By Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, and Philippa Brant, a Lowy Institute research associate.
The Abbott Government last night brought down the first annual aid budget since the integration of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and AusAID
So here I am at the budget lockup, deep in the bowels of Treasury, with the idea of getting a much-anticipated preview of the Foreign Affairs and Trade budget for this, the Coalition Government's first federal budget. Only, there is no Portfolio Budget Statement for the Foreign Affairs and Trade
Women's parliamentary caucuses are improving female political participation, legislation, and women's rights in Pakistan.
The Guardian's development blog has a new piece analysing Australia and Canada's shift to merging their aid portfolios into foreign affairs.
ACFID policy paper calls for 10%
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has wrapped up his eight day visit to Africa, his first visit as premier and his first foreign visit this year. Commentators (and African leaders) expect to see big announcements whenever a Chinese leader is in town.
So what has this trip revealed? Here are some of the
Each Thursday the Lowy Institute's Myer Foundation Melanesia program brings you a selection of reading from and about the Pacific island region.
Attempts to generate revenue via immigration and citizenship are causing controversy in Vanuatu and Samoa.
Former Fiji PM Mahendra Chaudhry will appeal
The Abbott Government will next week bring down its first aid budget, a budget which itself will contain two interesting firsts: it is the first since the integration of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with AusAID, and the first since the transition of the very expensive Regional
The OECD's flagship report this year assesses policy coherence and illicit financial flows. The Australian chapter focuses on Pacific fisheries.
Did climate change close Mt Everest?
Nigeria's kidnapped girls have been sold into marriage with their abductors for $12.
Richard Branson's formula for
It was all a trick. A simple scam played on a clueless tabloid media to sell more books. And didn't they oblige! As soon as Bob Carr's Diary of a Foreign Minister hit the shelves, they searched the book for scandal, and found a man apparently addicted to perks and privilege. The Daily Telegraph
'Timeless Tuvalu' is the country's branding to the world, or at least to the trickle of visitors that arrive every year to the tiny country of 10,000 people. It does indeed feel timeless as I walk the stretch of Fongafale (the main island, on which the capital is located). As I meander the streets
As there were no 'Aid and development links' last week (Easter Monday), we have an extended offering today:
Oxfam research raises significant questions about the impact of a public-private partnership to provide a national referral hospital in Lesotho.
Using a strengths-based approach for
The Director of the PNG National Research Institute Thomas Webster speaks out for freedom of speech in PNG.
Sarah Logan looks at how increased mobile phone use will impact electoral integrity in the Solomon Islands and Fijian elections.
Why has there been no progress in stopping sorcery
The issue of labour migration and seasonal work is back on the agenda of Pacific island governments and donor agencies. Pacific population is increasing by 177,100 each year and at the present rate the region's population will double in the next 36 years.
Disaggregating those statistics makes the
Each Thursday we bring you a selection of what our Pacific island experts have been reading from and about the region.
In Fiji, the police have confirmed that Rear Admiral Bainimarama is under investigation for allegedly breaching electoral rules.
Voters in Niue have returned the government of
On 5 April, the Solomon Islands was hit by extreme flooding, killing 23 people and leaving an estimated 50,000–60,000 people homeless.
Lowy Institute Melanesia experts Jenny Hayward Jones and Tess Newton-Cain got together earlier this week to discuss the impact of Australia's $3 million
A key facet of the Australian Government's aid and development policy for the Pacific island region is enhancing private sector engagement. However, the detail of this policy has yet to be articulated. The role of the private sector in aid and development is the subject of an ongoing
'You're just not that vulnerable enough'. An interesting piece on refugees and urban displacement in Libya.
US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is looking into pro-democracy programs carried out by USAID.
Humanitarian news agency IRIN looks vulnerable because it's losing UN funding.
Welcome to the first Pacific Island links. Each Thursday, we will share with you the most interesting or thought provoking things the Lowy Institute's Pacific islands specialists have read from and about the region.
In an election year for Solomon Islands, there are concerns that politics will
In what will come as a surprise to many, the OECD's 2013 aid figures reveal that foreign aid (ODA) from governments is actually increasing. This is despite ongoing budgetary constraints in many countries. After two years of decline, foreign aid rose 6.1% in real terms in 2013 to reach its highest
Bad news on global warming last week, with the latest IPCC report concluding that global warming is depleting fresh water and crops, destroying coral reefs and melting the Arctic. See here eight stark graphs from the report . US Secretary of State John Kerry’s response to the report was
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
The UN announced it will launch an inquiry into war crimes committed by Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka. The move was not supported by Australia. The vote count for UN #HRC25 was 23 votes in favour; 12 against; 12 abstentions.
The impact of climate change on development in
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
Are the BRICS challenging or converging with the international development system? New paper from IDS.
An important piece via the Developmental Leadership Program about how a focus on climate change adaptation may actually serve to undermine women's security in the Pacific.
Only about 18% of
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
Technological innovations are increasingly being used in disaster response. But they can present their own challenges: here's 5 best practices to keep in mind (HT @whydev).
On 'Development Drums', Owen Barder talks with Nina Munk about her new book The Idealist, about about Jeffrey Sachs and the
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
After much speculation, many sleepless nights and seemingly endless rumour mongering, the leader of the opposition in Vanuatu , Ham Lini, last week withdrew a motion of no confidence in the government led by Moana Carcasses Kalosil.
The 'no confidence' dance is well rehearsed in Vanuatu
Is the Chinese government starting to crack down on illegal timber trade? Global Witness reports on a recent conference.
Relatedly, Google has unveiled a new online tool, Global Forest Watch, enabling people to monitor deforestation around the world.
Laurence Haddad demonstrates how to write about
Good overview from Stephen Howes on the rhetoric and the reality of Australia's aid objectives.
Curious about where Chinese Aid is spent in Africa? Nice Infograhic.
Inside the politics of breastfeeding promotion: good Impatient Optimists blog post on the Gates Foundation.
Where's the Australian aid program heading? Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop offered the clearest articulation to date of her vision at the Australasian Aid and International Development Policy workshop in Canberra last week.
Does foreign aid really work? Roger Riddell's updated paper
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
The UK's Department for International Development released a new strategic framework that focuses more directly on economic development. Owen Barder offers an excellent analysis of what's missing.
Another great piece on PNG from Jo Chandler. This one on logging, land grabs, and the demise of PNG'
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,
Why Aid Fails, from the authors of the best selling book Why Nations Fail.
Does India have more polluted air than China? And why is there not the uproar in Delhi like there is in Beijing? Interesting pieces in the NY Times and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Relatedly, the 2014 Environmental Performance
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 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
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
As noted in last Friday's India links, India is marking three years since its last reported polio case, a landmark in the global battle against the disease. This BBC story on India's success in combating polio also has an interesting pictorial history of the disease.
The World Bank's Global
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
Remember the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, agreed at Busan in 2011? Here’s how some African fragile states are putting it into practice.
The World Giving Index of 2013, published by the Charities Aid Foundation, measures the scope and nature of personal giving around the world
The OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) just released detailed final aid figures for 2012. The database is hard to navigate but DAC has provided us with a handy infographic to help us compare donor countries.
2014 set to be a good year for Latin America.
New Gallup household income data
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
Reviving a mid-December tradition established by former foreign minister Alexander Downer, Julie Bishop has just completed a three-day whirlwind trip to Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru. As a backbencher, Bishop was part of Downer's delegation in December 2002*, and just as Downer did, Bishop
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