The Australian aid program has evolved considerably under Tony Abbott’s Coalition government.
Funding for foreign aid has been dramatically reduced in addition to Australia’s geographic sphere of influence. The amalgamation of what was then the Australian Agency for International Development with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in November 2013 has seen a dramatic shift in policies — climate change is now seems to be a thing of the past with new policies aiming to encourage a greater focus on innovation, women, disability, health and trade.
An Australian parliamentary committee has called on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to take several steps to promote private sector engagement in the aid program. Sharman Stone, who heads of the panel, discussed exclusively with Devex some key recommendations.
A recent parliamentary inquiry into foreign aid, producing recommendations outlined in the report “Partnering for the Greater Good,” is also set to see a shift in policy, with DFAT currently preparing a response to recommendations.
But what will all of these mean for those who do business with DFAT and the Australian aid program?