Better a month late than never – Australian aid Blue Book released

Quietly accompanying Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s announcement of a new aid strategy and framework (a not so ‘new aid paradigm’–see our analysis here) was the release of a Blue Book equivalent on the DFAT website. Along with updating the ‘budget highlights’ page to include the ‘Global Programmes’ component that was previously left out of the highlights, a link appeared to a Word document: ‘The 2014-15 development assistance budget: a summary [DOCX 403 KB]’. This document is only a formatting job and few extra tables away from being the 2014-15 Blue Book.

Perhaps one reason it wasn’t released at budget time is that it structures the aid program using the Coalition’s just-released sectoral breakdown for the aid program.


As well as providing information on the Coalition’s areas of focus, it provides a more generalised breakdown of sectoral funding, which, as shown here, is very similar to the 2013-14 distribution.


This release is a very welcome development, and certainly one that helps Australian aid transparency. Let’s hope the Blue Book, or this new incarnation, returns to being a fixture of the Budget process in the years to come.

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Jonathan Pryke

Jonathan Pryke worked at the Development Policy Centre from 2011, and left in mid-2015 to join the Lowy Institute, where he is now Director of the Pacific Islands Program. He has a Master of Public Policy/Master of Diplomacy from Crawford School of Public Policy and the College of Diplomacy, ANU.

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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