Australian aid

Our work is organized under three pillars: Australian aid, PNG and the Pacific, and global development policy. This page outlines our work under the Australian aid pillar, and is extracted from our 2018 Annual Report.

Though Australia’s aid program has been scaled down in size, it still has a key role to play in Australia’s broader foreign policy. Australia’s aid efforts are also supported by a substantial community of non-government organisations (NGOs) and individual Australians looking to work or volunteer to support the cause of international development. Rigorous research and informed public discussion can serve to enhance Australia’s and Australians’ engagement with aid and development in our region and around the world. We focus our analytical efforts in two areas:

We fill that gap through research on the following two themes:

1. Government aid

We conducted the 2018 Australian Aid Stakeholder Survey, to obtain feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian aid program. More than 300 stakeholders took part in the 2018 survey. The results were launched at the 2019 Australasian Aid Conference — a summary of the findings are on page i.

Our written outputs included a submission to DFAT’s soft power review, a discussion paper on lessons for aid advocacy from aid spending expansions in Australia and the UK, a report on the innovationXchange, a flagship aid initiative of the Coalition government, and a paper on trends in Australian aid to the Pacific.

We held the 2018 Aid Budget Breakfast, where Stephen Howes gave Devpolicy’s annual Australian aid update, including an analysis of aid trends in Australia and overseas, looking at both government and non-government aid.

We regularly conduct fora to explore the evaluation of aid projects. One aid evaluation forum in April, co-hosted with the Office of Development Effectiveness, explored an evaluation on DFAT’s support for disability-inclusive development. Another explored a number of evaluations of aid to PNG.

Terence Wood coordinated and presented at a conference on the future of New Zealand aid.

Devpolicy staff provided media commentary on a variety of Australian aid issues, and met with a wide range of stakeholders such as DFAT, the RDI Network, the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs and Aid, and the Murrumbidgee Electorate Branch of the Liberal Party. Devpolicy staff participated in the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s review process, and presented on Australian aid to KOICA (the Korean Development Agency) and at the annual Korean Development Studies Association conference.

We continued to regularly update the Australian Aid Tracker website.

In 2018 we were awarded a second grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue our research on Australian government and NGO aid.

2. Aid and the community

Terence Wood worked with the Australian Council for International Development to complete their landmark State of the Sector report on Australian NGOs. Terence also continued his research on public opinion and aid.

We continued to publish our aid profiles series, which showcases stories of Australians, or those with an Australian connection, who have made a substantial contribution to the cause of international development. The 2018 profiles, on Elizabeth Reid, Motivation Australia and Sanasa, made up the shortlist for the 2019 Mitchell Humanitarian Award, which was presented to Elizabeth Reid at the 2019 Australasian Aid Conference.

Events 2018

Publications 2018

Updated:  12 July 2020/Responsible Officer:  Devpolicy Admin/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team