2022 AAC Speaker Series

The AAC Speaker Series brought back some of our favourite speakers from the Australasian AID Conference and was co-hosted by the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre and The Asia Foundation from February–June 2022.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution, COVID-19, and women
Professor Eun Mee Kim, President, Ewha Womans University
8 February 2022
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Climate change, ageing populations, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution have presented the world with great challenges. Then, COVID-19 transformed our lives overnight, and we as individuals and as a society have struggled to understand and cope with this ‘new normal’. In her address, Professor Eun Mee Kim reflects on these societal changes, especially on her own experience as President of Ewha Womans University in South Korea, and on what needs to be done so that existing inequalities are not replicated into the future.


Debt prospects and challenges for developing countries in the continuing pandemic
Masood Ahmed, President, Center for Global Development
1 March 2022
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Developing countries already held precarious levels of sovereign debt prior to COVID-19. Now, over half of all low-income countries are at high risk of or are currently in debt distress, and some middle-income countries face debt sustainability challenges as well. In his address, Masood Ahmed lays out the current debt situation, explain initiatives by the global community to promote debt sustainability and restructuring, and present a path forward.


Rethinking global health security
Dr Donald Kaberuka, Chair of the Board, The Global Fund
5 April 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the existing global health system. Dr Kaberuka draws on his vast experience as Chair of the Global Fund Board, former President of the African Development Bank and former Finance Minister of Rwanda to synthesise the lessons learnt and draw out what needs to be done to help the world exit this pandemic and to ensure a better response to the next.


US sins toward the developing world: how they harm them and us
Dr Nancy Birdsall, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
23 May 2022
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Most international development advocates focus their efforts on aid. But other rich country policies matter as much or more for developing country growth and poverty reduction. Dr Nancy Birdsall puts the spotlight on US policies including trade and intellectual property rights, climate and anti-corruption to weigh up the benefits they bring and the harm they do to the developing countries of the world.


Growth, a graphic exposition
Dr Lant Pritchett, Research Director, Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) programme; and Fellow, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
7 June 2022
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Why has the development debate amongst academia and mainstream development institutions swung so sharply from growth to redistribution? Dr Lant Pritchett, Research Director of the RISE Programme and fellow at the London School of Economics, argues that economic growth is far more important for poverty reduction than targeted programs, and has five graphs to prove it, and to help illuminate our thinking on growth and development.

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