Past events

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

Power Meri
Femili PNG Film Screening: Power Meri
6.30–9pm 14 November 2018
David Westley

The Development Policy Centre and Femili PNG held a screening on November 14 of the incredible film, Power Meri.

Power Meri follows Papua New Guinea’s first national women’s rugby league team, the PNG Orchids, on their journey to the 2017 World Cup in Australia. These trailblazers must beat not only the sporting competition, but also intense sexism, a lack of funding, and national prejudice to reach their biggest stage yet.

From the roughest suburbs of Port Moresby to the lush PNG highlands, Power Meri takes viewers on a captivating journey through rarely-seen corners of PNG, guided by young Papua New Guinean women who dream of changing their country through sport.

The film was followed by a Q&A with PNG Orchids Head Coach, former Kumul, and Canberra Raiders premiership player, David Westley.

All money raised enables Femili PNG to continue to provide much needed support to survivors of family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.

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Cover artwork from the World Development Report 2019: the changing nature of work
The Australian launch of the World Development Report 2019: the changing nature of work
12.30–1.30pm 17 October 2018
Michal Rutkowski

The World Bank’s 2019 World Development Report studies how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today. It argues that in light of the disruption from technological change, a new social contract is needed to smooth the transition and guard against rising inequality. As a first priority, significant investments in human capital throughout a person’s life-cycle are vital to this effort. If workers are to stay competitive against machines they need to be able to retool existing skills - or be better from the start. In addition to investments in human capital, the changing nature of work demands updates to social protection systems. Governments will also need additional revenues to fund the investments demanded by the changing nature of work. The 2019 World Development Report presents an analysis of these issues based upon the available evidence.

On October 17, guest Michal Rutkowski spoke at the Australian launch of this much anticipated report.

Michal Rutkowski is the Senior Director for Social Protection and Jobs, overseeing the World Bank’s work in developing systems that protect the poorest and most vulnerable from crises and shocks, and supporting private sector-led growth. He served as an Advisor to the 2019 WDR. Mr Rutkowski holds an MSc and PhD from Warsaw School of Economics and finished his post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics.

Download the report

Access Michal Rutkowski’s presentation

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Speaker Chris Hoy
Public work programs vs active labour market programs: evidence from Papua New Guinea
12.30–1.30pm 20 September 2018
Chris Hoy

In the vast majority of developing countries, young people do not have a formal sector job. Instead, they often earn an income through a range of activities classified by the International Labour Organisation as ‘vulnerable employment’.

In response to this difficult and at times vulnerable employment status, billions of dollars have been spent by governments and aid donors on programs that typically take two different forms: active labour market programs (ALMPs), and public works programs (PWPs). ALMPs aim to improve the long term employability of youth by providing training, work placements and job searching assistance, and PWPs offer social protection through the creation of temporary employment opportunities.

Just how effective are these programs? In this public seminar, Chris Hoy presented the initial results of an impact evaluation of the largest employment program in Papua New Guinea, the Urban Youth Employment Program (UYEP). Almost 20,000 youth in Port Moresby have participated in UYEP over the last five years and the impact evaluation shows substantial increases in employment, but limited effect on reducing criminal behaviour. This is one of the first impact evaluations that has been conducted in the Pacific and illustrates the potential for further rigorous quantitative evaluations.

Chris Hoy is a PhD candidate in economics, a lecturer at the University of Sydney, and a consultant for a variety of organisations including the World Bank. Over the past ten years he has been working in the international development sector, including as a researcher with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and an economist for UNICEF Uganda, the Australian Aid Program, and the Australian Treasury.

This seminar was presented as part of the Development Policy Centre’s PNG Project, which receives funding from the Australian Aid Program through the Pacific Governance and Leadership Precinct.

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Professor A J Brown
Options for a National Integrity Commission — acting on new evidence on corruption and trust
2–3pm 13 September 2018
Professor A J Brown

Never have questions of honesty and integrity in Australia’s national government been more important. This seminar reviewed proposals for what should be involved in any new federal anti-corruption reforms. Analysis was drawn from the current Australian Research Council-funded National Integrity System Assessment of Australia, and new public attitude research conducted through Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer survey, which was recently piloted in Australia.

The results offer new insights into how corruption perceptions and experience can be measured around the world, their relationship with trust and confidence, and their meaning for currently proposed reforms.

A J Brown is Professor of Public Policy and Law in the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University; a board member of Transparency International and Transparency International Australia; former senior investigation officer for the Commonwealth Ombudsman; former Associate to Justice G E Tony Fitzgerald AC, Queensland Court of Appeal; Member of the Commonwealth Government’s Ministerial Expert Advisory Panel on Whistleblowing; and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

This seminar was jointly hosted by the Transnational Research Institute on Corruption and the Development Policy Centre.

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Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC
The IFC, development finance and our region: in conversation with Nena Stoiljkovic
12–1pm 23 August 2018
Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Vice President for Asia and Pacific

Nena Stoiljkovic has made her first visit to Australia as Vice President for Asia and the Pacific for IFC, the International Finance Corporation, a job that gives her responsibility for all IFC operations in East and South Asia, as well as the Pacific.

IFC—a sister organisation of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. It aims to find ways to direct more private investment into the countries and communities where poor people live.

In conversation with Professor Stephen Howes, Ms Stoiljkovic discussed IFC’s new strategy, its approaches to maximising finance for development and private sector investment, and its work in the Asia Pacific region.

Ms Stoiljkovic has global experience in development issues such as climate change, gender, and fragile and conflict-affected situations, and has previously served in a number of leadership positions at IFC and the World Bank.

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Richard Feachem
2018 Mitchell Oration
5.30–6.30pm 28 June 2018
Sir Richard Feachem

The 2018 Mitchell Oration was delivered by Professor Sir Richard Feachem on the topic ‘Reengineering the aid industry: a priority for the 21st century’.

Sir Richard is Director of the Global Health Group at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Institute for Global Health Sciences and Professor of Global Health at both UCSF and the University of California, Berkeley.

Watch the video here.

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Image: Nick Turner, UNDP (PNG)
PNG aid evaluation forum: drought, roads and health
10am–1pm 30 May 2018
Various speakers

PNG is Australia’s largest aid recipient, receiving over $500 million a year in development assistance. In the last few months, a number of evaluations have been published of various, important Australian aid projects in PNG. This forum brought the authors of those evaluations together with expert commentators to discuss the findings of the evaluations.

Access the presentations below:

Bernard Broughton

Mike Bourke

David Slattery

Stephen Howes

Ian Anderson

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Aliko and Ambai
Film Screening: Aliko and Ambai
6–8pm 15 May 2018
Theresa Meki, Assistant Producer, Aliko and Ambai, and PhD Candidate, ANU.

Aliko and Ambai is a new feature film from Papua New Guinea that takes its audience into the world of two young women navigating the hurdles of poverty, violence, forced marriage and abuse as they endeavour to build a future for themselves.

The film was produced by the Centre for Social and Creative Media at the University of Goroka.

The making of the film engaged young, talented Papua New Guineans interested in writing, producing, and directing.

Both the production project and the film have the aim of inspiring young people to overcome the obstacles in their lives and persevere to reach their goals. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Assistant Producer, Theresa Meki.

This event was supported by CARE Australia, Femili PNG, Buk Bilong Pikinini, PNG Canberra Student Association and Capital Wantoks.

Further information about the Development Policy Centre:

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Image: DFAT flickr
2018 aid budget breakfast
9–10.30am 9 May 2018
Stephen Howes, Director, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School, ANU.

The Aid Budget Breakfast returned for its sixth edition. Professor Stephen Howes, Director of the Development Policy Centre gave Devpolicy’s annual Australian aid update.

View Stephen Howes’ presentation.

Watch the live stream of this event.

Further information about the Development Policy Centre:

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Image: DFAT flickr/ Andy Isaacson
Australian aid evaluations: disability inclusive development
1.30–3.15pm 11 April 2018
Peter Versegi, First Assistant Secretary,ODE; Karen Ovington, Assistant Director, ODE; Mika Kontiainen, Director, Disability Section, DFAT; Colin Allen, Chair, International Disability Alliance; Jim Adams, Chair of the Independent Evaluation Committee, DFAT.

This forum, jointly organised by the Development Policy Centre and the Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE), was the latest in a series on the evaluation of Australian aid.

It focused on the recent evaluation, which assessed the effectiveness and credibility of support for advocacy for disability-inclusive development by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). It looked at on advocacy in global policy processes; building the capacity of other advocates; improving data collection on disability; influencing partner agencies; and building and working in coalitions. The Australian aid program has had strategies to support disability-inclusive development since 2009, and the evaluation found that Australia is seen and valued as a leader in disability inclusion in the development process.

Download the program

Download the evaluation

Access Peter Versegi’s presentation

Access Karen Ovington’s presentation

Listen to podcast

ODE is an operationally independent unit within DFAT that measures and reports on the effectiveness of the Australian aid program. Further information about the Development Policy Centre:

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Source: NZ MFAT
World Bank report launch: Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme
12.30–2pm 28 March 2018
Various speakers, including members of Parliament, employers and sending countries.

The Seasonal Worker Programme now attracts over 6,000 workers each year from the Pacific and Timor-Leste to Australia to work on Australian farms. From 2015 to 2017, the World Bank carried out a comprehensive evaluation examining the impacts of the scheme. Its new report, Maximizing the Development Impacts from Temporary Migration: Recommendations for Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme, examines the benefits and costs of the scheme for households in the Pacific, as well as the experiences of workers in Australia, and includes recommendations for reform.

This public forum launched and discussed the report.

Speakers included:

Senator Claire Moore, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific

Michel Kerf, Country Director - Papua New Guinea & Pacific Islands, World Bank

Michael Fryszer, Managing Director, Connect Group

Melissa Denning, Assistant Labour Attache, Embassy of Timor-Leste

Jesse Doyle, Social Protection Economist, World Bank

Access presentation

Listen to Podcast

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Source: US Department of State on Flickr
Decent work in global supply chains
2.30–3.30pm 26 March 2018
Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, Open Society Foundation Fellow and Trafficking in Persons Ambassador (ret.), US Department of State.

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca shared insights from his distinguished career as a lawyer, diplomat and now researcher, combatting labour exploitation and human trafficking in global supply chains. Ambassador CdeBaca discussed decent work as a development and counter-trafficking objective, providing a case study of the renowned Coalition of Immokalee Workers Fair Food Campaign in the United States.

This event was co-hosted with the Transnational Research Institute on Corruption.

Ambassador CdeBaca graduated from Iowa State University (BA, 1990) and attended the University of Michigan Law School (JD, 1993) where he was editor of the Michigan Law Review. He is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, and the Director’s Award from the Executive Office of United States Attorneys.

Ambassador CdeBaca served in the Obama administration as ambassador-at-large and senior advisor to the Secretary of State on trafficking in persons. One of the country’s most decorated federal prosecutors, he has built his litigation record into policy, transforming US anti-trafficking efforts and including voices of victims, workers, and communities in decision-making.

Access presentation

Listen to podcast

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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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