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Development

Australia’s development program

  • Embedding First Nations Australians’ perspectives in development

    Indigenous Pathways is a First Nations Australians-led initiative of the Australian Volunteers Program that aims to expand and strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation and connect Australian First Nations Peoples and organisations with overseas counterparts.

  • Supporting local Pacific businesses to be more climate-resilient

    Australia is investing in new ways of working that are less harmful to the planet, to shape a more environmentally sustainable and resilient region

  • Keeping neighbouring farmers safe to secure our region’s economic recovery

    “I had no idea about this new disease that people were talking about. When I read that it was caused by a virus and that it was already among us, I thought we were going to drop dead like chickens everywhere,”

  • Embedding First Nations Australians’ perspectives in development

  • Supporting local Pacific businesses to be more climate-resilient

  • Keeping neighbouring farmers safe to secure our region’s economic recovery

Australia's new International Development Policy was released on 8 August 2023. DFAT webpages are being updated to reflect the priorities set out in the policy.

New International Development policy

Australia has released a new international development policy, setting the long-term direction for Australia's development program.

Profound challenges continue to reshape our world, testing our collective resolve. The new policy is centred on listening, respect and genuine partnership. It will guide how Australia's development program supports a peaceful, stable, and prosperous future for Australia and our region – ensuring it is fit for these complex times.

Performance and delivery framework

The new policy will be underpinned by a robust new performance and delivery framework that will drive key reforms and improve the transparency and accountability of our development program.

Development Finance Review

Australia's International Development Policy has been informed by the Development Finance Review.

The Review considered how financing instruments can maximise the impact of our support to help countries in our region achieve their development goals, including climate change and gender equality. 

The Government accepts all eight recommendations from the review.

Australia will scale up existing development finance mechanisms and work more with philanthropic organisations and impact investors to advance our shared interests. The Government will strengthen our focus on gender equality and increase transparency of Australia's development finance. 

Development investments

Australia's development investments help make us stronger and more influential in the world. The comprehensive suite of measures linked to Australia's Official Development Assistance (ODA) significantly bolster the nation's competitiveness, security and relationships at a time of global uncertainty.

Australia provides detailed information on the objectives, results and impacts of our ODA investments. For more information read DFAT's Transparency Statement.

 

2023-24 Budget highlights

  • In 2023–24 the Australian Government will provide $4.77 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA).
  • The 2023-24 Budget builds on the $1.4 billion boost announced in the October 2022-23 Budget.
  • The Government's 2023-24 Budget ensures ODA continues to increase in a responsible and sustainable way including by locking in year-on-year ODA growth of 2.5 per annum per cent per annum over the longer term
  • The 2023-24 Budget continues the Government's long-term rebuild of Australia's international development program to meet the challenges and opportunities our region faces.

For detailed ODA budget information see the 2023-24 Official Development Assistance Budget Summary.

Development priorities

Pacific

Australia's priority is to ensure the Blue Pacific remains peaceful, prosperous and equipped to respond to the challenges of our time.

In 2023–24, we are supporting the region meet its climate resilience and mitigation objectives, expanding the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme (PALM) and reducing fiscal distress in partner countries to further assist in the economic recovery from COVID-19.

Australia will continue to invest in Pacific partner country needs and priorities across climate, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, education and social protection systems. Critically, we are ensuring more of our investments empower women and girls, and people with a disability, to participate more fully in social, political and economic life.

Southeast Asia

Australia shares a region and a future with Southeast Asia. Our economies and communities are deeply interwoven and we want an inclusive region, based on agreed rules that support prosperity, peace and stability.

In 2023-24, we will assist partners tackle some of our most pressing regional priorities—climate change and the clean energy transition, gender equality, health, rapid digitalisation, knowledge and skills development, and infrastructure.

 

Australia will establish a Southeast Asia Government-to-Government Partnerships program and support implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. We will also work with ASEAN to develop its Strategy on Carbon Neutrality, support our region's digitalisation through new technical assistance partnerships and will bolster environmental resilience and cooperation on water, energy, and climate across Southeast Asia.

Building Resilience

Climate Action & Climate Financing

Australia recognises the urgency and far-reaching implications of the climate crisis and is committed to accelerating the transition towards net- zero emissions. We are also working harder at home and with global partners to help communities prepare for and adapt to climate and disaster related risks.

We are deploying more innovative climate financing mechanisms and investing in the climate-resilient infrastructure that regional economies need to prepare for – and mitigate against – worsening climate impacts.

Through Partnerships for Infrastructure and the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific, Australia is investing in a number of climate and clean energy infrastructure priorities for our region.

We will also work internationally to address the widening climate financing gap, particularly in our region, to influence the alignment of funding with decarbonisation priorities and adaptation needs.

Humanitarian

Every year, humanitarian action saves millions of lives. However, the gap between acute need and global response capacity is widening.

In the Indo-Pacific, we will continue to support partners before, during and after disasters, while increasing our investment in disaster and climate resilience. Our efforts will support partner governments and communities to lead their own national disaster risk reduction and preparedness efforts.

We will deliver a new Humanitarian Strategy in 2024 to guide our international engagement. The Strategy will ensure we have an adaptable, responsive and effective framework to help address growing humanitarian need and build resilience.  

Expanding opportunities for everyone

Australia is placing gender equality, disability and social inclusion at the centre of Australia's development program.

ODA investments valued at $3 million and above must have a gender equality objective. Eighty per cent of investments are required to demonstrate that they effectively address gender equality in implementation.

Australia has also established a landmark $3.5 million Inclusion and Equality Fund to support, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) organisations to catalyse change in their communities.

In 2023-24, we are developing a new International Gender Equality Strategy, a dedicated LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Engagement Strategy and a new Disability Equity and Rights Strategy to help make the region more secure and inclusive.

Our performance

The Australian Government is committed to delivering a high quality, effective development program – one that responds to partner needs, achieves results, and is informed by robust monitoring, evaluation and learning.

We will foster a strong performance-based culture that generates robust data on performance, drives improvement and promotes accountability. Our performance culture will be underpinned by effective senior leadership and governance, and strengthened monitoring, evaluation and learning approaches that use evidence to learn and adapt.

A new performance and delivery framework will drive reform and improve how we: plan, design, deliver and communicate our results; provide timely and transparent information on investments and performance; and deliver accountability to the Australian Parliament and public.

The framework will have four main elements:

  • A strengthened approach to Country and Regional Development Partnership Plans that will deepen our consultation with partners, enhance oversight and set out shared objectives, expected outcomes, and approaches to evaluation and learning
  • An expanded and more ambitious set of performance indicators which include targets to drive key reforms under a three-tier framework that tracks our regional context, what we do and how our work aligns with the SDGs
  • Strategic Partnership Agreements with multilateral organisations
  • Investment-level monitoring and evaluation systems.

Further resources:

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