News: Independent review of aid effectiveness

Recently an independent committee was established by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to review Australia’s current aid program.

Palms Australia was one of many non-government organisations (NGOs) to make a submission, highlighting the following points:

  1. Palms Australia strongly supports the proposed increase in Australia’s aid budget, which has bi-partisan support*;
  2. Smaller NGOs are often more efficient than larger ones because of the social capital donated by staff and members. AusAID should investigate more ways of supporting smaller NGOs;
  3. A greater proportion of Australia’s aid budget should be given through NGOs, rather than private contractors;
  4. Steps must be taken to increase continuity within AusAID’s own sections;
  5. The recently foreshadowed move away from highly paid consultants is welcome;
  6. Volunteering must remain an essential part of AusAID’s program;
  7. Palms Volunteers produce the type of sustainable results which we should be seeking from our aid program.
  8. AusAID should be removed from DFAT, becoming a separate department, not beholden to Australia’s economic interests and unafraid to advocate for justice in every case.

Palms Australia’s full submission is available on our website at http://palms.org.au/?p=2658.
A full list of submissions to the review are available at http://www.aidreview.gov.au.

* Though recent comments may have confused the issue, Tony Abbott has stated since that Liberal Party policy remains to increase the aid budget to 0.5% by 2015.

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Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. - Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe