'Power, Politics and Positive Deviance': DLP Annual Conference 2016

'Power, Politics and Positive Deviance'
DLP Annual Conference 2016

8 February 2016


To book your place, please register here.

'Deviant' has often been used as a term of abuse, intended to shame and marginalise those who depart from 'usual or accepted standards' (Oxford English Dictionary).

There is a growing recognition across diverse fields, from medicine to international development, that it can be valuable to examine and understand 'positive deviance' – uncommon but successful strategies.

This conference will celebrate positive deviance that incorporates power and politics into social change processes. 'Traditional' development agency work has long struggled with this. For more on why we have chosen this theme see here.

The focus of the conference will be on positive cases that show how an understanding of power and politics has been successfully incorporated into social change processes. We will explore the degree to which external development agencies and influences have, or indeed have not, contributed to these processes.

We seek to explore this from diverse perspectives. We have invited speakers who will share examples from the Pacific region and from Indigenous Australia. Presentations will focus on women's leadership and collective action, gay rights, peace processes and private sector reform. 

Building on the Developmental Leadership Program's research, the conference will assess the degree to which these cases show how developmental change happens in practice; the role of power and politics in that process; and how development agencies might change their policies and practices to best support this. 


We are delighted that Anna Naupa, Regional and International Issues Adviser at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, will be our keynote speaker. Anna will discuss land reform, gender equality, and democratic governance in the Pacific, and will then engage in a conversation with independent journalist and researcher Nic Maclellan

See full program details


La Trobe University is in Melbourne's outer suburb of Bundoora, which offers some basic hotel options.

Some attendees may prefer to stay in the city where there is a wider choice of accommodation. The La Trobe campus is 45 minutes away from Melbourne centre by tram (the 86 tram line runs through the city and directly to the La Trobe campus) or a 30-minute cab ride away.

A final option is accommodation on the La Trobe campus itself.

Image: Statue of Charles La Trobe, La Trobe University Campus, Melbourne, which, says sculptor Charles Robb, embodies the principle that universities should turn ideas on their heads. (Photo: Phil Lees, Flickr.)

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