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Aid & Development

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

A new aid order in the Asian Century: reflections on The Future of International Development in the Asia Pacific conference, 9-10 May 2013

The Lowy Institute, together with The Asia Foundation and the Development Policy Centre at ANU, co-hosted the conference The Future of International Development in the Asia Pacific in Melbourne on 9-10 May 2013. Below is a summary of the conference proceedings and reflections on the main themes

Chinese aid to Africa: A detective story

Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. Earlier this week a massive database of Chinese development finance activities in Africa (warning: big PDF) was launched by AidData and the Center for Global Development. This endeavour involved a team of researchers and has