The Australian government recently established an independent panel to review the effectiveness of Australia’s aid program. Stakeholders were asked to make submissions to the review according to the set terms of reference. Palms Australia made this brief submission, outlining some areas in which it sees potential improvement in Australia’s development programs. A list of all […]
This paper Missionaries, International Development Volunteers and Beyond examines the evolution of a program, from its birth in 1961 as the Paulian Association Lay Missionary Secretariat (PALMS) to the eve of its Jubilee (50th year) where some characterise it as an International Development Volunteer (IDV) program. It considers influences on the vision, mission, values, philosophy, […]
Are volunteers achieving the MDGs without also being a conduit of neo-colonial transculturation? As a practitioner I’m not so sure we in volunteer organisations prepare people adequately to avoid them falling into this trap and I’m concerned that the imposition of various structures for funded service providers might mitigate against a better approach.
In March 2009, AusAID published a review of the Australian Government Volunteer Program (AGVP). The review was conducted by consultants hired by AusAID and drew interesting conclusions about the strengths and shortcomings of the current Government Program. It also made suggestions about future directions for the program. Always interested in increasing the effectiveness of international […]
Recurrent issues of civil unrest, terrorism and natural disasters have understandably led to sending governments and agencies placing an increased emphasis on volunteer security. An overemphasis on these considerations, however, can serve to distance volunteers from their national counterparts and reduce stakeholder participation.
This submission critiques the misrepresentation of governance issues at the heart of many approaches to Aid in the region. In order to address these challenges, quality education and mentoring must be available to all levels of society and the structures which reward misbehaviour must be altered.
Many organisations offer short-term visits which they name Cross-cultural Immersions, Exposure Tours or Study Tours. While such programs can be beneficial to their participants, they often neglect the effects on the host community. Furthermore, they risk providing a stereotypical view of another culture which degrades and damages.
This position paper was presented to a meeting of Immersion facilitators and provides a useful starting point for discussion of these trips. For an experience built upon the arguments in this paper, consider joining Palms’ Encounter Program.
A Timor-Leste case study written by Nichole Georgeou and Brendan Joyce for the magazine Just Change. An examination of mixed political motives which damage Australia’s aid program.
What does it mean to be a volunteer and what can volunteers bring to development.
Palms Australia seeks to “encourage just, sustainable, interdependent and peaceful development.” (Mission Statement). Just what do we mean by development?
10 Great Reasons to Support the Work of Palms Australia.