Development Studies Association of Australia (DSAA) Virtual Conference
Un/Doing Development

‘Un/Doing Development’ signifies both the practice or ‘doing’ of development and the many different ways in which we can think about development being or coming ‘undone’, including decolonising development.

The Development Studies Association of Australia (DSAA) conference (opens in a new window), hosted by Western Sydney University, allows DSAA members and guests to consider the various ways in which development occurs and is contested.

The DSAA conference will be held online 7-8 July 2022, with a HDR Research Day to be held on 6 July, 2022.

The Development Studies Association of Australia (DSAA) seeks to facilitate collaborations and engagement within and beyond the academy. As a community, we are committed to engaging the breadth of the dynamic field of development from the global through to regional, national, and local levels.

Thank you to our conference sponsors

Gold sponsors

University of Wollongong IGD logo
UNSW logo ANU logo
Victoria University logo La Trobe University logo 
James Cook University logo University of Melbourne logo 

Silver sponsors

ACFID logoResearch for Development Impact logo

From our sponsors

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Past events

State Responses to COVID-19: Migrants, the Pacific and South Asia

9 September 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world, states responded with various measures: denial; contact tracing; social distancing; phone apps; lockdown; economic stimulus; closed borders—even those states where COVID-19 was not present have made preparations for its arrival. Building on a June 2020 report from over 70 authors that covered 43 states and 10 social issues, this symposium will focus on the management of public health and national economies in South Asia and the Pacific. A specific focus will be on the plight of migrant workers, including undocumented migrants, across the world during the pandemic.

Co-chaired by Dr Garry Stevens and Dr Melissa Phillips with a great line up of speakers — Professor Sagar Sharma (Kathmandu University, Nepal), Professor Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir (University Dhaka, Bangladesh), Dr Gordon Nanau (University of the South Pacific, Fiji), Dr Charles Hawksley (Wollongong University), Ms Nidhi Wali and Dr Sarah De Nardi (Western Sydney University)

The Global Compact for Migration: WHERE TO FROM HERE

6 March 2020

Symposium and Workshop: This event looks at how Australia, despite not being a signatory to the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), can continue to play a role in furthering improvements to international migration. The symposium and workshop will focus on a number of migration-specific issues, including: climate induced displacement; alternatives to detention; regularisation pathways; and migrants in vulnerable situations. Event will begin with a plenary followed by break-out sessions.

Digital Mapping Workshop

26 November 2019

Digital Mapping Workshop (PDF, 261.82 KB) (opens in a new window) Digital mapping and spatial analysis computer applications are becoming ever more diverse, versatile and accessible. There is now a sizable array of low cost and easy to use tools for spatial analysis applications in research. These tools range from simple mapping tools to very complex spatial and remotely sensed data analysis tools. This workshop will discuss different computer applications and explain how these tools can assist in and add value to research. Please see event details below and flyer attached for more details.

Facilitator: Associate Professor Awais Piracha (Geography and Urban Studies, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University)

Research and practice in developing country context

26 June 2019

Research and practice in developing country context: An intensive workshop (PDF, 308.52 KB) (opens in a new window) The workshop aims to hone development skills and knowledge of WSU participants to assist them with their upcoming international field placements, and for HDR fieldwork.

Facilitator: Weh Yeoh (Faculty of health sciences at University of Sydney; Founder: OIC; Co-founder: Why Dev, Co-founder & CEO: UMBO)

Climate change and disaster preparedness and response in Nepal

Climate change and disaster preparedness and response in Nepal: A Public Lecture (PDF, 362.53 KB) (opens in a new window) This public lecture provides an overview of the context of interrelationship between climate change and disasters in Nepal, and reviews the lessons learned from past interventions and their implications for disaster risk reduction policy.

Speaker: Mr Madhu Sudan Gautam (National Disaster Risk Reduction Centre, Nepal and HADRI)

Australia and the Global Compact for Migration: opportunities for a new agenda 

12 November 2018

Australia and the Global Compact for Migration: opportunities for a new agenda - A Public Seminar (PDF, 124.53 KB) (opens in a new window) This public seminar brings together key policy makers involved in migration policy and planning at the highest level to consider how the Australian government and civil society actors can support, implement, monitor and review the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). The seminar aims to raise public awareness and understanding of the importance of the GCM.

Employment and Re-Industrialisation in Post Soeharto Indonesia

11 October 2018

Employment and re-industrialisation in Post Soeharto Indonesia: A Book Seminar ( PDF, 114.94 KB) (opens in a new window) This book studies the challenges for Indonesia, once a miracle economy, as it faces premature deindustrialisation, rising inequality, and domestic and external impediments impacting its export-oriented industrialisation.

Book presentation: Zulfan Tadjoeddin (HADRI) and Anis Chowdhury (HADRI)

Discussant: Professor Michele Ford (University of Sydney)

Humanitarian responses to the Syrian crisis: the growth of a diaspora movement

21 September, 2018

Humanitarian responses to the Syrian crisis: the growth of a diaspora movement ( PDF, 117.43 KB) (opens in a new window) A Public Talk & Photo Exhibition. This seminar discusses the role of local and international diasporas in responding to this conflict, and asks what more Australia can do to respond to the humanitarian need of refugees from Syria.

Speakers: Fadi Al-Dairi, (Hand in Hand for Syria), Rnita Dacho (Refugee Council of Australia), Graham Thom (Amnesty International)

A Public Seminar and discussion on “Investing for Development: a just transition to environmentally sustainable societies in Asia Pacific”

16 July 2018

Investing for development: a just transition to environmentally sustainable societies in Asia Pacific (PDF, 328.46 KB) (opens in a new window) An event involving speakers from International Labour Organization (ILO), European Commission and Nepali partners from Kathmandu University and ILO, Nepal. The event was opened by Dean, Professor Kevin Dunn and Mr Richard Howard, ILO Country Director Nepal.

Rohingya: Rights and Reality

23 June 2018

A photographic exhibition, film screening, and Question and Answer session at the State Library of NSW, Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor, Macquarie Street Sydney.

Rohingya: Rights and Reality (PDF, 1376.66 KB) (opens in a new window) will showcase a film by WSU and University of Padova Joint PhD (Human Rights, Society and Multi Level Governance) candidate Ahmed Abid on human trafficking in the Bay of Bengal. The screening will be introduced by HADRI’s Dr Garry Stevens.

The event combines themes of contemporary relevance including gross human rights abuses of the Rohingya population (described by the UN as a ‘case study in ethnic cleansing’), as well as human trafficking, forced migration, economic migration, and the health and welfare of vulnerable populations in refugee camps.

The event forms part of Refugee week and is presented by: Metro Assist; Bangla Hub; Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI), Western Sydney University; Films 4 Peace Foundation; and State Library of NSW.

Project Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation workshop

15 May 2018

The workshop will introduce participants to key aspects of project management important in the fields of humanitarian and development studies and other professions. It will cover project planning, project monitoring and project evaluation. Participants will also be equipped with hands on exposure to case studies.

Facilitators/instructors: Professor Andre Renzaho and Dr Zulfan Tadjoeddin

Seminar: “Diaspora Responses in times of disaster and other Crisis”

7 April 2018

Diaspora Responses in times of disaster and other crisis ( PDF, 235.2 KB) (opens in a new window) A seminar organised by the Diaspora Learning Network and hosted by HADRI, Western Sydney University.

The seminar focuses on the role of diasporas in providing financial and social assistance through knowledge, norms and values to their country of origin and host countries. This seminar is a great opportunity to collaborate with diaspora organisations and others who work in the field to share ideas and investigate opportunities for action.

HADRI HDR Candidate Showcase

November 2016 and 2017

HDRI Higher Degree Research (HDR) students present their work to their peers and School of Social Sciences and Psychology academics in a series of 15 minute presentations followed by 10 minutes of questions. The HDR Candidate Showcase provides HDRs with the opportunity to prepare to present their work at conferences.

Is the Water Safer than the Land? Public Representations of Syrian Refugees and the Power of a Warm Welcome

Professorial Lecture

Presenter: Professor Uma Kothari, Managing Director, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
Date: Tuesday 15 November, 2016
Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location:  Parramatta South Campus EB.3.21


At present, news bulletins, television documentaries, newspaper articles, radio programmes and forms of social media are debating the 'refugee crisis'. They depict the experiences of refugees, document their journeys and arrivals, inform us about the causes of migration, and examine the potential impact on the people and places they encounter. How does this unprecedented media coverage shape our understandings of refugees? How can we interpret and challenge the ideas and meanings that generate powerful, and often negative, connotations around terms such as 'migrant' and 'refugee'? This presentation begins by briefly examining the historical forms and the power of such representations before exploring how current images and texts of refugees reinforce global inequalities or alternatively, might forge new kinds of global alliances. I focus on how certain images can change our dispositions towards refugees, enabling us to recognise the power of a warm, face-to-face welcome in an overwhelmingly digital age. We are positioned at a critical moment, one replete with potential to shape future inter-generational and cross-cultural understanding. In this context, I conclude by foregrounding the politics and power of welcome, arguing that it can profoundly impact on a refugee's perception of place and people, forging longer lasting affiliations and promising the development of a future sense of belonging.


Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies and Director of the Global Development Institute in the School of Environment, Education and Development at University of Manchester. Her research interests include international development and humanitarianism and migration, refugees and diasporas. Her research has involved a number of funded projects, most recently an Australian Research Council project on International Volunteering and Cosmopolitanism, and a Norwegian Research Council  project on Perceptions of Climate Change and Migration. Her current research is on Visual Solidarity and Everyday Humanitarianism. She has published numerous articles. Her books include Participation: the new tyranny? (2001),  Development Theory and Practice: critical perspectives (2001), and A Radical History of Development Studies (2005). She is currently writing a book on Time, Geography and Global Inequalities. She was recently made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and conferred the Royal Geographical Society's Busk Medal for her contributions to research in support of global development.

Download the event flyer [ PDF, 155.12 KB]

Two Day Stata Course

Are you afraid of statistics, struggling to analyse your data, or don't know where to start? Perhaps you are doing a postgraduate degree and need help with statistics?

If so, this short course is for you.

Dates: 21-22 November
Cost: Professionals: $700
Students: $450
Venue: Building 23.1.26, Bankstown campus, Western Sydney University
Course Director: Dr Andre Renzaho, PhD; Professor of Humanitarian and Development Studies.

Professor Renzaho has extensive experience in statistical data management and analysis. He has undertaken evaluations for numerous United Nations organisations, including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the United Nations Children's Fund, as well as for non-government organisations, including Care Australia, Concern Worldwide, and Médecins Sans Frontières.

Course Contents

Session 1: Gentle introduction to Stata

Session 2: Descriptive statistics

Session 3: Introduction to data reduction techniques

Session 4: Introduction to linear regression

Session 5: Logistic regression

Session 3: How to succinctly summarise your results

For more information please contact Nidhi Wali at