Thursday 18 Jul 2019 | 02:56 | SYDNEY
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Aid & Development

First look at the Budget: DFAT, aid and defence

So here I am at the budget lockup, deep in the bowels of Treasury, with the idea of getting a much-anticipated preview of the Foreign Affairs and Trade budget for this, the Coalition Government's first federal budget. Only, there is no Portfolio Budget Statement for the Foreign Affairs and Trade

China in Africa: New pledges and a new relationship?

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has wrapped up his eight day visit to Africa, his first visit as premier and his first foreign visit this year. Commentators (and African leaders) expect to see big announcements whenever a Chinese leader is in town. So what has this trip revealed? Here are some of the

Why Bob Carr's book matters

It was all a trick. A simple scam played on a clueless tabloid media to sell more books. And didn't they oblige! As soon as Bob Carr's Diary of a Foreign Minister hit the shelves, they searched the book for scandal, and found a man apparently addicted to perks and privilege. The Daily Telegraph

'Timeless Tuvalu' and the role of migration

'Timeless Tuvalu' is the country's branding to the world, or at least to the trickle of visitors that arrive every year to the tiny country of 10,000 people. It does indeed feel timeless as I walk the stretch of Fongafale (the main island, on which the capital is located). As I meander the streets

Labour mobility key to Pacific future

The issue of labour migration and seasonal work is back on the agenda of Pacific island governments and donor agencies. Pacific population is increasing by 177,100 each year and at the present rate the region's population will double in the next 36 years. Disaggregating those statistics makes the

Solomon Islands flooding and Australian aid

On 5 April, the Solomon Islands was hit by extreme flooding, killing 23 people and leaving an estimated 50,000–60,000 people homeless. Lowy Institute Melanesia experts Jenny Hayward Jones and Tess Newton-Cain got together earlier this week to discuss the impact of Australia's $3 million

Pacific private sector engagement: Where to begin?

Suva, Fiji. A key facet of the Australian Government's aid and development policy for the Pacific island region is enhancing private sector engagement. However, the detail of this policy has yet to be articulated. The role of the private sector in aid and development is the subject of an ongoing

Foreign aid hits record high

In what will come as a surprise to many, the OECD's 2013 aid figures reveal that foreign aid (ODA) from governments is actually increasing. This is despite ongoing budgetary constraints in many countries. After two years of decline, foreign aid rose 6.1% in real terms in 2013 to reach its highest

Foreign aid: Parliamentary committees at 50 paces

In the wake of the Abbott Government's unforeseen but momentous decision last year to integrate the Australia's foreign aid agency, AusAID, into DFAT, the federal parliamentary committee system seems to have been enlisted by government and opposition to debate the aid policy gap. In early December

Two recent reports on poverty

First, the Chronic Poverty Report 2014-15, produced by the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network and published by ODI. The report focuses on the policies needed to get to zero extreme poverty. It argues that this is a tripartite challenge: to get close to zero, 'countries need to tackle chronic

Abbott in PNG: Advice from the younger generation

Tonight, Tony Abbott flies into Port Moresby on his first visit to Papua New Guinea as prime minister. So far his foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has done the heavy lifting in the relationship, building on several visits in opposition with a high profile visit in February. The Abbott Government

Aid & development links: International Women's Day

Why do we need an International Women's Day? As negotiations for the post-2015 development goals continue, a coalition of feminist organisations have released a Feminist Declaration for post-2015. Hopefully one day this will not be news: there is now a female CEO of an investment bank in Saudi

Foreign aid: Is Afghanistan a welfare state?

Somewhere high in the dent of the shale grey mountains is a narrow water course. More than a stream, but not quite a river, it flows for four months of the year through the canyons of the various offshoot valleys towards the flat sandy vistas of the lower Panjshir River. The river itself tracks a

Julie Bishop focuses on PNG's women

On her first visit to Papua New Guinea as Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop has reconfirmed the high priority the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship has for Australian foreign policy and declared her deep affection for the country.  A frequent visitor to PNG as shadow minister,

Chinese development financing to Africa: An update

Last year, AidData and the Center for Global Development launched a massive online database of China's development financing in Africa. At the time, many concerns were raised about its methodology and the headline figure reported extensively in the media. As I explained at the time, 'understanding

China's humanitarian assistance: Signs of improvement?

China's humanitarian aid has recently been subject to much criticism – both international and domestically. But the signs are positive for some reforms. Last week I was in Beijing for a workshop on humanitarian aid (or 'foreign disaster assistance', as the Chinese prefer to call it) hosted by the

Fiji: An election in 2014 and Bainimarama will stand

In what may be the clearest sign yet that Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama (pictured) intends to make good on his promise to hold elections in 2014, he has announced that he will resign as head of the military on 28 February and stand for election. Bainimarama has promised that his

Reader riposte: Aid & development links

Garth Luke from World Vision Australia writes: Thanks for your useful posts on aid. I had a read of the Maxwell article which you quote and I don't think I would characterise it as you have below: "In one of these contributions, the ODI’s Simon Maxwell considers how development ministries

The best aid & development writing in 2013

Philippa Brant The world of foreign aid has changed dramatically over the past few years, with new actors, new forms of assistance, and new goals being negotiated. A great overview of the shifting geopolitical realities and implications for aid and development, Emma Mawdsley's From Recipients to

China's aid program: Why the numbers matter

Dr Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. China’s aid policy, like almost everything China does on the world stage, attracts close scrutiny and often criticism. The forthcoming release of China’s second White Paper on Foreign Aid (likely within the next month) will

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