In An Effective Aid Program for Australia, the Australian Government committed to developing stronger links with Australian business on the aid program.
Why AusAID should engage with business
AusAID believes that a stronger relationship between the aid program and the business community is important because:
- Australian businesses and the aid program operate in the same countries, regions and communities
- business can drive social change through their business operations
- the success of Australian businesses are increasingly linked to emerging markets and the economic health and stability of our neighbours which is a key focus for the aid program
- development prompted by business drivers can complement development promoted by social drivers—this contrasts a corporate social responsibility model where the community engagement may be considered an add-on to the company’s core business
- seeking to harness business strengths and innovation provides AusAID with potential opportunities to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Australian aid.
How will AusAID engage with business?
AusAID aims to work with the Australian business sector to achieve sustainable development outcomes. This will involve identifying areas of mutual interest, structuring ongoing engagement and working to identify practical areas for collaboration. To achieve this AusAID will:
- Facilitate strategic dialogue with the Australian business sector to learn from business experiences in developing countries and to help inform business views on the aid program and the value of AusAID’s work internationally
- Seek input from business on relevant AusAID policy development and program design, including through consultations with bilateral business councils
- Ensure business is well-informed about AusAID’s private sector development activities in developing countries, particularly in creating effective institutions and improving governance, developing public infrastructure, improving health and education and extending financial services and expanding markets through trade
- Leverage Australian business strengths and expertise, for instance through business volunteers as a part of AusAID’s volunteer program, and
- Provide a ‘single point of entry’ for business through AusAID’s newly established Business Engagement Unit.
AusAID's Private Sector Development Strategy further outlines how we will shape our aid program to support the emergence and growth of the private sector in developing countries, and how we will work with our Australian business colleagues to do that.