This workshop took an in-depth look at the recent changes to Australia's approach to foreign aid with the aim of developing a strategy for how the associated challenges might be addressed.
Like many similar programs around the world, Australia’s approach to foreign aid has undergone major changes in recent years. Substantial cuts in government funding have been accompanied by a shift in focus from development and humanitarian goals to advancing the national interests of donors and fostering private enterprise. A preference has been expressed in favour of public-private collaborations rather than a reliance on projects initiated and funded by government.
To effect these changes, aid policy has been brought under more direct political control. The changes have generated significant debate in the community, reflecting both recognition of the deficiencies of conventional approaches to aid and concerns about fulfilling global responsibilities.
They have also posed major challenges for the various stakeholders in the aid sector, including NGOs, academia and government. It is widely recognised that there is a need for a national debate about Australia’s approach to foreign aid, including the relative emphasis on its various components, intended outcomes, and methods for assessing effectiveness.
To contribute to this process, the Centre for Global Research (RMIT University) together with its event partners, Global Reconciliation, and the Humanitarian Advisory Group, was proud to host this round table discussion. This preliminary discussion focused on formulating the problem, identifying aims and goals, and outlining alternative models of aid and methodologies for assessing outcomes, and planning a strategy.
The workshop’s proceedings report and mind map, along with the event program, are now available for download:
- Rethinking Foreign Aid workshop program (PDF 1.30 MB)
- Rethinking Foreign Aid proceedings mind map (PDF 702 KB)
- Rethinking Foreign Aid proceedings report (PDF 1.11 MB)
Story: Alice Macfarlan