Strategic priorities
  • Australia’s development strategy aims to “promote national interest by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction” across six priority areas: 1) infrastructure and trade; 2) agriculture, fisheries, and water; 3) effective governance; 4) education and health; 5) building resilience; 6) gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
  • Australia continues to place a focus on providing ODA to neighboring countries through bilateral channels. In addition, Australia increasingly focuses on ‘aid for trade’ and support for women and girls: it aims to dedicate 20% of its total ODA budget by 2020 to addressing constraints to trade, and 80% of activities must address gender issues.
Key opportunities
  • Australia continues to develop major opportunities for financing in health research and development, and health security. In June 2016, the government committed US$90 million in ODA over five years for a regional health-security fund to sponsor partnerships for tackling emerging health-security risks.
  • Australia announced plans in 2014 to build a US$18 billion perpetual fund for academic health research, known as the Medical Research Futures Fund. A small proportion of the eventual US$902 million in annual spending is expected to be applied to research into diseases affecting developing countries.

Key Questions

the big six

In the Marshall Islands Australia supports preparation for the impacts of severe climate and oceanographic events through the Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific.

Australia

Outlook

How will Australia’s ODA develop? What will Australia’s ODA focus on? What are key opportunities in 2016 and 2017 for shaping Australia’s development policy? read more

How will Australia’s ODA develop?

  • Major new ODA funding flows are unlikely as the new government remains firm on its plan to decrease ODA further by US$202 million, to US$3.5 billion for FY2016-17. However, because the new government holds a one-seat majority in parliament, an unexpected by-election could shift power to the opposition Labor party, which might change ODA priorities. The next federal election is not due until 2019.

What will Australia’s ODA focus on?

  • Promoting economic growth and reducing poverty across in the Indo-Pacific region will likely remain a focus. This focus is likely to increase as Australia plans on spending at least 90% of its ODA on neighboring countries by the end of FY2016-17, while scaling back its development budget in other regions. Furthermore, the government has set a target that 20% of all funding should be ‘aid for trade’ by 2020.
  • Women’s empowerment and gender equality will remain top priorities. At least 80% of all development investments will focus on integrating gender issues in the future. Support to the Global Fund is also important: during the 2016 Global Fund replenishment, Australia increased its commitment by 10%.

What are key opportunities for shaping Australia’s development policy?

  •  Health research and development (R&D) will remain an important focus of Australia’s portfolio. Financing could rise from the recently announced initiatives that are funded from within and outside of the ODA budget. In June 2016, the government committed US$90 million in ODA over five years for a regional health-security fund to sponsor partnerships for tackling emerging health-security risks. In 2014, Australia announced plans to establish a domestic US$18 billion perpetual fund for academic health research, known as the Medical Research Futures Fund. This is likely to provide a small portion of its funding for global health research. In June 2016, Australia also established a non-ODA funded Centre of Excellence in Infectious Disease Emergency Response Research.
  • The budget expansion for women’s empowerment opens up opportunities for applying cross-sectoral development approaches to the design and implementation of development programs.