An Effective Aid Program for Australia
Australia's aid policy
Under the new policy AusAID is working to ensure equitable access to health and education services, particularly for adolescent girls. Photo: UNICEF/Sabah Arar
In July 2011, the Government released a new aid policy for Australia’s aid program, An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference—Delivering real results. The policy includes the Government’s response to recommendations made within the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, the first independent review of the aid program in 15 years. It supports the delivery of a growing aid program, and sets a new purpose for the program – to help people overcome poverty.
In line with commitments made in the aid policy, on 8 May 2012, the Government released Helping the World’s Poor through Effective Aid: Australia’s Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework (the CAPF) to guide future increases in the aid budget. The CAPF includes a rolling four-year budget strategy, headline results that will be achieved and new standards for the efficient and effective delivery of Australian aid, aligned to the strategies outlined in the aid policy.
Purpose of Australian aid
The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to help people overcome poverty. This also serves Australia’s national interests by promoting stability and prosperity both in our region and beyond. We focus our effort in areas where Australia can make a difference and where our resources can most effectively and efficiently be deployed.
Focus of Australian aid
Consistent with the
Millennium Development Goals, Australia’s aid program is guided by five strategic goals, reinforced by 10 individual development objectives:
- Improving public health by increasing access to safe water and sanitation.
- Saving the lives of women and children through greater access to quality maternal and child health services.
Promoting opportunities for all
- Enabling more children, particularly girls, to attend school.
- Empowering women to participate in the economy, leadership and education.
- Enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.
Sustainable economic development
- Improving food security by investing in agricultural productivity, infrastructure, social protection and the opening of markets.
- Improving incomes, employment and enterprise opportunities for poor people.
- Reducing the negative impacts of climate change and other environmental factors on poor people.
- Improving governance in developing countries to deliver services, improve security, and enhance justice and human rights for poor people; and to improve overall effectiveness in aid delivery in partnerships between host governments and aid agencies.
Humanitarian and disaster response
- Enhancing disaster preparedness and delivering faster, more effective responses to humanitarian crises, given the increased frequency and impact of natural disasters in recent decades.
Where Australia provides aid
As recommended in the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, alongside East Asia, the Pacific will remain the primary focus of Australia’s aid efforts. This is where we have strong ties and experience, and where the international community expects us to play a lead role. It is also where our own economic and security interests are most closely engaged. Over the next four years, Australia anticipates increasing assistance to the Pacific region by around 37 per cent, from $1.17 billion in 2012‑13 to an indicative level of $1.6 billion by 2015-16.
Over the next four years, Australia will become the largest bilateral grant donor to East Asia. East Asia is a region of primary national interest for Australia. As well as the close geographic proximity of Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Australia has a very important stake in East Asia's broader economic and political future. Over the next four years, Australia anticipates increasing assistance to East Asia by around 48 per cent, from $1.32 billion in 2012‑13 to an indicative level of $1.95 billion by 2015-16. This will see East Asia remain the largest recipient of Australian aid and Indonesia the biggest bilateral program in the aid budget.
South and West Asia
South Asia is home to half of the world’s poor. As an Indian Ocean state, Australia has a clear and vital interest in the prosperity and stability of this region.
The aid program will also continue to play its part in international efforts to bring development to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the next four years, Australia anticipates increasing assistance to South and West Asia by around 38 per cent, from $525 million in 2012-13 to an indicative level of $725 million by 2015-16.
Africa and the Middle East
Australia is increasing assistance to Africa and the Middle East. This will be delivered in partnership with effective multilateral and non-government organisations, and other partners. We will provide bilateral assistance in sectors where Australia can make a real difference. Over the next four years, Australia anticipates increasing assistance to Africa and the Middle East from an estimated $465 million in 2012‑13 to an indicative level of $625 million by 2015-16. Of this, around $355 million in 2012‑13 will be directed to sub-Saharan Africa.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Poor people in this region suffer from widespread inequality and are vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. Around 17 per cent of people live on $2 a day or less. Over the next four years, most of Australia's assistance will be delivered through partnerships with effective regional, multilateral, and non-government organisations, and other donors.
Making Australian aid more effective
The core strategic goal ‘Saving Lives’ focuses Australia’s aid program on improving public health. Photo: Rocky Roe/AusAID
The Australian Government is focused on delivering an aid program that is world-leading in its effectiveness and delivers real and measurable results in reducing poverty on the ground.
Enhanced effectiveness is the cornerstone of Australia’s aid program, and to achieve this, the Government:
- has released a Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework to guide future increases in the aid budget. The CAPF includes a rolling four-year budget strategy, and a three-tier Results Framework which sets out headline results that will be achieved and new standards for the efficient and effective delivery of Australian aid, aligned to the strategies outlined in the aid policy
- is assessing progress against the Results Framework, through an Annual Review of Aid Effectiveness. The Annual Review findings will be considered by Cabinet each year, and made publicly available after
- is abolishing programs that are not delivering on their objectives, or undertaking immediate changes to make sure they are
- is applying the Government’s Transparency Charter to all the programs it delivers, to provide more accessible information on what we fund and the results we achieve
- has further strengthened our existing robust fraud and risk management systems and capabilities
- is involving more Australians in the aid program, including by increasing volunteer numbers, improving links with Australian business, supporting more Australian NGOs to participate in our aid program and making greater use of Australia’s academic and research institutions.
View more information on progress with Implementing Australia’s aid policy.