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With new funding, key policy debates on Australian aid and global development in the headlines and a growing portfolio of work on Papua New Guinea, 2014 was another big year for the Development Policy Centre.
The Centre’s 2014 Annual Report highlights the range of contributions the Centre has made on Australian aid, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific, and global development policy, and its plans for the year ahead.
Director Stephen Howes said that while 2014 was intended to be a year of consolidation for the Centre, it ended up being another year of growth. In addition to its core research agenda, the Centre provided analysis on a number of key public policy debates, predominantly through its widely read Devpolicy Blog.
“2014 was certainly a tough year for Australian aid, with the largest cuts in history. And in PNG, there are big debates happening on economic policy and development,” Professor Howes said.
“Our aim remains, as always, to provide sound analysis to advance good public policy in our areas of focus.”
Two of the Centre’s achievements in 2014 included launching the final report of the Promoting Effective Public Expenditure project with the PNG National Research Institute, A lost decade? Service delivery and reforms in Papua New Guinea 2002-2012, and helping to establish the Femili PNG Case Management Centre in Lae to assist survivors of family and sexual violence.
The Centre was also fortunate to receive new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its work on Australian aid, which allowed it to recruit two new staff, and funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deepen its partnership with PNG’s National Research Institute.
“We very much appreciate these votes of confidence in our work, and the opportunities they provide,” Professor Howes said.
“This new support builds on the generous core funding we receive from the Harold Mitchell Foundation and The Australian National University, without which none of our work would be possible.”
The Centre will celebrate its fifth anniversary in September, and has big plans for the year ahead. It already hosted the second annual Australasian Aid Conference in February, with more than 300 attendees, and this week hosted the 2015 Harold Mitchell Development Policy Annual Lecture, which was delivered by Professor Mari Pangestu, former Indonesian Minister for Trade and Minister for Tourism and the Creative Economy.