A new report released today by AID/WATCH, has revealed that an AusAID supported railway rehabilitation project in Cambodia has led to the displacement of hundreds of people and prompted the near shut-down of civil society.
When nations gather in Busan, South Korea, for the fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, transparency will be up for discussion. A study by campaign group Publish What You Fund finds that most international aid donors are still not open enough about their aid programmes, and some offer no information at all.
AID/WATCH along with a coalition of 98 civil society organisations from around the world are calling on governments and other aid donors to publish more and better information about the money they give.
BetterAid is calling for applications from civil society organisations to participate in the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, which will be held in Busan, Korea from 29 November – 1 December 2011. The deadline is 8 May 2011.
Today’s historic majority High Court decision on the charitable status of Aid/Watch is a significant win for Australian charities who engage in advocacy and lobbying activity and ends a four year gag on free speech for many NGOs.
Join AID/WATCH for the seventh and final Aid Talks session this year to discuss where Australian aid money goes, and for the launch of the updated Where Is Your Aid Money Going? guide.
A few years ago AID/WATCH launched its guide on aid, asking the simple, but crucially important question – where is your aid money going? This question is central to the work AID/WATCH does in critically examining how Australian aid money is spent and who it ultimately benefits. Multilateral organisations, NGOs and corporations are all beneficiaries of aid programs and policies, often at the expense of the communities the aid targets.
Since the launch of the guide, the significance of this question has not diminished, in fact it has become more and more important. AID/WATCH has updated the Where Is Your Aid Money Going? guide, and invite you to the launch.
The Coalition government has announced a number of changes to the Australian aid program. They include cutting the aid budget, no ministerial representation for international aid, closer alignment of aid policy with trade and foreign affairs, and bringing AusAID back into the fold of the Department of Foreign Affairs. While national interest has long been an objective of Australia’s aid program, as a result of the government’s re-direction for aid policy, this focus on national interest is now much stronger.
With little detail provided about how these changes will be implemented, many questions remain. How much will actually change in the aid program? What will it mean for the communities receiving Australian aid?
The changes to the Australian aid program present an opportunity to think critically about the effectiveness of Australian aid money. This includes questioning whether the focus on the quantity of aid rather, than the quality, is helping or hindering poverty alleviation and human development.
Join AID/WATCH for the final Aid Talks session this year to engage in discussion about these issues, and for the launch of the updated Where Is Your Aid Money Going? guide.
Aid Talks: The Politics of Development and Inequality is a free, monthly discussion series hosted by AID/WATCH on issues of aid and development. This will provide an opportunity to foster a more critical understanding of the impacts and assumptions of development and inequality and the role Australia plays.