Newsletter: MDG progress | Challenges for women in PNG | US private sector ideas | USP

MDG progress

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014 has just been launched in New York City and will have its Australian launch on Monday in an event at The Australian National University with Senator Brett Mason and others.

Robin Davies gives his take on the report here, arguing that MDG progress reports are too frequent and inconsistent in their treatment of the data. But, for those prepared to go digging, they do have some good news, as summarised by the graph below, compiled from data in the last few reports. Except on the climate front, most indicators are heading in the right direction.

Challenges for women in PNG: inquiry submission, CMC update and event

Donors should balance investment in government services with greater investment in civil society initiatives to support survivors of gender-based violence.

This is one of the five recommendations in our submission [pdf] to the inquiry of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Standing Committee into the human rights issues confronting women and girls in the Indian Ocean-Asia Pacific region.

Our submission, authored by Ashlee Betteridge and Kamalini Lokuge, focuses on ways to combat the family and sexual violence epidemic in PNG. You can read the full submission here [pdf] or see a summary of the recommendations.

The submission draws heavily on our involvement with the PNG Family and Sexual Violence Case Management Centre (CMC), which we are supporting. To keep up with progress on that project, check out the website or sign up for the mailing list.

On a related note, we will be hosting an event next week (12.30pm, 18 July, Brindabella Theatre) looking at the challenges and opportunities for women in Papua New Guinea, featuring two prominent PNG professional women– Avia Koisen (Principal, Koisen Lawyers) and Emma Wurr (Principal Legal Officer for Human Rights, PNG Office of the Public Solicitor).

Event: US ideas on private sector partnerships

Private sector partnerships for development are certainly a hot topic right now. As the Australian government looks to increase aid for trade and private sector involvement in development and public hearings take place for the parliamentary inquiry on this topic, there are opportunities to learn from what is being tried elsewhere.

In an event on 30 July (12.30pm, Barton Theatre), speakers from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC will share recommendations from the Executive Council on Development —a bipartisan group of leaders from government, business, nongovernmental organisations, and philanthropy—on how the US government and private sector can work together to support development. Register here.

USP undermining academic freedom

Waden Narsey brought us two important blog posts last week on infringements to free speech in Fiji. We’ve become used to the Fiji Government cracking down on the media, but the University of the South Pacific? Remarkably, as Waden tells us, the university told off two of its media lecturers for talking to the press in defence of media freedom, and required them to apologise! Australia is a major financier of the university, and has just signed off on a $49 million agreement with it. It’s one thing to fund a government that undermines human rights, but a university that won’t support academic freedom?

Upcoming events

Challenges and opportunities for women in Papua New Guinea

Hear prominent PNG professional women reflect on their careers and on what can be done to increase women’s participation in education and the workforce. Register here.

Private sector partnerships in development: US approaches

This event will share findings on how the US government and private sector can work together to support development, and implications for the Australian context. Register here.

2015 Australasian Aid Conference

Our annual aid conference will be held on 12-13 February, 2015. We are now calling for papers. For more details on how to submit an abstract, visit the website.

Blog highlights

A legal look at PNG’s latest political crisis

Robin Davies on continuity between the new aid paradigm and the old.

Where is the Indo-Pacific and does it include Africa?

MSF report points out failings with UN system and NGOs

Blog summary

You can find a list of all posts since our last newsletter two weeks ago in the list below.

NZ Aid & Africa: 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2… 1 by Gerard Prinsen

What have the MDGs done for us lately? By Robin Davies

Overt and covert media censorship in Fiji (part 1): the PIDF bungle by Wadan Narsey

Overt and covert media censorship in Fiji (part 2): USP journalism educators under fire by Wadan Narsey

Reflections on the new aid paradigm, (part 1): continuity in Australian aid policy by Robin Davies

Some clarification from the courts in PNG PM’s ‘fight to the very last breath’ by Bal Kama

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership: global advocate Stephen O’Brien on its role and the challenges of fighting malaria by Stephen O’Brien and Jonathan Pryke

New Zealand aid needs more gender mainstreaming by Pip Bennett

Aid to Africa in an Indo-Pacific aid program by Joel Negin

‘The Mountain’ by Drusilla Modjeska – essential reading for PNG enthusiasts by Tess Newton Cain

Should Australia fear Pacific migrants? Analysing the real impact of Pacific migration on Australia by Jillian Ash

In brief

China’s new aid White Paper and its surprisingly small aid program

Where is everyone? MSF points the finger at failings of UN, NGOs in crises

Can you help reinvent foreign aid for $20,000?

Panel discusses labour mobility in the Pacific

Civil society nudges G20

ODE releases evaluation of Australian aid to Timor-Leste

Combatting the family and sexual violence epidemic in PNG: a submission to the Joint Standing Committee inquiry

Coalition slashes funding to Global Partnership for Education

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

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