program is designed for those who have developed an interest in the application of anthropology's critical methods and styles to social issues in development.

It is designed for people working in government, non-government organisations, or as independent consultants. On completion of the program MAAPD graduates will be better able to manage development projects, including undertaking social assessment, and advising on their cultural and social impacts.

It draws on the regional and conceptual expertise that has contributed to the world-class reputation of ANU in anthropological studies. It comprises four compulsory and two elective courses. The program is increasingly becoming a stepping stone for those wishing to undertake a PhD in development studies.

MAAPD Specialisations & Research

In 2012 five specialisations are being offered in addition to the MAAPD program. They are in Gender and Development, Indigenous Policy, Conflict and Development, Society and Environment and Humanitarian Action These share some of the core MAAPD courses, but are looked at in the context of the particular specialization. They also offer the opportunity for students to have their program mentored by experts in their field of specialisation.

For each specialisation a research option is available for students with strong grades in the MAAPD who wish to pursue a research career. This will involve an additional six month full-time research project.

MAAPD is currently available on or off-campus at either a full-time or part-time intensity - 2 semesters full time, 3 - 4 semesters part time. Any of the courses offered can be taken as Non Award Courses.

Updated:  28 November 2013/Responsible Officer:  MAAPD Convenors /Page Contact:  Program Coordinators