Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights (CCDHR)

The Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights investigates the issues related to the themes identified in its title but, importantly, identifies those themes as inter-related ad mutually dependent. Its research ranges across areas as diverse as community development projects, democratisation, nation and state formation, conflict resolution, the role of civil society, electoral observation and analysis and the wider range of factors influencing human development indicators.

The Centre has an active team of researchers located in the Faculty of Arts-Education and has links with other institutions across Australia and internationally.

Originally founded as a research centre in 1993 by the then Faculty of Arts, in 2011 the centre's board voted to integrate with ADRI as an important step on its path of collaborative associations.  

Staff include:

See what projects are currently in the pipeline.

Visit the Centre's website

Our Projects:

  • Developing new and effective ways to evaluate intervention in maternal health services in illiterate and innumerate communities in southern Lao PDR: a case study
    Associate Professor Liz Eckermann

Where women are neither literate or numerate, conventional measures of quality of life are unable to tap the impact of aid policies, practices and programs on their lives. In line with the OECD (2009) and other aid agencies initiatives to develop new paradigms to assess progress in societies (beyond GDP and mortality rates), we will work with the Lao Ministry of Health, Lao researchers, village communities and service providers to generate effective tools to assess the impact on women’s physical, mental, social and economic well-being of intervention programs designed to improve maternal and child health in southern Lao PDR.


  • International Mixed Method Impact Evaluation of University Engagement with Disadvantaged Schools
    Prof Matthew Clarke

This project focuses on developing a Mixed Method Impact Evaluation Framework for application to the Deakin schools Engagement and Participation Program based on a scoping of “what works internationally and how do we know?”


The role of religion within the field of development studies has been minimal over the past six decades. Yet, religious belief is a common human characteristic with eighty percent of the world's population professing religious faith. The sacred texts of each of the world's major religions exhort believers on how to live a righteous life, including responding to poverty and assisting those with less. The majority of those holding religious faith reside in developing countries. It is arguable that as religious identity is integral to a community's culture, exclusion of religious consideration will limit successful development interventions and therefore it is necessary to conflate examination of religion and development to enhance efforts aimed at improving the lives of the poor. The purpose of this book is to highlight the value of incorporating religion into development studies literature and research. The draft list of chapters is attached. Chapters within this Handbook focus on how traditional world religions and emerging religious belief systems understand development, how key cross-cutting development themes can be understood through a religious perspective - including gender, environment, education, and health, the role of faith-based organisations and missionaries, as well as some country-specific case studies to illustrate examples of how religion has affected national development. This will be a sizable volume that allows for a breadth of issues to be examined in some detail.


  • Give Where You Live (formerly United Way) Social Indices Project
    James Farrell

CI Devising indicators and framework for Give Where You Live to measure the impact of their philanthropic funding of projects designed to alleviate social disadvantage in Geelong; with broader implications for impact assessment of philanthropic funding.


One of the most significant changes in the aid and development sector over the past two decades has been a growing commitment to a people-centred, participatory approach to development projects and programs. This shift has been accompanied by the idea that development is more than just externally driven and managed technical and economic interventions and should involve people taking responsibility for their own development, by identifying and prioritising their needs, recognising skills and resources and taking charge of their own future. Local participation in and ownership of development programs is deemed essential for effective processes and outcomes because local people are aware of the local context in which change is being promoted; they understand best ‘what will work’ and ‘what will not work’ and they clearly have to accept the consequences of the decisions they make. This project will investigate the participatory approach to development projects in West Sumatra, with a view to providing case-studies of community development projects, in order to identify the challenges to community development processes and methods and the efficacy of popular participation in development projects.

The project commenced at the end of June, 2011. Background research involved investigation of the context of community development initiatives in Indonesia, namely the implementation of regional autonomy in 2001. A data base of community development projects in West Sumatra has been constructed of a range of different types of community development projects, including rural and urban projects; reactive and proactive projects; disaster preparation and post-disaster management projects; local economic development; different political, farming and small business activities; women’s, men’s and both gender projects; short and long term projects; local, nationally and internationally funded projects.

Further interviews will be conducted in December 2011-January 2012 to elicit perceptions of community development, the background and the thinking behind the establishment of the group involved in the project, aims of the community development project, how many people have been involved, why they have been involved and at what level, the challenges in setting up the project, facilitating and hindering factors, funding, the roles of local villages, relations with the provincial and national governments, what has been achieved so far and how they assess progress, whether local people feel empowered by participating in the project and what they have learnt from the project.


This project examines three key nation-building agendas in East Timor from 2009-2011. In the wake of the 2006 crisis, it is clear that East Timors sense of national identity is relatively weak, shallowly rooted and fractured along generational, regional, linguistic and political lines. The project will research key government and NGO nation-building programs in the areas of: decentralisation of state authority, evolving relationships with traditional authorities, and post-crisis conflict resolution programs, over the period 2009-11. By generating new data on key aspects of post-crisis nation-building programs, the project outcomes will inform more effective state and institution building agendas in East Timor.


  • Development in a Pariah State: An Investigation into Actor Roles, Approaches and Modalities in Myanmar 1990-2010
    Dr Anthony Ware

This project investigates international engagement with pariah states, by examining development in Myanmar 1990-2010. Very little has been written about development in pariah states, which are usually treated as a type of fragile state; however fragile state development principles do not apply in pariah states. This research examines how the type of agency, development approach or modality of action impact access to the humanitarian space, and whether these contributed to the expansion of the civil-political space in Myanmar leading to the current political reform. It therefore seeks to inform foreign policy by determining how engagement through international aid may make a significant contribution to facilitating reform in pariah states.


The CCC project is concerned with investigating the use of science in coastal zone management. The CCC aims to develop understanding and tools to help Australia sustain its coastline by enabling decision makers to make better use of available knowledge. This three year project (July 2010-June 2013) is funded by CSIRO, and involves researchers from Deakin working with colleagues from six other universities across Australia: Curtin; Finders; Adelaide; Tasmania; Wollongong; and Sunshine Coast. The project has five major themes: governance; socio-cultural context; knowledge systems; adaptive learning; and integration and coordination.
Working in the Knowledge Systems Theme this project looks at the processes of knowledge exchange and interaction as they influence coastal management. In doing so, the concept of knowledge systems provides the conceptual lens for exploring the ways that different forms of knowledge influence decision making. This work is being done collaboratively with colleagues from the University of Tasmania.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

17th May 2013