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Have you ever wondered how much foreign aid Australia actually gives? Or where it goes? Or what it gets spent on? A new website launched by the Development Policy Centre at Crawford School provides the answers to these questions, and much, much more.
The Australian Aid Tracker draws on a range of data and analysis and uses a variety of visualisation and charting tools to help bring the numbers on Australian aid to life.
“There is data out there on Australian aid—but unfortunately you really need to know where to look and how to wade through the jargon and spreadsheets to make sense of it,” said Ashlee Betteridge, a Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre. “With the aid tracker, we’ve taken this data and made it accessible for all.”
The Aid Tracker was supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Harold Mitchell Foundation. On the aid tracker, you can find out about:
• Trends: Australian aid over time, aid as a percentage of GNI, aid per capita, how much of the budget we spend on aid, and how much Australians donate to development NGOs.
• Comparisons: how Australia performs (now and in the past) against other aid donors in the OECD Development Assistance Committee.
• Destinations: where Australia’s aid goes.
• Commitments: the contributions Australia makes to important international aid organisations and funds like the Global Fund, Gavi and others.
• Sectors and partners: what issues Australian aid supports, how much we give to humanitarian causes, and what channels we use to deliver aid.
• Effectiveness: a guide to resources assessing the effectiveness of Australia’s aid.
• Aid 101: definitions and aid basics for those new to the topic.
The site is designed to be useful resource for many different users, from journalists looking for a quick aid figure for a story; advocates, policymakers or politicians making a case for (or against) aid; academics and researchers; or members of the public interested in learning more.
“We know that many Australians know very little about how much aid we give, and many think that we give more than we actually do. We hope this site will support a more informed public discussion on Australia’s aid policy and the amount of aid that we provide,” Ms Betteridge said.
The Development Policy Centre (Devpolicy) provides regular commentary on Australian aid through its popular Devpolicy Blog. The effectiveness of Australian aid is one of the centre’s three core areas of research, the other two being Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands and global development policy.
“Since Devpolicy began our work and our blog five years ago, we have quickly become a leading source of information on Australian aid, so the aid tracker builds on our past work and provides us with a new platform,” Ms Betteridge said.
“This will be an ongoing project—we will update the aid tracker when new data comes in, and we also plan to expand it.”