Rudd Outlines Approach to Australian Aid Program

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd. Photo by: Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence / CC BY Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of ExcellenceCC BY

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd has identified aid effectiveness, full engagement with multilateral organizations and enhanced cooperation with civil society as among the principles he will apply in his approach to delivering Australian aid to developing countries.

“First, as minister I want to maximize aid effectiveness with a central emphasis on the measurement of real development outcomes against the MDG [Millennium Development Goals] targets we have accepted,” Rudd said in his speech before the Australian Council for International Development.

Rudd said he wants to see an aid program that fully engages and supports the ownership of recipient countries, makes use of the best practices to draft evidence-based decisions, is fully knowledgeable of issues at the U.N. and engaged with the global body and other multilateral organizations.

He added that he wants to have the “active and creative engagement of Australian [non-governmental organizations] because we do not see ourselves as having a monopoly on wisdom.”

Steps Towards Enhanced Accountability

The Australian government is taking crucial steps to demonstrate its commitment to enhanced accountability in aid spending, Rudd noted.

These steps include reviewing its use of technical advisers and the publication of detailed and comprehensive information about its aid programs, the minister explained.

Rudd has announced earlier that a third of the advisory positions in Australia’s aid program in Papua New Guinea will be phased out. The 40 million Australian dollars (USD39.5 million) that will be saved through the move will be invested in education and health programs in the Pacific island country.

>> Australia to Ax Adviser Posts in PNG Aid Program>> Australia Eyes Expanded PNG Services With Savings from Axed Adviser Posts

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.