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Promising Progress in Australian Aid and Development Implementation

Key takeaways

  • New strategy for Australia’s aid program which will enhance the Australian Government’s engagement with the private sector

  • Australia will look to use the skills and expertise of the private sector to drive sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty in the region

A new approach to the delivery and implementation of Australian aid was announced this week by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop at a breakfast event sponsored by Westpac. Samantha Cook and Sarah Kaylinger from our team were fortunate enough to attend and hear first hand about Minister Bishop’s new strategic plan for engaging the private sector to enhance Australia’s aid program. What does it involve? With a renewed focus on engaging with the private sector, the strategy consists of three new initiatives to help implement Australia’s development goals:

  • Establishment of the $5 million Business Partnership Platform providing increased opportunities for the private sector to tender for and work on Australian Government projects;

  • United Nations Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA) partnership to the tune of $350,000 allowing Australian enterprises to link into implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals especially across the Indo-Pacific region, including the Pacific Islands; and

  • A new $1 million Global Reporting Initiative partnership to provide tangible measures and planning mechanisms for businesses working in developing countries.

These strategic pillars allow the Australian aid and development program to leverage the existing skills, experience and expertise from the private sector whilst also encouraging increased private sector involvement in developing markets. Why the need for change? This is seen as a natural progression of the new aid policy launched in June 2014. The Australian aid program must continue to identify more creative and innovative ways to deliver aid. The new strategy will see collaboration with the private sector partners contributing valuable insight and intellectual capital and capabilities whilst receiving commercial return, catalytic funding and opportunities to learn about developing markets on the ground. What current investment priorities could your business leverage? The Australian Government and Australian Aid have identified the following current investment priorities:

  • Agriculture, fisheries and water;

  • Building resilience – with a focus on disaster risk reduction, social protection and other humanitarian assistance;

  • Education and health;

  • Effective governance;

  • Gender equality and empowering women and girls; and

  • Infrastructure, trade facilitation and international competitiveness.

Want to know more about how you could get involved? The first step is to look at where your business’ core competencies and skills lie, especially if they align with the investment priorities outlined above. We then suggest you head over to the DFAT website to identify the regions that Australia currently gives aid where you could apply your skills. This includes fifteen countries across the Pacific as well as regional initiatives. Finally get in touch with DFAT or your local High Commission and get involved! For further information click here.

Download the article here.

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