Aid

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The Coalition government has moved to rapidly alter the balance of Australia’s foreign policy spending. AAP/Rashida Yosufzai

Ideas for Australia: Sold short – Australia’s aid cuts have foreign policy consequences

A reduced aid budget equates to the forsaking of real opportunities in foreign policy terms. In the long term, this could make the savings look miniscule compared to opportunity costs.
Differential treatment between international and local aid workers may undermine international aid programs. lculig/www.shutterstock.com

Mind the gap in local and international aid workers' salaries

In the humanitarian aid and development sector, local staff are paid less and receive fewer benefits than their expatriate colleagues, even when they do similar work and have similar qualifications.
Even something as simple as a water pump might not work if it requires parts or power not readily available where it’s installed. World Bank

Where aid fails, appropriate technology can succeed

Much international aid fails to achieve its ends because the technology employed is not "appropriate" to its intended environment or culture. This needs to change.
A company’s homepage will tell you more about its core values than any “social responsibility” statement. Brian A. Johnson/Shutterstock.com

A simple greenwash detection tip: check what the firm puts on its homepage

Do companies really mean it when they talk about being socially responsible? Judging by their mission statements and homepages, it seems increasingly that resources firms do, but many retailers don't.
Malawian President Peter Mutharika has promised to fight the corruption that has seen donors withdraw their support for his impoverished nation. Reuters/Eldson Chagara

What drives corruption in Malawi and why it won’t disappear soon

Malawi appears to have learnt nothing from the biggest state corruption scandal that rocked the country two years ago, leading to donors withdrawing their support. The same conditions still remain.
President Joko Widodo is not crying over cuts to Australian aid for Indonesia. AAP Image/Eka Nickmatulhuda

How will a 40% cut in Australian aid affect Indonesia?

Australia has cut aid to Indonesia by 40%. That may cause diplomatic displeasure, but the country has restructured its development programs in recent years to be less dependent on foreign money.
Australian aid can make a difference to the lives of millions – but there are few votes and little media interest in it, so it’s an easy target for budget cuts. John Bransby/Department of Foreign Affairs

A fair budget? Not for the poor losing Australian aid in record cuts

Foreign aid will fall to close to 90 cents in every A$100 of federal government spending in the 2015 budget -- its lowest level ever.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s call for Indonesia to ‘reciprocate’ revealed the ugly side of Australian aid: politics. AAP/Lukas Coch

What do Indonesia and Australia expect and get from aid?

Australian aid to Indonesia, both in the form of loans and grants, is not independent of its political and economic interests.
The killing of polio workers in Pakistan by the Taliban is a tragic illustration of why no development program can ignore the political problems associated with poverty. EPA/Arshad Arbab

Gates Foundation is too big to ignore the politics of poverty

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2015 annual letter outlines their vision for global development and poverty reduction. The letter outlines four areas where they expect breakthroughs over the next…
Only a community development approach can truly result in ‘build back better’ when it comes to responding to natural disasters such as the Boxing Day tsunami. EPA/Peter Endig

Boxing Day tsunami: balancing social and physical recovery

There have been many natural disasters since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but none have exceeded it in the combination of scale and scope of its destructive impacts. The scale of devastation for coastal…

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