Sunday 22 Sep 2019 | 21:02 | SYDNEY
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Aid & Development

Aid links: dealing with data deluge, more

Terence Wood provides a good take on this Guardian op-ed from a group of development notables decrying foreign aid. Aid is not perfect, but is better than inaction. Working in development involves collecting a lot of data. But without adequate visualisation, the

NZ and Australia: Big Brothers or Distant Cousins?

“Being in the Pacific, of the Pacific” was an aspiration announced by New Zealand’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Fletcher Tabuteau at a recent conference in Wellington. New Zealand’s Pacific identity has been a continuing theme of the Pacific reset policy&

The new US–Japan–Australia infrastructure fund

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced a “trilateral partnership” for Australia, Japan, and the US for what is billed as “infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific”. In a speech in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US had earmarked US $113

Business aid and aiding business

This article is based on episodes 7 and 8 of the Good Will Hunters Podcast with Georgina Camp, CEO of Huber Social, and Andrea De Almeida, CEO of B Lab Australia.  B Corp certification is to businesses what Fair Trade certification is to coffee. In Australia, there are just

Aid links: an escape from the resource curse, more

The Thai cave rescue has been a global success story. Jody Lightfoot argues that the rescue is a good example of how Australian aid can change the world. In addition, PM Turnbull will award honours to Australian divers Richard Harris and Craig Challen for playing a key role in

Aid and the new face of entrepreneurship 

This article is based on episodes 5 and 6 of the Good Will Hunters podcast. Most would agree that “entrepreneurship” has been a business buzzword for quite some time. Less apparent is how entrepreneurship is redefining the informal economy, especially in developing countries. Last week

Aid links: empowering women, mapping welfare, more

Dan Kopf at Quartz summarises “the transformative power of giving young women cash”, covering work in Malawi, South Africa, and Bangladesh on cash transfers and domestic violence. A new study shows average unemployment rates are substantially lower in poor countries than in

Asking the wrong questions in the aid debate

This article is based on episode 4 of the Good Will Hunters podcast, featuring former deputy director of AusAID Richard Moore.   One draft title for this article was “Why I won’t campaign for Australian aid”. While in some ways this statement is true, it has many, many caveats. A

Australia can help Indonesia kick the habit 

Australia is an undisputed world leader in tobacco control. From massive wins with plain packaging to widely enforced bans on smoking in public places, it is easy to see why. Australia is successfully creating a generational shift in tobacco use, with its youngest generation growing up in a

Working with China in the Pacific

In Wellington earlier this year, Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna took the opportunity to signal the benefits of the Pacific’s traditional development partners collaborating with China. Puna described the Pacific as a region of consensus rather than of competition, and said it 

Britain’s new Pacific presence

Last week, the UK announced it was establishing diplomatic representation in nine countries: Lesotho, Swaziland, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. From an Oceanian perspective, this might be a game changer. There

Will China’s new aid agency be effective?

China has a new International Development Cooperation Agency (IDCA). The IDCA will respond directly to the State Council and integrate the aid functions of the Ministries of Commerce (MOFCOM) and Foreign Affairs. The reform aims to reduce bureaucratic frictions and make aid better serve China

Getting aid governance right after the Oxfam scandal

“Just the tip of the iceberg.” This is a phrase used repeatedly to describe the headline-grabbing sexual misconduct allegations against senior Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011. Sure enough, many more reports have followed. Some 26 (as yet unnamed) organisations have so far reported 80

China’s new aid agency

Last week, the Chinese Government announced its decision to establish China’s international development cooperation agency. As described by Beijing, the main purpose of the new agency is to give full attention to foreign aid, as a key means of major-country diplomacy. The goal is to

China’s loans and the debt dilemma

It’s no fun being in debt. Creditors want to chase you, the debts increase as you procrastinate about paying them, and you literally feel “indebted” and guilty, especially if those creditors are friends or family. There are studies about the effects of debt on personal well-being. Micro

Understanding China’s approach to aid

International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells' remarks about China's aid to the Pacific are part of a long tradition of concern in Australia. Yet while some Chinese aid projects are less than perfect, as my colleague Jonathan Pryke notes, Fierravanti-Wells' sweeping

The bad – and good – of China’s aid in the Pacific

The Pacific region is making headlines across Australia after Pacific and International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells harshly criticised Chinese aid in the region. 'Useless' is how Fierravanti-Wells has described Chinese aid projects, leading countries to take on debt they can't

An investment bank for Australia’s aid program

In a recent article in the Australian Financial Review, Treasurer Scott Morrison endorsed the use of impact investing: investment with the goal of achieving a social result as well as a financial return. Such a strategy attempts to address problems or needs through market-based, for-

The fall and fall of Australia’s aid program

Diminished and marginalised sums up the way Australia's development assistance program is treated in the Foreign Policy White Paper. The program represents by far the biggest proportion of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's budget (DFAT's total budget in 2017/2018 is $5.8 billion, of

Australia makes a welcome Pacific connection

In a week when same-sex marriage, dual-citizenship and Manus Island dominated the news cycle, Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Peter O’Neill still found time on the sidelines of the APEC summit to strike a deal that should not go overlooked. Turnbull announced that Australia will majority-fund

Cleaning up the Manus damage

Last Tuesday saw the official closure of the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, the Australian-funded and managed detention centre for unauthorised boat arrivals in Papua New Guinea. Originally opened in 2001 as part of the Howard government’s Pacific Solution, the centre was closed by the

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