State of the Sector

The inaugural ACFID State of the Sector Report (2018) provides a comprehensive and robust analysis of the state of the Australian aid and development sector. Using a combination of data gathered predominantly from ACFID’s members and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), the report provides a picture of the broader community of development NGOs and a sense of where ACFID members fit as a subset of this larger group. It aims to provide an understanding of what a healthy sector looks like and the current state of the sector as reflected in the data and analysis.

View the full report in our interactive online version.

Download a copy of the report

The report is based around a suite of characteristics of a healthy development NGO sector. Each characteristic captures important aspects of how development NGOs function as a community, how development NGOs interact within the Australian community, and how development NGOs work in other countries.

As a community 

Characteristic 1: is made up of a diverse community of transparent and accountable organisations. 

Characteristic 2: has an adequate and sustainable resource base. 

Characteristic 3: is innovating, learning, adapting and evolving in response to achievements, lessons learned, changes in context. 

Characteristic 4: is working collaboratively both within and outside the sector. 

Characteristic 5: has a healthy and diverse workforce. 


With the Australian community 

Characteristic 6: has advocacy and campaigning capacity and influence. 

Characteristic 7: has a high level of influence, engagement and support with community and other stakeholders. 

Characteristic 8: is supported by an enabling legal, political and policy environment. 


In the world 

Characteristic 9: has an appropriate sectoral and geographic focus. 

Characteristic 10: is fostering development and humanitarian responses that enable sustainable change in-country through empowerment of local actors and systems. 

Characteristic 11: is delivering significant social, political, institutional, economic and environmental outcomes and impact, and contributing to systemic change.