Newsletter: Pacific remittance costs | Turnbull and aid cuts | PNG exchange rate | Australian aid evaluations event

Fourth year UPNG Economics students Ms. Hera Hoi (left) and Ms. Florentina Dom (right) with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Pacific remittance costs still sky high

For Pacific workers in Australia or New Zealand wishing to send money home, remittance transaction costs are among the highest in the world. New analysis by Ashlee Betteridge and Stephen Howes shows that while the rest of the world is seeing some decline in the cost of sending remittances, things in the Pacific are not improving. In their blog post, they show that the cost of sending remittances to the Pacific is about 50% above the world average. This is despite Australia’s G20 commitments to reduce remittance costs, and various aid efforts.

Will Turnbull make further aid cuts?

As MYEFO edges closer (the time when last year, we first learned of the massive cuts coming for Australian aid), Terence Wood makes the case to our new Prime Minister for taking a step back from further cuts that were projected in this year’s budget. Based on this year’s budget documents, aid is currently set to take another hit next year, falling by a further $224 million dollars. Terence argues that this extra cut will do little for Australia’s bottom line, but in a world with many crises in need of aid, could do more good elsewhere.

PNG exchange rate

Rohan Fox, a lecturer at UPNG economics and Devpolicy Associate, has completed his three-part series on the Kina exchange rate, highlighting its unusual trajectory relative to the currencies of other resource exporters, presenting the evidence of its over-valuation, and with Stephen Howes,  summarising the international evidence of the problems this presents for the PNG economy.

Australian aid evaluations forum: development partnerships

Next month we will once again host a lively debate on some of the latest evaluations from DFAT’s Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE). On Wednesday 9 December (9.30am-1.30pm, Barton Theatre), we will discuss an evaluation of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and Australia’s non-core funding to the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. It should be a fascinating forum on some important partners to the aid program. Speakers will include staff from DFAT, ACFID and Devpolicy. Don’t miss our last event for the year! Register here.

Fourth year UPNG Economics students Ms. Hera Hoi (left) and Ms. Florentina Dom (right) with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Fourth year UPNG Economics students Ms. Hera Hoi (left) and Ms. Florentina Dom (right) with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

UPNG students star at Precinct launch

UPNG economics students featured prominently at the launch of the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct a fortnight ago. The Precinct, which brings together the UPNG School of Business and Public Policy and its next-door neighbour, the PNG Institute of Public Administration, was launched by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and three PNG Ministers: Public Services Minister Puka Temu, Higher Education Minister Malakai Tabar and Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato. Read more about the launch here. Devpolicy is involved in the Precinct through its partnership with UPNG.

2016 PNG Update

The call for papers for the 2016 PNG Update on 15–17 June 2016 at UPNG in Port Moresby is now open. Find out more details on the website.

Upcoming events

Australian aid evaluations: development partnerships

Wednesday 9 December, 9.30am-1.30pm, Barton Theatre. Register here.

2016 Australasian Aid Conference

10–11 February 2016. Registrations open. Details here.

Blog highlights

Nauru at the UN

Proposals for PEFA reform

Should we legislate for aid effectiveness?

New Global Terrorism Index

Solomon Islands politics

On the blog

The effects of exchange rate over-valuation in PNG: international evidence by Rohan Fox and Stephen Howes

Does our corruption look big in this? SDG 16 and the problem of measurement by Grant Walton

Cut the cut: why the Turnbull government should stop reducing Australian aid by Terence Wood

The persistently high cost of Pacific remittances by Ashlee Betteridge and Stephen Howes

Nauru and the UPR: who said what and does it matter? By Tess Newton Cain and Savitri Taylor

Proposals for PEFA reform by David Fellows and John Leonardo

Will visions of gender equality live up to the future Pacific women want by 2030? By Priya Chattier

Can food security reinvigorate the G20’s development agenda? By Lachlan Campbell

Moving beyond the ‘musical chairs’ of Solomon Islands politics by Gordon Leua Nanau

US aid effectiveness legislation: some ideas for Australia? By Camilla Burkot

In brief

Fortnightly links: the stove that didn’t cook in the night, donors and poor governance, and more

Terrorism continues to rise – what do the numbers tell us?

Femili PNG seeks Stakeholder Engagement and Communication Officer

Drowning not waving: an update from PNG’s Taskforce Sweep

“Bashed up” – new HRW report on family violence in PNG

UPNG economics students star at Precinct launch

Ted Cruz and a leaderless USAID

This is the fortnightly newsletter of the Development Policy Centre at Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, published every second Friday.

Development Policy Centre

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