Australia Ahead of the Curve: An Agenda for International Development to 2025


18 May, 2016

Do you have a vision for Australia’s international development agenda? Have you been thinking about positioning Australia strongly to be a leader in development cooperation by 2025? Then ACFID would love to hear from you. Why? Because we’re developing a think-piece publication called Australia Ahead of the Curve: An Agenda for International Development to 2025.

Australian aid and development assistance is rarely the focus of national policy debate or public discussion, despite being an enduring and important part of our international engagement.

But ACFID knows there’s an important, if quiet, conversation going within the community on the future shape of Australian aid. We want to harness that conversation to stimulate broader, deeper and longer-term thinking about Australian aid and development assistance.

Australia’s aid program is at a watershed moment – we’ve reached the lowest level of Federal Government aid funding ever, at time when global need is growing.

The former Australian Agency for International Development has been merged into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. New institutions, business models and practices are shifting the focus and workings of the international development sector.

Global issues like: infectious disease pandemics, fair and transparent trade and tax regimes, growing influence of BRICS donors, and climate change raise questions about what should be the role and focus of Australia’s aid and development assistance.

At the same time, ongoing armed conflict, mass migration and repeated humanitarian disasters in our region threaten to undo years of development progress and the Australian community rightly wants to know how they can make a difference.

With the international community now agreed on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, now is an opportune time to consider what are the building blocks of an effective, credible and sustainable aid program that is delivering for its intended beneficiaries in 2025.

ACFID is committed to hearing from a broad and diverse group of actors and to ensure that we’re surfacing and capturing the wealth of thoughtful ideas on this topic, both from within the aid sector and external to it. We’re looking for fresh voices and bold ideas on how Australia can best play a strategic and effective role in our region and beyond.

Our Australia: Ahead of The Curve project is seeking 500-2,500 word “think pieces” about how and where Australian aid would be best targeted, what works, what clearly hasn’t and why. We want to hear fresh voices on what Australia’s international development agenda should focus on to 2025.

ACFID will develop a publication to profile the strongest submissions and also hopes to publish a selection of think pieces on the ACFID blog and through other media. The publication will be launched in late October and will feed into a stakeholder forum in 2017.

Full guidance for how to write your piece, what it might usefully focus on, and how it will be evaluated by our Reference Group can be found here. We encourage all potential authors to be in touch before you start writing and share your thoughts with us.

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