Past events

This page provides a list of archived events we have held, including video recordings, related blogs, and (more recently) audio podcasts: Development Policy Centre Podcast.

2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
2018 Australasian Aid Conference
8am 13 February – 5pm 14 February 2018
Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs; Nancy Birdsall, Center for Global Development; and leading voices from the Australasian region.

The Australasian Aid Conference (AAC) returned on 13-14 February 2018, once again in partnership with The Asia Foundation.

As in previous years, the aim of the conference was to bring together researchers and practitioners from across Australia, the Pacific, Asia and beyond who are working on aid and international development policy to share insights, promote collaboration, and help develop the research and policy community.

With over 500 people registering in 2017, the AAC has established itself as Australia’s premier aid and development research event.

The fifth annual conference featured papers and interactive sessions on a variety of aid and international development topics, including aid effectiveness, political economy and the politics of aid, gender, private sector engagement, humanitarian aid, migration and trade policy, and the international aid architecture.

Plenary sessions on health security and medical research, and women’s empowerment, showcased leading global thinkers and practitioners. 3MAP, the 3 Minute Aid Pitch, returned to present fresh perspectives on Australian aid. The conference keynote was delivered by Nancy Birdsall, the founding President of the Center for Global Development. Senator Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, delivered the opening address.

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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 provided a human face to development issues and shared his experiences documenting the lives of people in some of the poorest countries of the world. Nick also gave 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 drew 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 was followed by an advance viewing of the exhibition, and a cocktail reception.

This event formed part of the 2018 Australasian Aid Conference. This event was free and open to the public — for details on the rest of the conference, which required registration, visit

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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A woman is seen welding steel in Nepal
Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific
3–4.30pm 12 February 2018
Ms Frances Adamson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dr Cyn-Young Park, Director of Regional Cooperation and Integration, Asian Development Bank (ADB); Dr Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist, ADB; and chaired by Dr Shiro Armstrong, ANU.

International trade has lifted more than a billion people out of poverty and driven economic growth in the Asia Pacific since 1990. Aid for Trade helps developing economies maximise the benefits of trade liberalisation. This public seminar launched two recent ADB reports Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific and Trade Facilitation for a More Inclusive and Connected Asia and Pacific Region. The reports review the latest regional trends in Aid for Trade disbursements and trade costs, particularly for geographically challenged, sea-locked Pacific economies. The reports also address key issues surrounding how AfT can facilitate the growth and tradability of services, digitalisation and gender empowerment through targeted interventions for institutional and regulatory reforms.

ADB Chief Economist, Yasuyuki Sawada, and Director of Regional Cooperation and Integration, Cyn-Young Park, presented the reports’ key findings and generated discussion on how Aid for Trade can further strengthen inclusive, trade-driven growth in the region amid an uncertain global economic environment.

The Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific and Trade Facilitation for a More Inclusive and Connected Asia and Pacific Region reports are available via the Asian Development Bank website.

This public seminar was convened by the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research and Development Policy Centre at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU.

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Source: Myanmar Governance Network
The social contract, preferences for redistribution, and tax morale
12.30–1.30pm 17 January 2018
David Doyle, Associate Professor of Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford; Gerard McCarthy Doctoral Fellow, Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University (ANU); Associate Director of ANU Myanmar Research Centre.

Taxation is central to the social contract between citizens and the state. Yet little research has explored the relationship in developing countries between individual attitudes towards the social contract and perceptions of tax fairness and efficacy.

This seminar drew on experimental research with informal sector workers in Mexico and a unique survey on taxation and social protection in Myanmar to help advance the debate on tax morale. Focusing on individual perceptions, we showed that in contexts of high informality and weak state capacity, reciprocity and individual preferences for redistribution shape tax morale. We pointed to the centrality of fairness, finding that tax morale is lower when individuals have stepped outside of the social contract and the welfare state through reliance on private insurance or informal reciprocity mechanisms. Furthermore, we presented evidence that individuals are less willing to pay taxes when they doubt the redistributive capacity of the state or know the rich will ultimately benefit.

David Doyle is an Associate Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of the Latin American Centre and a Fellow of St Hugh’s College. He is the co-convener of the European Consortium for Policitcal Research Standing Group on Latin American Politics and an Associate Editor of the journal Oxford Development Studies.

Gerard McCarthy is a doctoral fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change at The Australian National University and Associate Director of ANU Myanmar Research Centre. He has advised and consulted for a range of agencies including International Growth Centre Myanmar, United States Institute of Peace and the Carter Centre.

The podcast and presentation slides are now available.

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