Best of the blog 2021

We close the blog for the year on Wednesday 22 December, and resume on Monday 10 January 2022. Thank you to everyone who has written for, read, commented on, edited, promoted and supported the Devpolicy Blog in 2021. We wish you a restful holiday.

Here’s a chance to recap the year with a listing of some of our favourite and most popular blogs, and some suggestions for summer reading at the end.

Aid and development

Australia hits (almost) rock bottom in new global aid rankings by Stephen Howes

Insights on China’s 2021 white paper on international development cooperation by Anthea Mulakala and Hongbo Ji

Useful outsiders by Anna Gilbert

What good did we do in Afghanistan? by Mary Venner


Ethnic migrants in Hanoi: hit hard by lockdowns by Tran Chung Chau and Nicola Nixon

COVID-19 in PNG: the silent dead by Win Nicholas

Navigating uncertainty: Cambodian tourism businesses and the pandemic by Men Pechet and Marly Augustine

Social media “bullshit” threatens control of COVID-19 outbreak in PNG by Sue Ahearn

The vaccine donation model is broken – a new approach is needed by Joel Negin

The Pacific and Timor-Leste

Nauru: riches to rags to riches by Stephen Howes and Sherman Surandiran

Solomon Islands’ slippery slide to self implosion by Transform Aqorau

Timor-Leste will soon be running on fumes by Charles Scheiner

Tuvalu’s Future Now Project: preparing for climate change in the worst-case scenario by Simon Kofe

Pacific politics and elections

All change in Tonga by Henry Ivarature and Ema Finau Ivarature

Patriarchy and corrupt political practices are hindering female participation in PNG politics by Loretta Dilu

Samoa’s historic election result by Mata’afa Keni Lesa

What political crises in Vanuatu and Samoa tell us about their past and future by Terence Wood

Women’s political leadership in Vanuatu by Jennifer Kalpokas Doan


No poverty reduction in Fiji over the last six years by Neelesh Gounder

Why has Mauritius left Fiji so far behind? by Stephen Howes and Sherman Surandiran


A response to ‘failed state’ narratives of PNG by Kylie McKenna, Senala Morona and Cooniebhert Samgay

Booming business, absent government in the Sepik by Desmond Narongou

Foreign exchange rationing in PNG: six years on by Rohan Fox

PNG: the hungry country by Manoj K. Pandey and Stephen Howes

Tommy Baker: PNG’s Ned Kelly? by Sinclair Dinnen and Grant Walton

Pacific regionalism

Another Pacific plan, really? by Stephen Howes and Sadhana Sen

Dual crises at USP and Pacific Islands Forum: the chance for a different future by Collin Tukuitonga

Pacific regionalism forever changed by Transform Aqorau

The future of the University of the South Pacific by Biman Chand Prasad

Labour mobility

Australia needs more Pacific mid-skill migration: here’s how to facilitate it by Satish Chand, Michael Clemens and Helen Dempster

Flaws in the Australian Agricultural visa by Richard Curtain

I-Kiribati female seasonal workers in New Zealand: lived experiences by Charlotte Bedford, Richard Bedford and Rena Tekanene

Pacific Labour Scheme: expanding while borders are closed by Holly Lawton

Personal stories

A kiap in Bougainville: lessons for today by Anthony Regan

One day in the life of a fruit picker by Michael Rose

Unwanted sexual behaviour in the workplace: an aid worker’s story by Anonymous

USP remembering expulsions past by Robbie Robertson and Akosita Tamanisau


Farewell Maev O’Collins by Michelle Nayahamui Rooney

Mekere by Ross Garnaut; Vale Sir Mekere Morauta by Rabbie Namaliu; and Morauta’s masterclass in economic reform by Matthew Morris.

Obituary: Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare by Ronald J. May

Summer reads

An important book at a difficult time by Michael Rose

Doing better without aid: the case of Somaliland by Gordon Peake

Is education really a waste of time and money? by Matthew Woolf

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Karen Downing

Karen Downing is Research Communications Coordinator at the Development Policy Centre.

Stephen Howes

Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre and Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University.

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