Dr Max Kelly



Senior Lecturer In International And Community Development


Faculty of Arts and Education


SHSS Arts & Ed


Warrnambool Campus


Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Univ. College Dublin, Ireland, 1992
Master of Science, University of Aberdeen, 1995
Doctor of Philosophy, Kingston University, 2000
Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2007


+61 3 556 33316


Max Kelly is a Senior Lecturer in International and Community Development Studies at Deakin University. Her areas of expertise include international and community development policy and practice. She has a sectoral focus in food security, food systems, and sustainability at local, national and international levels and has recently co-edited a book on assessing the impact of foreign aid on poverty, and social justice.

Max holds a Degree in Agricultural Science from University College Dublin, and a PhD in agricultural systems and sustainable livelihoods in southern Africa and has worked as an agricultural extension officer in Ireland, a farmhand across Europe and Australia and researched with, consulted and volunteered for a variety of organisations, both government, and non-government in Timor Leste, Bangladesh, Malawi, Uganda, Pakistan, Solomon Islands and PNG.

Max has also published on a range of issues from local food systems and land use to global development policy. Her current research includes the role of civil society in post conflict development, animals and ethics in development, food security, food and landscapes, and Political Economy Analysis.

Read more on Max's profile

Research interests

Food Security, Food Systems, Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, Impact Assesment, Participatory Development, Community Development, Agricultural Extension, Civil society, NGOs and development, Natural Resource Management, Gender, Timor Leste, Bangladesh, Malawi, Uganda, Pacific.


African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP)

Agri-food Network Australia,

Teaching interests

International and Community Development incorporating agriculture, food security and sustainable livelihoods, sustainable development, Impact Assessment, community and participatory development, cross cultural communication and practice.

Units taught

ADS712 Food Security and Sustainable Livelhoods

ADS717 Sustainable Development

ADS715 Cross Cultural Communication and Practice

ADS753 Interantional and Community Development internships

Knowledge areas

Food Security,  Livelihoods, , Community Engagement and Participatory Development (PRA), Agriculture and Rural Development, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Natural Resource Management, Water Resource Management, and the role of NGOs in development. Gender issue in development,

Professional activities


Co hosted the 2015 African Studies Association of Australasia and New Zealand Annual Conference: http://afsaap.org.au/conference/conference-2015/

Co-Editor of the Australasian Review of African Studies Journal 


ABC Radio, Future Tense with Anthony Funnell, Sunday 17th April 2016, podcast, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/aid/7320894

Asian Development Bank, Mekong River Commission, Government of India, and NGO sector including local NGOS in Timor Leste and Uganda.


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Official development assistance and impact assessment, theoretical and practical frameworks

V Jakupec, M Kelly

(2016), pp. 1-16, Assessing the impact of foreign aid: value for money and aid for trade, London, Eng., B1


Regulatory impact assessment: the forgotten agenda in ODA

V Jakupec, M Kelly

(2016), pp. 95-105, Assessing the impact of foreign aid : value for money and aid for trade, San Diego, B1


Impact assessment: from theory to practice

V Jakupec, M Kelly

(2016), pp. 227-237, Assessing the impact of foreign aid : value for money and aid for trade, London, Eng., B1


Animals in international development: ethics, dilemmas and possibilities

M Kelly

(2016), Vol. 14, pp. 113-132, Ethical issues in poverty alleviation, Berlin, Germany, B1


Development aid: regulatory impact assessment and conditionality

V Jakupec, M Kelly

(2016), Vol. 34, pp. 319-329, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Farmers groups within extension networks in Northern Uganda : inclusive or exclusive?

M Kelly

(2015), pp. 1-17, AFSAAP : Africa : Diversity and Development, Dunedin, New Zealand, E1


Conceptualizing Impact Assessment in Foreign Aid

M Kelly

(2015), pp. 17-29, Assessing the Impact of Foreign Aid: Value for Money and Aid for Trade, B1


Malawi: waving or drowning in the 21st century?

M Kelly

(2014), pp. 114-136, Development in difficult sociopolitical contexts : fragile, failed, pariah, Basingstoke, Eng., B1


Mzungu's Work? What role for local NGOs in Northern Uganda

M Kelly

(2014), pp. 1-20, AFSAAP 2013 : African renaissance and Australia : Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the 2013 African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific, Perth, Western Australia, E1


NGOs, pluralism and advisory services-Timor Leste

M Kelly

(2013), Vol. 19, pp. 167-181, Journal of agricultural extension and education, Abingdon, England, C1


CLTS: Lessons learnt from a pilot project in Timor Leste

E Noy, M Kelly

(2009), pp. 1-8, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Sustainable Development and Multisectoral Approaches : Proceedings of the 34th WEDC International Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, E1


Anything new under the sun? Lessons learned from community based natural resource management

M Kelly

(2008), pp. 184-197, Community Development and Ecology : engaging ecological sustainability through community development, Melbourne, Vic., E1


Own-poverty evaluation network an open approach to poverty assessment and monitoring for sustainable pro-poor development

J Remenyi, M Kelly

(2007), pp. 104-116, In poverty, poverty alleviation and social disadvantage : analysis, case studies and policies, New Delhi, India, B1-1


Conflict resolution and policy making mediation in the Mekong River Basin

M Buxton, J Martin, M Kelly

(2006), Vol. 41, pp. 26-32, Just policy, Collingwood, Vic., C1


Conflict resolution and sustainable water use in the Mekong River Basin

M Buxton, J Martin, M Kelly

(2006), pp. 191-203, Community development in a global risk society : conference proceedings : proceedings of a conference held in Melbourne 20 - 22 April 2006, Melbourne, Vic., E1


Australia`s box - ironbark forests and woodlands : saving the fragments of a threatened ecosystem

M Kelly, D Mercer

(2005), Vol. 36, pp. 19-37, Australian geographer, London, England, C1



Industry and Other Funding

IKEA Foundation Research Scholarships

A/Prof Phil Connors, Prof Matthew Clarke, Dr Max Kelly

  • 2017: $153,046


Principal Supervisor

Evelyn Noy

Thesis entitled: Aid in Post-Conflict States: The Relief-Development Relationship

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Helen Mary Dalton

Thesis entitled: Still struggling: market-based approaches to poverty alleviation in rural Timor-Leste

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Ruth Jackson

Thesis entitled: (Un)safe Routes: Maternal Mortality and Ethiopia's Development Agenda

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Supervisor

Janis Adeline Koolmatrie

Thesis entitled: The Social Impact of Gambling in Victorian Koorie Communities

Master of Arts, Institute of Koorie Education.

Kate Neely

Thesis entitled: Developing A Systems Understanding of Rural Water Supply in Timor-Leste

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Luke Bearup

Thesis entitled: Trafficking and Protection: Theorising Reintegration and Defining Success

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Kim Dunphy

Thesis entitled: The role of arts in social change in Timor-Leste

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Maria Schmidt

Thesis entitled: Small-scale Irrigators, Pastoral Livelihood Diversification and Poverty Alleviation in Kenya

Doctor of Philosophy, School of International and Political Studies