Upcoming events

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Supporting economic reform in Vanuatu: the Governance for Growth program
12.30–2pm 9 November 2017
Bob Warner, Visiting Fellow, Development Policy Centre; and staff from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Governance for Growth.

The Governance for Growth (GfG) program in Vanuatu has been running for ten years, and is about to move into its third phase. Considered to be quite innovative when it was first implemented, the program has supported some significant economic policy and public finance reforms. It has also survived changes to the institutional arrangements for the delivery of Australian aid, and significant upheavals in the political landscape in Vanuatu.

The program was recently the subject of two in-depth reviews, one led by the Overseas Development Institute, and the other by a team of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) economists. These reviews provide an opportunity to consider the successes and failures of GfG, what elements of the model were most useful in supporting success, and whether the lessons of the last ten years have implications for other small island developing states. These issues will be discussed in a panel session involving:

Pablo Kang, Assistant Secretary, Melanesia Branch, DFAT, and former Head of Mission in Vanuatu

Matthew Harding, Director, Pacific Economic Growth Section, DFAT, and Manager of GfG during the evaluations

Jonathan Gouy, Director, Development Economics Unit, DFAT and leader of the economic review

Clinton Pobke, Manager and Jennifer Kalpokas Doan, Senior Program Manager, GfG

Bob Warner, Visiting Fellow, Development Policy Centre, and member of the GfG review team

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Strengthening government systems and processes in PNG: ICAC and other issues
12.30–1.30pm 15 November 2017
Eric Kwa, Secretary/CEO, PNG Constitutional Law Reform Commission.

In this seminar, Dr Eric Kwa will discuss the agenda and approach being taken by PNG’s new government in relation to strengthening government systems and processes. Among other topics, Dr Kwa will discuss the design of the proposed PNG Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Dr Kwa is the Secretary/CEO for the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Constitutional and Law Reform Commission and one of the country’s pre-eminent legal thinkers. A lawyer by profession with many years of experience in practice and research, Dr Kwa holds a PhD in Environmental Law from Auckland University, New Zealand. He also holds a Master of Laws with Honours (LLM (Hon)) from the University of Wollongong and a Law Degree with Honours (LLB (Hon)) from the University of Papua New Guinea. He was formerly an Associate Professor of Law and Dean of the University of Papua New Guinea Law School.

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China and the United States as aid donors: past and future trajectories
12.30–1.30pm 29 November 2017
Dr Patrick Kilby, Senior Lecturer, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU; and Professor Frank Bongiorno, School of History, ANU.

The United States and China have followed nearly parallel paths as providers of foreign aid over the past seven decades. Although both countries’ aid programs were ostensibly aimed at development, both also leveraged their aid programs to further their own national interests, using very different strategies.

The United States has largely provided foreign aid with the aim of stabilising the world order, favouring a patron-client relationship with recipient countries and using aid to promote economic and political liberalisation. China, on the other hand, has used its foreign aid program primarily to strengthen its position as a leader of the Global South, favouring a hands-off political approach and emphasising reciprocity and solidarity with aid recipients.

In this seminar, Professor Frank Bongiorno will launch and Dr Patrick Kilby will discuss his recent monograph for the East West Center on US and Chinese aid. In times of growing authoritarianism, as the Trump administration considers cutting foreign aid by one third, he argues that the US should carefully consider whether it will cede the ‘aid race’ to its political competitor.

Dr Patrick Kilby is a political scientist with the School of Archaeology and Anthropology in the College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University (ANU), and convener of the Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development. He was an East West Center Visiting Fellow in Washington in 2017, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2018.

Professor Frank Bongiorno is a professor at the School of History, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU. He has held lecturing positions at King’s College London (2007-11), the University of New England (2000-07) and Griffith University (1996), and also taught previously at ANU (1994).

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2017 Mitchell Oration - Development: towards 21st century approaches
5.30–6.30pm 4 December 2017
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Board Chair, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Are our current approaches to development cooperation fit for purpose to address contemporary challenges? How should development practice evolve to reflect 21st century priorities and knowledge? And how can it bridge the traditional donor-recipient divide? Can aid donors and recipients meaningfully engage with the private sector, private philanthropy, and other new sources of financing?

In the 2017 Mitchell Oration, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will draw on more than 30 years of development and financial expertise to reflect on the need for a new way forward.

A development economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Dr Okonjo-Iweala is uniquely placed to provide perspectives on these crucial questions. She has served as Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, since January 2016. She has twice served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, most recently between 2011 and 2015 – a role that encompassed the expanded portfolio of Coordinating Minister for the Economy. In 2006 she served as Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, and has also held several key positions at the World Bank, including as Managing Director.

The Mitchell Oration series, of which this is the fifth, has been created to provide a forum at which the most pressing development issues can be addressed by the best minds and most influential practitioners of our time.

This lecture is presented by the Development Policy Centre at Crawford School of Public Policy, with generous support from the Harold Mitchell Foundation.

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Photo by World Bank Group
The Social Observatory: integrating the social sciences for adaptive practice
12.30–1.30pm 12 December 2017
Vijayendra Rao, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank.

The Social Observatory (SO) is a unit within the World Bank’s Development Research Group. It has worked for seven years with a $5 billion portfolio of community-based livelihoods projects in India. This work combines rigorous impact evaluations with ethnography, process evaluations, and the development of new citizen-led data systems to transform how such projects learn and adapt. This talk will report on some aspects of this work, showing how randomised control trials (RCTs) and ethnographies can be meaningfully combined, and demonstrating new tools to deepen collective action. For more see: http://socialobservatory.worldbank.org/about

Vijayendra Rao is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank. His research has spanned subjects that include gender, inequality, mixed-methods, culture, decentralisation, community development, and deliberative democracy. He obtained a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and taught at the University of Chicago, Michigan, and Williams College before joining the World Bank.

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Rakia, 20, and her daughter, Nafissa, 3, Niger, 2005. Photo © Nick Danziger
Lives in times of war, famine and civil unrest
5.30–6.30pm 12 February 2018
Nick Danziger, Author, Photojournalist and Film-maker.

Nick Danziger is one of the world’s most renowned photojournalists. Much of his life has been dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times in best-selling books, award-winning documentaries and photography.

In this lecture, Nick will provide a human face to development issues and share his experiences documenting the lives of people in some of the poorest countries of the world. Nick will also give insights into his own life and career, his advocacy efforts, and reflections on the global development agenda as seen from the ground.

Some of Nick’s stories will draw on his Revisited 2005-2010-2015 project, which will be exhibited in Canberra at ANU Drill Hall Gallery from Thursday 15 February to Sunday 8 April 2018 with the support of the Development Policy Centre. Revisited tracks communities and individuals in eight countries across four continents over ten years to assemble a stark and extraordinary portrait of life on the fringes. The lecture will be followed by an advance viewing of the exhibition, and a cocktail reception.

This event forms part of the 2018 Australasian Aid Conference. This event is free and open to the public — for details on the rest of the conference, which requires registration, visit http://bit.ly/2w2FCY6.

Nick Danziger’s photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines worldwide, toured museums and galleries internationally, and are held in numerous collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, London. He has won many awards for his outstanding photojournalism, including an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society, and the Royal Geographical Society’s Ness Award in recognition of raising public understanding of contemporary social, political and environmental issues through documentary films and photography.

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Updated:  25 February 2016/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  Devpolicy Admin