Australia's aid program

The Australian Government’s development policy Australian aid: promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, enhancing stability and performance framework Making Performance Count: enhancing the accountability and effectiveness of Australian aid outline key aspects of our aid program.

 

Documents

Australia's development policy and performance framework are available in PDF and Word formats.

The need for change

The world has changed—and our aid program is changing too. Today, many developing countries are growing rapidly, with aid representing an increasingly small proportion of development finance. To be effective in this new context, our aid is becoming more innovative and catalytic, leveraging other drivers for development, such as private sector investment and domestic finance. We are recasting our aid program in light of this new development paradigm.

Where we work

The Australian aid program now focuses more clearly on our Indo-Pacific region. We have a sharper focus on our immediate neighbourhood—this is where we can make the most difference.

What we do: re-shaping the aid program

The purpose of the aid program is to promote Australia’s national interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. We will pursue this purpose by focusing on two development outcomes: supporting private sector development and strengthening human development.

A strategic framework will guide the re-shaping of Australia’s aid program over coming years.

Figure 1: The strategic framework for the aid program: promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, enhancing stability

For each country, the balance of investments will be tailored to country context and reflect Australia's national interest. We will invest in infrastructure, trade facilitation and international competitiveness; agriculture, fisheries and water; Effective governance - policies, institutions and functioning economies; education and health; building resilience - humanitarian assistance, disaster risk reduction and social protection; and gender equality and empowering women and girls. We maximise impact by being innovative and leveraging knowledge and finance, supporting both private sector development and human development (which relate to each other). All this will promote Australia's national interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.  

More details on the priority areas:

How we deliver aid

Four tests guide strategic choices across the aid program, translating the strategic framework into practice. They ensure that Australian aid:

  1. pursues our national interest and extends Australia’s influence
  2. impacts on promoting growth and reducing poverty
  3. reflects Australia’s value-add and leverage
  4. makes performance count.

There have been significant improvements in the way we deliver aid, through:

  • greater innovation
  • strengthening our private sector focus
  • enhancing aid for trade
  • disability-inclusive development
  • economic diplomacy
  • working with the most effective partners
  • consolidating the aid program
  • responsibly engaging with risk and applying safeguards
  • actively managing fraud and anti-corruption
  • following value for money principles
  • transparency.

Making performance count

To reinforce efforts to re-shape the aid program, DFAT’s performance framework, Making Performance Count: enhancing the accountability and effectiveness of Australian aid, operates at all levels of the aid program, with ten high level targets to assess progress against key goals. The performance framework ensures that funding is linked to performance at all levels of the aid program and that taxpayers’ money is achieving the greatest possible development impact.

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Last Updated: 2 May 2016