RDI Network Resources

RDI Network Conferences and the Development Bulletin

The Network Conferences have become anticipated events in the Australian aid and development sector. The aim of the conferences is to provide a forum that supports greater collaboration between researchers and practitioners in international development from across Australia and the region. Conferences have become valuable events to explore potential collaboration and to share ideas on key emerging issues and debates in the development research community.

As an outcome of the Network Conference, select papers have been collated and published by the Australian National University as special editions of the Development Bulletin.

Details of our past conferences and associated bulletins are listed below. The 6th Network conference will take place in June 2017 in Sydney.

1. ACFID University Network Conference 2015
Evidence and practice in an age of inequality
4–5 June 2015, Caulfield Campus, Monash University, Melbourne
Development Bulletin 77

2. ACFID University Network Conference 2013
Development Futures: Alternative Pathways to End Poverty
21–22 November 2013, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney
Development Bulletin 76

3. ACFID University Linkages Conference 2012
The Challenges for Participatory Development in Contemporary Development Practice
28–29 November 2012, The Australian National University (ANU), Canberra
Development Bulletin 75

4. ACFID University Linkages Conference 2011
An Australian Approach to Development? People, Practice and Policy
12–13 December 2011, Deakin University – Burwood Campus, Melbourne

5. ACFID University Linkages Conference 2009
Meeting the Millennium Development Goals: Old problems, new challenges
29 November–1 December 2009, La Trobe University, Melbourne


Effective and Ethical Research and Evaluation

Principles and Guidelines for Ethical Research and Evaluation in Development (PDF)

The Principles and Guidelines provide overarching direction and practical support for the design, implementation and utilisation of research and evaluation in international development settings.

The Principles, originally published in 2013, are relevant to anyone who commissions, manages, conducts or reviews research and evaluation, particularly in relation to poverty reduction, development and social justice. The Guidelines, originally published in 2015, function as an applied tool in support of ethical research in theory and practice and draw from the principles and obligations of the ACFID Code of Conduct.

Consolidated into a single, user-friendly toolkit in 2016 by the RDI Network, the Principles and Guidelines for Ethical Research and Evaluation in Development (PDF) are an essential resource for all researchers and practitioners seeking to implement ethical research practice.

Case Studies for Ethical Research

Case studies from across the Network are used to explore lessons, experiences and responses for navigating ethical research issues in development. Download them below:

  1. Ethical challenges in the evaluation of a Pacific multi-country training project by an Australian NGO (PDF)Family Planning NSW
  2. Ethical issues and lessons in the Voices of Pacific Children with Disability project (PDF) – PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons (PNGADP) and the Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association Vanuatu (DPA), and Save the Children and Deakin University
  3. Volunteering for development: Tensions around conducting multi-sited ethnography with volunteers (PDF) – Australian Catholic University, Palms Australia and University of Wollongong
  4. Triple Jeopardy: Ethical considerations in researching violence against women with disability in Cambodia (PDF)CBM Australia and IWDA
  5. Improving development practice through strengthened research ethics: Learning from child and youth focused research (PDF)Child Fund Australia, inSight Sustainability, Institute of Sustainable Futures, Transform Aid International

ACFID in partnership with the Institute of Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, hosted the ACFID Mock Ethics Review Process and Reflection Workshop as a part of the DFAT-supported Research and Ethics Program in June 2014.


 Partnership Case Studies

Case studies from across the Network are used to discuss the successes, challenges and lessons from past and ongoing academic–NGO research partnerships.

  1. Exploring the links between child and youth participation and development effectiveness: a joint research and learning partnership (PDF) – with University of Technology, Sydney, ChildFund Australia, Transform Aid International, Plan International Australia and InSight Sustainability.
  2. A partnership for learning, reflection and evaluation in action: Exploring opportunities for understanding program impact (PDF) – with Plan International and University of Technology, Sydney
  3. Women in partnership: making justice work for women (PDF) – with ActionAid Australia, University of Sydney and University of Technology, Sydney
  4. The Oxfam Monash Partnership (PDF) – with Oxfam Australia and Monash University.

The Research in Development Series

First launched in 2010 through the ACFID University Network, the Research in Development Series provides an opportunity for practitioners, researchers and academics alike to publish relevant and thought-provoking research. You can access titles in this series via the ACFID Resources Library or the direct links below:

Learning and Development Notes

Learning and Development Notes come out of workshops and conferences with the aim to capture lessons learned and continue dialogues and debate: