5 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Morgan
    Elizabeth Morgan February 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    This is important work Robin and great that the Centre has embarked on this search for the facts on aid spending. The Policy Brief is an excellent summary.

  2. Ian Cunningham
    Ian Cunningham February 4, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    It would be interesting (and challenging) to also reflect on the legitimacy and effectiveness with the spending over time too.

    Do you have comments on what is/was counted as Aid and how that has changed over time?

  3. Gai Sheridan
    Gai Sheridan February 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    A question – is the expenditure on the original Colombo Plan, and subsequent iterations of that program over the earlier years of your time-span, included in the calculations of Australian Aid data? Or was it, in the earlier days, part of the Education Department budget on higher education? I don’t have access data on it, but my recall from APS in the 70s-80s is that it was the responsibility of the Department of Education, and if so, would not have been in the line budget of the aid program. I am not sure when it was moved into the line budget of AIDAB/AusAID. However my recall may be faulty, so I’m wondering if that detail can be made explicit?

    I have no idea if the level of expenditure in the earlier years would be sufficient to change the proportion by much – but the proportion of the ADS/Australia Awards programs in the aid budget in recent times is fairly high, and if the expenditure level of earlier, roughly equivalent, programs is not included in these proportional calculations, might that create a distorting effect on the estimation of relative decline?

    1. Robin Davies
      Robin Davies February 3, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Gai — Yes, the ABS Year Books were based on data from across government. Colombo Plan expenditure was included in the reported aid figures. For example, in 1969-70 the total amount of aid reported was $166 million, which included about $23 million in Colombo Plan expenditure (covering 1,635 people in training, including 949 new awards), $17 million in bilateral aid for countries other than PNG, $11 million in multilateral contributions and $115 million in budget support and other costs associated with PNG. Expenditure on the ‘Commonwealth Co-operation in Education’ program (only $885,000) was reported as being administered by the Department of Education and Science, budget support for PNG ($96 million) by the Department of External Territories, and contributions to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank ($6.5 million) by the Treasury. The implication is that all other assistance was administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs, though this is not stated.

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