January news: Labour mobility lecture | Changing aid’s rules | Aid submissions | More

Welcome back to 2013, and the first of our monthly newsletters. We’re looking forward to another active year, and to your continued participation. As we did last year, we will be preparing monthly newsletters (in the middle of each month) and monthly blog digests (at the start of each month) to keep you informed and engaged.

Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?
Michael Clemens, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Development
Thursday 17 January @ 12.30 (light lunch from 12pm)
Acton Theatre, Level 1, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU

Michael Clemens, one of the world’s leading economists on migration, is visiting Devpolicy this month to undertake research on the Asia Pacific Technical College. Tomorrow (Thursday)  he will present his recent Journal of Economic Perspectives paper on economics and emigration at the ANU.

Michael argues that labour mobility should be given much more attention by development policy makers and researchers worldwide because “small reductions in the barriers to labor mobility bring enormous gains.” Nowhere is this truer than in Australia and the Pacific. If you can’t make this important lecture, watch out for the podcast and video.

Changing the rules of the game for aid: Timor-Leste and the New Deal

The first Harold Mitchell Development Policy Lecture, delivered on November 22nd by Emilia Pires, the Finance Minister of Timor-Leste, is now available as a Devpolicy Discussion Paper. Minister Pires outlines the progress made by Timor-Leste towards stability and development in recent years. She also makes the case for the New Deal developed by the g7+ grouping of fragile states, which she chairs. The New Deal, she argues, seeks to change the way the aid industry operates worldwide. It “is a change in how we do business, a change in procedures and a change in mindset.” Ms Pires also argues against the notion “that it takes 20 to 40 years for basic government transformations. I believe it can be done much quicker if we keep our eyes solidly on the end game, which is to build the state.” You can find the video of the lecture here, and the podcast here.

Submissions to Afghanistan and ACIAR aid reviews

Towards the end of 2012 Devpolicy made submissions to two government aid reviews.

Fowl or Fish? A submission to the ACIAR Review
Robin Davies and Stephen Howes

In August 2012 Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced the first external review of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research since 1998 (more detail can be found here). Submissions closed in early December 2012. The full review is expected to be released in early 2013.

Australian aid to Afghanistan – submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference Committee
Stephen Howes and Jonathan Pryke

In June 2012 the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee announced an inquiry into ‘The administration, management and objective of Australia’s overseas development programs in Afghanistan in the context of the “Transition Decade”’ (more details can be found here). Submissions closed in late September. The report is expected to be completed by the end of March 2013. The authors were also called to present in front of the Senate Committee, you can read the transcript here.

Devpolicy welcomes Anthony Swan

Anthony Swan has just joined the Development Policy Centre as a Research Fellow. Anthony has spent the last four years in PNG. He was recently the Program Manager for the PNG PEPE Project at the PNG National Research Institute, as well as being an economics lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea. He has a PhD in economics from the ANU focusing on innovation, technology and globalisation. His research interests are focused on development issues in PNG and the Pacific Islands region. He will also be teaching into the Crawford School’s economics program.

PNG budget forum February 7th

The next six-monthly PNG budget forum will be held at NRI in Port Moresby on February 7th. Details of the program and speakers will be made available later this month. The first PNG Budget Forum, part of the PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure Project, took place on the 12th of September 2012. Details of that forum can be found here.

Blog posts

Here is a list of Devpolicy blog posts (organised thematically) since our last newsletter, a month ago. The list is smaller than usual due to the Christmas break.

Blog digest

December blog digest: best of the blog 2012 by Stephen Howes.


Making bureaucracies work by Terence Wood.

2013: a year of aid uncertainty? By Stephen Howes and Robin Davies.


Sustainable urbanisation, sustainable urban health by Matilda Nash.

Pacific and PNG

Pacific predictions 2013 – Fiji falters, and more by Tess Newton Cain.

What constitutes donor dependence? Health financing in the Pacific by Joel Negin.

Shifting fiscal terrain in the Pacific? By Christopher Edmonds and Emma Veve.

PNG in 2013: politics, economics, PNG-Australia relations, and Ross Garnaut by Stephen Howes.


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