Rolling out the same aid program in different countries can generate contrasting results. This Global Innovation Fund blog post discusses an attempt to replicate the Kenyan “Sugar Daddies” trial – aimed at reducing the risk of aid and unintended pregnancy – in Botswana,
The Rohingya crisis is terrible in itself; however, many refugees are giving untrue (and more horrific) stories when asked their testimony. Hannah Beech, a reporter for The New York Times, uncovers these lies and explains their origins. President Donald Trump questions the future and
By launching its new digital strategy, Britain’s foreign aid agency DFID hopes to be recognized as a global leader in digital technology and development. Ailin Martinez discusses four reasons for why this new approach is significant. David Guy discusses the benefits of enhancing development
Stephen Howes provides suggests how to reform the DFAT bureaucracy to improve the profile and performance of Australian aid. The paradox of connectivity, jobs destruction caused by technology, and insufficient education are World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s three main
Last month in The Interpreter, Clay O’Brien proposed the creation of a Development Finance Institution (DFI) for Australia’s aid program. This shift in thinking about the way the government could engage in development is most welcome, particularly in Papua New Guinea. More can be done.
The Davos summit is taking place this week. At the Center for Global Development, Michael Clemens and Kate Gough argue that human mobility and migration solutions should be a central topic of discussion. Egypt and Ethiopia are fighting over the Nile. Damming the Blue Nile tributary
Stephan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford, gives a great summary of the 'Big Ideals, Big Egos and Big Thinkers in development'. According to Victoire Girard, the terrible reputation of artisanal mining is not justified (in Burkina Faso, at least). Her paper shows
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 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
UNICEF has warned that children were increasingly being used as weapons of war in 2017. The World Bank highlights the 12 key lessons from last year about building inclusive, resilient, and sustainable cities and communities. The global economic scenario is set for an Asian century – but
Alexandre Dayant, a Research Associate in the Pacific Islands Program, with links on updates across the aid and development field.
Puerto Rico’s power grid is still recovering from Hurricane Maria. According to Sasha Israni, the US territory has an opportunity to be a
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 World Bank’s Uzma Quresh and Tanya D'Lima examine the economic and social impact of violence against women in Pakistan, and the role that local governments and media in combatting the issue. Earlier this month Niger welcomed the first 504 people from Libya, honouring agreements
UN officials have asked the Saudi-led coalition to lift its blockade of Yemen's Red Sea so the country can receive desperately needed humanitarian supplies. A Global Compact on Migration could be a solution for international immigration issues, but it would need to take regional characteristics
Annmaree O'Keeffe gives her opinion on the 2017 Australia Foreign Policy White Paper, saying the report does not provide a clear direction for the aid program and diminishes its role within the department toolbox. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) released its
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
The Economist details what technology can and, critically, can’t do to help solve Africa’s development challenges. Politico has a fascinating profile on Scott Guggenheim, a development expert and long-time adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. The UK aid program is facing
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
The UK's International Development Secretary Priti Patel has been sacked from her position. The Prospect details the war she waged with her own department. Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced a public appeal to raise money for the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, matching
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
The OECD Development Assistance Council has refined its definition of ‘official development assistance’ – in other words, what international transfers can and cannot be deemed foreign aid. Refugee-related spending such as on detention centres, border security and returning failed asylum
New Zealand’s new government should redesign its aid program, argues Terence Wood.
Jacob Stone and I wrote on the importance of technology in aid transparency. We argue that better and clearer reporting mechanisms, improved coordination, and greater accountability could foster more
The role of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and other international financial institutions (IFIs) is back in the policy spotlight.
The latest attention comes via the G20 Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on Global Financial Governance, formed by G20 Finance Ministers at their meeting
This post was co-authored with Jacob Stone, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program.
On 12 August 2017, the Australian government announced it would invest $7.7 million in a pilot program to target mosquito-borne diseases in Fiji, Vanuatu and Kiribati. This project comes out of DFAT’
In his recent Interpreter post, Richard Moore provides a handy summary of the work of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) over the past 50 years. He also poses questions about the future of the Bank. Moore is a former ADB Board member, so he is thoroughly familiar with debates about the Bank's role in
A US Department of Health and Human Services draft report found that the government made $63 billion more in revenue from refugees over the past decade than the refugees cost the government (the report was rejected by Administration officials). Tony Blair writes for The Guardian that aid by
Aid officials fear a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ is unfolding in Rakhine State in Myanmar as the government has effectively implemented a blockade of their efforts in the region. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released a new report, which will become an annual project, to track
In May, the Asian Development Bank celebrated its 50th anniversary with a big bash in Yokohama. Senior ADB figures repeatedly pointed to the record crowd of more than 6000 attendees as evidence of the meeting's success and the ADB's enduring relevance. Not all of the 6000 were convinced.
SBS reports that Australia and Timor-Leste have reached agreement over a maritime boundary dispute that has significantly eroded the bilateral relationship. Final details will be announced in October. Kennya’s Supreme Court has nullified the country's recent elections, ordering a new poll within
President Trump is trying to pressure allies, notably Pakistan, by threatening to cut foreign aid if they don’t cooperate with the American mission in Afghanistan. Writing for the Washington Post, Jessica Trisko Darden concludes this tactic that never works. Devex has produced a special
FT Data takes a look at how global income inequality has shifted since the Global Financial Crisis. The Washington Post discusses why it is so much worse in the US than other rich countries. CARE has a sobering and powerful advocacy tool showing how your income compares with the rest of the
At the Centre for Global Development, Michael Clemens argues the Trump administration's plan to scale back legal immigration in the US would be a lose-lose scenario for both the US and the world. Rashida Petersen and Jennifer Lentfer write for the Guardian on tackling structural racism in the
Vox has an explainer from Paul Slovic discussing how 'psychic numbing' helps to explain the limits of human compassion. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim shares five TED Talks that have inspired him. Keane Shum discusses the ongoing plight of Rohingya asylum seekers. Wade Shepard
The Economist has argued for the profound potential benefits enhanced labour mobility could have on the world. Late last year the Lowy Institute released a research paper on the impact greater labour mobility could have in the Pacific region. The Guardian and Reuters have both covered
The ABC’s latest episode of Foreign Correspondent covers the work of GiveDirectly’s basic income trial in Kenya – written story here. United Nations Seretary-General António Guterres has outlined his plan to reposition the UN development system to better help achieve the Sustainable
The East African hunger crisis is not cutting through to Australian donors as previous famines have, reports Michael Bachelard from South Sudan (whose trip, consequently, was funded by the Campaign for Australian Aid and CARE Australia). The crisis co-incides with South Sudan's sixth
The Economist reports on the growing role of private contractors in the aid sector, citing many cases from Australia. Senate Estimates recently revealed that close to 20% of Australia’s aid program is now being delivered by ten contractors. Michael Kleinman’s article in the Guardian
The World Health Assembly has appointed the first African, Tedros Adhanom, as Director-General of the World Health Organisation. Dr Adhanom will take over a WHO under siege from criticism of its slow response to the Ebola epidemic and revelations that the agency has spent more than 10% of its $2
The New York Times discusses the success of M-Pesa leapfrogging conventional banking in Kenya and how it is continuing to innovate. 'Blockchain' is getting thrown around a lot in development circles this year. Duncan Green provides a handy primer of what it actually means. As the Trump
A $300 million cut. That’s what the headlines will say about the impact of this year’s budget on the Australian aid program. But that cut won't happen for another two years and there will be an election between now and then. In the meantime, this year the Federal government's spend on aid will
The Australian Federal Budget 2017-18 will be handed down on Tuesday, 9 May. This is the most important date on the national aid and development calendar and has major implications for the volumes of foreign aid that will be delivered by Australia.
It’s been a tough few years for the
The OECD has released the official numbers for foreign aid flows in 2016. Total aid has increased 9% from 2015 to $US142 billion, but critics argue that much of this increase is staying at home to pay for the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. Meanwhile global remittances to developing countries
New Zealand became ‘the first Western developed country’ to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) when it signed a Memorandum of Arrangement (MoA) during Premier Li’s March visit. For New Zealand, signing up to the BRI was the logical next step in a long-held policy of engagement with
The Guardian documents the increasing difficulty of providing humanitarian assistance to Northern African areas facing famine, due to ongoing conflict and security challenges. On the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Séverine Autesserre discusses three assumptions of effective
Two-thirds of the population of Yemen are facing severe food shortages, with the ongoing civil war raising concerns of a potential for widespread famine in the country. Priti Patel, UK Secretary for International Development, is giving a speech today that is expected to provide a robust defence for
It is just over two years since the United Kingdom announced (to the surprise of everyone involved, most notably the United States, but also China) that it would join the new, China-led multilateral development bank known as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). This triggered an
Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton discusses topics ranging from extreme poverty, opioid addiction, Trump voters, robots, and rent-seeking in this fascinating interview in The Atlantic. The fund to fill the gap left by President Trump’s global gag rule on family planning services has reached $190
The Trump Administration is gearing up to propose ‘dramatic reductions’ in foreign aid expenditure. Alex Thier at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) argues that these proposals would make America weaker.The EU and the UK have begun rolling out an $85 million Euro project of cash transfers
This post is part of a debate on Australia’s foreign policy White paper 2017. Click here for other debate posts.
The dazzling speed at which Asia has grown in the past 50 years has obscured a fact we often overlook in Australia: most of the countries and people in our part of the world remain
The acid test of Australia’s new foreign policy will be longevity. As a nation, can we set an approach that endures? 'A dynamism about it that can carry forward over about 10 years', is how Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, described the key ingredient for the new foreign policy white paper.