Wednesday 17 Oct 2018 | 21:18 | SYDNEY
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Aid & Development

Reconciling with China in the Pacific

Last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Wang Yi struck a surprisingly conciliatory tone, expressing the wish to partner with Australia in the development of the Pacific

Aid links: river relief, ranking helpers, more

The report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) explained why the world has just over a decade to get global warming under control. Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis discuss the implications of the research. The full impact of the tsunami in Central Sulawesi is still unknown,

Sulawesi tsunami: how Australia can best help

Yet another tsunami in Indonesia. The earthquake and resulting wave of destruction in Palu, Central Sulawesi, is the second major natural disaster to strike the country this year. It is not yet two months since more than 500 people died in the August earthquake in Lombok near Bali.

Aid links: African debt, Taxify and more

In New York, Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdoğan says humanitarian aid policies should not increase the dependency of the recipients, but should focus on development. Lisa Cornish from Devex analyses the impact of the new government on Australia's aid and development program. This month

The case for a foreign aid tsar

The Australian aid program has always laboured under multiple and competing objectives, both implicit and explicit. This was identified in the 1997 Simons Report on foreign aid, commissioned by the Howard Government, into what was then a separate agency, AusAID: The managers of the aid

Aid links: Idlib and “humanitarian tragedy”, more

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres argued the situation in Idlib, Syria, is not sustainable, adding the presence of terrorist groups sheltering in the enclave cannot be tolerated. He warned the situation had the potential to be the worst “humanitarian tragedy” of the

Aid links: political change and adjustment, more

Following Julie Bishop’s resignation as Australian foreign minister after five years in the job, Stephen Howes reflects on her aid and development legacy, which is only saved by the growth of the Seasonal Workers Program. Ashlee Betteridge and Lisa Cornish separately

Selling a Pacific paradise: upholding the façade

The image of Pacific Islands as a benign utopia – an exotic paradise of green palms, sandy beaches and smiling locals – is a lingering vestige of the first colonial era contact with Europeans. The same clichéd themes can be seen in modern day advertising campaigns to encourage

Aid links: USAid cuts, blockchain bonds, and more

Samuel Oakford comments on the new rule applied by the Trump administration on money spent by USAid through the UN and other multinational agencies. The measure could negatively impact a quarter of all US foreign assistance. The Australian picked up Jonathan Pryke’s recent submission to the

Foreign aid and religion in the Pacific

Sometimes we in developed nations fail to grasp that not everything we do, no matter how well intentioned, is entirely welcomed in developing countries. Often they’re just too polite to tell us. Once on a flight to a Pacific island nation, I was seated next to an NGO worker who

Aid: investing in impact

This article is based on episode 9 of the Good Will Hunters podcast with Giles Gunesekera, CEO of the Global Impact Initiative. In March 2015, the Coalition committed $140 million over four years to an innovation hub within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The hub, known as

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

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